Crockpot Pesto Chicken Pasta – Slow-cooked chicken breasts with pesto and butter are transformed into a delicious pasta dish with mozzarella and parmesan. This new dish is a variation on a freezer dinner. This recipe comes together fast and simply with very little prep work. Tender chicken, fragrant pesto, and other ingredients combine to provide a wonderful supper that everyone will love. With just a few basic ingredients, this Slow Cooker Cheesy Pasta will tempt your taste senses! Tangy pesto with a touch of lemon combined with gooey cheese creates an incredible easy dinner! This dinner was a big hit with my family, so I wanted to share it with you! It’s a go-to supper that’s quick and lots of flavor! Perfect for a quick weekday supper or a Sunday feast! When you cook this dish, you’ll have supper on the table in no time with only four easy ingredients.
Slow Cooker Pesto Pasta:
We enjoy a good casserole, and this Crock Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta Casserole is no exception. It only takes a few minutes to put together, and the crock pot does the rest. Each mouthful of chicken is delicate and flavorful, thanks to being gently roasted all day. This dish is inexpensive and simple to prepare. There is no way to go wrong with this recipe.
- Chicken Breasts (or use chicken tenders)
- Seasoning with salt and pepper
- Pesto Sauce
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Cooked Rotini Pasta
How To Make Crockpot Pesto Chicken Pasta?
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker’s bottom. I used a slow cooker with a capacity of 6 quarts.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the pesto sauce over the chicken and top with the butter.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and shred it. Reintroduce the chicken.
- Mix in the spaghetti, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Allow it simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- 15 minutes before serving, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Replace the cover on the crock pot and simmer until the cheese has melted.
- Serve right away.
Tips And Tricks:
- Feel free to experiment with different chicken pieces. I’ve also used chicken breast, which works well.
- Don’t omit any of the components. When gently cooked, the Pesto with Ranch mix adds a lot of flavor!
- Use unsalted butter to keep this dinner from getting overly salty.
- Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container. Another dinner suggestion is to shred it over salad.
- Make it a vegetarian basil pesto pasta – If you leave out the chicken, you’ll get a great vegetarian style pasta. For more taste, add additional broth. You may also use frozen vegetables.
- Shrimp pesto pasta — For a seafood pasta, omit the chicken, shorten the cooking time, and add shrimp.
- Add 1/4 cup heavy cream when you add the cheeses to make it more creamier. This will make your pasta have a creamier texture and flavor.
- Make it healthy by using low-fat cheeses, substituting whole wheat pasta for ordinary spaghetti, and reducing the quantity of butter.
- Make it spicy by using crushed red peppers or freshly chopped jalapenos.
- Add garlic – 2 cloves minced garlic, finely minced For a more robust taste, add roasted garlic.
- Use a different pesto– I chose basil pesto, but avocado pesto, red pesto, and broccoli pesto are also options.
- Other cheeses may be substituted- I used a combination of parmesan, mozzarella, and cream cheese, but you can also use pepper jack, goat cheese, blue cheese, gouda, feta, or whatever else you prefer. The overall taste of this meal will vary depending on the cheese you use.
- Replace the cherry tomatoes with sun dried tomatoes or a combination of the two.
- Garnish choices include fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, and chives, as well as shredded cheese such as mozzarella or parmesan.
What Is The Best Way To Thicken Pasta?
If the pasta is too thin, simply cook it uncovered for a few minutes more, until some of the liquid has steamed off. You can also get rid of some of the extra liquid. Pasta will thicken as it absorbs more liquid/sauce over time.
How Can I Make My Pasta Thinner?
If your spaghetti is too thick or you like it thinner, simply add some broth, water, or milk to the mixture.
Is Whole Wheat Pasta An Option?
Yes, however the cooking time will vary (it takes a bit longer).
What Sort Of Pasta Should I Use?
For this meal, penne is my favorite pasta. You can, however, use any sort of pasta you like. Other short-style pastas would work well as a replacement.
Is Pesto Chicken Nutritious?
Yes! Pesto is a heart-healthy pesto prepared with olive oil, fresh herbs, and almonds. While the nutrition data state 435 calories per serving, this includes the whole amount of sauce in the meal (which you will likely not consume). The nutrition information will vary considerably if you do not consume all of the pesto sauce from the pan.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs Or Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts Can Be Used:
If you’re using the Crock Pot, I recommend using chicken thighs since they stay more juicier than breast flesh throughout the longer cooking period.
Make – Ahead Instructions:
Simply prepare this dish up to a day in advance. Then, keep it in an airtight jar until ready to microwave and serve. You may need to add a splash of broth, water, or milk to thin it out and keep it from becoming clumpy. By putting all of the raw ingredients in a baking dish or a large Ziploc bag, you can convert this into a freezer meal. Wrap securely in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking or cooking in the slow cooker according to the recipe directions.
- Refrigerate– For up to 2 days in a sealed container.
- Freeze– This is not advised since pasta and all cheeses do not thaw well.
- Microwave it to reheat.
Do You Have Any Leftovers?
This cooked pesto chicken may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Cooked, shredded meat can be used on pizza, in panini sandwiches, or on top of a salad.
What Goes Well With Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Pasta?
This is a fantastic one-pot dinner. You don’t really need much else to go with that. I generally accompany it with a simple salad. It’s quick and delicious with the pesto chicken. Other possibilities include Roasted Green Beans or learning how to microwave steam broccoli for a quick veggie side dish. As you can see, we keep things simple. Reduce your time in the kitchen and increase your time with your family!
What Sides Should Be Served With The Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe?
- Salad is a delicious side dish. Consider a basic green salad, chopped salad, cucumber salad, or tomato salad. Make sure the vinaigrette or dressing is mild and not overpowering in flavor.
- Bread is a classic side dish. Garlic bread, cheesy bread sticks, dinner rolls, and naan are all good options.
- You may also serve this with soup. Tomato or roasted red pepper soup are usually wonderful options. You’ll want to go with either a thick broth-based soup or a soup that isn’t too chunky to complement the hefty pasta.
- This meal also pairs well with Italian roasted veggies.
- Classic Mashed Potatoes. It was a match made in heaven.
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 6.25 oz. Pesto in a jar
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 pound cooked and drained rotini
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil as a garnish
Fill the slow cooker halfway with chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and spread the pesto on top. Cut the butter into slices and place them on top of the chicken.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours, without opening the cover throughout that time.
Cook the pasta according to package directions at the end of the cooking time and drain well.
Using two forks, shred the chicken. Stir in the cooked pasta and parmesan cheese until the pasta is covered with the buttery pesto sauce and the chicken is equally distributed throughout. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta. Cover for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Serve and have fun!
Leftovers can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 2 days and reheated in the microwave.
Serve with mashed potatoes and a simple salad on the side.
This meal may be made with any type of pasta, but we like rotini, rigatoni, or penne to hold the pesto sauce together.
For additional bursts of Italian flavor, add more veggies towards the end of cooking, such as chopped plum tomatoes or artichokes.