Season chicken in slow cooker & whip up a tasty Italian feast with just 5 mins of prep

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Everything tastes better when it's made in a slow cooker, even pasta! This low-and-slow chicken pesto pasta dish is filled with delicious pesto flavor, and since it's cooked in a crock pot, the chicken will be tender enough to cut with a spoon! The meal comes together perfectly with al dente rotini pasta and gooey mozzarella cheese, perfect for lunch or dinner anytime!
The recipe below calls for one cup of your favorite brand of pesto sauce, but feel free to use your own homemade pesto if you have some on hand. The chicken cooks in the crock pot low and slow for five hours, so it's a great meal to start making in the afternoon to have for dinner at night. Leftovers are delicious too, and can be stored in the fridge for several days to enjoy, if there are any!
Cooktop Cove
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Pesto Pasta
5 mins
5 hrs 15 mins
5 hrs 20 mins
For the slow cooker:
1½ pounds raw chicken breast
1 cup pesto (store-bought or homemade)
¼ cup salted butter
Juice of ½ a lemon
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
To add later:
1 pound rotini pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 basil leaves, chopped (optional)
Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, and cover with pesto sauce.
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the chicken, and cut the butter into pieces and place the pieces the chicken.
Cover the crock pot, and cook the chicken on low power for five hours. Avoid opening the lid during the cooking process.
Just before the end of the cooking time, prepare the rotini pasta according to the packaging for al dente. Drain and set aside.
When the chicken is cooked, carefully shred the chicken inside the crock pot using two forks or tongs.
Add the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese to the crock pot, and stir until everything is fully mixed and the pasta and chicken are coated with pesto.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pasta, and re-cover the crock pot with the lid. Cook until everything is brought up to temperature and the mozzarella cheese has melted on top, about 15 minutes.
Serve with a large spoon directly out of the slow cooker. Garnish with fresh chopped basil, and serve hot immediately.
Pro-tip: Any kind of pasta could work for this dish, but we like rotini, rigatoni, or penne to hold on to the pesto sauce.
Pro-tip: Add extra vegetables like chopped plum tomatoes or artichokes at the end of cooking for some extra bursts of Italian flavor.
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Prep time takes just 10-15 minutes, and all you have to do is brown the meat then toss the rest of your ingredients into the slow cooker so it can work its magic all day long.
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