Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta is tender chicken, pasta, tangy sauce and melted cheese all made easy in the slow cooker!
How can I say Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with penne pasta, sauce and cheese is part of a healthier eating plan? I know…with all that melting cheese it looks like a diet destroyer! Part of the answer is using the slow cooker removes the need for butter, oil or breading for cooking the chicken and I used part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Up the healthy ante by serving it with a cup of superfood broccoli florets or your favorite green vegetable. Broccoli only has 30 calories per cup and a great source of potassium and vitamin C.
I have said it before – I am not an expert and do not claim to be a nutritionist but for a hearty and healthier meal this one packs a punch. And FYI – even though the recipe says it serves 8 you could easily stretch it to 10 or 12 servings.
This recipe uses three of my favorite recipe ingredients that are full of flavor and texture and will not tip the calorie scales –
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast – naturally high in protein and low in fat
- Part-skim Mozzarella cheese is only 70 calories per ounce, compared to the whole milk variety that is 85 calories per ounce
- Parmesan cheese – 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan will set you back only 40 calories
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta
- 2 pounds chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 30 ounce tomato sauce 2 (15-ounce) cans
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp basil dried
- 1 tsp parsley dried
- 1 tsp oregano dried
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 16 ounces penne pasta dry
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth divided
- salt and pepper
- 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley optional
- In the slow cooker combine onion, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper as desired, place in the slow cooker, pushing down so chicken is covered with tomato mixture. Cover slow cooker and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours.
- When chicken is cooked (165°F on meat thermometer), remove chicken breasts and allow to cool. Shred chicken into bite size pieces..
- Turn slow cooker to High. Stir in 1 cup of broth and pasta. Cook pasta until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add additional broth in 1/2 cup increments if the sauce becomes too thick.
- Add the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir to coat with sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the pasta mixture. Turn the slow cooker back to Low and cook additional 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
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