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Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken

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Homemade, flavorful, simple, and delicious, slow cooker pesto chicken is pure comfort food. Perfect for busy days when all you want is a homemade meal without the hassle, this is sure to become a family favorite!

slow cooker with twisted pasta, shredded chicken and pesto sauce on a white plate
Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Image by Sarah Alvord

Need a good slow cooker chicken breast recipe? Slow Cooker chicken comes out so tender and juicy every time because it is cooked low and slow for hours. I am so happy to share another easy slow cooker meal with you, I know what a time-saver slow cookers are when you are so busy with everything else you have going on in your day.

This pesto chicken slow cooker meal is a real keeper, it only takes a few ingredients and comes together super quick. Serve with a simple vegetable side dish or salad to make a simple weeknight dinner.

Pesto Chicken Ingredients

All you need are just a few simple ingredients to bring this easy slow cooker chicken recipe together. Let’s check out what you need:

  • Chicken Breasts: boneless, skinless chicken breasts are best in this recipe
  • Premade Pesto Sauce: The garlic-basil-infused sauce is so tasty and adds so much flavor to so many dishes.
  • Chicken Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth can be used in this recipe
  • Heavy Cream: Used to add creaminess and thicken the sauce
  • Spices
  • Pasta: I like to use a shaped pasta that the sauce can get all wrapped up in, like Cavatapi, Bow-Tie, or even elbow pasta.
chicken, pesto, cream, butter and broth in a slow cooker pot

How to Make Slow Cooked Pesto Chicken

The steps to make this pesto chicken recipe are just too easy, let’s walk through them here:

  1. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Place the chicken into the slow cooker, and season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (for a little spicy kick)
  2. Add in the Liquids: To the slow cooker, add in the pesto sauce, broth, heavy cream, and butter slices
  3. Cook the Chicken: Cook the chicken in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on low or for 2-3 hours on high. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165º F to make sure it is fully cooked through.
  4. Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water according to the package instructions. I think it is so much faster to just cook the pasta on its own rather than adding it to the slow cooker for this recipe.
  5. Shred the Chicken: While the pasta is cooking, shred the chicken. This can be done in the slow cooker with two forks, or take the chicken out and shred it in a separate bowl. Add the chicken back into the pot along with the cooked pasta and stir to coat with the sauce.
  6. Melt the Cheese: Next, top the chicken and pasta with shredded mozzarella and place the lid back on the slow cooker, cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve and Enjoy!!
Twisted noodles, pesto, shredded chicken topped with melted mozzarella cheese in a slow cooker pot


This recipe is delicious on its own, but you can always add a little extra to this slow cooker pesto chicken recipe to take it up a notch.

  • Add More Vegetables: Add in a can of diced tomatoes, chopped zucchini, mushrooms, or even broccoli for 5 minutes before stirring in the pasta
  • Stir in Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese can be stirred in or added on top with the shredded mozzarella.

Quick Tip

Keep on warm for up to one hour before serving or while serving.

Storage and Reheating

If you have leftovers from this slow cooker pesto chicken breast recipe, store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

To reheat pesto chicken, take out a portion and microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds, stir, and cook for 30 seconds more until heated through.

twisted past in a pesto sauce with shredded chicken and melted mozzarella cheese

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twisted pasta in a pesto sauce with shredded chicken and melted mozzarella
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Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken

Homemade, flavorful, simple, and delicious, slow cooker pesto chicken is pure comfort food.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 549kcal


  • 4 chicken breasts 1.5 – 2 pounds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 8 ounce pesto sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup butter sliced
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 2 cup mozzarella, shredded


  • Place chicken into slow cooker. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Add pesto sauce, heavy cream, broth, then place butter on top of chicken.
  • Cook on low 4-5 hours or high 2-3 hours until chicken is cooked thorugh. (165℉).
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Shred the chicken and add the cooked pasta to the slow cooker. Stir to coat with the sauce.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the shredded chicken and pasta. Place the lid back on the slow cooker, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes to melt the cheese.


  • Nutrition facts are just an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. 
  • The red pepper flakes add a little spice, if you don’t want this to be a spicy dish, leave the red pepper flakes out


Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1158IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Chicken Recipes, Dinner, Slow Cooker
Keyword: Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken
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