Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

by Shawnda on January 7, 2013

in Chicken & Poultry,Crockpot,Soup, Stew, and Chili

This is the time of year when I’m usually trying to figure out if this is the coldest, longest winter that I can remember in Texas. I know it’s not… and it really was barely 2 months ago that I was whining about the lack of a real fall in Texas. But it’s cold. For Texas. And that sends us running for soup and chili and stew.

One of our favorite meals in rotation right now is this Chicken & Sausage Stew. It’s one of my favorites because 94% of the work is done before noon – an awesome thing since I seem to be impressively unmotivated these days. The two picky-ish eaters in the house usually go back for seconds. Voluntarily. For a dish that has the word “stew” and spinach in it.

That’s probably because it doesn’t fall into that “it tastes like every other stew that comes from the crockpot” category. I really hate that category.

I lightened up the recipe a bit by reducing the flour and using low-fat chicken broth and 95% fat-free smoked turkey sausage. It still makes a nice and hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.

And the 3 days after that.

Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

A lighter, hearty stew perfect for a busy, cold day.


  • 2 lbs chicken (I used a mixture of boneless breasts & thighs)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz light smoked turkey sausage, 1/2-inch rounds cut in half
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 3 cups low-sodium/reduced-fat chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • Parmesan, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and transfer (in batches) to the skillet to sear ~2-3 minutes on each side.
  3. Transfer the seared chicken to the slow cooker.
  4. Reduce heat just a bit and pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat from the skillet (add additional olive oil if necessary) and add the onions.
  5. Cook just until beginning to brown, ~5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 more minute.
  7. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 more minute.
  8. Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Whisk in 1 cup of the broth until smooth and then transfer to the slow cooker.
  10. Add the remaining 2 cups of broth, the bay leaves, and the cannellini beans. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 4-6 hours on low.
  11. Remove the chicken and shred/cut into small pieces and return to the slow cooker.
  12. Discard the bay leaves and skim off any fat on the surface.
  13. Stir in the spinach and sausage, cover, and let cook another 10 minutes to warm through.
  14. Additional broth can be added to stretch the stew or adjust consistency, if necessary.
  15. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan.


Yields: ~8 servings

Adapted from ATK Slow Cooker Revolution, via Pink Parsley

Estimated time: 6 hours 30 minutes


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa January 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

Looks so comforting. It is cold here, isn’t it? Great soup weather. Kinda sad to see it warm up this week.


2 Tracey January 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

This one’s on my to-do list as well and it’s definitely the perfect weather for it. I’ve just gotta figure out how to get around the beans so my picky eater won’t complain :)


3 Kristy January 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Yay! I’m always on the lookout for picky people-friendly soups and stews- although we’re having a bit of a heat wave this week: 40 degrees for five days straight!


4 Laura January 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I made this a couple weeks ago, and it rocked. And, the leftovers rocked even harder. A keeper!


5 Bree {Skinny Mommy} January 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I love easy recipes like this–thank you!


6 Jess January 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Great recipe – I love the simplicy, but it looks like has tons of flavor to boot! Hang in with that chilly weather – spring will be here before you know it.


7 Alejandra January 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

This looks so good and cozy. I’m super picky about chicken soups, but I know I’d be into this one. Great recipe.


8 megan @ whatmegansmaking January 8, 2013 at 5:13 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s impressively unmotivated these days! :) And this stew looks really good (and easy!)


9 Patti T January 8, 2013 at 7:07 am

My never-can-get-enough-meat husband would love this!


10 Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen January 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

Awesome. I’ve been craving something like this and I can’t get enough of my crockpot this time of year.


11 Kelsey January 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

I adore this recipe. Your picture of it is gorgeous!


12 patsy January 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I can’t wait to try this out on my family! I am working on getting a nice list of slow cooker recipes and this looks like one we’ll make often.


13 paige January 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm

pretty photo


14 Shea Goldstein January 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

This looks so good! I love the spinach. Thanks for sharing :)


15 Jessica January 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

haha! At least it’s not snowing like it did a few years ago! :) This soup looks delicious!


16 Anne Zatorski December 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Can this recipe be made in a Dutch oven instead of using a crock pot?


17 Shawnda December 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm



18 Yolanda December 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

I would prefer a Dutch oven as well. How long should it simmer.


19 Jerri Wolfe December 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm

This was wonderful. I used fresh spinach in it instead of frozen. Yummy!


20 jacob December 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Made this today and it was delicious!


21 Melisa December 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

can I use Gluten Free Flour?


22 Shawnda January 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

I don’t use gf flour but I can’t imagine there’d be any issues.


23 robin January 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

would this recipe hold up without the flour and wine as well as the beans? I am looking for a good stew recipe that will translate to whole30. Thanks it looks delicious!


24 Sean January 28, 2015 at 10:55 am

Excellent recipe! So super simple and easy to customize right off the bat! I used chickpeas instead of cannellinis, added a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, and used chopped kale instead of spinach. So satisfying and delicious during our crappy snowstorm weather here in the northeast!


25 Ashley February 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm

How does the sausage cook? In the crockpot or are you supposed to cook before throwing it in with the chicken at the end??


26 Shawnda February 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

It’s smoked sausage so it’s already cooked – it just needs to heat up at the end.


27 Andrea February 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm

What size crockpot are you using for this?


28 Guy March 18, 2015 at 4:54 am

Wonderful recipe. I followed your recipe up to the point of seasoning and added my own tweak, ie oregano, basil, rosemary, garlic and onion powder, more red pepper flakes and a bit of habanero powder along with some Louisiana hot sauce. Came out nicely with a small kick. I will certainly make this again. And it was just as good 3 days in! Thank you!


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