You know what’s an easy yet tasty gourmet weeknight dinner your family will love? This creamy Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini with tender chicken, cheese tortellini, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes soaking up all those Tuscan-inspired flavors.
Tantalize your taste buds with a savory and easy-to-prepare slow cooker Tuscan chicken pasta recipe that will make your weeknight dinners a delightful experience. Imagine the tender pieces of chicken breast, slowly cooked to perfection with the delicious combination of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and rich Italian flavors. The best part? The slow cooker does all the work for you, making this an ideal, scrumptious meal for even the busiest days.
With just a few simple ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep time, you’re on your way to creating an Italian-inspired masterpiece in your kitchen. The creamy sauce and soft tortellini meld together with the flavors of the chicken, producing a mouthwatering dish that will have your whole family asking for seconds.
Why You’ll Love Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini
- Effortless preparation: Preparing this dish in a crockpot means tossing the ingredients and letting the slow cooker do the work. You don’t have to worry about constantly checking on it, giving you time to focus on other tasks.
- Full of flavor: The blend of Italian herbs, like basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and onion, results in a bold, robust, and tasty meal. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, making each bite a delightful experience.
- Versatile: Feel free to switch up the recipe by using different parts of the chicken. For instance, boneless skinless chicken thighs can be a delicious and flavorful alternative to chicken breasts. You can also experiment with various vegetables, spices, and even types of tortellini to make it your own.
- Crowd-pleaser: Whether hosting a gathering or cooking dinner for your family, this crockpot Tuscan chicken tortellini in its luscious cream sauce will impress your guests. It’s a meal that will be loved by adults and kids alike.
- Chicken broth
- Chicken breasts
- Italian seasoning
- Minced fresh garlic
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Cream cheese
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Fresh spinach
- Cheese tortellini
How to Make Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini
- Step One: Combine the chicken broth, cubed chicken breasts, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic in your Crockpot. Then, cover your Crockpot and set it to cook on HIGH for 2 hours.
- Step Two: Once the 2 hours have passed, gently stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, and tortellini. Be sure to mix everything well to ensure the flavors meld together beautifully.
- Step Three: After incorporating the additional ingredients, cover the Crockpot once again and let it cook for another 30 minutes. This will allow the tortellini to become tender and absorb the flavorful and creamy sauce.
- Step Four: After the 30 minutes are up, gently stir the mixture to make sure everything is evenly combined. Dish it into bowls, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese if desired, and enjoy your delicious dinner!
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- A slow cooker or crockpot: This is the primary equipment you’ll use to cook the dish. It’s ideal because it allows the flavors to meld and the chicken to become tender over a longer period.
- A cutting board and knife: You’ll need this to cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
- A spatula or wooden spoon: A good spatula or wooden spoon will be essential to help you mix and stir the ingredients as you’re cooking. It will enable you to combine everything and make sure it’s all evenly distributed.
- A ladle: For serving the Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini, once ready, will make the process easy and mess-free.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Accurate measuring of ingredients is important for achieving the right balance of flavors in your dish.
What to Serve with Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini
- Garlic Bread: Everyone loves a good slice of warm garlic bread, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to scoop up the tasty sauce from your Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini. You can buy store-bought garlic bread or make your own with a baguette, garlic, butter, and parsley.
- Green Salad: A light and refreshing green salad balances out the richness of the creamy sauce in the Tuscan Chicken Tortellini. Choose your favorite salad greens and toss them with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. Drizzle with a simple lemon vinaigrette to add a zesty kick.
- Roasted Vegetables: Add roasted vegetables alongside your Crockpot dish for extra color, flavor, and nutrients. I like roasted green beans or broccoli. The caramelized flavors from roasting will pair well with the creamy Tuscan sauce.
- Risotto or Orzo: If you want to add more carbs to your meal, consider serving your Tuscan Chicken Tortellini over a bed of risotto or orzo. These Italian-style rice and pasta options will add extra comfort to your meal and can easily be made on the stovetop while your Crockpot does the rest.
Variations and Substitutions
- Protein: While the original recipe calls for chicken, try different proteins such as turkey or tofu for a vegetarian option. Simply adjust the cooking time to suit the protein of your choice.
- Tortellini: Numerous options are available to switch up the tortellini! For instance, you may prefer spinach or chicken tortellini over the classic cheese-filled option.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Not all sun-dried tomatoes are created equal. Trader Joe’s julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil are a delicious choice. However, feel open to explore other brands for a slightly different flavor.
- Greens: If you’re not a fan of spinach, you can swap it out for another leafy green like kale or chard. Just be aware that these alternatives may require a different cooking time to become tender.
- Spices: Swap out the minced garlic for garlic powder. Season with kosher salt and black pepper if you need to.
- Fresh herbs: Sprinkle chopped fresh basil, parsley, or oregano on your finished dish. It will add a pop of color and provide a fresh, aromatic touch that complements the rich flavors of the Tuscan chicken tortellini.
- Grated Parmesan cheese: A generous sprinkling of grated cheese adds a layer of richness to your dish. The cheese melts slightly when it comes into contact with the warm tortellini, creating a deliciously gooey texture.
- Toasted pine nuts: For a bit of crunch and a hint of nuttiness, you can lightly toast some pine nuts and scatter them over your finished dish. Simply toast them in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they turn golden brown.
- Crushed red pepper flakes: If you want a little extra kick, sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes on top of your Tuscan chicken tortellini. Be cautious with the amount you use, as a little goes a long way.
- A drizzle of balsamic glaze: For a sweet and tangy contrast to the savory flavors of your dish, try drizzling a small amount of balsamic glaze on top. This will add a touch of acidity and a beautiful glossy finish.
Before storing your meal, allow the chicken tortellini to cool to room temperature. This will prevent condensation from forming in your storage container, which can cause the dish to become soggy. Remember not to let the dish sit out for more than two hours to maintain its freshness and prevent bacteria growth.
Once your Tuscan chicken tortellini has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container. Using an airtight container is essential in preserving the flavors of your dish while preventing unwanted odors from invading your meal.
It will last for up to four days when properly stored. However, it’s always best to enjoy your dish sooner rather than later for the best taste and texture.
Can I Freeze?
Yes, you can freeze your Tuscan chicken tortellini. Before freezing, make sure to let your Tuscan chicken tortellini cool completely. Freezing it while it’s still hot may result in condensation, leading to soggy tortellini and an off-taste in your dish. Once cooled, transfer your meal into airtight, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep out any unwanted odors.
When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen Tuscan chicken tortellini, it’s best to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. This allows for a slow, even thaw that helps retain the dish’s texture and flavor. You can also thaw your dish more quickly by placing the container in a sink filled with cold water, but be sure to check the package periodically and change the water as needed to maintain its cold temperature.
After thawing, transfer the contents to your Crockpot and cook on low until heated through approximately 30-60 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave for a minute or so.
How to Reheat
Transfer your leftovers to a microwave-safe dish. Make sure to include enough sauce in the dish to keep the tortellini and chicken properly moistened during reheating. Add water or chicken broth to get the desired consistency if your sauce is too thick.
Then, cover the dish with a piece of paper towel. Make sure to leave a small opening for steam to escape. This ensures an even heat distribution and prevents your food from becoming soggy.
Next, reheat your dish in the microwave at medium power for a few minutes, pausing occasionally to stir gently. This helps evenly heat the dish and prevents any cold spots.
If you prefer using an oven, preheat it to 350°F, and follow the same steps. Place your dish in the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, and let it bake for about 20 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Preparing a delicious Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini is easy, especially when you follow these friendly tips and tricks.
- Choosing the right chicken: You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe. Thighs tend to be more flavorful, but breasts work well too. Make sure to trim any excess fat before cooking.
- Quality sun-dried tomatoes: Not all sun-dried tomatoes are created equal. You can just experiment and find your favorite brand for the best results in this recipe. The ones packed in oil are more flavorful than the ones sold dry.
- Freezing and reheating: This dish can be a great make-ahead meal. You can prepare the sauce and chicken together, then freeze it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat, defrost in the refrigerator, add the tortellini while reheating in the slow cooker, and enjoy!
How to Make on the Stovetop
You can also make this recipe on the stove top. Heat about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken cubes. Add minced garlic and Italian seasoning when the chicken is almost cooked.
Add the chicken broth and heat to a simmer. Add the tortellini and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and fresh spinach. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the cream cheese has melted into the sauce and the spinach is wilted.
What kind of wine pairs well with this dish?
A Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc are excellent choices for those who prefer white wine. These wines are known for their crisp acidity, which helps to cut through the richness of the creamy sauce, while their fruity notes complement the dish’s savory elements.
A Pinot Noir or a Sangiovese would be a great choice if you’re more into red wine. Pinot Noir’s subtle earthy tones and moderate tannins work well with the Tuscan chicken. At the same time, Sangiovese, a native Italian grape, offers a perfect balance of acidity and savory notes that harmonize with the dish’s flavors.
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Crockpot Tuscan Chicken Tortellini
- Combine chicken broth, cubed chicken breasts, Italian seasoning and minced garlic in a Crockpot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, stir in sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach and tortellini. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Stir. Serve hot.