Creamy Crockpot Chicken with Kale

Jan 5, 2014 in Main Dish Meals | 18 comments

I love Kale, but I have to tell you that I have only been using kale for about 2 years. To be honest I was a little afraid of kale (why… I have no idea). Well, I guess it was because I didn’t really know how to use it. I had it once raw in a salad and it was a little harsh for my liking. Because of that experience I decided not to use it again because I thought that was what everything with kale would taste like. I was a little scared to try again. Does that sound like you? Well since this recipe I have learned otherwise. And you can too! I have learned that if you cook kale it looses that bitter and harsh taste and is completely delicious. Now I swear if you add kale to any dish it just makes it better. 

Kale is full of nutrients. It is actually one of the most nutrient dense vegetables that is high in calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), potassium, vitamin K and numerous others. Feel free to add as much kale as you want to this recipe. I’ve been known to go a little crazy for the kale, but it cooks down a lot.

This recipe calls for canned fire-roasted tomatoes. You probably by now that my favorite way to buy tomatoes is in glass jar versus the cans. But for this recipe I make an exception. And only because you can only buy fire-roasted tomatoes in a can. (Or to my knowledge). If you want to avoid canned tomatoes you can  trade the fire roasted tomatoes for a glass jar of crushed tomatoes. (Here is my article on the healthiest tomatoes to buy)


4 organic and free-range chicken breasts, cut in 1/2 inch chunks
1 organinc onion, in strips
2 15-ounce cans organic crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 15 ounce can organic black beans
4 cups fresh organic kale, chopped (I use 1 handful as 1 cup)
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
80z chèvre goat cheese OR organic cream cheese (you can do canned coconut milk for a 100% dairy-free option)


  • In a crock-pot combine chicken, onion, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, kale and spices and stir together.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If you aren’t able to stir the dish, make sure the kale is covered by sauce so it won’t burn throughout the day
  • 30 minutes before serving, stir in the goat cheese or cream cheese and serve 

Serves 4


  1. Do you drain the tomatoes & beans or just open the cans and throw it all in?

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  2. I don’t mean to be rude, but the addition of black beans to this recipe seems kind of random. Do they really add much? I think I may try this without them and see if it seems like black beans would be a welcome addition or not. I’m curious to know what anyone who has made this thinks. :)

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    • Hi Jen-
      Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting. I added black beans because I personally love them even though I don’t use beans too often. You can totally make and enjoy this recipe without the beans. Experiment and see which way you like it best! And let me know! Have a great day!

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      • This was delicious! I made it last night and couldn’t stop eating. Jen, I dont like black beans, instead I subbed chickpeas (2cans vs 1 of bb). The beans were a nice add in rather than serving with rice or pasta, which would be great too.

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        • Hi Kim. Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting and making this crockpot dish. I love your version with the chickpeas. That’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing too because I love hearing from readers and I know others benefit from it too!! Happy Sunday!!

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  3. Thanks for the response, Meghan. Kim, I love the idea of chickpeas. I’ll let you all know how it turns out once I give this recipe a try!

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  4. The last step says to stir in the goat cheese 30 minutes before serving, and serve… but your photo of the finished dish doesn’t “creamy” or look like you stirred the goat cheese in, it looks more like garnish or serving suggestion. Just curious if it can work one way or both ways? Thanks!

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    • Hi Amanda-
      The recipe in the picture is made exactly as the recipe is written, with the goat cheese stirred in at the end. The tomatoes are so red that they stay pretty red even though the goat cheese is stirred in. But I can totally see what you’re saying now I look at the picture again. You could make the recipe and just sprinkle the goat cheese on the top. Either way would be good, but personally I like the goat cheese it stirred in because it adds so much more flavor. Enjoy the recipe!! Let me know which way you make it and how you like it!

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  5. Hi, what size can of tomatoes? 15 or 28 oz.?

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  6. Did you bake the chicken first before cutting it and putting it in the crock pot

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    • No need to bake the chicken Amber, Just throw it all in your crockpot and turn on. It’s so simple!!

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  7. I’m just wondering if cooking the kale for so long would reduce its nutrients. I know some vitamins are destroyed in the cooking process. Do you have any idea how slow cooking affects kale?

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    • Hi Shari-
      I bet some of the nutrients are lost after cooking kale for that long in the crockpot. I honestly created the directions for more of a set-it-and-forget-it type of meal. But if you have the opportunity to make this and throw the kale in 30-45 minutes before you eat it will still cook but remain higher in nutrient density.

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      • Thanks so much for the reply, Meghan! I’ll try it that way!

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        • I want to make this as a vegan dish. What do you think about using carrots or sweet potatoes instead of chicken? And I will need to use coconut milk instead of the cheese.

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          • I think those substitutions would work out well, and the sweet potatoes sound delicious!


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