Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles

From www.foodfanatic.com by Taylor Kiser
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Photo

Saucy, tomato chicken swirling around in a slow cooker with tender-crisp GREEN FOOD.

We’re talking a slow cooker that’s X-PLODING with springy-time veggies like asparagus, broccoli and snap peas which is served OVER springy-time veggies SQUARED, because ZUCCHINI NOODLE TIME.

Zucchini noodles that combine with super fresh, garlicky and herby pesto in the way that basically defines my go-to easy dinners for the past 10 days of my life.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Picture

Slow cookers. Can they really do ANY WRONG? Actually yes. They can. But only when you leave aforementioned cooking device on your counter top ALL WEEK long because your lazy-self just KNOWS that you’re going to want to do a little dig-dig-digin’ into a bowl of creamy pesto, herby tomato chicken and crispy veggies for dinner AGAIN.

And then you try to cook other various meals around it, but the BIG HUGE BEAST of cooking machinery is super in your way which causes mini-tantrums and lots of annoyance. Hi. I’m 5.

But lazy-person-you wins, and it’s STILL sitting on your counter RIGHT NOW.

This could just be me though.

Anyway.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Image

The thing that I think you’re gonna super-like about juicy-tender-chicken that cooks WHILE YOU WORK, which means NO work for you when your busy-hard-working-self comes home and just wants 2 things:

1.       A pan of hazelnut paleo brownies to call your own. (Maybe some paleo chocolate chip cookies too, depending on how your day went?)

2.       Dinner to already be made for you.

And, in that order. Don’t worry, paleo brownies can come. BUT use your strong-will-power muscle and resist for just a FEWWW minutes.

That’s all it’ll take for you to INHALE a bowl that is piled HIGH WITH zucchini noodles and various other feel good-healthy vegetal friends. We don’t mess around here guys. When you’re looking at a nutrition-powerhouse bowl of lean protein and veggie-nums, you can feel 100% okay with the choices that hangry you made when you ate a portion the size of your FACE.

The recipe name SOUNDS fancy. But this slow cooker dinner is NOT one of those fancy-person-restaurant meals where you get 3 bites, leave hungry, and realize you just sold your first born’s college fund to eat some baby-person sized food that you couldn’t even pronounce.

So. I got on tangent when I was about to tell you why you’re going to want to join the ranks of pesto-covered-zucchini noodle fork swirling humans all week long. But, the tangent was kind of just MORE reasons why you should skip whatever dinner plans you had tonight and let the slow cooker do the work for your tired, over-worked self.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Pic

BUT, the reason that I was G-O-I-N-G to say was that we took E-Z recipes to a whole new level of levels and used – GASP – JARRED PESTO SAUCE.

Is that food blogger-who-didn’t-make-own-pesto sauce judgement that I see glimmering in your eyes?

Nope. It’s just excitement.

Because, DEEP DOWN INSIDE your pseudo-judgy thoughts, there is a person that just KNOWS that they would have come home from work, felt the HANGRY and dumped the already-perfectly-blended, creamy pesto sauce all over the fresh, loopy spirals of zucchini noodles and not felt one.bit.guilty.

Sometimes you just need a bowl of green, healthy food that just SPEAKS to your lazy girl’s heart. <3

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Slow Cooker Italian Chicken with Zucchini Noodles Recipe

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Ingredients
For the Chicken:

  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 2 large hot house tomatoes, roughly chopped, about 3 cups chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, about 1 large bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup snap peas, halved

For the Zucchini Noodles:

  • 4 large zucchini squashes, spiralized using the 3mm blade
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup pesto, use your favorite
  • parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • fresh basil, for garnish,chopped or minced

Directions

  1. In the bottom of your slow cooker (mine is 7 quarts) whisk together the chicken broth, tomato paste and Italian seasoning.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and lay them in a single in the slow cooker. Then, add in the chopped tomatoes and spread in an even layer on top of the chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat until the chicken is no longer pink inside, and is tender. This takes about 5-6 hours.
  4. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place onto a plate. Using a potato masher, mash up the tomatoes inside the slow cooker until they are broken down and form a sauce. Add in all the remaining vegetables (not the zucchini!) and stir to coat in the tomato sauce. Add the chicken breast on top of the veggie mixture and cover. Cook until the veggies are tender, about another 45 mins to 1 hour.
  5. When the chicken is almost done cooking, place the zucchini noodles into a colander set over a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt and toss to coat. Let them sit for 20-30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they have released some of their water.
  6. Spread the zucchini noodles onto a large piece of paper towel and pat out as much excess moisture as you can. Then place them into a large bowl and toss to coat evenly with the pesto.
  7. Divide the zucchini noodles between 4 bowls and then place a chicken breast on top. Finally, divide the veggies and tomato sauce over top of all the bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
  8. DEVOUR.

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