slow cooker chicken marbella recipe

Easy& Best Crock Pot Chicken Marbella Recipe

Marbella Chicken is a classic Mediterranean dish packed with rich flavors like sweet prunes, juicy olives, and tangy capers. Chicken Marbella Crock Pot Recipe gives this classic dish a modern twist that preserves the rich flavors and allows you to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.
We know the crock pot is a game-changer that is revolutionizing the way we cook. This allows busy people to enjoy this delicious dish in the comfort of their own homes with minimal effort. In this article, you will find a basic Marbella chicken recipe, healthy alternative ingredients, variations, serving ideas, and tips on how to make Chicken Marbella in the slow cooker.

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What is Chicken Marbella?

Marbella Chicken is a classic marinated chicken recipe that dates back to the 1980s. It is a fusion of Mediterranean flavors and modern cooking techniques. Marbella Chicken is known for its rich, sweet, and savory marinade.
The marinade is a combination of olives, capers, prunes, garlic, oregano, and vinegar. The marinade allows the flavors of the chicken to meld for a long time, creating a dish that bursts with flavor with every bite. A crock pot is the perfect way to cook Marbella chicken. The slow cooker process makes the chicken incredibly tender, so it falls off the bone easily. Treat yourself and your family to a classic choice that pays homage to the culinary traditions that shape our palates today.

Related: Crock Pot Chicken Stew Recipes

Healthier Ingredients for a Crock Pot Version

Chicken Marbella is always healthy, but if you’re looking for a healthier way to make Chicken Marbella, there are some simple ingredient swaps you can make without sacrificing flavor or the dish’s rich history. By choosing carefully, you can turn this classic recipe into a meal that’s not only good for you but good for your body.

  • One way to do this is to use boneless skinless chicken breasts as opposed to the usual whole chicken pieces with the skin intact. This way, you can reduce the fat content while still getting a good source of lean protein. You can marinate the chicken a little longer or add a little broth or water to your crock pot to help keep the chicken moist and tender during slow cooking.
  • Chicken Marbella is rich in protein, but it’s also packed with aromatic herbs like oregano, thyme, prunes, and brown sugar, all of which add a bit of sweetness to the dish. If you want to add some extra nutrients to your meal, you can try using alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, or other natural sweeteners.
  • Another way to add a healthy twist is to choose low-sodium olives or capers. Try low-sodium olive varieties to reduce overall salt content without losing the tangy and salty flavor of the olives. Alternatively, you can substitute sun-dried olives or roasted red peppers for a burst of color and added nutrition.

Related: Ground Chicken Recipes

Basic Crock Pot Chicken Marbella Recipe

Now that you have a better understanding of how to make Chicken Marbella a healthier dish, let’s delve into the basic crock pot recipe that will bring this enticing Mediterranean classic to life.

  1. To begin, gather the following ingredients: bone-in chicken pieces (such as thighs and drumsticks), pitted green olives, capers, dried oregano, white wine vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic cloves, and trimmings. These ingredients work beautifully together to create a robust and delicious dish.
  2. Start by seasoning the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then place them in the crock pot. Next, add the pitted green olives, capers, dried oregano, and white wine vinegar, distributing evenly over the chicken.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle brown sugar over chicken and spices. This combination adds a touch of sweetness and helps caramelize the flavors as the chicken cooks. Finally, add the garlic cloves and trimmings to the pot, making sure they are tucked in between the chicken pieces.
  4. Once all the ingredients are in the crock pot, cover with a lid and set the temperature to low. Let the chicken cook for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls easily off the bone.
  5. As the chicken cooks, the flavors will meld together, creating a rich and delicious dish. The olives and capers add a tangy and shiny element, while the prunes lend a subtle sweetness that perfectly balances the savory ingredients.

This basic crock pot recipe is not only easy to prepare but also provides a convenient way to enjoy the delicious taste of Chicken Marbella without much effort.

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Variations and Customizations

There are many ways to customize this classic recipe, whether you want to give it a modern twist or customize it to fit your specific dietary needs. If you’re a fan of a little spice, add a little red pepper flakes or chopped green chilies to your marinade to give your chicken Marbella a nice kick that complements the sweet, tangy flavor.

  • Spices like cinnamon and cumin are a great way to spice up your food. They add warmth and flavor to your dishes, taking them to the next level. If you want to add some freshness to your food, you can try adding herbs like rosemary and thyme, as well as oregano.
  • Try using natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey instead of brown sugar. It will add some sweetness without compromising the taste. Skinless chicken thighs or breasts are also a great option if you want to keep the fat content low while still enjoying the delicious taste.
  • Whether you’re vegetarian or looking for a new way to enjoy chicken marbella, you can make it meat-free by marinating it in a flavorful mixture of tofu (or tempeh) and baking it to a golden brown or caramelized brown. Even if you’re not into chicken, you’ll be surprised how well these flavors work together.

Related: Weight Watchers Chicken Recipes

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

  1. One of the most popular ways to serve Marbella chicken is with crunchy couscous or aromatic basmati rice. The chicken and rich sauce combine perfectly with the grains, making for a delicious and comforting meal. If you want to add some freshness to the dish, try adding some chopped cilantro or parsley for a splash of color and some herbal flavor.
  2. Eating chicken with mixed greens or a fresh salad can help balance out the chicken’s rich flavor. Experiment with different greens like arugula or baby spinach or watercress. Chopped almonds or lightly toasted pine nuts can be added for crunch and texture.
  3. Chicken Marbella is a great accompaniment to roasted vegetables. Its tangy and sweet flavors pair perfectly with a roasted carrot, bell pepper or zucchini medley. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss with your favorite herbs (thyme, rosemary, etc.) before tossing the veggies in the oven to caramelize.
  4. Consider pairing a glass of white wine with a bowl of Marbella chicken. A crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay can pair perfectly with your chicken. The acidity and fruitiness of the wine will pair perfectly with the flavors of your chicken.

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Tips and Tricks

  • First, don’t be afraid to try new flavors and ingredients. Classic recipes call for dried fruits such as apricots and cherries, olives and capers, as well as garlic. You can also add fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. Chicken Marbella is very versatile, so you can mix and match ingredients to create a dish that really speaks to your taste and personality.
  • Another great way to marinate chicken is overnight. Not only does it give the meat maximum flavor, but it also helps soften the meat and make it juicy and tender. To make sure the marinade is evenly distributed, toss the chicken and all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover each piece with the marinade mixture. Refrigerate the mixture overnight to prevent it from drying out.
  • When it comes to cooking in a crock pot, timing is everything. Chicken Marbella can take anywhere from 4-6 hours to cook on low in a slow cooker. However, it is important to be aware of the cooking time of your dish and adjust as needed. Factors such as the size of the chicken pieces and the power of your slow cooker will affect how long your chicken will take to cook. A meat thermometer should be used to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The internal temperature should be around 165°F/75°C to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the slow cooker. If you don’t have time to prepare everything in the morning or if you have a long day ahead of you, you can prepare everything the night before and store it in a small resealable bag in the fridge. When you wake up in the morning, just put everything in the slow cooker, set the timer, and let it run the rest of your day. When you get home, there’s a delicious, easy-to-prepare meal waiting for you.

Related: Smoked Salmon Recipes

Yield: 4-6 Person

Easy Crock Pot Chicken Marbella Recipe

slow cooker chicken marbella recipe

This Crock Pot Chicken Marbella recipe offers a healthy twist on the classic Mediterranean dish. With a blend of savory and sweet flavors, tender chicken, and wholesome ingredients, it's perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes


  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)


    1. In a bowl, make the marinade by mixing together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey or maple syrup, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.
    2. Place the chicken breasts or thighs in the crock pot and pour the marinade over them, making sure each piece is evenly coated.
    3. Add the green olives, crushed prunes, and capers to the crock pot, distributing them evenly around the chicken.
    4. Pour chicken broth into the crock pot to provide moisture during cooking.
    5. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
    6. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the crock pot and transfer to a serving dish.
    7. Spoon the sauce and fruit mixture over the chicken and garnish with chopped parsley.
    8. Serve hot with a lemon wedge on the side for extra flavor.


  • For extra flavor, you can marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before cooking.
  • Feel free to adjust the sweetness of the dish by varying the amount of honey or maple syrup used.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 988mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 44g

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I use boneless chicken for Chicken Marbella?

A. Yes, boneless chicken breasts or thighs are just as good as boneless chicken in this recipe. The only difference is the cooking time. Boneless chicken cooks faster than boneless chicken, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.

2. Can I substitute the prunes and olives?

A. If you don’t want to use olives and prunes, you can always try dried apricots (or raisins). They are slightly sweeter than olives, so they are a great alternative. If olives aren’t your thing, you can try adding capers or tomatoes.

3. Can I make Chicken Marbella ahead of time?

A. Chicken Marbella can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. This allows more time for the flavors to combine and create a more flavorful dish. Follow the same recipe as always, let it cool and refrigerate in an airtight container. When it’s time to serve, heat it in the oven or crock pot until it’s nice and warm.

4. Can I freeze Chicken Marbella?

A. Even though I don’t like it, Chicken Marbella can be frozen for future use. This is a great choice if you want to make a large batch of chicken or have some leftovers. Once cooked, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Refrigerate it, label it with the date, and follow the reheating instructions. Freeze for up to 3 months.

5. Can I use a different protein in this recipe?

A. Of course, the Chicken Marbella recipe is made with chicken, but there are plenty of other proteins you can try, such as pork tenderloin, boneless lamb chops, etc. They all have their own unique flavor profiles with the same Mediterranean flair.

Related: Vegan Grilling Recipes

Chicken Marbella Crock Pot can be made in a crock pot slow cooker. The crock pot makes it easy to tenderize chicken and infuse it with a flavorful mixture. When you understand the recipe and change simple ingredients, you can create a meal that is delicious and nutritious. You can change and customize it to your taste.

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