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Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken

Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken- this ultra creamy slow cooker chicken recipe tastes amazing served over pasta.

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Creamy Pesto Chicken in black slow cooker.

It’s an easy Italian recipe that’s bursting with basil flavor. Cream cheese and Parmesan cheese create a creamy and rich sauce.

Ingredients Needed For Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken

  • Onion– use sweet, yellow, or white onion.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts– if really large, cut each one in half. Note: boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used instead. They will take slightly longer to cook.
  • Italian Dressing Mix– I use Good Seasons.
  • Chicken Broth– provides a little liquid for the chicken to cook in. Use low-sodium if you need to watch your sodium intake.
  • Cream Cheese– added at the end to make a creamy sauce.
  • Basil Pesto– store-bought basil pesto comes in various sized jars and containers. You want 6 to 6 1/2 ounces. A little more than that is fine. It will just mean more pesto flavor.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes– use 1/4 teaspoon for just a little heat and 1/2 teaspoon for more substantial heat.
  • Black Pepper– add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on how much pepper you like.
  • Parmesan Cheese– Use freshly grated for best flavor.
Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken in slow cooker.

Equipment Needed

You will needa slow cooker that is approximately 6 quarts in size, which is a standard sized slow cooker. I use this Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker.

Cooking Time

Cooking time can vary between slow cookers. You do not want to overcook the chicken or it will be dry and chewy. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature or 165 degrees F.

Recipe Tip

To make sure the sauce is thick and creamy, you will need to discard some of the cooking liquid before you add the cream cheese. Pour about half of it into a bowl. Save it in case you need to thin the sauce some.

How To Serve

Tastes great served over pasta. Any pasta shape will do. Spaghetti, penne, and cavatappi are all good choices. It goes well with a side dish of steamed broccoli or Italian Roasted Vegetables and Pepperoncini Garlic Bread.


Will keep for 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a microwave.

Creamy Pesto Chicken served over pasta.

More Slow Cooker Italian Recipes

Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken

Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken- this ultra creamy slow cooker chicken recipe tastes amazing served over pasta.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 4 hours


  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 packet Italian dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
  • 1 (6 to 6.8-ounce) jar basil pesto
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Place onion in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Place chicken on top and sprinkle with Italian dressing mix.
    Add chicken broth.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to hours or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.
  • With 15 minutes of cooking time left, Discard about 1/2 of the cooking liquid. (So the sauce will be thick instead of runny.)
    Add the cream cheese, basil pesto, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and Parmesan.
    Cover and continue to cook for the remaining 15 minutes.
  • Use two forks to break the chicken down into bite-sized pieces. Stir the sauce until the cream cheese is mixed in.
  • Serve over pasta.


Calories: 526kcal
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken breasts, crock pot, slow cooker

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3 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken”

  1. Elizabeth Quintero Burgueno

    My family and I loved this dish. So easy and delicious. Will be making again!

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