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Cheesy pesto slow cooker chicken recipe gives new life to a dinner staple

Just say “no” to chicken that’s dry, bland and flavorless. This slow cooker recipe easily makes chicken enjoyable again while keeping it super juicy and adding a ton of flavor.

Chicken breasts are added to the slow cooker and slowly simmered in a rich sauce full of fresh basil pesto, garlic, chicken broth and half-and-half. And the cream cheese really gives this sauce a thick, velvety consistency.

slow cooker pesto chicken
Image: Brandi Bidot/Sheknows

This chicken is great served over pasta, but I also like to serve it over cooked quinoa with some feta cheese or diced tomatoes mixed in. It also makes a superb make-ahead lunch that reheats perfectly the next day.

Cheesy pesto slow cooker chicken recipe

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 4 hours | Total time: 4 hours 10 minutes


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (or more, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Small handful fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. To the slow cooker, add the chicken breasts.
  2. To a blender or food processor, add the remaining ingredients, and blend the sauce on high until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour the pesto sauce on top of the chicken, and lightly toss the chicken to evenly coat.
  4. Cover the slow cooker, and set the timer to cook on low for 4 hours or until the chicken is completely cooked.
  5. Transfer to serving plates, and garnish with fresh parsley. Best served warm.

More recipes using pesto

Springtime pasta with pea pesto
20 Not-so-average pesto recipes to upgrade meals
Vegetarian meatballs with pesto cream sauce

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