Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

in Beans & Legumes, Chicken & Turkey, Crockpot, Sausage, 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

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

  • 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 🙂

  • 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!

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

  • I love easy recipes like this–thank you!

  • 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.

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

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

  • Patti T

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • paige

    pretty photo

  • This looks so good! I love the spinach. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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

  • Anne Zatorski

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

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

  • Jerri Wolfe

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

  • jacob

    Made this today and it was delicious!

  • Melisa

    can I use Gluten Free Flour?

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

  • robin

    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!

  • 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!

  • Ashley

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

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

      • michelle

        so could I add sweet Italian sausage – browned but not cooked – to the crockpot to cook alongside the chx?

  • Andrea

    What size crockpot are you using for this?

  • Guy

    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!

  • Frank Zwolinski

    Great recipe (Slow-Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew)!
    I wonder if you would tell me the brand and pattern of the dinnerware used in your photo?

    Thanks for this great site!

    • Thanks! The plate is from Home Goods, the bowl is a Goodwill find.

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