Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

This delicious and EASY slow cooker creamy tomato basil chicken is packed full of flavor. With simple ingredients that are slow-cooked to perfection, this is a dish that you can enjoy all year round.

Creamy, crock pot chicken breasts on a light brown plate. They are smothered in extra sauce.

You’re Going to Love This Easy Crock-Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

Slow-cooker meals are especially popular in the autumn and winter seasons.

Often, they are delicious casseroles and stews that offer a comforting and warming meal at the end of the day. But this basil and tomato chicken recipe is one that you can enjoy any time of the year.

The great thing about this easy creamy tomato chicken recipe is that you can add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning and then forget about it.

Use chicken thighs (my favorite), chicken breasts, or a whole chicken cut up into pieces.

Chicken is an incredibly versatile protein that pairs well with a variety of flavors. It’s also a perfect ingredient for your slow cooker. When combined with the classic combination of tomato and basil and cooked slowly, it makes for a delicious meal that everyone is sure to enjoy.

If you’re looking for more simple chicken dinner and lunch recipes, try my sheet pan curry chicken, my butter chicken meatballs, or my golden glow soup recipes.

My favorite ways to pair this slow-cooker meal is with simple sides like gnocchi, spaetzle, risotto (even pumpkin risotto), and a roasted vegetable salad.

Equipment

This recipe will require a slow cooker (like a Crock-Pot). Even better — buy an Instant Pot with a slow cooker function alongside the pressure cooking.

Ingredients

You don’t need many ingredients to make a fabulous dish. These ingredients are easy to find — you likely already have most of them, and they all work well together. See notes for substitutions.

All of the ingredients needed to make this creamy tomato and fresh herb chicken in your slow cooker. Although chicken breasts are shown, you can also use chicken thighs.
  • Chicken | Chicken thighs are my favorite part for this recipe as they’re moister, more nutritious and flavorful, and hold up well to long cooking periods. Chicken breasts are also perfect for this recipe. If they are a little thick, you could pound them a little before adding to the slow cooker. You can also use a whole chicken, quartered. If you want skin-on chicken parts, it is best to first saute them to a golden brown in a pan (or using your Instant Pot Saute function) before adding to your Crock-Pot.
  • Fresh Cherry Tomatoes | Or other tomatoes. I love adding smoked tomatoes to this dish. If you don’t have any fresh, just use canned tomatoes.
  • Diced tomatoes | Opt for canned diced tomatoes with no added seasonings for the best flavor control. Drain excess liquid before adding to the slow cooker. Mix it up with fire roasted canned tomatoes.
  • Heavy cream
  • Tomato paste | This intensifies the tomato flavor.
  • Corn starch | Combined with the cream, it helps to give a rich and smooth texture and thicken the sauce. Technically optional.
  • Garlic cloves | Fresh garlic is best, but powdered garlic will work.
  • Dried basil | This herb works well with tomatoes and adds a depth of flavor. You could use fresh basil if you wish; just adjust the quantity.
  • Parsley | Another herb that helps to add to the flavor and balance the whole dish. Dried parsley is not recommended as the taste is bland. If you have frozen pr freeze-dried, use that, or omit the parsley.
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

❁ You’ll find the exact amount of each ingredient below in the recipe card. Make sure to select ‘cook mode’ to keep your screen from turning off as you make it. You can also print the recipe.

Instructions

Cream and flour in the slow cooker.

Step 1:

Add the heavy cream and cornstarch to the slow cooker.

A light roux being made inside the insert. A wire whisk is stirring.

Step 2:

Whisk until the cornstarch and cream have fully combined.

Tomato sauce and paste added into the slow cooker.

Step 3:

Next, add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, dried herbs, and salt and pepper.

A big bunch of raw cherry tomatoes are added into the crock pot.

Step 4:

Stir to combine to make sure all the ingredients have been mixed thoroughly.

Four raw chicken breasts swimming in the uncooked sauce in the slow cooker.

Step 5:

Add the chicken breasts and press them down slightly until covered with the sauce.

The slow cooker insert full of the finished dish. The sauce is a light orange-red color. Fresh and dried herbs are seen.

Step 6:

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or low for 10 hours.

Hint: Don’t remove the lid from the slow cooker while it is cooking. Doing so releases all of the heat and it takes the slow cooker time to get back up to temperature. This will delay the cooking process.

The slow cooker insert full of the finished dish. The sauce is a light orange-red color. Fresh and dried herbs are seen.
Creamy, crock pot chicken breasts on a light brown plate. They are smothered in extra sauce.

Substitutions & Variations

  • More vegetables | To add more nutrients and flavor, consider adding vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or zucchini during the last hour of cooking.
  • Thighs instead of chicken breast | You could use chicken thighs for this recipe.
  • Skin-on | You can use skin-on chicken; just pan-fry it until golden brown and crispy first. The skin will not remain crispy in the sauce after hours of cooking, but it will be delicious.
  • Veal | thin veal cutlets are delicious with this sauce.
  • Smoked tomatoes | Use smoked tomatoes instead of fresh ones. I have a great recipe at that link.
  • Less meat | Need to make the meat stretch? Cut the amount down in half and add more vegetables.
  • Make it vegetarian | You could make this a completely veggie dish by substituting the chicken for just vegetables.

Storage, Freezing, & Reheating

This tomato basil slow cooker chicken is a meal you can prep. You can prepare the cream and tomato mixture the night before and refrigerate it.

In the morning, add it to the slow cooker and the chicken and start cooking.

If you have any leftovers, once they have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate.

You can reheat in the microwave or gently on the stovetop. Adding a little water can help to give the sauce that creamy consistency. It will last in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Top tip

If you notice the sauce is a little thin, then you can create a slurry by mixing a bit of cornstarch with some water. Stir it into the slow cooker creamy tomato basil chicken and allow it to cook a while longer.

FAQ

How should I serve the slow cooker tomato basil chicken?

This versatile dish pairs well with a variety of sides, like steamed vegetables, pasta, or rice. Choose your favorite to complete the meal. Before serving you could garnish with fresh basil. It adds a burst of freshness and color. You can also sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.

How do I stop the chicken breasts going to dry in the slow cooker?
Chicken breast is a lean cut of meat, so can dry out quite easily. But the trick when using a slow cooker is to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the chicken breasts. If they are too thick, pound them a little to ensure they are covered.

Do I need to sear the chicken before adding to the slow cooker?
This is down to personal preference. For this crockpot creamy tomato chicken I have placed raw chicken into the slow cooker and it tastes amazing. Chicken breast is not usually a meat that needs searing before slow cooking, but if you want to then you can.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

Creamy, crock pot chicken breasts on a light brown plate. They are smothered in extra sauce.

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

Creamy tomato basil chicken is packed full of flavor but uses, staple simple ingredients that are then slow-cooked to perfection.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 413kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Equipment

  • Slow cooker (like a Crock-Pot).
  • Or Instant Pot with slow cooker function

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz canned tomatoes diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half, or use more canned tomatoes.
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp seal salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • fresh basil for serving optional

Instructions

  • Add the heavy cream and cornstarch to the slow cooker. Whisk until the cornstarch and cream have thoroughly combined.
  • Next, add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, dried herbs, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine to make sure all the ingredients have been mixed thoroughly.
  • Add the chicken breasts and press them down slightly until covered with the sauce.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or low for 10 hours.

Notes

Hint: Don’t remove the lid from the slow cooker while it is cooking. Doing so releases all of the heat, and it takes the slow cooker to get back to temperature. This will delay the cooking process.
Substitutions & Variations
  • More vegetables | To add more nutrients and flavor, consider adding vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or zucchini during the last hour of cooking.
    Thighs instead of chicken breast | You could use chicken thighs for this recipe.
  • Skin-on | You can use skin-on chicken; just pan-fry it until golden brown and crispy first. The skin will not remain crispy in the sauce after hours of cooking, but it will be delicious.
  • Less meat | Need to make the meat stretch? Cut the amount down in half and add more vegetables.
  • Veal | This sauce is delicious with thin veal cutlets, too.
  • Make it vegetarian | You could make this a completely veggie dish by substituting the chicken for just vegetables.
Storage, Freezing, & Reheating
This tomato basil slow cooker chicken is a meal you can prep. You can prepare the cream and tomato mixture the night before and refrigerate it. In the morning, add it to the slow cooker and the chicken and start cooking.
If you have any leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate once they have cooled. You can reheat in the microwave or gently on the stovetop. Adding a little water can help to give the sauce that creamy consistency. It will last in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Top tip
If you notice the sauce is a little thin, then you can create a slurry by mixing a bit of cornstarch with some water. Stir it into the slow cooker creamy tomato basil chicken and allow it to cook a while longer.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 937mg | Potassium: 1132mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1835IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Turned out quick, easy and delicious; my whole family loved it!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a great dinner idea! 🙂 And I just love that this is made in the slow cooker.

  3. 5 stars
    We enjoyed this chicken tonight for dinner. It was cooked perfectly and the tomato sauce is amazing. I cannot wait to make it again.

  4. 5 stars
    It’s so easy to make and the flavors are incredible. The chicken comes out so tender and the creamy tomato basil sauce is to die for. Definitely a new favorite in my dinner rotation.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this chicken for dinner last night and it was delicious! So creamy and flavorful!