Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breast

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4

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This Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breast is SO easy and flavorful, you wouldn’t believe it only has just a few ingredients! The perfect easy crockpot chicken recipe for busy weeknights!

If you’re looking for more crockpot chicken breast recipes, check out this Crockpot Creamy Garlic Chicken or this Crockpot Tuscan Chicken!

overhead image of slow cooker creamy tomato basil chicken breast in white crockpot.

Life is busy and I’m busting out all the easy slow cooker, one pot and Instant Pot recipes to keep us sane! This Crockpot Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken is well-loved here around the dinner table.

Chicken is such a versatile protein so we always have a stash in the freezer!

This slow cooker chicken recipe comes together in no time with just a handful of ingredients that we usually have on hand — which makes it a win in my books!

The creamy tomato flavor combo is always a hit, and we love this chicken over a plate of spaghetti but it can really be a stand alone meal with a side salad if that’s your thing!

Reader Rating

“So easy and delicious! Followed the recipe exactly. 3 hours and was so moist. Served over spaghetti with fresh green beans Picky husband and foodie son went back for seconds!” — Liz

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If you love this recipe, you might enjoy this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast or this Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings — they are both easy Crockpot meals!

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Why we love this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast recipe:

  • it’s a Real Life recipe: it’s easy to prep, mostly hands off and the family loves. We all need more of that!
  • it’s a slow cooker win: with a lot of slow cooker recipes, I find you sacrifice either flavor or texture or both. With this chicken you dump and go, and the sauce is the perfect consistency when it’s done and the flavor is awesome!
  • it’s quick to prep: being a dump and go slow cooker, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen, which is a plus on busy weeknights!

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Chicken Ingredients:

ingredients needed for slow cooker tomato basil chicken.
  • Chicken breasts: we always use chicken breasts for this recipe but boneless, skinless chicken thighs would also work well. If you choose bone-in chicken the cook time will increase significantly.
  • Tomato pasta sauce: this is simply a tomato sauce that you would use on pasta with herbs and seasonings, i.e., a marinara or something similar. This is not tomato paste. Choose your favorite well-seasoned brand!
  • Diced tomatoes: If you don’t like the chunks of tomato you can sub this out with an additional cup of tomato pasta sauce.
  • Garlic and seasonings: I’ve kept things simple, but feel free to experiment if you prefer. Add some red pepper flakes if you like things spicy!
  • Cream: I recommend heavy cream or evaporated milk in this recipe. I find that they have the lowest chance of curdling when cooked with the acidic tomatoes. I do not recommend low fat cream or milk, but you are always welcome to try!
  • Corn starch: A little corn starch helps to thicken our sauce. You can swap this out with flour if you don’t have any.
  • Fresh basil: fresh basil can be hard to find in the cooler months. Basil pesto is my favorite swap because it adds more of that fresh flavor than dried basil.

How to make Creamy Tomato Basil Crockpot Chicken Breast:

This is a simple overview to help guide you! Scroll down to find the detailed recipe in the pink recipe card.

  • Stir together sauce, tomatoes and herbs.
  • Whisk the corn starch into the cream.
  • Add the cream to the slow cooker and stir.
  • Add the uncooked chicken and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

How long to cook chicken breasts in the crockpot?

Not overcooking slow cooker chicken breasts is the key to having juicy and flavorful chicken.

I usually recommend 3 hours on low — this might be a little less if your chicken breasts are small or a little more if your chicken breasts are large.

If you’re cooking on high, check the internal temperature at 2-2.5 hours and add time as needed.

side angle of crockpot chicken breast in tomato basil sauce.

Can I use half and half or milk?

Low fat dairy has more of a tendency to curdle.

For that reason, the addition of the tomatoes and the long cook time, I prefer not to take the chance. My exception is low fat evaporated milk, which I find works really well in slow cooker recipes.

You are always welcome to try it!

What kind of tomato pasta sauce do I need?

Choose your favorite brand of tomato-based pasta sauce, i.e., marinara sauce or something similar.

You’re looking for a relatively smooth and well-seasoned tomato sauce, rather than a can of plan crushed tomatoes.

sliced tomato basil slow cooker chicken breast on a plate of pasta.

Tips for making this slow cooker chicken recipe:

  • Don’t overcook it — I find 3 hours is plenty for the usual size of my chicken breasts. I recommend checking the temperature at 2.5 hours for smaller breasts, and 3 hours for larger breasts, and adding time as needed.
  • I made this recipe in a 4 quart slow cooker — if you want to double it, I suggest a 6 quart slow cooker (I have both, and use them for different things!).
  • I really, really love using slow cooker liners. I will gladly pay the 50 cents or whatever they cost to not have to wash that beast!
  • Please always, always check the temperature of your chicken with a meat thermometer before serving just to be safe! All slow cookers cook differently.
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Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

4.91 from 695 votes
This Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken is SO easy and flavorful, you wouldn't believe it only has a few ingredients! The perfect easy dinner recipe!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 210cal

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (398 ml)
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  • Add tomatoes, pasta sauce, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, basil and pepper to a 3-6 quart slow cooker. Stir.
  • Whisk together cream and corn starch and add to the slow cooker.
  • Add chicken breasts and press down into the sauce.
  • Cook on low for 3-5 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. The exact cook time will depend on your slow cooker — a fuller slow cooker will take longer to cook, so a larger one will cook faster.
  • Stir in fresh basil and serve over pasta, rice, or with a salad and veggies!

Notes

*Some sauce was removed from the pictures in the slow cooker to show detail. The recipe makes plenty of sauce for pasta!
Ingredients and Substitutions:
Chicken: this recipe will also work with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or try it with chicken meatballs, sausages, or another cut for something unique!
Tomato pasta sauce: choose any tomato marinara-style sauce you like. The more flavor in the pasta sauce, the more flavor your chicken will have. 
Diced tomatoes: if you don’t like the chunks of diced tomatoes, I recommend just swapping with additional tomato sauce.
Cream or evaporated milk: Heavy cream or evaporated milk will work best because they do not curdle. Please do not use regular milk or a light cream. 
Herbs & seasonings: feel free to adjust the herbs and seasonings to your tastes. Like it spicy? Add some cayenne or red pepper flakes!
Fresh basil: we make this recipe all year round but fresh basil can be impossible to find. I like to swap with basil pesto for that fresh basil flavor.
 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 210cal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1099mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords slow cooker chicken breast, tomato basil chicken

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Connie Castro says

    This is definitely a 5 star. So creamy and full of flavor. Super easy to make. You have to try it.

  2. Simone says

    Ashley, the can of tomatoes in the video looks like a 28oz can not a 14oz one. Can you confirm please as I’d like to make this tomorrow.
    Thanks.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You won’t need to double the cook time, but it will depend a little on how full your slow cooker is. If it is very full, you may want to check it at 4 hours instead of 3. If you use a larger slow cooker and double the recipe then 3 hours should still be good.

  3. Julie says

    Excellent recipe! I had plain petite diced tomatoes on hand, so I tossed in some Italian seasoning. Also used half and half (on hand) instead of heavy cream and it was still great. Don’t skip the fresh basil at the end! It’s a MUST! Cooked on low only 3 hours. Delicious recipe. Thank you!

  4. Kelly says

    Am I the only one that the milk curdled on? When I read the recipe, I thought to myself surely it would happen if you don’t add it at the end, but since it didn’t say so and so many people raved , I just did it all at once. Yeah super curdled…

  5. Pam says

    This was a delicious, easy recipe! 10 yo loved it but couldn’t get the 3 yo to try it! I added some cayenne pepper and extra garlic along with spinach! Soo good!

  6. Emma J says

    This was so good! A bit win in our household and already requested that I make it again!
    I only had plain tomato sauce on hand and not pasta sauce, so I just added some extra seasoning and it was delicious!

  7. Megan says

    Loved this so much! Served it over chickpea pasta with Parmesan cheese and it was a big hit- thanks for sharing!

  8. Constance E. Castro says

    Absolutely love this recipe. So easy, quick and full of flavor. Definitely going to make this again.

  9. Katherine says

    Super delicious! I halved the recipe and actually baked mine in the oven as we are packed to move and I couldn’t find my slow cooker or instant pot haha. I also had unseasoned tomato sauce (which I used in place of diced tomatoes as my husband doesn’t like the chunks lol). I seasoned with 1 T brown sugar and 1 T Italian seasoning. I put all the ingredients except the fresh basil and cornstarch in a glass baking dish. I pounded the chicken before adding to the dish. Covered with tin foil and baked 325 for 1 hour. Then I put some of the sauce in a bowl, mixed in the cornstarch, poured it back into the glass dish and stirred it around. I returned the dish to the still hot, but now off, oven to thicken. Also added spinach and Parmesan cheese after removing from oven. I’m excited to try it in the slow cooker sometime!

  10. Lily says

    The pictures looked really good, but even though I followed the recipe exactly I thought the sauce lacked flavor. I ended up having to adjust it with cheese and spices so that it wouldn’t be so bland. Also, when I cut the chicken, it became more shredded than sliced, which I’m not a fan of but that’s just a personal preference.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Lily! I would make sure you use a seasoned pasta sauce and seasoned tomatoes as that is where a lot of the flavor comes from. If you use plain pasta sauce, or plain tomatoes, or skip the fresh basil, it won’t have a lot of flavor.

      • Dayna says

        You listed “tomato pasta sauce” in the ingredients. To avoid confusion, all you needed to do was to say “marinara”. I swear you recipe bloggers have the intelligence of a peanut.

      • H says

        Hi! If I can’t eat dairy, will almond milk work or will it curdle? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

      • Ashley Fehr says

        Unfortunately I haven’t tried so I can’t say for sure. There may be people in the comments who have made it that way before and can help.

      • Kait says

        Wow rude much???? Doesnt seem like anyone else has had problems understanding so move along Karen 😂 love your recipe was AMAZING my husband loved it!

      • Allison says

        There are many kinds of pasta sauces which are not tomato-based. Additionally, “marinara” is only one kind of tomato based sauce. Please be kind. You are getting a free recipe.

      • Bonnie says

        There is also Alfredo pasta sauce. You should apologize for your rude and nasty comment. You were in the wrong. Tried this recipe and followed it to a T, (especially the tomato pasta sauce part 😜) and served over linguine. It was easy, quick, and delicious!

      • Alyssa says

        Why are you so rude? Goodness. That’s what makes recipes awesome, you can make it your own!

      • Connie says

        All you needed to do was use common sense and add seasonings to your taste!
        Ashley it was very good ! Thank you for sharing your free recipe!

      • AussieJulie says

        Here in Australia “marinara” is a creamy seafood dish. So using the term “tomato pasta sauce” is not confusing in the slightest. “marinara” is a term you Americans use to call tomato pasta sauce and I bet you think that the rest of the world calls it that too.

        And to Ashley Fehr, I have every intention of making this recipe though will try with coconut milk instead of cream. I will leave another review in a few days once I have made it.

      • AussieJulie says

        Made it today. Used Oregano as i didn’t have any basil. Also used the coconut cream. I used 3 skinless chicken breasts not four as they were quite large and I shredded the chicken and. Had it over pasta with some grated cheese. Was nice but next time I make it I’ll use the basil and evaporated milk.

  11. Rich says

    Very tasty! I’m making it for the second time right now since it was a huge hit a couple months ago. This time I swapped out the diced tomatoes for the same size can of petite diced tomatoes with green chilies (we like it a little spicy), the Red Gold version of Rotel.

4.91 from 695 votes (552 ratings without comment)

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