Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breast

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

Jump to Recipe

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

Add your review

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!

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox. You’ll also get new recipes and a free monthly menu plan!

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.
ashley avatar

Pin this recipe to save for later

Pin this recipe to your favorite board

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

4.91 from 693 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

Want to save this recipe?

Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.

Register Now

Tried this recipe?

Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel —
I love to see what you’re making!

Tag @thereciperebel

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!

Read More

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Brett says

    I wanted to leave a comment for all the people asking about canned coconut milk. I used it and it turned out really good, no curdling! Not as creamy but I didn’t mind. I added oregano, thyme, parsley, and a bit more basil as some comments mentioned it being bland. Turned out delicious! I would definitely make again!

  2. Leah says

    I’m making this tonight, so excited! My chicken breasts won’t be totally thawed, is that okay? How much will cooking times change?

  3. Barb says

    I made this for my daughter and her family today because my son-in-law loves tomato sauce dishes. I put it over wide egg noodles. They loved it! I also liked the fact that it was simple and fast and allowed me to spend more time with my grandchildren.

  4. Liz says

    Do you think this could be easily frozen? Like half of it? I don’t want to half the recipe and risk messing up the timing but family is also a pain about eating leftovers.

  5. Blackpearl says

    I think the instant pot would work fine if you put a very small amount of stock or water in the bottom then the chicken and put the tomatoes on top. Alternatively you could even put pasta in with it and add more water then tomatoes on top of the pasta. Add the cream after cooking and thicken it then with a cornflour slurry. I never put any tomato based ingredients on the bottom of the pot unless there is loads of liquid. I generally find it’s all about the layering.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Elizabeth! The instant pot wouldn’t be my second choice because things that are very tomato-y and dairy can burn. It would work just fine in a skillet on the stove top though!

      • Ashley Fehr says

        I would cook at a low simmer for maybe 15 minutes — it’s best to check occasionally with a meat thermometer rather than go by time because chicken breasts come in such a variety of sizes

    • Kes says

      Hi ! I have been wanting to try this recipe but was wondering if the chicken has to be thawed when you put it in? Or can it be frozen?

    • Victoria says

      I have made a similar recipe with canned coconut milk but it wasn’t in the slow cooker. I feel like it’ll still work in the slow cooker.

  6. Jackie says

    Hi! Have you ever cooked the pasta right in the slow cooker at the end or should the pasta be cooked separate?
    I’ve made this recipe once before and it turned out amazing!

  7. Judy says

    I made this recipe, exactly as written, but my family thought it was just okay.

    I used a 6 quart slow cooker and it was very tender in 5 hours, but it needs more seasoning. The recipe is very easy, but perhaps more garlic and Italian herbs.

    I served it over pasta. Would appreciate suggestions.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Judy! You are definitely free to add more garlic and herbs as your family enjoys. I would also recommend choosing a well-seasoned pasta sauce as that can make a difference in the end result.

  8. Andrea says

    Hi, we are up at our hytte in the mountains and we don’t have a slow cooker. How would you do this in the oven? I would love to serve this with homemade pasta😊

  9. Gina says

    I’d really like to give this recipe a go however here in the UK we don’t really have an item that’s just called tomato pasta sauce – could I use and alternative/substitute such as passata or straight tomato purée?

    • Chelsey says

      My family loves this (including a three year old), with added veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms. Have made it four or five times already, as has my Dad. Definitely recommend for busy days when you just want to throw everything into the slow cooker and have a super yummy meal.

    • Nicole says

      Passata would work but add salt and extra flavorings. It would be like a tomato sauce that has spices something like what you would use as a sauce for spaghetti and meat sauce.

  10. Gina says

    I really want to try this recipe but in the UK there isn’t really an item just called pasta sauce. Could I “substitute” using Passata sauce or just tomato purée?

Leave A Reply

Have you tried this recipe? Leave a rating