How many ways do you love your slow cooker? Here are three more to add to your list: a one-pot method for making creamy Alfredo sauce with your choice of pasta shapes and add-ins. Whether you go with vegetarian spinach and broccoli, indulgent shrimp or tender chicken, you'll always have a winner. Mix and match your favorites for infinite meal combinations!
Pasta and Alfredo Sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium to large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) penne, ziti, large shells or rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- one 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli
- one 5-ounce bag baby spinach
- 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 32 shrimp)
1. If your slow cooker has a brown or sauté function, melt the butter in the slow cooker and stir in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is translucent and starting to soften.
2. If your slow cooker does not have a brown or sauté function, melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove. Add the butter and garlic to the slow cooker and preheat the slow cooker on high for 30 minutes.
3. Add the cream, broth, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker along with any appropriate add-ins as noted in the variations below.
4. Cook on high for 2 hours.
5. Stir in the pasta, both cheeses and any additional ingredients as noted below.
6. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir the pasta. Cover and cook for 15 additional minutes until the pasta is tender.
For Chicken Alfredo:
1. Add the chicken breasts along with the cream, broth, salt, and pepper.
2. After cooking on high for 2 hours, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and add the pasta and cheese as instructed above.
3. While the pasta cooks, slice the chicken into bite-size pieces, then stir back into the cooked pasta and sauce to serve.
For Spinach and Broccoli Alfredo:
1. Add the broccoli along with the cream, broth, salt, and pepper.
2. Add half the spinach along with the pasta and cheese. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir in the remaining spinach and cook for 15 minutes more.
For Shrimp Alfredo:
1. Add the shrimp along with the pasta and cheese. Cook as instructed above.