I love pesto. I love the way it looks, and I love the way it tastes. I love it in pasta, I love it spread over crusty bread, and I love it on chicken. Thankfully my family loves, it, too, and my latest obsession is with the premade, jarred pesto from Costco. It’s so handy to have on hand for quick, easy dinners and appetizers! Just last night I chopped up some leftover pork chops, boiled up bowtie pasta and frozen peas, and tossed it all with pesto and parmesan. It was a hit, and it couldn’t have been more simple.
This Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Pasta was easy, too. I kicked up the green a bit by adding in some frozen spinach, kicked up the flavor with onions and garlic, and I was very happy with the results. My mother-in-law added artichoke hearts and red pepper flakes to hers, which I think sound like great additions.
You can serve this easy chicken dinner with a salad and potatoes as shown in the photo, over pasta, or on a toasted bun with tomato, bacon, and melted cheese. All delicious!
In the same way my freezer always contains frozen meatballs in case I need to whip up my Easy Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a last minute party, I plan to always have pesto in my refrigerator for quick and tasty dinners.
I used my 3.5 Quart Crock-Pot Casserole Slow Cooker to make this Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Chicken, but a smaller-sized oval slow cooker works well, too. (affiliate link)
Crock Pot Pesto Spinach Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup jarred prepared pesto
- a splash of chicken stock or white wine
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, combine thawed and drained spinach, onion, garlic, pesto, and chicken stock or white wine.
- Spread mixture over chicken breasts.
- Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours or on HIGH 4-5 hours.
- Top with parmesan cheese and cover again until melted, about 5 minutes.
This was so delicious, and so fragrant when I came home from work! I did add a jar of artichoke hearts, and added a few red pepper flakes. We had ours over fresh cheese tortellini, topped with Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Everybody ate this right down. It was an easy fix with the pre-made pesto.
Ours turned out pretty watery, probably because I started with frozen chicken breasts. The frozen spinach has a lot of moisture as well. Thanks to Linda’s recommendation, we added artichoke hearts, which I thought was a yummy addition. We served with noodles tossed in olive oil and shaved parm. I would rank this tops on the easy scale and fairly healthy, but just ok on the flavor scale. Maybe because I found the flavor of the spinach to be a little overpowering – it kind of drowned out the pesto. And the consistency wasn’t my favorite. I’m curious how this recipe would do baked in the oven. If I made again, I would probably try to make some adjustments.
I thought this chicken has great flavor. It was a yummy pesto and spinach dish. However, I had read over Linda’s review and thought I’d serve this over penne (since she did pasta too) and since there was some juices in the bottom I thought, “Hey that will work as sauce.” (I know stupid pregnancy brain)…. it did not. We had delicious chicken on a bed of tasteless pasta. I am reheating the chicken tonight and serving with mashed potatoes. I used a whole jar (small size 8 oz.) of Pesto and a small package of frozen spinach that had been defrosted and drained really well of liquid. I dumped in a little white wine… but really I am not sure it needed it. I also used 5 chicken breasts but other than that followed the recipe.
My family really liked this chicken, and I loved how easy it was to throw together. Winner, winner, chicken for dinner!