Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo is the perfect dish for those craving rich and creamy pasta without the hassle. The slow cooker combined with the flavors of chicken, cream, and parmesan guarantees a satisfying iconic Italian meal that’s packed with flavor for any night of the week!
Chicken Alfredo is a creamy pasta dish that brings together tender pieces of chicken with a rich sauce made from butter, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. The combination of these ingredients creates a tasty blend of flavors – the savory depth of the chicken, the full-bodied cream, and the sharpness of the parmesan all come together perfectly. This Italian dish is popular everywhere and can easily be made right in the crock pot!
Making Chicken Alfredo in a slow cooker is a game-changer. You'll start by layering the chicken in the pot, seasoning it up, and then topping it with cream cheese and butter. Let that slow-cook magic happen for a few hours, and once you're nearing mealtime, just toss in your pre-cooked pasta, heavy cream, and a good sprinkle of parmesan. Mix it up, give it a little more time to marry together, and you're set!
This easy Italian meal is incredibly versatile. On weeknights, set it up and let the Crock Pot work its magic while you tackle other tasks. When the weekend rolls around, this dish transforms into a quick meal solution that is satisfying and comforting. Need to feed a crowd? Just increase the ingredients, and you have a hearty, crowd-pleasing dish ready to serve that everyone will enjoy!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Chicken Alfredo combines the rich creaminess of the classic dish with satisfying protein from chicken breast.
- The ingredients in this dish are simple and can be found at any grocery store.
- Whether you're feeding a large crowd or simply need a comforting weeknight meal on a busy night, this crock pot dinner has got you covered.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken Breast - Provides a tender, lean protein base that absorbs the flavors.
- Chicken Broth - Adds depth and moisture to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor while keeping the chicken juicy.
- Minced Garlic - Imparts a robust, aromatic kick, which is essential for that classic Alfredo taste.
- Black Pepper - Offers a subtle spicy note, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
- Onion Powder - Brings a mild, sweet onion undertone, adding complexity to the flavor profile.
- Italian Seasoning - Infuses the dish with a blend of Mediterranean herbs, elevating the overall taste.
- Cream Cheese - Introduces a velvety texture and a tangy flavor note, complementing the creamy sauce.
- Butter - Enhances the richness and smoothness of the dish, allowing for a silkier sauce.
- Heavy Cream - Acts as the foundation for the creamy sauce, adding a velvety texture.
- Cooked Penne Pasta - Serves as the perfect vessel for the sauce, its tubular shape capturing every bit of creamy goodness.
- Parmesan Cheese - Melts seamlessly into the mix, adding a sharp, salty bite that perfects the Alfredo experience.
How To Make Chicken Alfredo In The Crock Pot
Prepare the chicken breast: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breast. Pat dry with paper towels on both sides.
Season the chicken: Add chicken to the bottom of a 6-quart Crockpot and pour chicken broth over the top.
Sprinkle garlic, black pepper, onion powder, and Italian seasoning over the chicken. Place the cream cheese and butter on top.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 2½-3½ hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
Prepare the penne pasta: Cook pasta to al dente per directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Assemble the dish: Add heavy cream, penne pasta, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Serve while hot and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
- Opt for fresh over frozen chicken breasts, as they tend to cook more evenly and absorb flavors better in the Crock Pot.
- For added depth of flavor, brown the chicken briefly in a skillet before placing it in the Crock Pot.
- To ensure your penne remains al dente in the dish, slightly undercook it by 1-2 minutes when boiling, as it will continue to cook in the Alfredo sauce.
- Allow your heavy cream to reach room temperature before adding; this prevents curdling and ensures a smoother sauce.
- Invest in freshly grated parmesan over pre-packaged, as the fresh cheese will melt better and offer a richer flavor.
- If your sauce feels too thick, you can thin it out with a splash of chicken broth or milk to reach your desired consistency.
- For a seafood twist, replace chicken with shrimp or scallops, ensuring to adjust the cooking time as seafood cooks faster.
- Omit the chicken and add a medley of vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini for a hearty vegetarian version.
- Swap out penne for fettuccine or linguine, which also pair wonderfully with Alfredo sauce and offer a different texture.
- Experiment with adding other cheeses, like mozzarella or fontina, for a unique flavor and an even creamier texture.
- Introduce a kick with red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper for those who appreciate a bit of heat in their dishes.
- Incorporate fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme into the slow cooker, removing them before serving for an added layer of flavor.
- For a slightly lighter dish, substitute heavy cream with half-and-half or a mix of milk and cream, adjusting the consistency as needed.
- Use gluten-free pasta varieties to make this dish suitable for those with dietary restrictions.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once your Chicken Alfredo has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When you're ready to enjoy it again, reheat it gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of chicken broth or milk to refresh the sauce, or microwave it in short intervals, stirring in between to ensure even heating.
Freezing: If you're planning to freeze your Chicken Alfredo, it's best to do so without the pasta. Pour the sauce and chicken into a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. When you're ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and adding cooked pasta.
Chicken thighs are often juicier and more flavorful than chicken breasts. If using thighs, just ensure they're boneless and skinless, and adjust the cooking time if necessary, as thighs can sometimes cook faster.
If your sauce feels too thin, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water to create a slurry and then stir it into the sauce. Let it cook for an additional 10-15 minutes in the Crock Pot, and it should thicken up nicely.
You can use milk as a substitute, but the sauce won't be as rich and creamy as with heavy cream. To compensate, you might consider adding a bit more cream cheese or parmesan to enhance the creaminess.
More Crock Pot Chicken Pasta Recipes
- Crock Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Crock Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
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Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Add chicken to the bottom of a 6-quart Crock pot and pour chicken broth over the top.
- Sprinkle garlic, black pepper, onion powder, and Italian seasoning over the chicken. Place the cream cheese and butter on top.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½-3½ hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Cook pasta to al dente per directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Add heavy cream, penne pasta, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
- Serve while hot and garnish with parsley.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.