Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken With Lemon

Make some juicy pesto chicken for dinner tonight! The great thing about this slow cooker pesto chicken is that it can be used to complete a variety of different dinners—serve with pasta, on sliders, or with rice on the side. Whatever option you choose, it is delicious!

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slow cooker pesto chicken

Pesto Chicken Ingredients

You’ll just need 4 main ingredients to make this slow cooker pesto chicken:

Chicken breasts – You’ll want to use two 8-9 oz chicken breasts. Trim away any excess fat or skin before using them!

Chicken broth – Just 1/4 cup will keep the chicken nice and juicy, while also adding extra flavor!

Pesto – Use your favorite pesto, because this will greatly impact the final flavor of the chicken! I love Trader Joes’ Genova Pesto.

Lemon – You’ll just need a few slices nestled in with the other ingredients.

You’ll also need a dash of salt and pepper to complete it!

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slow cooker pesto chicken

Save this recipe for later by pinning to Pinterest

How to Make Crockpot Pesto Chicken

Making this chicken is sooo easy. This is a great dump-and-go recipe—perfect for a weeknight when you don’t have much time to cook!

Step 1: Season Chicken

Trim the chicken breasts. Rub with salt and pepper, then place in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Step 2: Add Other Ingredients

Pour in the chicken broth, then add the pesto. Smear some of the pesto on top the chicken, and mix the rest of it with the broth.

Finally, nestle in a few lemon slices.

assembling pesto chicken in crockpot

Step 3: Cook

Put that lid on and let it cook! I highly recommend you cook this on low for 2 hours (or until the chicken reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

pesto chicken after cooking 2 hours

I know a lot of recipes say you can just leave chicken in the crockpot all day, but I have never found this to work out well. The chicken often turns out dry – because it is overcooked!

So make sure you only cook it until it registers 165 degrees.

Finally, once it is done, taste the chicken and add more salt, lemon, etc. to your liking!

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to taste your pesto for saltiness before using it in the recipe. I added a full teaspoon of salt because my pesto wasn’t super salty. However, I’ve tried other pestos that are very salty. If you think yours is like that, better to leave some of the salt out and add more after the cooking is done if needed.
  • At the end of cooking, taste and adjust seasonings! Besides the salt, you can also add more pepper, fresh lemon juice, or even a little more pesto.
slow cooker pesto chicken

Serving and Storage

You can serve this chicken a variety of ways. I left the baseline recipe very simple so you can pick and choose how you want to serve it! Here are my favorite ideas:

  • Serve on top of buttered pasta and top with parmesan or mozzarella
  • Serve on top of white rice
  • Make pesto chicken sliders (a huge hit at a party, and also for dinner!)
  • Slice the chicken breasts rather than shred them, and serve with veggies (drizzle the sauce over everything)

Make-Ahead Option/Freezing

Another thing I love about this recipe is that it is perfect for making ahead—as weekly meal prep or longer term freezer storage.

Just discard the lemon slices and package up the chicken in a freezer bag or freezer container! Don’t forget to label the bag.

Or, if you want to use this throughout the week for lunches, portion out the chicken into air-tight containers with other ingredients.

This is where you can really get creative with the serving, like we just talked about above. If you make some lunches with the rice, some with the pasta, and some with a hawaiian roll, you’re less likely to get bored from eating the same chicken!

slow cooker pesto chicken

More Chicken Recipes:

If you like this recipe, here are some other ones to try next:

Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken

Recipe by RachelCourse: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

2

hours 
Total time

2

hours 

10

minutes

Make some juicy pesto chicken for dinner tonight! The great thing about this slow cooker pesto chicken is that it can be used to complete a variety of different dinners—serve with pasta, on sliders, or with rice on the side. Whatever option you choose, it is delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (8-9 oz each)

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

  • 3 oz pesto

  • 2 lemon slices

Directions

  • Place chicken breasts into the crockpot and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken broth, pesto, and 2 thin lemon slices to the crockpot (save the rest of the lemon for later). For the pesto, I like to smear some on top the chicken and then mix the rest in with the sauce.
  • Cover and cook for 2 hours on low, or until the chicken registers 165 degrees.
  • Shred chicken with 2 forks or use your desired method.
  • Mix everything well and season with more salt and lemon juice to taste.
  • Serve on sliders, with pasta, or however you’d like! Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • I used Trader Joes Genova Pesto. You can use any pesto you’d like, but look out for salt content. The pesto I used isn’t super salty. If yours is, you may not want to put a full teaspoon in at the beginning.
  • At the end of cooking, taste and adjust seasoning. You can add more salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, or even a little more pesto.
  • This chicken freezes very well—you can easily double or triple the recipe to meal prep! After it is cooked and shredded, simply add to freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 4 months.

Conclusion

Crockpot pesto chicken makes for the perfect easy dinner on a weeknight! The lemon adds an extra punch of flavor, but the pesto does most of the heavy lifting. You’re left with a delicious main dish that has tons of serving options. Enjoy!

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