WW Freestyle Recipe of the Day: Low Fat Crock Pot Italian Chicken & Peppers
I made this low fat Italian chicken and peppers in my slow cooker using "rescued" local ingredients. And I was able to keep the sauce Zero (0) SmartPoints by substituting my own oven-roasted tomatoes for the jarred marinara called for in the original recipe.
Being a dog lover, I'm familiar with animal rescues. I actually am the proud owner of two rescue dogs, Wilson and Axel.
But have you ever heard of a produce rescue? Did you know distributors typically dump produce not purchased by retailers in landfills because it's too costly to transport it back to the growers?
Borderlands Produce Rescue, based out of Nogales, Arizona, was established in 1994. They rescue over 30 million pounds of unsold fresh produce every year!
They organize distribution of the rescued produce through multiple programs. One is a pop-up market program called Produce On Wheels With Out Waste (P.O.W.W.O.W.). Through this effort they distribute over 6 million pounds of fresh produce in and around Arizona. Anyone can participate and get up to 70 pounds of produce for a simple $12 donation.
If you are looking for inexpensive ways to eat healthier be sure to check out what types of programs are available in your local area.
Here is what I received for my small donation—Butternut squash, beefsteak tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, honeydew melons, yellow squash, zucchini, red, orange and yellow bell peppers!
I have plenty of produce to share with friends and family, plus I'm helping to prevent waste. It's good for the planet and my pocketbook.
Now it's time to get creative in the kitchen and find ways to incorporate all this produce into healthy low fat meals for my family.
The Saturday I visited the pop-up market, they were also giving away a list of recipes provided by Chef Tammy Marx, including:
- Roasted Roma Tomatoes
- Zucchini Brownies,
- Mozzarella Caprese,
- Butternut Squash Fritters,
- Crock Pot Italian Chicken and Peppers
I'm using Tammy's awesome recipe for Italian Chicken and Peppers that I modified slightly to take advantage of my abundance of tomatoes.
Before getting started, I slow roasted two sheet pans of fresh Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and rubbed with a little olive oil, in a 275F degree oven for 2 hours.
Then I simply removed the skins and pureed them. By using these freshly roasted tomatoes in place of the jarred marinara that the recipe called for, I managed to make this a One (1) SmartPoint Weight Watchers family-friendly meal.
How Many Calories and WW Points in this Low Fat Italian Chicken and Peppers?
According to my calculations, if you use jarred marinara sauce (such as Classico tomato basil) each serving has 96 calories, and
2 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
1 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
1 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
3 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
If you opt to do what I did - slow roast you own tomatoes and puree to make the sauce instead of using jarred marinara - this will have *0 SmartPoints on the myWW Blue and Purple Plans
How to Make Slow Cooked Italian Chicken with Peppers Step by Step
Step 1: Sauté onion slices in a skillet over medium heat. Alternatively you can soften them in a microwaveable bowl for 2-3 minutes, or until done. Add onions to the slow cooker. (For the best flavor and texture I prefer to pre-soften my onions before adding them to the slow cooker but you could always skip this step if you prefer.)
Step 2: Place chicken on top of onions in the slow cooker and add salt and pepper to chicken.
Step 3: Add the sliced peppers to slow cooker and sprinkle with Italian spices.
Step 4: Cover with marinara sauce, cover and cook on HIGH for 3-½ - 4 hours, or until chicken is done.
Step 5: Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine.
Low Fat Italian Chicken Recipe Substitutions and Additions
- Substitute a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste for the jarred marinara.
- For more vegetables, add fresh sliced mushrooms to the slow cooker when adding the peppers.
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken & Peppers Serving Suggestions and Sides
- Serve this chicken on top of spiralized zucchini or cauliflower rice to keep it low carb and low points.
- Serve it over your favorite pasta or rice.
- Serve this chicken and peppers alongside cottage cheese and a green salad for a protein-packed meal.
- Use it as a stuffing for a baked potato.
Leftover Ideas for this Italian Chicken Dish
- Make a chicken and pepper soup by adding chicken broth and a can of white beans. Top with grated parmesan before serving.
- Make a grinder (sub or hoagie) by adding it to a sliced roll, topping with provolone cheese, and then toasting under the broiler.
- Make a quiche by adding it to eggs, cream, and ricotta cheese.
- Make Italian nachos by layering it on pita chips and topping with low-fat shredded mozzarella and black olive slices.
- Make a bruschetta appetizer by adding it to toasted bread and topping with olive tapenade.
If you've made this Slow Cooked Italian Chicken with Peppers, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Crock Pot Italian Chicken & Peppers
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each)
- 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- Ideal slow cooker size: 4-Quart.
- Sauté onion slices in a skillet over medium heat, or microwave in a small microwave-proof bowl, until softened. Adds onions to the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Place chicken breasts on top of the onion. Add salt and pepper to chicken.
- Add the sliced peppers over the chicken. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over the peppers.
- Add marinara sauce to cover ingredients.
- Cover and cook on High for 3-½ - 4 hours, or until chicken is done.
- Remove the chicken breasts and shred the chicken using two forks.
- Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker. Stir to combine all ingredients
Recipe source: Adapted from a recipe provided by Chef Tammy Marx at P.O.W.W.O.W.
*PersonalPoints® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
If you like this Easy Italian Chicken and Peppers, you might also like:
- 2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Italian Chicken
- Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale
- Crock Pot Italian Pork
- Slow Cooker 3-Ingredient Creamy Italian Chicken
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