Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pesto Chicken Dinner

Warmer weather means two things in my kitchen: Popsicles in the freezer and a slow cooker on the counter.  Summer days are hot enough without adding the heat of a baking oven, am I right?  
And if you are like me, Summer days are busy. I like a dinner that is ready when we are worn out from a day of play in the sunny weather.  

This meal will become a go-to solution in your house. I have served it SO many times--to my family and to guests--and it is ALWAYS a hit.  

This is quite possibly the easiest slow-cooker meal EVER! 
*TWO* Ingredients for the chicken: Frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs (strips or whole thighs) and pesto! I love the Classico Traditional Basil Pesto. I've used other pestos, and they work well, too. 

I don't do any actual measuring for this meal. I put a layer of frozen chicken on the bottom of the slow-cooker and spread some pesto on top. For a family of 6, I use about 1/3 of a jar on this first layer...

...And add another layer of chicken with about 1/3 more of the jar on top of that. If you are feeding a crowd, use the entire jar and really pack the chicken into the pot. It cooks down quite a bit.

Now to multi-task. Put a layer of aluminum foil on top of the chicken. I use the heavy stuff--you may want two sheets if yours is regular foil. Wash some potatoes and set them right on top of the foil. Give them a good sprinkling with sea salt. Cover your cooker and leave it on low for 6-8 hours.

Six hours later... I have some cooked 'taters and chicken. See how much it cooks down?

Remove potatoes (we're going to have fun with them in a sec) and the foil.  This is what your chicken will look like pre-shredding.

Use two forks to shred the chicken. It will fall apart with beautiful ease. You will be using a straining spoon to serve it up on to plates. All that leftover broth can be saved to make a mean chicken noodle soup or Italian wedding soup. It is a delicious base.

Now, on to the potatoes. This is your seasoning line-up. I really like this McCormick Italian seasoning. I also  really like Tone's Rosemary Garlic seasoning (which has the salt in it).  I have made these potatoes with both of these seasonings to much applause. 

Coat a large frying pan with olive oil (canola or avocado oil work, too).  Chop your potatoes into bite-size chunks and throw them in on top of the oil. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt, Italian seasoning, and ground black pepper over the potatoes and toss to coat.  Turn your burner on high and fry those babies up! I usually do a few more sprinkles of salt and seasoning along the way.

Mmm, mmm. This is the #1 way my family likes potatoes. Even beats french fries.

Toss together a green salad and plate it all up. 
PRESTO!  You've made a delicious Pesto Chicken meal!!

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  1. This looks SO yummy! I love crock pot cooking. Every time we come to your house I get a fabulous recipe, you are an amazing cook, thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Stacy! I hope we can see you soon!

  2. I love the layering idea with the potatoes. I've never done that. I think I will be making this exact meal very soon!!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. Let me know how your family likes it!

  3. oh I have to try this one. I love how you cook the potatoes in the layer in the crock pot with the chicken...

    1. Thanks! That's one of my favorite things about this, too. Multi-taskig in the crockpot. :)

  4. Quick tip: throw the cooked chicken in your kitchen aide mixer with the bread dough hook and let it shred the chicken for you.