Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew

With roasted red peppers, smoked paprika and a pinch of saffron, this slow cooker Spanish chicken stew is a cozy yet exotic! Works great for a weeknight dinner, or for meal prep.

I love a warming bowl of stew in the cooler months. Slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew is a family favorite, as is slow cooker Mexican chicken stew. When we are craving cozy + something a small adventurous, this Spanish chicken stew hits the spot!

Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew in a blue bowl

With traditional stew ingredients like chicken, carrots, celery and potatoes, this stew gets a flavor upgrade thanks to roasted red peppers, saffron and smoked paprika. A splash of balsamic vinegar brings all the flavors together at the end of the cook time!

Reasons to ♡ slow cooker Spanish chicken stew

  • it’s got traditional stew ingredients with some unusual flavor upgrades
  • it’s healthy, nourishing, and will fill you up
  • it works great for meal prep as a crockpot freezer meal or as a reheat meal

Recipe video

Wondering how exactly this stew comes together? Watch this 1-minute video to see how simple it is to prep! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.

ingredients required to cook slow cooker spanish chicken stew

Recipe inspiration

When creating this recipe, I was going through an obsession with one of Spain’s Trendy popular recipes: paella. Paella involves cooking rice in a mixture of broth, and spices (including saffron), and is traditionally topped with rabbit or chicken (1). The version that I cooked also included smoked paprika, peas, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and seafood (2).

Taking inspiration from the flavors I loved in paella, as well as spices traditionally found in Spanish kitchens (3), I came up with this stew; it is not meant in any way to be authentic. For an authentic recipe, check out this Spanish chicken and chorizo stew!

Ingredient notes

  • chicken- we are using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. If you swap for chicken breasts, you’ll need to reduce the cook time to 4 hours on low (make sure the potatoes are cooked through!)
  • potatoes- ruby, yellow or even purple baby potatoes work great in this recipe: cut them in half if you are cooking fresh, abandon them whole if you are assembling as a crockpot freezer meal
  • roasted red peppers- usually near olives in the condiment aisle. You could also check the canned vegetable section. Drain and chop them up.
  • smoked paprika- a spice often used in Spanish cuisine, it has a much more potent flavor than sweet paprika. It adds a subtle smokiness to this stew. Find it with the spices, or purchase on Amazon.
  • saffron threads- saffron is the world’s Trendy expensive spice, but don’t let that deter you from cooking with it; a small goes a long way! Adding a pinch of saffron threads to this stew is sufficient to infuse the whole pot with delicious flavor. Purchase a good brand (one that you cognize), as you obtain what you pay for.
  • balsamic vinegar- adding acid to the stew after a long cook time helps brighten and revive the flavors.

ingredients for spanish chicken stew in the slow cooker before cooking

Recipe tips

Low and slow

When using the slow cooker, I like to use the low setting whenever possible. The reason for this is that some slow cookers cook quite hot, and on high, they can vigorously boil and overcook the protein. For this slow cooker Spanish chicken stew, we are cooking on low for 5 hours. At this point, the chicken should be fall-apart-tender, and the potatoes should also be cooked through.

Remember not to peek at your stew while it simmers, as this can add up to an hour onto your cook time!

Last minute add-ins

Just before serving your stew, stir in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and 1 cup of frozen peas. We add the vinegar to help brighten the flavors back up after the long cook time, and we add the peas because they will overcook if added at the commence.

To thicken or not to thicken

Unlike the Tuscan chicken stew on this website, this stew recipe is not thickened. If you really love a thickened stew, then you can add in a mixture of 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/4 cup water to the slow cooker 30 minutes before serving. Turn the slow cooker to high, and simmer until thickened.

Serve it up!

After cooking the stew through, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, and serve it up! With a source of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates, we consider this to be a complete meal, however it is great served with a rustic loaf of sourdough bread for dunking.

Serving size + equipment

This recipe should be cooked in a larger slow cooker- 5 or 6 quarts. If you are looking to cut the recipe in half, you’ll need to cook in a 2.5 or smaller slow cooker.

collage image: before and after cooking spanish chicken stew in the slow cooker

Storage + Meal Prep

Slow cooker Spanish chicken stew works really well for meal prep. Here are two ways you can do it:

Crockpot freezer meal

A crock pot freezer meal is assembled ahead and frozen before cooking. This way, when it’s time to cook, you simply dump the ingredients into the slow cooker and skip any measuring. This is a great recipe to prepare for someone who is expecting a baby.

  1. Assemble all stew ingredients except for the balsamic vinegar and peas in a sturdy gallon-sized freezer bag or large meal prep container (*make sure you abandon the potatoes whole!). You can abandon out the stock as well if the bag/container is too full.
  2. Squeeze out as much air as you can and freeze it flat.
  3. Freeze for up to 3 months; thaw completely, then cook as directed in the recipe card below.

*if potatoes are cut in half, they can turn brown and obtain a weird texture

Check out my favorite freezer containers.

Reheat meals

Cook the stew through, then store in an air tight container in the fridge (4 days) or freezer (3 months).

To reheat, dump the stew into a pot and heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until steaming hot, and enjoy!

Find my favorite meal prep containers here!

dunking bread in a bowl of Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew

More slow cooker recipes

Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Spanish

Keyword: chicken, slow cooker, stew

Calories: 243kcal

Servings: 6 -8

With roasted red peppers, smoked paprika and a pinch of saffron, this slow cooker Spanish chicken stew is a cozy yet exotic! Works great for a weeknight dinner, or for meal prep.

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time4 hrs

Total Time4 hrs 20 mins


  • In the base of a slow cooker combine all ingredients except the balsamic vinegar and peas.

  • Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

  • Stir in the balsamic vinegar and peas, cover and cook for 5 minutes before serving.


1- if you prepare this as a freezer crockpot meal, abandon the potatoes whole (otherwise they obtain a weird texture after thawing)
2- if you would like to swap in boneless skinless chicken breast, reduce the cook time to 4 hours on low
3- if you’d like to thicken the stew, mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Add to the slow cooker 30 minutes before serving, and set the slow cooker to high.
4- if you’d like to cut this recipe in half, it should be find to do it in a 5-6 quart slow cooker, or you could use a 2.5 quart slow cooker.
Instant Pot
Cook in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot for 10 minutes on high pressure and use a 10 minute natural pressure release.
Cool completely, then transfer to an air tight meal prep container, jar, or soup container. 

  • Refrigerate for up to 4 days
  • Freeze for up to 3 months

Heat larger batches in a covered pot on the stove over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until warmed through.
Heat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot.
Do not reheat more than once.


Serving: 1/6 batch | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 693mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g

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