Olive Garden Chicken Pasta is Dinner Made Easy

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This delicious slow cooker Olive Garden chicken pasta features tender, fall apart chicken that simmers all day in creamy and cheesy sauce! It is easy to put together, tastes amazing, and is the perfect dinner for a busy weeknight.

This is a copycat version of the popular Olive Garden chicken pasta recipe that you can make without much effort, fuss or mess. Since the recipe uses the restaurant’s own brand of salad dressing it has the same distinctive bright and zesty flavor with added lemon that they are famous for.

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The entire family will enjoy this rich and filling crock pot meal. My daughter loved this recipe so much when I first made it she requested I make it again for her birthday dinner next week! It is a great way to get restaurant inspired food at home, even when you aren’t an experienced cook.

Why You Will Love This Chicken Pasta Recipe

  • This slow cooker recipe is a dump and go recipe that takes very little effort.
  • There are just 5 simple ingredients.
  • It is a delicious family friendly meal.

Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Chicken – I use skinless chicken breast with this recipe, which is also how it is made at Olive Garden. It would work fine with thighs though if you prefer.
  • Olive Garden Italian Dressing – This dressing is a creamy dressing you can buy at most grocery stores. You could use any creamy Italian dressing, but the official Olive Garden variety has a hint of lemon and will give you authentic flavor so the dinner tastes just like it would at the restaurant.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Pasta – Any shape pasta works fine in this recipe.
ingredients for olive garden chicken pasta
Ingredients for Olive Garden Chicken Pasta

How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Pasta in the Slow Cooker

  1. Either spray your crockpot with cooking spray or use a crock pot liner. This will make cleanup much easier after you are done!
  2. Then place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and a little pepper. Then pour 2 cups of the Italian dressing over the top. If you bought the smaller 16 ounce bottle of dressing this is the entire bottle!
  3. Take the cream cheese block and cut or tear it into pieces. Scatter the pieces of cream cheese around the chicken. 
  4. Put the lid on the crockpot and let the meal cook for 5-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
  5. About 20-30 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner start a pot of boiling salted water for the pasta. Boil the pasta for the cooking time directed on the package and drain.
  6. Take the lid off the slow cooker. At this point the food won’t look that great, because the cream cheese will still be in chunks and everything will be in big pieces. But don’t worry, it is fine!
  7. Shred the chicken with two forks. It should fall right apart without much effort. You might even be able to shred it just by stirring!
  8. Stir so the cream cheese finishes melting and combines with the dressing to make a rich and creamy sauce. Then add the cooked pasta, scoop it out and serve.
adding the chicken to the crock pot
Add chicken
chicken in crock pot with dressing on top
Add dressing
chicken in slow cooker after cooking
Add cream cheese
chicken in creamy sauce after stirring
After slow cooking

Find More Slow Cooker Recipes!

How to Serve

Slow cooker Olive Garden chicken pasta is a very rich and creamy pasta dish. So it doesn’t need a lot of sides to go with it! I like to serve it with a side salad. If you buy a large sized bottle of Olive Garden dressing you can use the extra on the salad.

A little bit of grated parmesan cheese or fresh basil on top will make this Olive Garden chicken even better. And garlic bread or breadsticks are always a great accompaniment to any pasta dish. Serving an easy vegetable like green beans or broccoli is a great way to make this a more well rounded meal.

scoop of slow cooker olive garden chicken pasta
Easy Cleanup
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How to Store

Store leftover chicken pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When you reheat you will probably want to add some milk or cream because it will thicken as it cools.

For more pasta dishes try this Slow Cooker Cajun Chicken Pasta.

chicken pasta on a fork

FAQ

Can I serve this dish with something other than pasta?

Yes, you don’t have to use noodles. This dish tastes great over rice or another grain like quinoa. You can also just serve it by itself, which makes it a lower carb dinner.

Can I make this with frozen chicken?

No, don’t put frozen breasts in a slow cooker. The crockpot will not get hot enough fast enough to cook them through. Using frozen meat will put you at risk of food poisoning.

Does this taste like chicken alfredo?

This is a creamy and cheesy sauce, but it isn’t really like alfredo sauce. The sauce has a distinct lemon taste from the dressing, which is not a typical alfredo flavor.

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chicken pasta on a fork
4.57 from 161 votes

Slow Cooker Olive Garden Chicken Pasta

Published By Anne
This delicious slow cooker Olive Garden chicken pasta features tender, fall apart chicken that simmers all day in creamy and cheesy sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Print Save Rate Pin

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups Olive Garden Italian Dressing
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded or shaved
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)
  • ground black pepper to taste optional
  • 8 ounces pasta penne, rotini or your family favorite

Instructions

  • Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  • Put the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Make sure they are thawed.
    2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, ground black pepper to taste
  • Pour the Olive Garden Italian dressing over the top.
    2 cups Olive Garden Italian Dressing
  • Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Then cut up a block of cream cheese and distribute it around the meat.
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 8 ounces cream cheese
  • Put the lid on the crock pot and let it cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • About 20-30 minutes before you want to eat cook the pasta according to the package direction and drain.
    8 ounces pasta
  • Take the lid off the slow cooker. Use two forks to shred the chicken. It should fall apart without much effort. 
  • Stir to mix the cream cheese together with the shredded meat. Add the pasta and stir to combine.

Notes

  • You can also keep the pasta separate and spoon the chicken out onto it as desired.
  • If you want to make it look just like Olive Garden’s dish use penne pasta.

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Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1141mg | Potassium: 763mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 614IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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top view of olive garden chicken pasta
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

5 thoughts on “Olive Garden Chicken Pasta is Dinner Made Easy”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

    Reply
  2. This sounds delicious, and I would love to try making it. I wonder, though, if you might check the calculation of the sodium content. The sodium in just the salad dressing per serving is higher than that shown for the recipe with all ingredients. I certainly hope that the corrected figure is still within my allowable limits. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. OMG!!! I made this when my mom came to visit. She doesn’t like leftovers, but the next day asked if we were having the leftovers for dinner. For as easy as this is, it packs a huge wallop! The only problem is I keep sneaking bites before the pasta is even ready.

    Reply

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