This Olive Garden Crock Pot Chicken is the easiest foolproof weeknight dinner. Serve it tossed with pasta or on its own, either way it is delicious. It is loaded with two types of cheese, the famous Olive Garden Italian dressing, and dried herbs. It does not get any simpler.
If you love creamy pastas, try this Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe!
Don't have a crock pot? My Easy Greek Yogurt Chicken is made in the oven.
If you need more ideas, check out 33 Easy Crockpot Boneless Chicken Breast Recipes.
- Perfect easy slow cooker meal
- Loaded with cheese
- Hands off
- Kid friendly
- Used Olive Garden Italian dressing
- Olive Garden Italian Dressing: Swap for any brand of Italian dressing/vinaigrette.
- Pasta: If you want a higher sauce to pasta ratio (saucier pasta), use 12 ounces of pasta. This is what I prefer. There is enough sauce for a full pound (16 ounces) of pasta, it will just be a bit drier.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- Hamilton Beach Portable 6-Quart Set & Forget Digital Programmable Slow Cooker: Any slow cooker will work, but this one is my favorite. I love that it includes a thermometer.
- Silicone Nonstick Mixing Spoons Set: Great heat resistant cooking spoons.
- OXO Good Grips Box Grater: This includes a container to catch the cheese as it is being grated or shredded.
How to Make Olive Garden Chicken in a Crock Pot
- Place most of the ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6.
- Shred the chicken.
- Fold in the pasta and parmesan cheese.
Step by Step
Step 1: Combine the dressing, shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, and black pepper in the slow cooker. Place the chicken in the mixture and then the blocks of cream cheese on top.
Step 2: Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6. The chicken should be falling apart and register at least 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
Step 3: Shred the chicken with two forks and stir.
Step 4: Fold in the pasta and parmesan cheese. Serve with extra parmesan cheese on top.
TIP - Be sure to stir the sauce well so that all of the cheese gets combined.
Make Ahead & Storage
- Refrigerator: Store leftover olive garden chicken pasta in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Heat leftovers up in the microwave in 1 minute increments until heated through.
- Freezer: After step 3, allow the Olive Garden Crock Pot chicken to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Portion the chicken into freezer bags or airtight containers. I recommend freezing it in portions that you plan to eat all at once as thawed & reheated chicken should not be put back into the fridge.
- Reheat: Heat frozen chicken covered over medium heat on the stove. No need to thaw. Stir in cooked pasta and parmesan cheese. Add a splash of chicken broth if the chicken pasta seems dry.
- Use a meat thermometer. Since every slow cooker cooks differently, the best way to ensure the chicken is done, is to use a thermometer. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees. However, the chicken will likely be higher in temperature because you want it to be falling apart.
- Add the parmesan at the end. This prevents the sauce from becoming grainy.
- Cooking the pasta in salted water. For every pound of pasta, 1 Tablespoon of salt should be added to the water.
- This slow cooker Olive Garden chicken does not taste like chicken alfredo. While the pasta is creamy and cheesy, it is tangier than traditional alfredo and less creamy.
- Instant Pot: Place all of the ingredients except the cream cheese, pasta, and parmesan cheese in the pot. Pressure cook on “High” for 15 minutes. Let the pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release. Turn the pot on “Keep Warm”. Shred the chicken. Stir in the cream cheese pieces until melted. Turn the pot off and fold in the parmesan cheese and pasta.
- Low carb/keto: Serve this Olive Garden chicken over zucchini or squash noodles, cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, or its own with vegetables or salad on the side.
- Gluten-free: Feel free to swap the pasta for gluten free pasta. I like the brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
- Greens: 30 minutes before the Olive Garden Crock Pot chicken is done, add a few cups of raw spinach or kale to the slow cooker. It should wilt and reduce in volume significantly. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
- Parmesan Rosemary Bread
- Cheesy Texas Toast
- Simple Kale Salad
No. You can use any brand or kind of zesty Italian vinaigrette/dressing over the chicken.
They actually make and use their own brand of Italian dressing. It is called Olive Garden Signature Italian dressing and can be found at most grocery stores.
Yes. The Italian dressing is salty, tangy, and a little sweet.
No, unfortunately it is not. It contains eggs and milk.
There are mixed opinions on the internet about cooking frozen meat in the slow cooker. According to the USDA, it is best to thaw meat before putting it into the slow cooker because of the risk of food borne illness. I typically err on the side of caution so I would not and do not recommend trying this recipe with frozen chicken.
Chicken will be slightly more moist if cooked on low in the slow cooker. For this recipe, I do not think it makes a difference because of the sauce.
Yes. Just be sure the chicken is thawed before putting it in the slow cooker. The slow cooker is perfectly safe for cooking raw meat.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts take anywhere from 2-4 hours on high. It is best to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees.
Olive Garden Crock Pot Chicken
- 1 bottle (16 ounces) bottle , Olive Garden Italian Dressing
- 1 shallot, diced
- ½ lemon, zested & juiced
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- 12-16 ounces dry short cut pasta, prepared according to the package instructions*
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Combine the dressing, shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, and pepper in the slow cooker. Place the chicken in the mixture and top with the cream cheese pieces.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6. The chicken should be falling apart and register at least 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
- Shred the chicken with two forks and stir.
- Fold in the pasta and parmesan cheese. Serve with extra parmesan cheese on top.
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