Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan has all the flavors of the traditional version with much less work. The secret is in a crispy crunchy topping that’s added at the end.

Did you know that you shouldn’t take the lid off of your slow cooker when it’s cooking? Every time you lift up the lid to check on things, you need to add 20 to 30 minutes of time onto the total cooking time.

This is because slow cookers work by running at a low temperature. The heat accumulates because it is trapped inside by the lid and by the food and liquid inside. When you take the lid off you let out a lot of that heat and it takes time for the slow cooker to build it back up.

If you’re someone who really needs to keep tabs on what’s happening in the slow cooker, you might want to think about getting one that has a probe. The probe goes into the food inside of the slow cooker and lets you see the internal temperature from outside without lifting the lid. This is especially useful for larger pieces of meat.

I have to say though that even with my probe slow cooker I am often tempted to peek inside. Especially when making this Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan. When it’s cooking, the house smells so good. I want to not only lift the lid but dip a spoon in there to taste the cheesy tomatoey sauce. But I don’t!

To make this Chicken Parmesan you put a bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker and top it with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Add some cheese and then more tomato sauce. Let it cook. Add a bit more cheese for the last few minutes before serving. Toast Panko breadcrumbs under the broiler for a few minutes.

To serve, scoop the cheesy tomatoey chicken onto plates and sprinkle with the crunchy breadcrumbs and some grated parmesan cheese.

It has all the flavors of Chicken Parmesan with very little actual work. And I think the house smells even better with the slow cooker version then with the regular one, especially if you ignore my advice and lift the lid!

If you like the Italian flavors in this recipe, I think you’d also enjoy this Italian Roasted Cauliflower. I’ve been told that even people who don’t like cauliflower gobble it up.


Let’s get back to that Chicken Parm…

If you love easy Italian dinner recipes, be sure to also check out my 15-Minute Italian Wedding Soup!

Here’s my Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan recipe.



Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Chicken Parmesan done in the slow cooker has all the flavors of a traditional version with much less work. The secret is a crunchy Panko breadcrumb topping that you add before serving.


  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar tomato sauce
  • 1.75 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 68 thighs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
  • 2 oz. parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil


  1. In a medium bowl combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Add tomato sauce and stir to combine.
  2. Add enough of the sauce to just cover the bottom of the slow cooker.Keeping the chicken rolled up just as it is in its package, arrange it in the slow cooker over the tomato sauce in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the parmesan cheese.
  3. Drizzle with remaining tomato sauce and cook until chicken is cook through, 3-4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, preheat the broiler (you’re going to use it to quickly toast breadcrumbs to make a crunchy topping for your slow cooker chicken).Remove the lid from the slow cooker. Spoon off any fat that has accumulated at the top of the sauce. Discard. Sprinkle contents of slow cooker with remaining mozzarella. Put lid back on and cook just until cheese has melted.
  5. On a baking sheet combine the panko breadcrumbs, olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Put under the broiler just until browned a bit, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve the chicken and sauce topped with the breadcrumbs and with the remaining parmesan cheese.