Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta – tender chicken, tangy sauce and velvety melted cheese – this easy Italian classic is made completely in the slow cooker, even the pasta!
How can I say Chicken Parmesan with pasta, sauce and cheese is part of a healthier eating plan? I know…with all that melting cheese it looks like a diet destroyer! But part of the answer is that 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 broccoli florets or your favorite green vegetable. Broccoli only has 30 calories per cup and is a great source of potassium and vitamin C.
*Broccoli is not included in the nutrition label included with the recipe below.
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
One bite of this easy cook meal and it will be a new favorite. No more hassle – this Italian classic is made completely in the slow cooker, even the pasta!
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP dried basil
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 TBSP garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp crush red pepper flakes
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 TBSP fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 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 4 hours.
- When chicken is cooked (165 degrees on meat thermometer), remove chicken breasts and allow to cool. Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- Turn slow cooker to high. Add 1 cup of the broth and wait 20 minutes. Add pasta and stir. Cook pasta until tender, about 20 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.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
Note – you may reduce sodium content by using low-sodium tomato sauce and tomato paste
Keywords: chicken,chicken parmesan,pasta,dinner,slow cooker