Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta

4.16 from 256 votes

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Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta is loaded with Italian seasoned shredded chicken and pasta tossed together in a creamy tomato sauce. Add this to your dinner rotation! Set it, forget it and enjoy it! While you have extra time on your hands (thanks to your Crockpot cooking away!) check out this lighter version of a copycat Olive Garden classic…Olive Garden Chicken Pasta.

italian chicken pasta with garnish on top in a bowl

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This recipe for Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta has turned into a staple at our house, mostly because it takes so little time to throw together and we ALL love it! Win, Win! This is not an ordinary chicken pasta recipe, this is a delicious slow-cooked crockpot chicken pasta recipe. With a handful of ingredients and a tiny bit of time, you’ll have dinner cooking all day and ready when everyone’s hungry.

Love Chicken Pasta? Try these out next: Creamy Pesto Alfredo Chicken Pasta, Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti RecipeGarlic Chicken & Kale Spaghetti, and Buffalo Chicken & Blue Cheese Fettuccine Alfredo.

crockpot italian chicken pasta

What Chicken is Best for Shredding?

I would recommend using chicken without the bone to save you time. If that’s all you have, you can use it, just don’t forget to remove the bones when shredding. For this recipe, I used chicken tenders. You can also use boneless chicken breasts or thighs.

Pro-Tip: For shredding chicken, I like to use my stand mixer or electric hand mixer! I throw the cooked chicken in to a bowl (even while its still hot!) and let the paddle attachment or beaters do the shredding. It works like a dream and gives you perfectly shredded chicken in just about 30 seconds!

How to Make Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta

For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is step by step what you can expect when making this recipe:

crockpot italian chicken pasta ingredients

Layer Ingredients into Cold Crockpot

Add diced onion, garlic, chicken tenders or breasts, cream cheese, marinara sauce, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and salt/pepper into a cold crockpot. Lots of Italian Seasonings vary! Pick one you like, or use your own combination of basil, oregano and thyme.

Pro Tip: spread a bit of marinara sauce down on the bottom of the crockpot before layering the chicken. This helps prevent sticking. Proceed to add in the rest of the ingredients).

Cover + Cook on High

Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours. If your crockpot runs hot, you might want to check the chicken for doneness at 2 1/2 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, remove, shred and return back to crockpot. At this point remove the bay leaves as well.

Stir to melt cream cheese into sauce completely.

Add Cooked Pasta to Crockpot

You can use any sort of pasta here. I used Gemelli pasta noodles. I wouldn’t recommend adding pasta to your crockpot mixture while everything is cooking, it turns out gummy and gross. Always prepare pasta separately then mix together once the sauce is done.

Side Dishes

This is a heavy on the carb and fats kind of dinner. So if you are looking to lighten things up, try these healthy side dishes that pair perfectly with chicken pasta.


Any chicken pasta leftovers you might have can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave in intervals, occasionally stirring until heated through.

Tips for Cooking Crockpot Recipes

  • Know your Crockpot! Some run hot, some run cold. This is largely dependent on when it was manufactured and how well it has lasted. If you have an older slow cooker, those tend to run real HOT! Knowing your Crockpot can help you with your cooking times and knowing when your food is done. You don’t want your dinner to scorch the bottom, so cook a few things first to get to know your crockpot.
  • Be careful when cooking with dairy. This chicken pasta recipe calls for cream cheese. If left too long in the crockpot at too high of a heat, it will curdle. The same goes for milk, cream, or greek yogurt. If you’re worried about curdling because your crockpot runs hot, try cooking at the low setting for a longer period of time OR stir the dairy in at the end. For this recipe, once you shred the chicken and add it back into the marinara, stir in the cream cheese and melt it into the sauce. It should work just as well!
  • Use the right Crockpot size. From 2 to 8 1/2 quarts, there seems to be a Crockpot for every recipe out there! A good rule of thumb is only filling it 1/2 to 2/3’s full to ensure proper cooking.

More Crockpot Recipes to Love!

If you devoured this Chicken Pasta as my family did, you’ll love these other crockpot recipes.

The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day!

Crockpot Italian chicken pasta
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4.16 from 256 votes

Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta

Crockpot Italian Chicken Pasta Recipe is shredded chicken and pasta tossed together in a creamy tomato sauce. Set it, forget it and enjoy it! Add this to your dinner rotation.
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.25 pounds chicken tenders raw
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 25 oz marinara sauce one jar
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb pasta I used Gemelli pasta noodles
  • 1 tbsp basil fresh, chiffonade for garnish (optional)


  • Add diced onion, garlic, chicken breasts, cream cheese, marinara sauce, and seasonings into a cold crockpot.**
    italian chicken pasta ingredients in a crockpot
  • Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours. If your crockpot runs hot, you might want to check the chicken for doneness at 2 1/2 hours.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove, shred and return back to crockpot. At this point remove the bay leaves as well. Stir to melt cream cheese into sauce completely.
    shredded chicken in a crockpot with marinara sauce
  • Toss with freshly cooked pasta, garnish with fresh basil and serve.
    italian chicken pasta with garnish on top in a bowl



*Lots of Italian Seasonings vary! Pick one you like, or use your own combination of basil, oregano and thyme.
**Here’s a helpful tip from a reader, spread a bit of marinara down on the bottom of the crockpot before layering the chicken. This helps prevent sticking. Proceed to add in the rest of the ingredients.


Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 687mg | Potassium: 760mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 975IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: chicken pasta, crockpot pasta, italian chicken pasta

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Recipe Rating

243 Responses
  1. Julie

    5 stars
    I have made this several times now and my family loves it! So delicious for being so simple and using ingredients I always have on hand. Cream cheese in pasta dishes = huge win! Thanks Lauren!

  2. Sommer

    I plan on trying this soon! I love coming home after a long day at work to the smell of food in the crock pot and no cooking when I get home ????

  3. Alicia

    I’ve made this recipe a couple times now and it’s always a hit with my family! I leave out the onion because of my picky eaters and usually use frozen chicken breast and cook on low until chicken is cooked through. It’s perfect everytime!

  4. Lauren

    I did everything as instructed but the recipe turned out bland and watery. Any suggestions to improve it? I don’t want to throw it away!

  5. Cathy

    Lauren, this was fantastic! I added some peas, and was thinking broccoli might be good too. It’s going to be my new go to for meals to bring for others. Thanks!

  6. Diana

    I misread the recipe….i added all the ingredients as instructed…INCLUDING the uncooked pasta! Did I just ruin my meal?

    I later noticed you add the cooked ingredients to the past later.

    I literally just started and am hoping everything will cook.

  7. Autumn

    This was really good. My family really loved it. I have one that can be picky and she even liked it. I added 1/2 of a red bell pepper chopped with my onion and garlic mainly because we like it and it was super good. Thanks for the recipe.

        1. Rachel

          You can use precooked chicken, just forgo the crock pot. Saute’ the onion and garlic add all other ingredients besides chicken and melt together in a saucepan. Shred and add your precooked chicken. (FYI – I shred all my cooked chicken in my kitchen aid with the paddle attachment. It’s way fast and easy.) Add the cooked pasta and mix it all together!

        2. Tiffany M Neville

          I know some recipes you can cook the pasta in the Crock-Pot adding it in towards the end of the cook time. Would that work with this recipe?

    1. Susan

      So glad someone asked to clarify what “chicken tenders” were in the comments- I was confused too! Found them right next to chx breast as advised in your reply. I’m making it as we speak and super excited!

  8. Allie

    Made this last night. DELICIOUS!! I’ll just add this to the long list of your other recipes we love! This was definitely kid approved–made me so happy!! (I did refer to it as “Ketchup Pasta” though.) 😉 Thank you!!

  9. Southwest Crockpot Egg Noodle Casserole | Lauren's Latest

    […] got another cream-cheese-filled dinner for ya today! Remember this Italian Crockpot Recipe? Well, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from that, so I decided to throw cream cheese […]

    1. Lee

      Adding the cream cheese is mentioned twice in the recipe, so it is a bit confusing,
      I’d also like to add that the comment portion of this page is meant for people to ask questions and share ideas. If you want people to follow you and make your awesome recipes, I would consider changing your tone when responding to people and actually answer their questions. I have to say, your response about the bay leaf was unnecessary and childish. :/ .

      1. Cheryl

        Adding the cream cheese is only mentioned once. The second time cream cheese is mentioned, it doesn’t say to add the cream cheese. It is telling you to stir the shred the chicken and MELT the cream cheese which will help blend any remaining chunks of cream cheese into the sauce.

        I also want to point out that it was someone named LANA and not the blogger Lauren who rudely answered the question about the bay leaves.

          1. Lauren

            I have tested this recipe by adding extra water and the uncooked pasta, but didn’t love the finished product and how starchy it tasted.

  10. Laura

    What do you think about cutting the cream cheese in half?
    Why did you change your mind about adding cream cheese to anything?

    1. Lauren

      You could cut the amount of cream cheese in half, but you might have to also use less pasta because that is taking away from the amount of sauce there will be.

      I changed my mind about the cream cheese because I had a few blocks in my fridge that just weren’t getting used, so I decided to throw them into a few recipes and turns out CREAM CHEESE IS AMAZING.

      1. Krysten

        4 stars
        Ho about just nicely answering the question? Most good recipes will indicate to remove the bay leaves before consuming. This looks like a good recipe and I am trying it out today. If people are concerned about it being watery – try adding some or all of the uncooked pasta. I am not doing that this round. I like to try recipes as written before dinking around with them and making them my own.

        Myranda, I plan to remove my bay leaves. I am trying the recipe today. 🙂

        Another tip I would offer readers is to spread some of the marinara on the bottom of the crockpot before placing the (raw) chicken tenderloins on top. Then, pour the remaining marinara over the chicken. This way the chicken does not stick to the pot and dry out on the bottom. Also, crockpot liners are your friend. 🙂

        1. Greg

          Alright well I just wasted alot of money on my recipe because I crunched up my bay leaves and sprinkled them in little did I know bay leaves are supposed to be taken out I’ve never cooked with them I’m still learning. You didn’t state at all in your description to take out the bay leaves you just stated to add them and then later on you said mix everything so I had no idea and I crunched them up and sprinkled them in as peices can is till eat this ??? If not then yeah I wasted all that food and money……..