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With its festive red, white, and green colors, Crockpot Chicken Tortellini is perfect for holiday entertaining and weeknight meals during the busy holiday season. Every bite of this delicious recipe is filled with sauce-coated shredded chicken, tender and fresh three cheese BUITONI® tortellini, creamy mozzarella, and fresh chopped basil.
Last week, before I headed out to Minnesota for the Pinch of Yum Workshop, I stopped by the WalMart near my house to buy a few last minute things I needed for my trip. Our WalMart has a grocery section (love that!) which meant I could get everything I needed for my Crockpot Chicken Tortellini. A package of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Hot Cocoa Refrigerated Cookie Dough may or may not have also found its way into my cart. In my defense, these are chocolate cookies with MARSHMALLOWS inside and they taste just like your best cup of steaming hot chocolate. Yum.
I am so excited to share today’s post with you because:
1 – I’m partnering with BUITONI® to bring you this recipe and my love for their fresh pastas and sauces knows no bounds!
2 – It’s a healthy and delicious crockpot recipe, which I’ve been getting a lot of requests for lately. Who doesn’t love a good crockpot recipe?
3 – My Crockpot Chicken Tortellini is a festive red, white, and green equally perfect for a weeknight meal with your family or any holiday entertaining you are doing.
Speaking of holiday entertaining, how’s your Christmas planning going? I mentioned on Tuesday that I’m a little behind. Still only one Christmas decoration up, but we’ve done 3 Advent days! I think this is proof positive there’s no hope for any fancy elves or Advent calendars that require activities when our little one is home for Christmas next year. Mommy forgot to move the elf, but don’t worry we have cookies and Red, White, and Green Crockpot Chicken Tortellini!
Personally I think we make the holidays a little too busy and a little too stressful. With about two weeks left before the wrapping paper starts flying, my goal is to focus less on everything being “perfect” and more on spending quality time with people I love and feeding them delicious food. Mom and AJ, I promise we will get a Christmas tree – stop fretting. By the time we get to it they might be on sale 😉
Here’s my plea for all of us! Relax. The only things we really need to do this season are spend time with people we love and thank God for the gift of Jesus. If decorations aren’t your thing, you don’t have to do them. If plates of carefully decorated and perfectly iced cookies make you panicky, you don’t have to bake them! On the other hand, if you’d rather spend your afternoon in the kitchen than at your desk addressing Christmas cards (raises hand), bake on!
And if you want to have people over, but you’re feeling a little stressed about what to make, I have got you covered! My Crockpot Chicken Tortellini with BUITONI® Refrigerated Pastas & Sauces Tortellini is truly perfect for holiday entertaining. The crockpot is doing all of the work for you and we are finishing this dish with fresh ingredients that will elevate a boring crockpot meal into a fun and fancy company-worthy meal.
I’ve mentioned before how I love to use BUITONI® fresh pasta to make everyday dishes extra special. The texture and flavor you get from fresh pasta is incomparable and fresh pasta is actually easier to work with because it will cook submerged in a sauce much more quickly than traditional dried pastas. I could go on and on about my love for BUITONI® fresh pastas!
Here’s how we make this Red, White, and Green Crockpot Chicken Tortellini. I start with a jar of marinara sauce and a can of crushed tomatoes – both of which I always have on hand in my pantry. Then I add two chicken breasts (I’ve had equal success using both fresh and frozen breasts). Those three items simmer in a crockpot on low for about 7 hours, yielding tender, ready-to-shred chicken. We remove the chicken to a plate to shred and set that aside for a moment.
With the chicken out of the crockpot, it’s time to add the fun ingredients! I start by stirring in a carton of fresh pesto (my pick is BUITONI®, which you can find in the same section in the grocery store). The garlic and basil packed into the pesto brightens up the flavor of the marinara and tomatoes. Once the pesto is stirred in, it’s time to add the tortellini. You could use any of BUITONI®’s fresh tortellini options for this, but my pick is the Three Cheese Tortellini. Because it’s Christmas and we should never turn down any opportunity for more cheese. So the fresh pasta still needs to be cooked, but the beauty of this recipe is we are doing that right in the crockpot. The sauce from the crushed tomatoes, marinara, and pesto is the perfect cooking liquid for our tortellini!
The pesto and marinara sauce gets in every little fold of the cheesy tortellini. Delicious, sauce-covered shredded chicken is in every little bite and the softened, just starting to melt mozzarella adds a creamy, fresh bite. Fresh pasta, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil. Healthy chicken and tomatoes. This is fancy, healthy, comfort food at its finest. Add in a plate of those yummy marshmallow-filled Hot Cocoa cookies from NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® and you have an easy and filling meal that can’t help but spread festive cheer.
I am in love with this meal and hope you enjoy it too! You can find more holiday entertaining ideas and delicious recipes on the Flavorful Moments Pinterest Board. Go check it out and tell me: what’s your best strategy for keeping your family fed during the busy holiday season?
Thanks for stopping by today!
- 24 oz jar marinara sauce
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
- 7 oz prepared pesto
- 20 oz Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellii
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- Combine marinara sauce and crushed tomatoes in a slow cooker and stir to combine. Submerge chicken breasts in sauce and cook on low for 7 hours. Remove chicken from crockpot and shred.
- Turn crockpot to high. Stir pesto and tortellini into tomato sauce. Add chicken back to slow cooker and stir until everything is thoroughly combine. Make sure all tortellini is submerged under the sauce. Replace lid and let cook on high for 30 minutes or until the tortellini are tender.
- Meanwhile, tear or slice fresh mozzarella until bite-size chunks and chop fresh basil. When the 30 minutes are up, add fresh mozzarella. Replace lid and let cook another 10 minutes or until cheese is beginning to melt.
- Top with fresh basil and serve.
Psst. If you have friends who would also appreciate an easy and festive dinner recipe for the holiday season, please share this recipe with them! You can pin this recipe here.