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Slow-Cooker Pesto Chicken Thighs 2 Ways

By Cindy Rahe
Created January 10, 2017
Versatile, juicy and ultra-affordable, see how we transform pesto-kissed chicken thighs into two family friendly dinners.

It’s no secret that the slow cooker is a godsend for busy working cooks; ideally suited for making big batches of protein you can use double-duty style throughout the week. These Slow-Cooker Pesto Chicken Thighs couldn’t be easier to throw together. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken thighs, a jar of prepared pesto, a splash of broth, plus salt and pepper. That’s it!


The slow cooker does all the heavy lifting and you’re left with a large batch of super-flavorful protein to stretch over two different meals.


Bruschetta-Topped Pesto Chicken


The first meal is one of my favorites: Bruschetta-Topped Pesto Chicken, served over simple steamed rice or hot pasta. The fresh and bright topping pairs so well with the chicken and the dressing gets soaked up by your carb of choice making for a quick weeknight dinner with lots of color and flavor.


To make: In medium bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Spoon over 1/2 recipe hot Slow-Cooker Pesto Chicken Thighs and serve with rice or pasta as desired. (To use the entire recipe of chicken thighs, double these ingredient amounts.)


Bacon-Ranch Pesto Chicken Pasta


For a super kid-friendly dish, familiar flavors come to the rescue in a simple Bacon-Ranch Pesto Chicken Pasta. Just a few pantry staples tossed with hot pasta and dinner is done!


To make: Cook and drain 1/2 lb. pasta (a short variety) as directed on package. Toss hot pasta with 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing and seasoning mix, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled and 1/2 recipe Slow-Cooker Pesto Chicken Thighs, shredded. Top with a sprinkle of chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired. Serve warm. (To use the entire recipe of chicken thighs, double these ingredient amounts.)


Just a few minutes of prep early in the week will leave you with two very different, but equally satisfying dinners that are quick to pull together on any busy evening!