Balsamic Chicken in the Crockpot (or Instant Pot).

Balsamic chicken is an easy crockpot meal in a tangy tomato sauce!

**This post is brought to you by my sister, Laurie…with occasional interjections by me, so I can brag about my Instant Pot.**

Laurie: I’ve made this balsamic chicken several times now and it’s not a fluke. We really like it! That’s basically all the reason I need to add it to our regular rotation. But there are so many other good reasons!

It’s a crockpot meal!

It’s easy!

And it’s flexible, ingredient-wise!

Confession: I’ve had the “right” ingredients exactly zero of the times I’ve made it. You can make it with chicken breasts OR thighs. You can use whatever combo of canned tomatoes are currently living in your pantry: all diced, half diced/half sauce, substitute crushed tomatoes if you like (especially if your children don’t believe in tomato chunks). I’m sure you could use some jarred spaghetti sauce, too. You can change up the herbs, too. JP hates rosemary, so I substituted more of the other two. The flavors are more Greek than Italian – you can really taste the balsamic vinegar.

Bet: Laurie had told me this was good, and I finally made it – in my new Instant Pot! The balsamic chicken was super easy to adapt to pressure cooking. You can also use an Instant Pot as a normal slow cooker, but it’s a nice alternative to be able to have a meal like this ready in about 35 minutes.

Laurie: I’ve served it over angel hair pasta or brown rice. Other ideas would be to serve it over sautéed zucchini “noodles,” quinoa, or a baked potato! We’ve also topped it with feta or parm, but I bet mozzarella would be fun, too.

Bet: It makes great leftovers, too. Tender chicken + tangy sauce + any/all of the carbs. So good!

*This post contains an affiliate link, which helps support Bet On Dinner at no cost to you.*

Balsamic chicken is an easy crockpot meal in a tangy tomato sauce!

Balsamic Chicken in the Crockpot (or Instant Pot).

  • Author:


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 chicken breasts OR 3-4 chicken thighs
  • ground pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • cooked brown rice, quinoa, or angel hair pasta, for serving
  • feta or Parmesan cheese, for serving


Crockpot Instructions:

  1. Pour olive oil on the bottom of the crockpot. Add chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put sliced onion on top of chicken. Add garlic and herbs. Pour in balsamic vinegar and top with tomatoes/sauce.
  2. Cook 4 hours on High, or 8 hours on Low. Shred chicken. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or angel hair pasta. Top with some feta cheese or Parmesan.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Press the “Saute” button on Instant Pot. Add olive oil to the bottom and let it heat up. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garlic, and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Turn off the saute setting and add the chicken breasts in an even layer on top of the onions/garlic. Pour on balsamic vinegar, then add canned tomatoes and seasoning and stir the tomatoes and vinegar gently. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Press the “Manual” button and set the time to 7-9 minutes for chicken breasts (I used 9 for larger chicken breasts), or 10 minutes for chicken thighs.
  3. When chicken is cooked, use the Quick Release function to release the pressure and then remove the lid. Shred the chicken, and serve over brown rice, quinoa, or angel hair pasta and top with feta or Parmesan cheese.


You can use any combination of canned tomatoes that you like – all diced, all sauce, some jarred spaghetti sauce – whatever you have on hand!

The chicken will be more shred-y and falling apart if you cook it in the crockpot.

The Instant Pot takes time to come up to pressure, so don’t be tricked into thinking it only cooks for 10 minutes! The heating up/coming up to pressure process takes 10-40 minutes, according to the Instant Pot people, and took about 20 when I made it.

Recipe adapted from Dishing With Leslie


Balsamic chicken is an easy crockpot meal in a tangy tomato sauce!
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  1. I’ll vouch for this recipe! Really delicious!

  2. This recipe looks super tasty-excited to try! And-this instant pot madness is now on my Christmas List. I spent way too long on the Instant Pot Facebook community after I read this post!

    1. Bahaha, that’s awesome! Maybe it will be a good Cyber Monday deal…I got mine for 50% off the current Amazon price!! If I see a deal I’ll post about it! (It is kind of amazing to be able to brown meat/saute veggies right in the pot and then slow cook or pressure cook – and I’ve used it to make rice – I’m a fan!!)

  3. Brez is getting an Instant Pot for his birthday! (and I was so ahead of the game, I bought it already….but I’m tryyyyyying not to open it for him.)

    And this recipe/post came at the perfect time, as I have been rotating our poor family through the same 4 dinners for about….2 months now.

    Can’t wait to try it! Even if I have to use the boring ol’ normal crockpot the first go-round.

    1. Woohoo! I was so intimidated when I first got it out of the box – So Many Buttons – but I’m gaining confidence! I’ll share some more recipes asap!

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