Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta is loaded with Italian seasoned shredded chicken and pasta tossed together in a creamy tomato sauce. Add this to your dinner rotation! Set it, forget it and enjoy it! While you have extra time on your hands (thanks to your Crockpot cooking away!) check out this lighter version of a copycat Olive Garden classic…Olive Garden Chicken Pasta.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This recipe for Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta has turned into a staple at our house, mostly because it takes so little time to throw together and we ALL love it! Win, Win! This is not an ordinary chicken pasta recipe, this is a delicious slow-cooked crockpot chicken pasta recipe. With a handful of ingredients and a tiny bit of time, you’ll have dinner cooking all day and ready when everyone’s hungry.
What Chicken is Best for Shredding?
I would recommend using chicken without the bone to save you time. If that’s all you have, you can use it, just don’t forget to remove the bones when shredding. For this recipe, I used chicken tenders. You can also use boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
Pro-Tip: For shredding chicken, I like to use my stand mixer or electric hand mixer! I throw the cooked chicken in to a bowl (even while its still hot!) and let the paddle attachment or beaters do the shredding. It works like a dream and gives you perfectly shredded chicken in just about 30 seconds!
How to Make Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta
For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what you can expect when making this recipe:
Layer Ingredients into Cold Crockpot
Add diced onion, garlic, chicken breasts, cream cheese, marinara sauce, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and salt/pepper into a cold crockpot. Lots of Italian Seasonings vary! Pick one you like, or use your own combination of basil, oregano and thyme.
Pro Tip: spread a bit of marinara sauce down on the bottom of the crockpot before layering the chicken. This helps prevent sticking. Proceed to add in the rest of the ingredients).
Cover + Cook on High
Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours. If your crockpot runs hot, you might want to check the chicken for doneness at 2 1/2 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, remove, shred and return back to crockpot. At this point remove the bay leaves as well.
Stir to melt cream cheese into sauce completely.
Add Cooked Pasta to Crockpot
You can use any sort of pasta here. I used Gemelli pasta noodles. I wouldn’t recommend adding pasta to your crockpot mixture while everything is cooking, it turns out gummy and gross. Always prepare pasta separately then mix together once the sauce is done.
This is a heavy on the carb and fats kind of dinner. So if you are looking to lighten things up, try these healthy side dishes that pair perfectly with chicken pasta.
- Kale Salad Recipe
- Oven Roasted Asparagus Recipe
- Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
- Caprese Salad
Any chicken pasta leftovers you might have can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave in intervals, occasionally stirring until heated through.
Tips for Cooking Crockpot Recipes
- Know your Crockpot! Some run hot, some run cold. This is largely dependent on when it was manufactured and how well it has lasted. If you have an older slow cooker, those tend to run real HOT! Knowing your Crockpot can help you with your cooking times and knowing when your food is done. You don’t want your dinner to scorch the bottom, so cook a few things first to get to know your crockpot.
- Be careful when cooking with dairy. This chicken pasta recipe calls for cream cheese. If left too long in the crockpot at too high of a heat, it will curdle. The same goes for milk, cream, or greek yogurt. If you’re worried about curdling because your crockpot runs hot, try cooking at the low setting for a longer period of time OR stir the dairy in at the end. For this recipe, once you shred the chicken and add it back into the marinara, stir in the cream cheese and melt it into the sauce. It should work just as well!
- Use the right Crockpot size. From 2 to 8 1/2 quarts, there seems to be a Crockpot for every recipe out there! A good rule of thumb is only filling it 1/2 to 2/3’s full to ensure proper cooking.
More Crockpot Recipes to Love!
If you devoured this Chicken Pasta as my family did, you’ll love these other crockpot recipes.
- Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce
- Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Southwest Crock Pot Egg Noodle Casserole
- Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole with Smoked Sausage
- Crock Pot Honey Mustard Chicken
The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day!
Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.25 pounds chicken tenders raw
- salt and pepper to taste
- 25 oz marinara sauce one jar
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning*
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb pasta I used Gemelli pasta noodles
- 1 tbsp basil fresh, chiffonade for garnish (optional)
Add diced onion, garlic, chicken breasts, cream cheese, marinara sauce, and seasonings into a cold crockpot.**
Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours. If your crockpot runs hot, you might want to check the chicken for doneness at 2 1/2 hours.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove, shred and return back to crockpot. At this point remove the bay leaves as well. Stir to melt cream cheese into sauce completely.
Toss with freshly cooked pasta, garnish with fresh basil and serve.