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

4.92 from 689 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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Reader Interactions

Comments

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Shannon! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but you likely could. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  1. Lucinda De Waal says

    I have made this recipe twice now and it’s been a hit every time ! Thank you so much for sharing these easy, delicious recipes ! I am still learning how to cook and your recipes have really been such a help.

  2. Rebecca says

    Made this on a cold winter day a couple of weeks ago and it was a warm and comforting meal. No changes to the original recipe; we used heavy cream rather than condensed milk. Delicious and easy. My partner added some Frank’s hot sauce to his to add a bit of kick but for myself and our neighbour it was perfect. So flavourful! We are having family for dinner tomorrow evening and I immediately thought of this recipe. I plan to cook it again and I’m sure it will be a hit. Certain to be cooked many more times. Bookmarked!!

  3. Rachael says

    My fiancé and I really enjoyed this recipe. We like spice so I added crushed red pepper and simply adjusted the seasonings to our taste and it was wonderful. This is the 2nd time we have made this recipe and both times we enjoyed it. Thank you for creating this and I look forward to trying your other recipes! Have a wonderful day.

      • Nat says

        Can i freeze this and is it okay to reheat with the evaporated milk in it?. Iv made some but made too much so got it in fridge now.

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi Nat! I haven’t tried it myself but other readers have with success. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  4. Kat says

    I loved this! I didn’t have diced tomatoes- I used a can of paste and can of sauce instead. Added loads of basil and garlic. Everyone loved it! Will do again!

  5. Janice says

    Has anyone tried this with chicken thighs instead of breasts? Always worried chicken breasts dry out. If so, how long would you cook it for?

  6. Renee D. says

    I have made this a number of times and enjoyed it each time. I dont think I have ever made it exactly like the recipe but have substituted sour cream for the milk or added cream cheese! I have made zucchini boats with it and also served it on spaghetti noodles.
    Thanks!

    • AP says

      No offense did not like this recipe. It was extremely bland and needs more spice somewhere. Tasted like watered down tomato soup over chicken

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi AP! I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t to your taste. Myself and others have made it, and enjoy it. You can always bum up the seasonings to your taste for the future.

      • Andrea says

        Is it possible to make this in the instant pot instead of the slow cooker? If so, how would you do this? Thank you so much!

  7. Kelly H says

    The picture looked great but I agree with many of the comments above; very bland boring meal. I did add some spices and balsamic but that didn’t really help.
    Would not make again

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Kelly! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! This is one of our favorites and lots of others have loved the flavor, but I know we all have different taste.

  8. Darcee says

    This was a very bland recipe. I added a lot of extra seasonings to it. I did add balsamic thanks to another comment. I’ll more than likely make it again but have to add bay leaves and some other things to make the flavor come out more. I’ll also be cutting up the chicken into bite size pieces to help it absorb the flavor. I served it over bow tie pasta. Overall it was decent but lacked flavor.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Thanks for sharing Darcee! I would recommend using seasoned tomato sauce and seasoned tomatoes to increase the flavor. Did you add the fresh basil as well? It really does bump up the flavor at the end.

  9. Lori says

    This is very good. I did add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar right at the end, which really woke up the flavors. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Jenna Fletcher says

    Hi there, I am planning to make this tomorrow and wondering how long I would cook it on high in the Instant Pot, as opposed to using a crock pot? Thank you!

  11. Rhonda Argenbright says

    This was delicious 😋
    I used half n half instead of heavy cream. For pasta sauce I used Rao’s Marinara Sauce. Served over angel hair pasta. Very easy!

  12. Jamie says

    Hi I am planning to make this for a birthday dinner in a few weeks and was wondering if this recipe could easily be doubled? Or if I should run two crock pots. I’m just not sure how much room I would need.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      It may be, but it’s not the easiest one because thick sauces and dairy tend to scorch and curdle. You would have to cook the chicken in thin liquid, then add the sauce ingredients after pressure cooking

  13. Becky says

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE!! So delicious.
    I’m wondering if it would be possible to use coconut milk or another dairy free substitute?

  14. Suzy says

    I have an abundance of tomatoes that need to get used up. Wondering if I can make up a huge batch of this sauce and either freeze or can it. Do you think either would work?

  15. Maria says

    Used San Marzano chopped tomatoes with sea salt and added extra because we like things saucy😉, and so added Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper for more flavor. My boyfriend said he wasn’t hungry yet but saw my plate and got up and got a big helping. Chicken was so tender!

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