Slow Cooker Kickin’ Chicken Pasta
This creamy, hearty Slow Cooker Kickin’ Chicken Pasta is decadent and flavorful with the perfect spicy kick. Even better? It’s incredibly easy. You basically just toss some ingredients in the slow cooker and it makes itself! If you’re still not convinced, a filling 1 1/3 cup serving is just 359 calories or 8 Green, 7 Blue or 3 Purple Weight Watchers SmartPoints! To view your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here! Trust me, you won’t believe it. This pasta tastes super indulgent and the cheesy, spicy sauce is so good you’ll want to lick the bowl clean! I’m not going to pretend I didn’t use my finger to mop up some extra sauce from my bowl. Manners be darned.
This Slow Cooker Kickin’ Chicken Pasta would be an amazing weeknight meal since the chicken and sauce can cook while you’re at work and when you get home you’ll just have to toss in the cheeses and pasta and cook for a bit more. This dish would also be great for company because it’s so flavorful that no one will believe it’s light! Plus, since the preparation is very hands-off it frees you up to make side dishes or dessert or tidy up before your guests arrive. You know when you try a recipe and immediately know it’s going to be added to the regular rotation? This Slow Cooker Kickin’ Chicken Pasta is one of those recipes.
Looking for more tasty lightened up slow cooker recipes? Check out my Slow Cooker Apple Bacon BBQ Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup,Slow Cooker Mustard Rubbed Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Meatballs and Marinara, Slow Cooker Beef Stew,Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken, Slow Cooker Applesauce, Slow Cooker White Bean Soup, Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli, Slow Cooker Beef Braciole, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef, Slow Cooker Taco Chili and many more in the Slow Cooker category of my recipe index!
Slow Cooker Kickin' Chicken Pasta
- 1 lb raw boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot, or similar hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 10 oz dry linguine pasta, use whole wheat pasta if following the myWW Purple plan
- Place the chicken, zucchini, onion, garlic, chicken broth, tomato sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and basil into your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.
- Turn the slow cooker to high if it isn’t already. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred using two forks (should shred very easily). Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the cream cheese cubes and shredded Parmesan. Add the linguine (break up if necessary) and make sure it is covered by the liquid. Replace the lid and cook on high for 45 minutes or until the pasta is cooked, stirring every 15-20 minutes or so to break up the pasta.
9 per (1 1/3 cups) serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com) adapted from Slow Cooker Gourmet
Yum! This is immediately on my list to make next week, I can’t wait! Thank you!
I hope you love it, Lisa!
This sounds very tasty & E-Z. I’ll use the ‘quicker’ version (3-4 hrs.) I plan to use ‘whole grain’ linguine, but I’ll cook it separately (drain & rinse it before adding it back into the slow cooker), since I want to eliminate the excess starch. By doing so, how much less chicken broth should I use in Step #1…. one cup? We like a little ‘heat’ in our food, but not too much, so I’ll use EITHER the hot sauce, or the crushed red pepper flakes, but not both. I’m sure we’ll enjoy this dish.
Hi Angelina, I really can’t say for sure in regards to the changes you want to make – you may just have to experiment! I have only made this cooking the pasta in the slow cooker. I will say it really isn’t too spicy with both the hot sauce and the crushed red pepper (the cheeses make it milder), but feel free to make any adaptations that work for you. Enjoy!
Do you think that Tapatio would work as a substitute for the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce? My husband doesn’t like the vinegar taste of Frank’s style hot sauces.
I’ve never heard of Tapito so I’m not sure!
Sounds good, making it tomorrow. What size slow cooker did you use?
I think mine is a 5 QT?
Omg this was sooooooo delicious!!! I followed the recipe exactly except for the cooking time once the pasta was added. Up on high I found my pasta was cooked after 30 minutes instead of 45. (It is key to stir the pasta a few times to avoid/break up the clumps). I also used Sirracha, but that’s a form of hot sauce, right??? I will definitely be making this again & again!
So glad it was a hit!! 🙂
You’ve done it again!!! This is so amazing! I made it this weekend and can’t stop eating it. Made it exactly like the recipe and it’s perfect. Some of my pasta stuck together but I just seperated it with a fork and all is well. This will definitely be made again and again. Thank you!!
Yay! I’m thrilled that you loved it, thanks for telling me!
Oh this looks so delicious! I know what I’m going to make for diner tonight. If I’m feeling energetic I might serve with zoodles to cut the points down, have you tried it that way? I’m guessing I would need to reduce the amount of broth.
Wanted to let you know I found your site on WW Connect and will be back, your recipes look amazing!
Nope, I’ve never tried it with zoodles. Let me know how it goes!
Yeah this was a really tasty meal! Perfect amount of spice and cheese. Thank you!!!
Glad you liked it!
I made this recipe last night for supper and it was a HUGE hit with everyone – husband and two teenagers. Even the super picky eater ate two bowls. Thanks Emily! I love all the recipes I have made from your site (I have made a lot) and I don’t usually comment but when the picky eater even likes it – well that is saying something!
That IS saying something! I’m so thrilled everyone liked it – thanks for letting me know!
I made this recipe last night and it was so yummy! I made one slight change – I swapped asparagus for zucchini (the hubs isn’t a big fan). There are so many leftovers! Looking forward to making this again.
I’m so happy you liked it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
This was AH-mazing!! My husband refused to believe this was a “healthy” recipe because of how creamy and good it was. I loved how easy it was, and we both loved the flavor. I cut back a bit on the Frank’s since I can’t handle the heat, but it had just the right amount of flavor to pack a punch. Great job with this one!
I’m so happy you loved it!! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Amazing! Excellent flavored, easy to cook, and not too spicy while still having a kick. Another great success! Thanks so much for the recipe.
I’m so happy you loved it! 🙂
Can you use frozen chicken breasts or do you need thawed? I forgot to take them out this morning & want to throw it in @ lunch time.
I’ve never used frozen breasts for this so I can’t say for sure. Let me know how it turns out!
I was so excited to make this! I made it on Sunday and it was good, but I don’t know if I am going to make it again. There was something I didn’t love about it. BF didn’t love it either and the leftovers don’t re-heat well at all. The pasta is super mushy.
I’m so bummed to hear that, Sarah! Everyone else I’ve heard from who has made this has loved it (including me and my husband), and I actually loved the leftovers! I know not every recipe can be for every person, but I’m sorry to hear this one wasn’t for you. :/
I don’t know if it was the pasta I used (Ronzoni 150) or what but this recipe came out very starchy and just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. It was good, but not great. My husband wasn’t crazy about it either. Again, I’m thinking maybe it was the pasta I used because I followed the recipe exactly.
Hm, I’m guessing maybe you’re right! If you decide to try it again I would recommend using regular linguine rather than a low cal or wheat pasta. I used Barilla. I’m sorry you didn’t love it!
I would really like to try this, but generally I do not like pasta cooked in the slow cooker. If I were to cook the pasta separately and then just add it to the sauce before serving, do you know if there are any changes I should make? Reduce the liquid, perhaps?
Hi Ashley, I’m sorry but I have only made the recipe the way I’ve written it. If you’d like to make adaptations you’re probably going to have to experiment a little because I haven’t tried it that way. I’m guessing you’ll want to use less liquid but as for quantities, I really can’t say since I didn’t try it. Let me know how it works out!
I just made this and the sauce was really delicious but I’m not sure where I went wrong. When I put the pasta in, the sauce wouldn’t really cover the noodles. I followed the measurements you used and everything but there just seemed to be not enough sauce. But it was still so tasty! Thank you for the amazing recipe. Ill be making it again soon to figure out where I went wrong.
I made this over the weekend and followed the recipe exactly. Not sure what went wrong, but it got very thick and “gummy” (as my husband described it). I enjoyed it and I’m eating the leftovers for lunch. Was not a hit with the family because of the gumminess. I think next time I will try a little less cream cheese and see if that helps…and maybe I cooked the noodles too long. Regardless, I loved it – I may not be able to please the whole family, but I can please myself!! LOL
Made this today and one word YUMMY! Put in my chicken breasts frozen and added everything else (i did forget the pepper flakes). I used whole wheat linguine and it turned out fabulous! It’s another keeper
Is this dish too spicy for a 4 and 2 yr old?
I would say yes unless you cut back on the hot sauce and maybe ditched the red pepper flakes. I think it would still be great though!
Made this and me and my husband LOVED it! The first time I followed the recipe exactly, and like others, the pasta soaked up all the juice and made it very thick and hard to eat (leftovers weren’t great-it was a blob). But I made it again last night and cooked the pasta seperate and threw it in the slow cooker only for a few minutes and that did the trick for me!
It’s a favorite now!
Question, how did you calculate the points? When I used the nutrition you have listed, it came up as 10 points per serving in the weight watchers app. Just wondering 🙂
Love all your recipes Emily!!
Hi Catherine, I’m glad you liked it and made it work for you!
I use the WW recipe builder to calculate the SPs. One of the changes Weight Watchers made in the switch to SmartPoints is that the recipe builder no longer counts the values of 0 SP foods (like fruits and vegetables) when determining the final SP value for a recipe. Therefore, the SPs you get from the recipe builder may not match the SPs you get from running the nutrition information through the Weight Watchers SP calculator, because the nutrition information will contain the calories, etc from the zero point foods. Hope that helps!
That totally makes sense–thanks Emily!!
I made this today, very good. Due to my younger sons health issues, I reduced the pasta to 5 oz wheat pasta and 1 zucchini spiralized. I cooked the pasta separate and 5 min before pasta some, I tossed in the zucchini with the rest of the mix. I would do one less cup chicken broth next time since I did pasta separate. This was delicious. Thank you for the great recipe!
I’m so glad you liked it and found a way to make it work for your family 🙂
I made this and it came out delicious. I may have added a bit too much pasta. I added 3/4 cop boiling chicken broth at about the last 20 minutes and that worked Just fine. I will be making this one again!
This is so amazing! I have made it several times and hubby and I love it!
I’m so happy you love it!
Followed the recipe and measurements exactly, but, as others wrote in there was not enough sauce to cover the linguine. I had to keep adding water and chicken broth to cover it. Any suggestions?
I made this tonight, Emily, and like all your recipes, it did not disappoint! I followed your recipe exactly, except I diced the zucchini to hide it from my husband (yep–like a child. Ha!). He loved it, too. I’ve never commented, but I wanted to send you a long overdue thank you for all the yumminess you’ve brought into my life!
I want to nominate you for person of the year! This was THAT amazing!
Pressure cooker for the win!!!!
Used cavatappi pasta.
Used the sauté function to sauté the onion zucchini and garlic. Seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper. Added to pot 2 minutes per side, then dumped in all the other ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese.
High Pressure 6 minutes, mixed release, burst then Natural, burst then natural until all the pressure is out (this is a setting choice on my pot).
Aw, you’re the sweetest 🙂
Thanks for posting your adaptation for pressure cookers. I don’t have one yet but everyone keeps asking me about it so I’m sure people will find this helpful!
Only 1 question……doesn’t the zucchini get mushy from cooking for that long? I really dislike mushy veggies. I think I am going to try this next week and see if I need to make any modifications.
Hello, Emily! I just made this and it tastes good! However, it is still too soupy. Any suggestions on how to thicken it? Thank you!
Hello, Emily! I just made this and the taste is good; however, it is too soupy! Any suggestions on how to thicken it? Thank you!
I made this last night sans the slow cooker! It was great and the servings are huge! The sauce was too runny since I didn’t use the slow cooker so a little cornstarch was all it needed. I would highly reccomend!
Hi! When I entered the nutritional value on WW, it said 10 points not 8?
Hi Emily, the best way to calculate points for a recipe is to use the recipe builder. Zeto point ingredients like tomato sauce and zucchini still have calories, carbs etc so you will often get a different result entering the nutrition information than you will using the recipe builder.
This sounds awesome! Do you know how many freestyle points it would be?
The points are listed at the end of the recipe 🙂
How many freestyle points is this?
The WW Freestyle SmartPoints are listed at the end of every recipe!
Emily you are fabulous! Thank you for your recipes you are a genius!
Anyone ever use spinach instead of zucchini? If so, what are your thoughts? Thanks!!!!
Did using spinach work? My husband is not a zucchini fan 🙂
How would you modify this recipe for an instapot?
WOW! This was a huge hit with the whole family, including the kids. It’s got a good kick but not too much spice for the little ones. We were a little skeptical as it was cooking, but it all really comes together as sort of a spicy pasta alfredo when you add the final ingredients. Creamy, cheesy, so much flavor!!! You’d never know you’re eating healthy.
I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s one of my favorites! I’m wondering if you know how many points it would be if I left out the pasta? I’m trying to cut out carbs. Thanks!
Delicious and loved by the entire family.
OK I didn’t realize this was a slow cooker I guess until I really looked at it and had bought everything and got ready to cook at 5:00 PM. Although I just did it on the stove with cook shredded chicken and cooked pasta and it was awesome threw in some spinach as well and it was so good. I looked on here for comments of people who did it on the stove but didn’t see any so I figured I would leave a comment to let you know you can do it on the stove and it still tasted amazing.!!! Thanks for the recipe