You guys…this might be the best dinner party dish I have ever made. I mean, holy tower of Pisa is it good! Sun dried tomatoes are processed with nuts, garlic, balsamic vinegar and a little sugar to make a super flavorful and bright pesto. That pesto is then tossed with chicken breasts, kale, artichokes and chicken broth. Place it in the slow cooker, and in a few hours add the cream. It is creamy, elegant, and absolutely perfect for a cool night. Ohh, I almost forgot the best part! This slow cooked tuscan chicken recipe can be made ahead and frozen for an easy weeknight slow cooker recipe!
The Make Ahead Meal
To make this dish ahead of time, you first start by making the pesto. Don’t get scared away, this simple pesto literally takes less than 5 minutes to make! Toss everything in a food processor and you’re done! It might even take 60 seconds! Once you finish this step, all of the ingredients, minus the cream, are mixed together in a large Ziploc bag. Squeeze the air out and lay it flat in your freezer. When you are ready to use it, just pop the bag in some hot water for a few minutes until the food easily separates from the bag, then place the frozen block in your crock pot. If previously frozen, I recommend cooking on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. When done cooking, follow the steps to add the cream. Talk about an easy make ahead slow cooker chicken dinner!
One of my motto’s is to always give substitutions for different ingredients. When I first started cooking, I would have thought that if I didn’t have kale, I wouldn’t be able to make this dish…WRONG! ANY leafy green will do just fine! Spinach, chard, beet greens, bok choy…they all work! Just note that because kale is very robust, it wilts a little nicer than say, spinach. But they all work! Same with the nuts used for the pesto. I have made this exact same pesto with both walnuts AND almonds. But I dare say, pine nuts will also do the trick! No cream? No problem! Try using milk and a little bit of butter! If you make any of these substitutions, make sure to comment on this post and let me know how it was!
When To Serve Creamy Tuscan Chicken:
This elegant and delicious dinner is PERFECT as an easy dinner party dish or holiday meal! Just place all of the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, and spend the rest of the day preparing your other dishes! If you aren’t the dinner party type of gall or guy, this is still a quick and easy weeknight dinner option. Turn the crock pot on before work and come home to the ambrosial and sweet aroma of cooked sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Or if you are just looking for a tasty fall comfort food recipe, this dish is so warm and inviting. I personally found myself enjoying it while nestled up in a warm blanket with a glass of pinot noir…it was lovely.
If you are in need of a good slow cooker, I just got this one and love it!
Slow Cooked Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Blender or food processor
- Slow cooker/crock pot
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 1 10oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (do not discard the olive oil)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (or almonds)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups shredded kale
- 1 150z jar of artichoke hearts, drained
- 2/3 cup chicken broth or stock
- 2/3 cup heavy cream (can also use milk, just add it a small amount at a time so it does not become too liquidy, and I recommend adding butter if only using milk)
- 1 16oz box pasta of your choice
- In a food processor or blender, blend together the sun dried tomatoes, walnuts, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt until a pesto-like consistency.
- If freezing, place ingredients in a large zip lock bag, if slow cooking immediately, place directly in slow cooker: Add chicken breasts to the slow cooker, followed by the pesto, kale and artichokes. Pour in chicken stock and stir to combine all ingredients well.
- Slow cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
- About 15 minutes before you are done cooking, make the pasta according to the package instructions.
- When crock pot mixture is done to your liking, turn the heat off and add the cream. Stir to fully combine.
- Spoon chicken pesto mixture over pasta and enjoy!
Did you like my slow cooked tuscan chicken recipe? If so, go check out my ‘Shiitake Mushroom Pasta Recipe‘ recipe!
You guys, this easy pasta recipe is SOO good! Shiitake mushroom pasta with lemon butter sauce, honey yogurt and fried capers combines the homey comfort of buttered pasta with the elegance of wild shiitake mushrooms and creamy sweet yogurt sauce. It is a fantastic dish to make to impress your dinner party guests, or to …