Farmer’s market fresh slow cooker zucchini and squash cooked to perfection in a light parmesan, lemon, and garlic sauce. All in your crockpot! Just add chicken and you can turn this gem into a full one-pot meal!
I don't know what it is about a farmer's market that is so appealing. I just know I can't drive past one without stopping for a quick look. Something about all those freshly grown goodies makes me so happy (and hungry!)
This low carb dish, made with simple ingredients will be loved by the entire family. It is most definitely one of our favorite slow cooker recipes! Luckily, both zucchini and various types of yellow squash are available in most grocery stores all year long. It is a great way to hold onto a bit of summer all year long.
To make this easy slow cooker recipe you will need:
- Zucchini - cut in bite size chunks
- Yellow Squash - cut in bite size chunks
- Onion - diced
- Chicken broth
- Lemon juice - fresh squeezed is always best, when possible
- Garlic - minced
- Garlic salt
- Black pepper
- Grated parmesan - LOTS! (freshly grated is especially delicious!)
- Olive oil
- and....if you want to make it into a chicken dish - Chicken - cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)
🔪How to make this great recipe
If you are using a slow cooker liner, that is always the first step (although an easily forgotten one!). If not, start this crock pot recipe by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.
Next, place cut veggies (and chicken, if using) chunks into the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl and pour over items in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook this healthy recipe on low for 4-5 hours. One to two hours before serving, sprinkle more parmesan over the top, cover, and cook until ready to serve!
This dish is meant for boneless, skinless chicken pieces. Since we have both white meat and dark meat fans in our house, I generally create recipes using both.
White meat chicken is always drier, especially when slow-cooked. Dark meat is more forgiving and can be cooked longer without drying out. However, thighs (dark meat) are smaller and tend to have more connective tissue.
If you don't have a preference taste-wise, thighs are the way to go. However, if you are a fan of less fatty chicken, stick with those breasts! If you do decide to use breasts and feel they are a little too dry, a great option is to shred them and mix the shreds back into the sauce.
If you can't find squash or zucchini in your market, this dish is also wonderful with eggplant or butternut squash.
If you would rather not use grated parmesan cheese, pecorino romano also makes for a perfect meal addition. Likewise, you can change it up completely and top with shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese. These softer cheeses will melt fast and will only need to be added in the last 30 minutes or so.
To keep the sodium level lower, feel free to substitute garlic salt with garlic powder or onion powder. It is also wonderful served with some chopped fresh basil or fresh parsley sprinkled over top.
If you love this recipe, please let me know in the comment section below!
With or without chicken, this colorful dish is the best thing to build a great meal around. Without the chicken, it is one of the best side dishes!
It is great served alongside any type of pasta topped with meat sauce and Italian seasoning. Crusty bread is also a perfect pairing. It also makes a great companion for a whole-cooked chicken or a turkey meatloaf. We particularly love it alongside Italian chicken.
Leftovers of this amazing dish are delicious served warm or cold. They make a great snack or side dish any day of the week. Store leftovers in an airtight container or zip top bag. Leftovers will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
😉Hints & hacks
- If you use chicken breasts and feel they are dry, shred them and mix the shreds back into the sauce.
- To confirm when crockpot chicken is finished cooking, I suggest a meat thermometer. Chicken that is over cooked will be dry and rubbery. According to the FDA, chicken is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Slow cooker liners are an optional but helpful hack whenever using a crockpot. They allow you to cook with little to no cleanup. I like to buy my liners in bulk for a better per-piece price.
- In the market for a new slow cooker? I love mine!
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Lazy Zucchini and Squash Parmesan
- 3.5 quart slow cooker or larger
- measuring cups and spoons
Zucchini and Squash Parmesan
To Turn Dish Into An Entree
- 1.5 lbs chicken cut into cubes dark meat will stay moister, but breasts will work if that is your preference.
- Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray
- place cubed zucchini and squash and onion into slow cooker3 medium zucchini, cut in bite sized cubes, 3 medium yellow summer squash, cut in bite sized cubes, ½ cup diced onion
- If you are making the chicken version of this dish, add in cut up chicken1.5 lbs chicken cut into cubes
- sprinkle garlic salt and pepper over top2 teaspoon garlic salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a separate bowl, mix together chicken broth, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic and 1.5 cups parmesan¼ cup chicken broth, 3 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2.5 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
- Pour mixture over ingredients in slow cooker and cover
- cook on low for 4-5 hours
- open lid and top with another cup of grated parmesan cheese2.5 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
- cover and cook another 1-2 hours on low.