This Pink Sauce Pasta recipe is a perfect blend of creamy and tangy with a hint of Italian flavor. This easy slow cooker recipe brings together marinara and alfredo sauces, tender chicken, and cheese for a well-rounded meal that’s packed with a creamy classic Italian taste!
If you’re looking for the best ways to cook chicken in the crock pot, this recipe for pink sauce pasta is a keeper! Not only is it delicious, but it's also easy to assemble. It uses two jars of premade sauce, some Italian seasonings, and cheese.
Pink sauce is a creamy, tomato-based sauce that blends the rich flavors of tomato sauce with alfredo sauce's smooth, creamy texture. When mixed together, the color is a light pink, just like Rosé wine. The unique taste combines the tanginess of tomatoes with the creaminess of dairy and is a perfect sauce to toss with pasta and tender chicken breast.
Making pasta with pink sauce is super simple and perfect for busy days. Just mix marinara and alfredo sauce in your slow cooker, and add garlic, Italian seasoning, and chicken. After cooking, shred the chicken, mix in cooked penne pasta, and finish with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. It's ready to serve!
Easy Pink Pasta Sauce Recipe With Chicken
- This recipe uses a crock pot, which perfectly cooks the chicken and infuses it with the rich flavors of pink sauce.
- It mixes marinara and alfredo sauce for a tasty and unique pink sauce, which is a great way to change up your pasta dinner rotation.
- It's filled with hearty chicken breast, filling it with plenty of protein.
- You only need a few basic ingredients, making it an affordable meal option you can find in any grocery store.
- Easily customize it by adding your favorite pasta or any leftover vegetables you may have on hand.
Crock Pot Pink Pasta Sauce Ingredients
- Jarred Marinara Sauce - Adds the tangy tomato base that gives depth and a robust tomato flavor.
- Jarred Alfredo Sauce - Adds creaminess and a rich, velvety texture to the sauce, balancing the acidity of the marinara for that signature pink color and taste.
- Minced Garlic - Infuses the sauce with a pungent, aromatic flavor that is classic in Italian cooking.
- Italian Seasoning - Brings together a blend of herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil, contributing to the sauce's aromatic Italian profile.
- Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless) - Makes up the protein component, adding substance and texture to the dish while absorbing the flavors of the sauce during slow cooking.
- Cooked Penne Pasta - Its tubular shape holds onto the sauce well and makes the dish hearty.
- Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese - Parmesan adds a salty, nutty flavor, and mozzarella gives melt-in-your-mouth creaminess, enhancing the sauce's richness and texture.
How To Make Pink Pasta Sauce In The Slow Cooker
Mix the pink sauce: Pour in the marinara sauce and alfredo sauce into the slow cooker along with the minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Mix until well combined.
Prepare the chicken: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breast and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in the crock pot with the pink sauce and flip it with tongs to make sure it's covered.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 2½ - 3½ hours or LOW for 4½ - 5½ hours.
Shred the chicken: Once cooked, remove the chicken breast from the slow cooker and shred it on a cutting board.
Assemble the dish: Add the shredded chicken back in, along with the cooked pasta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined.
Garnish and serve: Plate while hot. Garnish with parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Tips For The Best Pink Sauce Pasta
- Use a high-quality jarred marinara and alfredo sauce for the best flavor base.
- Make sure the chicken breasts are all roughly the same size and thickness. This will help make sure it cooks evenly.
- Stir the sauce mixture well in the slow cooker before adding the chicken to make sure the flavors mix well.
- Cook the penne pasta al dente as it will continue to absorb the sauce once mixed, preventing it from becoming too soft.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce towards the end of cooking to maintain its texture and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- Gradually add parmesan and mozzarella cheese, stirring until fully melted and integrated into the sauce for a smooth consistency.
Flavor Variations and Substitutions
- Swap jarred marinara sauce with a homemade marinara sauce for a personal touch.
- Use a light alfredo sauce or a cashew cream-based sauce for a healthier, lower-calorie alternative.
- Enhance the garlic flavor by adding roasted garlic instead of minced for a sweeter, more mellow flavor.
- Add a dash of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a spicy kick.
- Substitute chicken breast with shrimp or tofu for a seafood variation or a vegetarian option and adjust the cooking time.
- Add a spoonful of pesto into the sauce for a herby, nutty flavor that pairs well with both sauces.
- Stir in sautéed spinach or mushrooms towards the end of cooking for added nutrients and a pop of color.
- Use your favorite gluten-free pasta and check to ensure the sauces are wheat-free for a gluten-free pink pasta dish.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Keep leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 4 days. Make sure the pasta is cooled to room temperature before sealing.
Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the pasta in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2 months. Press out as much air as possible.
Reheating: Thaw the pasta in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, then reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or milk to keep the pasta moist, and stir occasionally. Microwave it covered to retain moisture, using medium power in short intervals, or reheat it over low heat on the stove, adding extra sauce if necessary.
No. It's best not to add dry pasta directly to the slow cooker, as it can become mushy and overcooked. Instead, cook the pasta separately according to package instructions and add it to the slow cooker towards the end of the cooking process.
No, pink sauce and vodka sauce are not the same. Pink sauce is a combination of tomato-based marinara sauce and cream-based alfredo sauce. Vodka sauce includes vodka and heavy cream in its recipe, offering a different flavor.
To thicken pink sauce pasta, you can mix a small amount of cornstarch with water to create a slurry and stir it into the sauce, cooking it for a few minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. Simmering the sauce uncovered for a little longer can help reduce and thicken it.
Yes, you can use frozen chicken in this recipe. Extend the cooking time to ensure the chicken is fully cooked through. Add an additional 1 to 2 hours to the cooking time on low setting, and make sure you adjust for any extra moisture released from the chicken breast.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Pasta Dinner Recipes
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Pink Sauce Pasta
- 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) jar alfredo sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pound penne pasta cooked
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- Add marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the slow cooker. Mix until well combined.
- Place the chicken in the pink sauce and cover the chicken in the sauce.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½ - 3½ hours or low for 4½ - 5½ hours.
- Shred the chicken with two forks. Then, add the cooked pasta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.