This easy crock pot recipe features basil pesto, chicken, roast vegetables, and chicken. Serve it with pasta for a healthy and tasty dinner that takes just minutes to prepare.
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In my life-before-kids I worked in the business world. While I don't miss working in an office all day, I do miss my colleagues from those days… and I definitely miss the catered lunches.
What a luxury to have meals made by someone else!
My favorite meals were from a local Italian restaurant. The simple but delicious menu featured ciabatta bread sandwiches with trays of roasted Italian vegetables.
The vegetables, oh the vegetables! There were peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushroom roasted with a bit of olive oil and basil. The flavors were amazing, I’m still dreaming about them 10 years later!
Roast Vegetables in the Crock Pot
I’ve recreated the roasted vegetable with basil flavor in this easy crock pot meal featuring chicken and pasta. You simply add chicken, pesto and vegetables and toss is pasta before serving.
Don't worry, the vegetables do not turn into piles of mush! The secret to this tasty recipe is in the layering of ingredients. The chicken is at the bottom of the crock pot where it gets the most cooking heat followed by the onions, and the rest of the vegetables. Keeping the squash, peppers and mushrooms on the top means they get steamed, but not cooked to death.
Throw and Go Crock Pot Recipes
I affectionately refer to this type of crock pot recipes as throw and go or dump and go. These recipes require no browning and no sauteing… you simply add the ingredients to the slow cooker and forget about it until dinner.
I boil whole wheat rotini noodles to serve with the chicken and vegetables after we get home from car pool and sports practice. Toss the noodles with a bit of pesto, toss in the vegetables, top with sliced chicken and you have the perfect dinner.
I love dishes and kitchenware, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you:
- Crock Pot – My current slow cooker is a Crock-Pot 7-qt. Slow Cooker with a lovely chevron pattern. I have a Wi-Fi Operated Crock Pot on my wishlist!
- White Dishes – My sold white dishes are from Pier One imports. They have been replaced by these white dishes and these dot rim dishes.
- Napkins– I purchase my blue linen napkins on sale at Williams Sonoma.
- 1 tsp olive oil (optional, use to grease inside of slow cooker for easier cleanup)
- 4 chicken breasts (thawed)
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (dried)
- 1/2-3/4 cup basil pesto
- 1.5 cups zucchini (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
- 1 cup yellow squash (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup red onion (about 1 small, cut into 1 inch slices)
- 1 green pepper (cut into 1 inch slices)
- 1 yellow peppers (cut into 1 inch slices)
- 8 ounces white mushrooms (quartered)
- 1 lb whole wheat rotini
Rub inside of 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with olive oil to make clean up easier (optional).
Arrange chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Top one side of each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of basil pesto. Spread with back of spoon to coat.
Thickly slice all vegetables so they cook slowly. (If you like your vegetables crisper add them later in the cooking process.)
Top seasoned chicken with onions.
- Layer vegetables on top of onions.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.*
Cook noodles according to package directions (in pan on stove top) and drain.
While noodles are cooking, check to make sure chicken in done. (There should be no visible pink, internal temperature should be 165° Fahrenheit/75° Celsius.) Turn crock pot to "warm" setting.
- Turn off crock pot and remove chicken, slice into 1/2 inch slices.
Drain extra liquid in crock pot off of the vegetables and discard.
Toss vegetables, pasta, with remaining pesto(4 tbsp-1/2 cup). (I combine everything in the crock pot that is turned off.)
Serve chicken on a bed of noodles and vegetables. (Serve with extra pesto and grated Parmesan cheese if desired.)
*Each slow cooker tends to cook at a slightly different speed. Watch new recipes closely the first time to find out exactly how long they take to cook to your liking. You should adjust all crock pot recipes for your slow or fast slow cooker.
More Easy Crock Pot Recipes
I love crock pot dinners that require little to no prep. They are perfect for busy days and help keep healthy eating on track. Try these other easy crock pot recipes that are sure to become family favorites:
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