Slow Cooker Chicken, Chickpea & Kale Stew

Chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker, a hearty, satisfying mix of color and texture and flavor. Weight Watchers Friendly! And for carb watchers, leave out the chickpeas, this is a low-carb, high-protein entree. A total win, people!
Slow Cooker Chicken, Chickpea & Kale Stew ♥, a hearty, satisfying mix of color, texture, flavor.

Canadians Are So Civilized!

It just makes so much sense to celebrate Thanksgiving in mid-October instead of late November. It's all such a rush, these weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years' with barely a moment to reflect upon the "reason for the season".

So this year, I'm working on balance. That might mean a cup of vegetable soup in one hand and a piece of shortbread in the other but, well, at least there's that soup.

First up, I've adapted a favorite healthy recipe from 2012 for the slow cooker because yes, I know, you guys do love your slow cookers! And I do too, for this recipe! Enjoy!

About This Recipe's Formatting

But first a quick note about formatting. Regular Kitchen Parade readers will notice that for the first time, this recipe is published in a single column. All earlier stories and recipes are formatted in two side-by-side columns, a vestige of Kitchen Parade's days in print where contiguous columns enhance readability. I'm experimenting with the single column format. Your feedback is so important! Do let me know what you think!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes to start, 20 minutes to finish
Time to table: 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Makes about 11 cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in large pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 carrots, cut in large pieces (see TIPS)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cooked Onions
  • Browned Chicken Pieces
  • 2 cups good chicken stock, preferably hot
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends snapped, broken in half
  • 3 ounces kale, washed well, heavy stems removed, leaves cut into ribbons (about 4 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Pulled Chicken Meat
  • 2 cups additional cups chicken stock, preferably hot
  • Salt & pepper to taste

START ON THE STOVETOP In a large, heavy skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat until shimmery. Stir in onion and salt, cook just until the onion begins to soften. Stir in garlic and cook another minute. Set aside or transfer to the slow cooker.

Remove the skins from the chicken thighs, discard all but one. Add the single chicken skin to the hot skillet and let sizzle until a little fat begins to render. Add the chicken thighs, top-side down; let brown a little.

MOVE TO THE SLOW COOKER While the onions and chicken cook, collect the slow cooker ingredients in the slow cooker, gently stir to combine.

LOW OR HIGH Cook on low for about 7 hours, on high for about 3 hours until the chicken is cooked and the carrots are soft but not mushy. A couple of hours in, take a sniff. Doesn't the kitchen smell great? Supper's definitely on the way!

ABOUT 1 HOUR BEFORE SERVING Lift chicken pieces from the slow cooker, let cool until cool enough to handle, then "pull" the meat off the bones. Stir in the green beans, kale, chickpeas, Pulled Chicken Meat and stock. Taste and adjust seasoning.

FINISH IN SLOW COOKER Set heat on high and let simmer for about 1 hour until the green beans and kale are cooked.

Serve and enjoy! Reheats beautifully.

ALANNA's TIPS Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work here too, just cut the meat into small pieces before browning. I usually choose the bone-in pieces, they're much less expensive though not quite so convenient. Or if you like, go easy on yourself and use the already-cooked meat from a rotisserie chicken instead of chicken thighs. For fewer servings, you could leave the chicken thighs whole too. Good chicken stock pays here and it's so easy to make, No-Big-Deal, I promise and so simple to freeze in canning jars. Why heat the chicken stock before adding it to the slow cooker? To keep the temperature up, this both speeds up the cooking time and keeps the chicken at a safe cooking temperature. A slow cooker just doesn't have the power that the stovetop does, so we help it along. I usually heat the chicken stock in the microwave.
With Chickpeas (11 cups) Per Cup: 151 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 51mg Cholesterol; 593mg Sodium; 13g Carb; 3g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 15g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 2

Without Chickpeas (10 cups) Per Cup: 134 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 56mg Cholesterol; 572mg Sodium; 9g Carb; 2g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 15g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 2
NO SLOW COOKER? NO PROBLEM. This recipe is adapted from this favorite 2012 recipe, Hearty Healthy Chicken Stew with Chickpeas & Kale. It happily simmers on the stove for two hours!

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous12/08/2015

    This format makes reading the entry on a computer much easier, and it is also easier to copy just the recipe portion for printing.

  2. Anonymous ~ Thanks so much! I’m slowly getting accustomed to it myself.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna