Dinner is a cinch to make make this Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta! Creamy and delicious this recipes let’s the slow cooker do all the work for you!
One thing I have to weigh in on is Olive Garden Slow Cooker Pasta. This dish is extremely popular, though not for the reason you may think. Read on to find out more. Suffice it to say that I didn’t hesitate for a second to come up with my version of this rich creamy and irresistible dish. Never heard of Olive Garden Chicken Pasta? Don’t know why the picture doesn’t seem familiar to you in any way? We’ll get to that, don’t worry. First, let’s look at the benefits of slow cooker vs curbside or delivery options.
Slow Cooker VS Curbside Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta
Let’s face it. This is the time of year when carry-out or delivery options become problematic. You may not want to throw on those extra layers of clothes and battle the weather or the holiday traffic to go pick up your food. For that matter, you don’t want to rely on somebody else doing the same to bring it to you while it is still hot. No. Not when a slow cooker recipe is way easier and saves you a bundle of time. You can get all of your Christmas shopping done online while you wait for your slow cooker Olive Garden Chicken pasta to cook just a few steps away in the kitchen.
Save yourself the cost of service fees and do a simple dump-and-go recipe that’s way better than any freezer aisle approximation. All your typical go-to meal solutions when you don’t want to cook, pale in comparison to what the slow cooker can deliver with less effort than it takes to travel to the nearest family restaurant.
The Olive Garden is iconic, so having a good copycat recipe is important because you really want to capture that essence. I’ve also come up with a dead ringer for their fettuccini alfredo that you’ll really want to try.
This recipe truly is an excellent alternative to ordering your food directly from the restaurant or using a delivery service. It will save you money and time while delivering that familiar taste you crave. All you need now is the right copycat breadsticks recipe and you will be good to go!
Authentic Olive Garden Flavors?
I love how Olive Garden is slowly but surely rolling out products in grocery stores. Have you seen the croutons? The garlic and herb seasoning? The salad dressing? All of it is perfect for creating your own at-home solution to those Olive Garden cravings. I’m sure they won’t stop there. Soon you’ll be able to get whole Olive Garden meals in the freezer aisle just like PF Changs, Claim Jumper, and TGIFridays.
Of course, you know that just because these meals are branded with the restaurants’ name and signature dishes, they are typically not at all the same as what you get in the restaurant. What that means is that while the current Olive Garden products available speak authentically to the restaurant experience we all love, there will always be a need for close homemade approximations (copy cats) to the real deal. This slow cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta is one of those recipes…
…Okay, The truth is, I may be punking you just a little bit. This delicious recipe does use Olive Garden flavors courtesy of the Ranch Dressing, but it isn’t actually a restaurant offering. This dish– popular as it is– was made famous on Tik Tok and is actually intended to be a slow cooker meal. Now, authentically speaking there is some discrepancy among home cooks such as myself about which pasta should be used. My choice of penne is the most popular, but some versions also use cavatelli, which I have to agree is a pretty solid choice.
Having said that much, the so-called Olive Garden chicken pasta might just pass for a real menu item if not for shredding the chicken. That’s a dead giveaway. However, this dish– while not a true copycat– is exceptional and definitely worth all the fuss.
Everything about this recipe is easy. It’s a matter of tossing everything in the slow cooker and cooking some pasta. You really can’t get any more simple than that. Plus it’s full of deliciousness.
- Chicken Breast
- Olive Garden Italian Dressing
- Parmesan Cheese
- Black Pepper
- Cream Cheese
- Penne Pasta
**See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
Making this meal is as simple as it gets. Just a few ingredients and dinner is done. Lett your slow cooker do all the work.
In a slow cooker, add chicken breasts, Italian dressing, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and pepper. Add the cream cheese and place the lid on the slow cooker.
Cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.
Shred cooked chicken with 2 forks and add it back to the pot. Add cooked pasta and stir until incorporated. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and serve.
Why Al Dente?
You know how the box always gives you instructions on how long to cook for authentic “al dente” pasta? Some brands don’t do that, but there is a reason for it and even a better reason why you should take their advice in this instance. Although we often prefer our pasta to be more tender, the consensus among Italians is that al dente is the ideal firmness for pasta. It literally means to the tooth and it has a tougher bite. It’s definitely not Chef Boyardee.
Regardless of your sensibilities when it comes to pasta, you want to heed those instructions to prepare your pasta al dente. That’s because when you add the pasta into the slow cooker it will cook further and get the pasta to that more tender stage that you probably prefer.
Another solution, if you do like more bite to your pasta, is to cook it for even less time before adding it to the slow cooker pot. That will keep you from overcooking the pasta, but it will require a bit of trial and error because I haven’t made it that way and can’t speak to the specific length of time you would need in order to do that.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta
This hearty and delicious penne pasta dish will satisfy your desire for creamy decadent shredded chicken and starchy pasta. It’s the ideal combination of carbs and the perfect protein. I love that it is coupled with true Olive Garden flavors that do give you a taste of one of the most familiar Italian eateries in the country.
While it’s not authentically Olive Garden, I think it can be altered to give it some Olive Garden flair that is a bit more true to form. Slicing instead of shredding the chicken is a start. You could also enhance the entree by including some of those famous breadsticks, a side salad (or minestrone), and finish it off with a traditional tiramisu. If tiramisu seems like too much of a challenge, consider that the cooking time on the slow cooker allows for you to learn how to make it, buy the ingredients and execute it while you wait!
MORE RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:
Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta
- 1 1/2 -2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 16 oz. Olive Garden Italian Dressing
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 8oz. package cream cheese
- 1 16oz. box penne pasta, cooked
- In a slow cooker, add chicken breasts, Italian dressing, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and pepper. Add the cream cheese and place the lid on the slow cooker.
- Cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Shred cooked chicken with 2 forks and add it back to the pot.
- Add cooked pasta and stir until incorporated. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and serve.