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Slow-Cooker Pasta Alfredo

Slow-Cooker Pasta Alfredo Recipe
Casey Barber / TODAY
Cook Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

Why choose one version of pasta Alfredo when you can have three? This one-pot recipe makes use of your slow cooker to create a creamy, dreamy dinner that’s customized just the way you like it. Start with the base pasta Alfredo recipe then mix and match your add-ins depending on you and your family’s preference.

To make the Alfredo sauce, sauté some garlic in melted butter first to allow it to release its wonderfully fragrant aroma. If your slow cooker has a sauté function, you can cook the garlic right in the pot. Otherwise, melt the butter in a small skillet on the stovetop or in a  bowl in the microwave, then add it to the slow cooker along with the garlic and cook on high for 30 minutes. After that, it’s just a matter of dumping in the rest of the ingredients (think: cream, chicken broth, pasta, salt, pepper and whatever add-ins you choose).

The three variations of pasta Alfredo that are featured here range from classic to newfangled. Stick with what you know and love by simply adding chicken breasts to the slow cooker. You’ll just need to slice it into bite-size pieces once it's cooked through and toss it back in with the pasta. If you’d rather go meatless, swap the chicken with frozen broccoli florets and baby spinach, both of which will add a healthy dose of green to your pasta Alfredo. Or try something new by stirring in peeled and deveined shrimp.


Pasta and Alfredo Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 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
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 1 pound 31/35 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
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In a slow-cooker set to sauté, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is translucent and begins to soften.


Add the cream, broth, salt and pepper to the slow cooker, along with any add-ins, as noted in the variations below. Cook on high for 2 hours.


Stir in the pasta, both cheeses and any additional ingredients. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir the pasta. Cover and cook for 15 additional minutes until the pasta is tender. 

For Chicken Alfredo:


Add the chicken breasts along with the cream, broth, salt and pepper.


After cooking on high for 2 hours, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and add the pasta and cheese as instructed above. 


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:


Add the broccoli along with the cream, broth, salt and pepper.


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:


Add the shrimp along with the pasta and cheese. Cook as instructed above.