Crock pot chicken alfredo is an easy to make, healthy family dinner. Creamy dairy free alfredo sauce makes this recipe absolutely delicious!
Mark this recipe under immediate family favorite! How often can you find a recipe that your entire family will eat?
This recipe is it for us! I love that it's a healthy chicken alfredo pasta made in the crock pot (who doesn't love one pot meals?)
When the weather turns cooler and activities and school start back up, easy healthy weeknight dinners are where it's at for me! This recipe wins major brownie points for also making a ton!
I adapted the healthy alfredo sauce to be dairy free, however I will give directions on how to make this recipe with dairy if you would prefer. This recipe is very similar to Olive Garden's chicken alfredo recipe, but dairy free!
Another Easy Weeknight Meal - Walking Taco Casserole!
How To Make Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce
Making dairy free alfredo sauce is a lot easier than you might think and according to my husband, "tastes like the real thing." To make dairy free alfredo sauce, you make the following substitutions:
- use raw, soaked cashews instead of heavy cream
- nutritional yeast takes the place of parmesan cheese
Add cashews to a bowl of water and soak them overnight. In the morning, add cashews, 1 cup of the cashew soaking water and a large onion and garlic cloves to a food processor and process.
What makes this alfredo sauce healthy?
It's hard to actually think that alfredo sauce can be healthy! This recipe has some amazing ingredients that make it much healthier than you would expect.
Cashews are really great for you - Bulletproof listed out the top 7 nutritional benefits of cashews. Nutritional yeast is thought to have major health benefits as well in addition to parsley (which I use as a garnish!) which has a significant amount of Vitamin K, along with other potential health benefits.
How can I make healthy alfredo sauce?
If cashew alfredo sauce is not your thing, you can make healthy alfredo sauce using lightened up ingredients! Use reduced fat milk, Neufchatel cheese or Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Alfredo Pasta in the Slow Cooker
Making chicken alfredo in the crockpot is super simple! Gather up these ingredients and check out the recipe below:
- raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
- garlic cloves
- penne pasta
- fresh parsley
- salt + pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- low sodium chicken broth
- penne pasta
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Once you have your ingredients set up, it's time to begin cooking the chicken in alfredo sauce.
Season your chicken breasts (Butcher Box is my favorite meat supplier!) with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Pour in half of the alfredo sauce, 4 cups of chicken broth, 4 tablespoon of ghee, 2 smashed garlic cloves and a pinch of salt and pepper into slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours.
Remove the chicken and cover with foil. Add the pasta and cook on high for 30 minutes.
Once the pasta is cooked, add the chicken back in and garnish with parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
A Few Frequently Asked Questions About Making Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo?
Can I put dry pasta in the slow cooker?
I too have wondered how to cook pasta in a slow cooker. The first thing to remember when making pasta in the crock pot is to select the right type of pasta.
I've found that penne works best due to it's rigid nature. If you look at any of the pasta shapes, try to pick one similar to penne which is sturdier and has a longer cooking time.
In this chicken alfredo crock pot recipe you add the pasta after the chicken cooks in the homemade alfredo sauce. It takes about 30 minutes for the dry pasta to cook in the crock pot.
Do I need to thicken the chicken alfredo sauce?
The chicken alfredo sauce will be very runny when you add it to the slow cooker and once the chicken cools. However, once you cook the pasta in the slow cooker it thickens up quite nicely.
I even reserved a bit of the cashew soaking water to add to the dairy free alfredo sauce to thin it slightly after I mixed everything together.
Can I use frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot?
I used chicken breast that had defrosted for this healthy chicken alfredo recipe. I'm not a huge fan of cooking frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot as I've found their texture to be less than optimal.
I've also run into issues with the center not cooking. I recommend thawed chicken breasts for the slow cooker.
Can I make this slow cooker chicken alfredo with jar sauce?
You can substitute jar sauce for the homemade alfredo sauce recipe I share in this post. I like to make my own sauce so I can control what ingredients I'm using and it also helps me with my grocery budget!
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Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce
- 8 oz raw cashews
- 2 cups water
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves grated
Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo Ingredients
- 8 oz penne pasta
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breasts about 3 chicken breasts
- 4 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
- 4 tablespoon ghee
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- fresh parsley as garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- onion and garlic powder for seasoning chicken
Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce Instructions
- Soak cashews in water overnight.
- Saute onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon ghee until sweated and slightly caramelized. Add to food processor.
- Add soaked cashews plus 1 cup of soaking water into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add salt + pepper to taste. Add additional cashew soaking water if mixture seems too thick.
Healthy Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo Instructions
- Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, pepper and onion powder. Add to slow cooker. Add in chicken broth and ½ of the alfredo sauce. Add in 4 tablespoon ghee and sprinkle with salt + pepper. Cook on low for 3 hours or until chicken registers 165F on an instant read thermometer.
- Once chicken is cooked, set aside on a plate and tent with foil. Add penne to crock pot (the alfredo sauce should still be in there) and cook on high for 30 minutes. Add additional cashew soaking water and alfredo sauce if mixture seems too thick or you need more.
- Once penne is cooked, slice chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to slow cooker. Mix to incorporate sauce and garnish with parsley and additional salt + pepper if desired.