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Slow cooker recipe for lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew {gluten-free}


While it's true that Rival invented the Crock-Pot®, back in 1971, the company didn't invent slow cooking. Clay pots, tagines and Dutch ovens all predate the electric slow cooker. This chicken and white bean stew springs from the French farmhouse tradition of slow cooking in a pot set into the fireplace. Today, thanks to an inexpensive piece of kitchen equipment (the slow cooker I used for this recipe cost less than $20), I can make stew without hauling in wood, building a fire, raking the embers, and lugging a heavy cast-iron Dutch oven from the kitchen to set into the hearth. Lemon and garlic create the flavor base for this healthy, naturally gluten-free stew, which, like most stews, tastes even better the second day.


Slow cooker lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew

From the pantry, you'll need: onion, garlic, dried thyme leaf, lemon, chicken broth, canned white beans, cornstarch.

Inspired by a recipe in Skinny Slow Cooker, a Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Serves 8.


2 medium onions, peeled and cut in quarters
12 large cloves garlic, peeled, ends trimmed but left whole
1 large red bell pepper, cut into large dice
2 tsp dried thyme leaf or 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup homemade (or low-sodium store-bought) chicken broth
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Juice of 1/2 lemon
14-oz can small white beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp cornstarch


In a 4-quart slow cooker, place the onions, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, lemon zest, black pepper and chicken broth.  Stir to combine. Place the chicken thighs on top.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, stirring once or twice. Then, add the lemon juice and beans. Cook for 20 minutes more.

Remove the chicken, beans and vegetables from the slow cooker into a large bowl; cover with foil to keep warm. In a small measuring cup, whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water until smooth, then add the mixture to the liquid remaining in the slow cooker. Stir well, cover, and cook on HIGH for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Return the chicken, beans and vegetables to the slow cooker, and stir to combine with the sauce.

Serve hot, over brown rice or noodles. (The stew can be refrigerated for several days, during which time it gets better and better, or it can be frozen.)

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow cooker Filipino chicken adobo
Slow cooker chicken vindaloo
Slow cooker chicken in peanut and chile sauce
Slow cooker green chile chicken
Slow cooker beef stew with potatoes, parsnips and rutabaga

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Lemon garlic chicken wings, from Cooking... by the Seat of Our Pants
Chicken souvlaki, from Kalyn's Kitchen
The Angry Chef's garlicky lemon-pepper chicken, from The Hungry Mouse
44-clove garlic (and chicken) soup, from Gimme Some Oven
Maple glazed chicken with roasted garlic and lemon puree, from The Left Over Queen

Slow cooker lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew is fancy enough for a party, and easy enough for everyday. From The Perfect Pantry.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


And isn't that one of the glories of stews, tastes better 2nd day left over!

Hmm - a lemon pepper chicken stew sounds lovely. I like the rustic imagery of tending a fire and slow cooking a stew in your log cabin, but it is the 21st century after all!

MyKitchen, I think it's pure magic, how stew changes and deepens overnight. Sometimes it's hard to wait, though!

TW, I would have made a terrible French cook, if tending a fire was required. I love some of our modern-day conveniences.

That sounds wonderful! I have tons of lemons right now. I really want to make this with them.

EB, there's something special about lemons in winter, at least in my part of the world where so little produce is in season now. Lemon makes everything better.

Love the use of fresh lemon in this stew - it must brighten up this dish up and sounds like it would go really nicely with the white beans.

Jeanette, to me lemon is the flavor that compensates for a near-total lack of great local produce during the winter. Lemon brightens everything, and combined with garlic, it just reminds me of the Mediterranean!

That looks so good, and I love using my slow cooker!

Can the chicken thighs be substituted for boneless chicken breasts? I'm not a fan of dark meat. Does the temperature change so the breasts don't get dried out?

There is something wonderful about a can of white beans and a meal that cooks itself!

Thanks for the chicken and bean stew recipe. This looks like a very hearty alternative to chicken noodle soup.

Sounds fantastic, and very easy, my real problem is the amount you have put on the plate !
There is enough there for several people, small amounts are not only healthier but also more pleasing to the eye, your guests can always have more, this is my first visit to your site, I do hope as I search the quantities on the plate are much less.

Thank you.


Berneda, you can substitute chicken breasts for thighs. They will cook more quickly, and be a bit drier, but still delicious.

Stephen, as I'm sure you know, the photos are meant to give an indication of how the finished dish looks, and sometimes I photograph platters (as in this case) rather than individual servings to produce the best visual aid. The serving size indicated in the recipe should be your guide.

It looks beautiful and tasty.
There's a little surprise on fresh lemon for stewing. I've never done this before though I love lemon. But it looks nice in the dish. It seems like Asian food.

Above all, it makes me mouthwatering!

FYI, love your cobalt blue dish, incredibly beautiful.

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