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Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta

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Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta: A Flavorful Italian-Inspired Delight

Indulge in the rich and savory flavors of Italy with our Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta recipe. Inspired by the beloved flavors of the famous restaurant chain, this dish combines tender chicken, creamy sauce, and perfectly cooked pasta for a meal that’s sure to delight your taste buds. With the convenience of a slow cooker, you can set it and forget it, allowing the flavors to meld together into a comforting and satisfying dish. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to make this Italian-inspired masterpiece!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Olive Garden Italian Dressing
  • 1/4 cup Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Black Pepper
  • 8 oz. Block of Cream Cheese
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
  • Rotini Pasta, already cooked

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Lightly grease the inside of your slow cooker to prevent sticking.
  2. Add Chicken to Slow Cooker: Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker in a single layer.
  3. Pour Dressing Over Chicken: Pour the Olive Garden Italian Dressing evenly over the chicken breasts.
  4. Season with Pepper: Sprinkle black pepper over the chicken breasts to taste.
  5. Cook on Low: Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  6. Shred Chicken: Once the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred it directly in the slow cooker.
  7. Add Cream Cheese: Cut the block of cream cheese into cubes and add them to the slow cooker. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated into the sauce.
  8. Add Parmesan Cheese: Sprinkle freshly shredded Parmesan cheese over the chicken and sauce mixture. Stir to combine.
  9. Add Cooked Pasta: Add the already cooked rotini pasta to the slow cooker and stir until it is evenly coated with the sauce.
  10. Serve: Once everything is heated through and well combined, serve the Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Vegetables: For added nutrition and flavor, consider adding diced bell peppers, onions, or spinach to the slow cooker along with the chicken.
  • Spice it Up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish the finished dish with freshly chopped parsley or basil for a burst of freshness.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute the rotini pasta with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a low-carb alternative.
  • Use a low-carb Italian dressing or make your own keto-friendly version using olive oil, vinegar, and Italian seasoning.
  • Opt for full-fat cream cheese and Parmesan cheese to keep the dish keto-friendly.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Replace the pasta with shirataki noodles or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Choose a low-carb Italian dressing with minimal added sugars and carbohydrates.
  • Use a combination of almond milk and cream cheese as a substitute for the cream cheese to reduce the carb content further.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use frozen chicken breasts? A: Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts in this recipe. Simply increase the cooking time by 1-2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.

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Q: Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? A: Absolutely! Chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts for a richer flavor. Adjust the cooking time as needed to ensure they are cooked through.

Q: Can I cook the pasta in the slow cooker? A: It’s best to cook the pasta separately according to package instructions and then add it to the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking to prevent it from becoming mushy.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the sauce and chicken mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Simply reheat it in the slow cooker before adding the cooked pasta.

Savor the taste of Italy with our Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta recipe. With its creamy sauce, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked pasta, it’s a dish that’s sure to transport you to the heart of Italy with every bite. Whether enjoyed for a cozy family dinner or shared with friends at a gathering, this Italian-inspired delight is guaranteed to be a hit. So dust off your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a taste of la dolce vita with our delicious Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta!