Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken- this ultra creamy slow cooker chicken recipe tastes amazing served over pasta.
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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.
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 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.
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.
More Slow Cooker Italian Recipes
- Slow Cooker Crack Chicken Pasta
- Williams Sonoma Slow Cooker Lasgana
- Crock Pot Baked Ziti
- Slow Cooker Sausage Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole
Slow Cooker Creamy Pesto Chicken
- 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.