Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken — Damn Delicious

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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Let the crockpot do all of the work in the easiest dish of all time. Simply throw everything in with 5 min prep. That’s it!

I have had some requests for recipes that do not involve the stovetop or oven because at this time of the year, excess heat is really unnecessary, especially in this 90 degree+ heat wave.

So the crockpot comes in super handy during this summer heat, and it’s even better when you can whip up the easiest chicken dish of all time with just 5 min prep.

Yes, I promise you. It’s really 5 minutes – there’s no searing or sautéing here. Simply throw in your seasoned chicken into the slow cooker and stir in that balsamic goodness. Done.

Now the recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts but you can easily substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) to suit your preferences. Either way, you just can’t go wrong with this garlicky, sweet and savory blend of flavors!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours, 5 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Let the crockpot do all of the work in the easiest dish of all time. Simply throw everything in with 5 min prep. That’s it!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar and garlic; set aside.
  2. Season chicken breasts with basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Place chicken breasts into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in balsamic vinegar mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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174 comments

This looks great! What sides would you suggest serving?

These lemon rosemary roasted potatoes would be a great complement to this meal.

Omg awesome mmm mmm great choice yum

This recipe is incredible, as a single man, throwing all this in a crockpot and 8 hours came home from work to delicious, falling apart chicken was awesome.

Those rosemary potatoes look awesome! I don’t have any in the house right now so I’m using up a half bag of egg noodles. Since this dish will have a nice little sauce I think that would go well. For that matter suppose rice and simple couscous would be good too. As for a veggie side dish, I would think with chicken and herbs anything would go. From asparagus to broccoli to butternut squash to a salad – cooked your favorite way.

I’m a sucker for slow cooker recipes. I love this one! Sounds absolutely delicious. I’ll let you know when I make this and how it turns out!

Guess what’s for dinner Sunday? Yep – this is it. The hot weather has made me lazy but at the same time, hungry! A nice big salad and purchased rolls . . . and even rice in the rice cooker should do just fine. Wanting to bake but can’t bring myself to turn the oven on. Thanks for sharing this.

How did this come out? Mine is cooking now. There is only two of us, so I did one LARGE chicken breast. I probably won’t have to do 7 hours. I am just curious how the meat finishes.

Can I use my Dutch Oven instead? And if so, on top of stove or in oven and at what temp. And for how long.
Thanks so much…love all your recipes

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise on how to adapt this recipe without a slow cooker. However, here is an article worth checking out on a possible conversion guide from Williams-Sonoma: http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/slow-cooker-vs-dutch-oven-a-conversion-guide/. Hope that helps!

This looks great for my type 2 diabetes! Thanks

Throw everything in a slow cooker and go? I’m sold! But this flavor combination is fantastic – can’t wait to try this one!

Hello! Love your recipes. Could I use anything other than chicken for this recipe? Thank you.

Pork tenderloin would be a great substitute.

Would you cook the pork tenderloin whole, or slice it prior to cooking? Next related question, what size tenderloin would you recommend?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer these with certainty. Please use your best judgment.

Do you think this would go good with pork chops as well?

Do I pour the mixture over the chicken or around it?

Klev, you can pour the mixture directly over the chicken.

Cannot wait to try this – what are your thoughts on using boneless chicken? Maybe less time?

Yes, cooking time may need to be reduced as needed.

Made this for supper this evening was tasty, did you use white balsamic ? My liquid looked much darker than yours and so was the chicken,,

Marie, I used Trader Joe’s Gold Quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.

Can I skip the brown sugar do you think?

You can certainly omit the brown sugar but the end result may be too bitter to taste.

Would maple syrup be a good sub for brown sugar?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Made this tonight, it was delicious! Used boneless chicken breasts and cooked for 7 hours. Meat was tender and juicy. So far I have loved everything I’ve made from your blog.

Did you cook is 7 hours on HIGH or LOW? I did not know you could cook boneless breasts that long without them drying out. Very interested to know.

I just completed this recipe… My boneless skinless chicken breasts dried out… Then again, I’m not sure how long I cooked then for. I put it together and went to bed.

Did you cook on low?

I am so happy to have recently discovered your site! Made this 2 nights ago; my husband was very impressed. It is very sweet, juicy, and flavorful. I’m a sucker for anything with balsamic. I used boneless, skinless breasts, and it was done in about 5-6 hours on low. Thanks, again!

This was awesome! Thanks! Made it with boneless, skinless thighs and had it easily assembled in 5 minutes before work. I did use maybe half the sugar with success for those wondering.

Im going to try this in my pressure cooker tonight.

How did it work out in your pressure cooker? I would like to do the same but have yet to try out my new pressure cooker. What setting do I cook this dish on and for how long? Thanks!

Made this recipe and it was a keeper! Your website has now become my “go to” when I need ideas for dinner. Thanks!

The sauce that is cooked in the slow cooker with the chicken. Well the chicken is raw and cooked with the sauce so is the sauce safe to eat? I guess so as it is cooked but just thought I would check.

No, bc it is in the pan with raw chicken. Any of the juices from the raw meat will be mixing with the balsamic sauce so your sauce will be inedible at that time. The chicken must be cooked through in order to consume any of the ingredients in the crock pot.

Sorry- but a lil’ confused. If you cant have the slow cooker’ sauce’ then why is it that we put a whole uncooked chicken in with veggies and we can eat the veggies that have cooked in that juice…?? Thx

Lynda, my apologies – I am confused with what you are asking?

You can eat the juice. When you cook your chicken and veggies, the sauce cooks right along with it. Or am I missing something in the question or in the other replies to the question??

Yes, the sauce is safe to eat, as well. It all cooks together in the slow cooker.

Love the website, but this dish was way too sweet. Sauce inedible, and chicken so sweet. Love the cashew chicken recipe though.

Michelle, thank you for trying my recipe. If the recipe was too sweet to taste, you can reduce the amount of brown sugar as needed for next time.

Made this for dinner tonight. I mismeasured and used too much basil but it was still very good. Also, not reading the directions thoroughly (duh), I mixed all the spices in with the liquids instead of seasoning the chicken with them. So, I just salt & peppered the chicken and poured the basil-ly sauce over the top. Boneless, skinless breasts, about 7 hours. Delish!! Served with roasted broccoli and some brown rice.

The chicken is fall off the bone tender. My only change would be to cut the sugar in half. Eating this dish hot was fine, but the left overs were way too sweet.

Thyme and rosemary…fresh or dried? I’m assuming dried because of measurements but just want to be sure. Thank you for your blog. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

Dried herbs were used but you can certainly substitute fresh herbs as needed.

Do you have to use Chicken breasts? Can you use thighs and legs? Would there be a cooking time difference?

Not at all – you can certainly substitute thighs and/or legs but you may have to adjust cooking time as needed.

Would it still taste great without the sugar? Trying to find recipes that meet diet requirements! Thanks! PS. this sounds so good!!

The sugar balances the tartness of the balsamic vinegar.

Plus, the brown sugar helps the vinegar become heavier and far less acidic

Do you think I could add baby carrots to this recipe?

Would we just throw the carrots in with the chicken at the same time?

Terra, it really depends on the size of the carrots – would you be using baby carrots or chopped carrots?

winner! winner ! Chicken Dinner .
-wow every time I make this I think gee- I will never need to look for another awesome slow cooker meal again ! I have taken the sauce and thickened it slightly to pour over basmati rice – Yum 🙂

I LOVE THIS RECIPE. I also added the carrots and it’s a great addition. Do you think I could easily double this recipe? Or is that too much chicken for the Crockpot?

It really depends on the size of the slow cooker.

Another total SUCCESS! I am serious when I say I haven’t been steered wrong with any recipe on this site. I used boneless skinless chicken breast but other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. I cooked it for 5 hours on low and it turned out stupendous! Whole family gorged on this (I didn’t but I’m more lady like) and I had my share…making it again. Thank you Chungah. Keep these wonderful recipes coming 🙂

I followed the instructions, but used boneless chicken breasts. I also added a bay leaf and a splash of worcestershire sauce to the pot.
My end result was too sour, not to mention the sauce was very thin. I saved it with milk and cornstarch, which both thickened it and neutralized that pesky acidity! Now I can serve it to my boyfriend when he gets home! Lol

I “made” this yesterday, adding slightly more crushed red pepper. It was fantastic with rice.
Thank you for a stupendously easy recipe.

This was A-MAZ-ING! I’m NOT the cook in my house, but I’m off this week and attempted to cook (I’m a teacher). My husband loved it! It will be moved into my repertoire of the 5 meals I make for dinner! Thank you so much! I even added some carrots!

OMG, I must have done something wrong. Mine did not turn out tasting good at all. It taste like a vinegary puree with chunks of chicken. I think maybe 1/4 vinegar would have been better. I’ll never know. Not making this again. If anyone can help me salvage this dish, I would vey much appreciate it. Thank you. P.S. Not to rain on your parade nor being a “hater”, just need help.

Leeza, did you follow the recipe exactly as written without any substitutions?

I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well. However, I understand that we all have different taste preferences, and I really appreciate your honest feedback.

I bought the “nicer” balsamic vinegar this time at the store, and it tastes WAY different and less vinegary than the cheapo bottle I’ve always gotten before. I wonder if that was the problem? A balsamic vinegar that’s less than great tasting to begin with?

I made this tonight in my Instant Pot. Delicious! This will be in my rotation now 🙂 Thank you!

Curious, how long did you pressure cook it for? What kind of release did you do? Thanks!

I made this today, EXCELLENT FLAVOR & TENDERNESS.
I had to use boneless chicken breasts as that’s what was in the freezer. Other than that, I followed the recipe EXACTLY. They were done to perfection in 2 hrs on high at which time I removed them to a warm baking dish n placed in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while I finished 2 sides. I then took all the liquid from the crockpot and boiled it off with 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs brown sugar to make an excellent balsamic reduction. Poured it over the breasts along with some fresh chopped parsley as suggested. Served it with some Stove Top Stuffing and Green Beans Almondine and Apple Sauce. Wonderful dish and very easy to make
Looking forward to making it again with bone-in breasts and thighs mixed!

Cooked on high for fours. Came out dry and very bland. Would not recommend.

Matthew, cooking time specifically states 3-4 hours for the high setting. Perhaps your chicken may have just needed 3 hours instead of the 4, resulting in a dry texture?

When given a span of cooking time, it may be a good idea to test the ingredients at the earliest time for doneness to avoid over cooking. You can always add time, but you can never take it away.

I absolutely love it .
I didn’t have any basil but I used everything else and it tastes great !

This said to cook for 7-8 hours on low. It was overcooked and completely dried out in 5.5. The blend of spices was also overpowering. Nobody ate it. We threw it out.

Thank you for your feedback. But instead of blaming the recipe, it is important to remember that many factors are at play here that may result in a failed outcome. I only share recipes that have been successful and well-tested in my own kitchen, but I understand that failures and mishaps can happen. But with a little bit more information, we can troubleshoot what went wrong to have a successful turnaround next time.

So I must ask – did you follow the recipe exactly as written without any substitutions?

I made this today and I too found it more than done at the 5 hour mark, using boneless breasts. Though a bit dry, I thickened the sauce with a corn starch slurry and will use it to serve with rice. The flavor however is delicious and I didn’t alter or adjust any ingredients. I’ll make it again, but now know I can adjust the cook time accordingly.

Boneless breasts generally always need less time than bone-in.

I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and used garlic salt instead of regular salt. I also a tablespoon of dijon mustard to the liquid. Cooked two hours on slow. Took breasts out of crock pot and let rest for 15 minutes. Added two tablespoons of butter to liquid in crock pot. Shredded chicken, added back to crock pot and mixed with liquid. Served on hot crispy rolls. Tastes like North Carolina barbeque. Yummy!

Followed this to the letter and was not impressed. Chicken was dry and sauce was weird. Usually like balsamic but not this time.

I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well. However, I understand that we all have different taste preferences, and I really appreciate your honest feedback.

So I have boneless chicken breasts in the crock now! I am so excited I found your blog! I have a question: your picture looks like you browned your chicken first. Is that how you got the nice browned texture? I put my chicken straight in crock and seasoned and then added balsamic. My chicken looks soft with almost a “boiled chicken” look. Would you recommend browning first?
Can’t wait to try more recipes! Thanks!

The chicken here looks a little different from yours as the recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. But yes, you can certainly give it an initial sear or a quick broil at the very end to add some color. Hope that helps!

Made this tonight for dinner. Very good. My husbands wants to have it again soon:) Served with rice, very nice.

Can I use vegetable broth versus chicken broth?

Hi !! Thank you so much for posting. Unfortunately my chicken did not turn out well. It is very dry 🙁 Oh well….glad I tried it though 🙂

Oh no – thank you for trying my recipe though! Did you follow the recipe exactly as written without any substitutions?

I am soooo glad to have found your site. My husband is crazy picky but literally every single thing I’ve made from you (probably 10-12 total recipes so far) have been huge hits with him. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep it coming! 🙂

Hi, thanks for the recipe! I ended up making about 2lbs of chicken thigh, on high for 3ish hours (3hrs 10 min at most) and found it a bit dry. Not complaining at all (I’d totally do this recipe again, but less time), but figure it’s one more data point in helping everyone figure out the right time for the speed (low vs high) for the type of chicken and amount of it. I look forward to finding more recipes on this blog!

Christie – I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I typically cook chicken thighs on low for 4 hours and they come out perfect. Maybe that will help!

Tried this tonight, followed the recipe to a T and the chicken is dried out and bitter. Awful recipe.

​I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well.

But I understand that failures and mishaps can happen, and I appreciate your honest feedback.

Super easy and delicious! The whole family liked it which is always a win in my book. 5 minutes to prep, the rest in the crockpot so super easy. I used boneless breasts and they were great.

Can this be made in a pressure cooker? If so, what setting and for how long of a cook time?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

Can this be made using boneless, skinless chicken breasts?
If not, do you suggest any good slow cooker or other recipes for those? Thanks!

Mary, here is one of my favorite recipes that you can use, substituting boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I hope you get a chance to try it! 🙂

I am definitely going to try this recipe. I know everyone’s tastes are different, but I love balsamic vinegar and will have fun with this. I will be testing the chicken during cooking so it won’t be overcooked, and will adjust the flavor of the sauce if needed after cooking. Thanks for sharing your recipes for us to use.

I just made this and found that it cooked MUCH faster than expected in my All-Clad slow cooker. But despite the meat being a bit dry from me accidentally overcooking it, the flavor was great and I’ll definitely give it another go. The dish wasn’t pretty (the balsamic and herbs just looked black on the chicken after cooking) but the ease of preparation made up for the visuals!

How long for 2 boneless chicken breasts?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

This is such an amazing recipe ! The whole family loved it. I used boneless skinless chicken breast and checked the doneness after the third hour on low. They took about four hours total on low. People need to remember boneless skinless chicken take a lot less time to cook than bone in and skin on. Will definitely make this again!!

This is so delicious. Possibly the best chicken recipe I’ve tried so far. I woke up late and didn’t have time to put it in the crockpot so when i came home from work, i mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl. I braised the chicken (I used leg quaters) in a cast iron skillet with the mixture for about five minutes on each side. Then I put the parsley on top and placed the skillet in the oven on 375 for one hour. It came out great. Beautiful presentation, tender chicken and so yummy. Thank you!

Yum! This was super easy and SO delicious! Everyone loved it (husband, 12 and 14 yr olds and me!). Your site is my go to for easy, delicious recipes. I used boneless, skinless thighs, only because that’s what I had on hand. Will definitely be making again soon!

Ok it’s people like me who stop me for ever posting my recipes so I apologize in advance, I followed the recipe exact except I used boneless chicken breast. It’s almost down with the cooking time and it tastes super bland. Don’t know what I’ve done wrong since most of the comments are wonderful. Any suggestions on how I can save this? There’s no vinegar or sugar taste. Add more maybe? Sorry clueless here.

I’m not entirely sure, Lisa. Many of my readers here have substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts with great results. It’s difficult for me to say with certainty what went wrong or what can be done at this point. Sorry!

Hi, just wondering, is this recipe possible in an electric rice cooker? Looks gorgeous but I don’t have a slow cooker..

Unfortunately, without having tried this myself, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

I have mine in the rice cooker now, I’ll let you know

I made this using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. I doubled the recipe, cooked it in the crock-pot on high for 4 hours, and added a few dashes of cinnamon. AMAZING! The meat literally fell off the bone. Will definitely be adding this to my potlock rotation.

Can I use boneless skinless chicken breast?

I tried this for dinner tonight and read the comments twice because I suck at cooking and ruin most things. This was a success! It was so good. The chicken was juicy and the sauce was amazing. I added cyan pepper instead of flakes and added a bay leaf. I skipped the rosemary because I don’t like it. I also used only fresh herbs. I’ll be making this again soon. Mine only took about 2 hrs on high. I used boneless chicken breasts as well.

This was absolutely amazing! I actually made it with a whole duck and roasted it overnight in my crockpot for 8 hours on low. It was perfect! I strained the leftover cooking liquid, removed the fat, and cooked it down with cornstarch to form a sauce. This will for sure be cooked again!! Many thanks for a super simple and delicious recipe!

I made this the other night and it was good! It looked liked it was going to be a little overloaded with all the spices but is was surprisingly not. I shredded up the leftovers for tacos and they were great too! Thanks for the recipe!

I made this last night. The flavors were excellent, but my chicken was very dry. I cooked it on low for 7 hours, so maybe too long.

I dont have any Brown sugar. What can i use to substitute? Regular white sugar ok?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Have you already made this? Curious if it worked out for you if you just replaced it cup for cup? Because I believe that since brown sugar is essentially white sugar with molasses it’s slightly stickier/sweeter. I have done white sugar with a small amount of honey to replicate the texture of brown sugar and it worked well for another recipe.

THIS…is for tonight! After looking at all the positive comments, HOW can I pass it up?? Thanks for sharing 🙂

I saw that someone tried a whole duck but what about a whole chicken? I’d like to try instead of parts.

I made this tonight with skinless/boneless chx breast and it turned out amazing! The chicken was very tender! Good thing I checked it early because it cooked fast. So, I recommend setting your slow cooker to high and cooking for only 1hr 30m. I always think that my slow cooker is extra hot, so you may need to add more time if you don’t have the same results as me. And taking the advice of others, I only used about 60% of the brown sugar that the recipe called for and it was perfect! After I removed the chicken from crockpot, I poured the extra sauce into a small sauce pan, added a tad flour to thicken and it became a delicious sauce. Then I poured some of the sauce over the chicken to serve, and the rest in a gravy bowl for dripping on our roasted potatoes. My husband told me I have to keep this recipe and make it all the time!

Made it last night and was less than successful. The chicken was like sawdust it was so dry. Can only assume that it cooked too long or there wasn’t enough liquid. I note in the picture that your chicken appears to be almost covered with liquid after cooking. May I ask what size of crockpot you used? I have a fairly large one so perhaps that was the problem. Perhaps next time I should do 1c of broth to 1/2c of balsamic rather than equal amounts?

Oh no – what a bummer! I’m so sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I used a 6-qt slow cooker as mentioned in the recipe.

You can adjust the amounts as needed to suit your taste preferences. Sorry again!

6qt is what I used as well. Still find it interesting that your pictures of the final product shows the chicken in a large amount of fairly pale liquid while ours was almost black as the stock gave way to the balsamic vinegar. May try again with a much shorter cooking time.

Probably depends on make and model of the slow cooker. I don’t think they all cook equally.

Hi,
I’m cooking for a diabetic. Do you think I could either leave out the brown sugar or substitute 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for the brown sugar?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Hi Deborah,
Have you ever used coconut crystals/coconut sugar? Its a lower glycemic index sweetener and tastes similar to brown sugar. I used it in this recipe in the measurement listed for the brown sugar and it turned out great.

Hello! I love using flavored balsamic vinegars. Do you think they could be used here with this recipe?

Yes, absolutely. What a great idea!

Heads up — I used boneless/skinless breasts and at 7.5 hours on low they came out way too dry. Delicious flavors — I will just have to try a shorter time next time!

Hi – can I substitute honey for the brown sugar?

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

Thanks, that was helpful.

Hi Chungah! Mike in Seattle here where we’re deep into the drizzly gray of November. I’m originally from SoCal (O.C.) and it’s around this time of year when I start to miss the sun, but I also really love the change of seasons we get here in WA. I bought some boneless/skinless chicken breasts at the grocery store yesterday and searched google for something to do with them…and came across this simple yet tasty recipe. I cooked them on low for 7 hours and served them with sides of brown rice, broccoli, and cranberry sauce. My husband and I both loved the way the chicken turned out and he said it was the best chicken I ever made. So thank you for the great recipe and this great blog that I’ve now bookmarked!

Can the chicken be frozen or does it need to be thawed?

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