Slow cooker marry me chicken is an Italian-inspired recipe made with tender, juicy chicken slow-cooked in a seasoned, rich, buttery cream sauce with sundried tomatoes and basil. It’s fancy enough for a special occasion but easy enough to make throughout the week. Serve over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes for a tasty meal everyone will devour!

overhead shot of marry me chicken on a bed of noodles.

Crock Pot Marry Me Chicken

Slow cooker marry me chicken is a wonderfully flavorful dish made with juicy seared chicken breasts smothered in a thick, creamy sauce. The combination of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil is the perfect complement to the rich sauce.

Other than browning the meat it is a dump-and-set recipe, exactly the kind of flavors and aromas you want to come home to at the end of the day.

Serve it over white rice or pasta or on its own with a simple side of veggies, this marry me chicken is right up there with anything you’d order at a high-end Italian restaurant!

closeup of marry me chicken with sun dried tomatoes & basil in a crockpot.

What is Marry Me Chicken?

This recipe is similar to Tuscan chicken but with basil instead of baby spinach.

It was given its name based on the idea that anyone who made this dish for their significant other would automatically get a marriage proposal! Any recipe that can attract such a name HAS to be good, right?

Traditionally made in a skillet on the stovetop. this chicken smothered in the creamy sundried tomato sauce has since been adapted to suit all kinds of cooking methods.

The slow cooker version is my favorite on days when I don’t have time to stand over the stove.

Why you’ll love it

Easy chicken dinner – A fancy dish that isn’t actually that fancy. The simple ingredients are easy to find and probably in your fridge, and it’s an effortless meal to make.

Delicious cream sauce – The perfectly cooked chicken is good, but oh my word that sauce! Creamy, buttery, and rich infused with herbs and spices, this sauce is worth eating by the spoonful.

Customizable – Add extra veggies, make it spicy, or serve it with your favorite sides. There are plenty of ways to make this creamy chicken dish your own.

Family favorite – The whole family loves this delicious chicken recipe.

fork getting a bite of marry me chicken pasta.

Helpful Tools

Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

Jump
  • Chicken – I make this recipe using about 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Breasts are the classic cut for this recipe, however if you prefer dark meat you can certainly use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. Chicken tenderloins can also be used, they’ll just cook a bit faster.
  • Chicken Stock – This liquid gets added to the crockpot as part of the base of the sauce. I love the extra flavor my homemade chicken stock or chicken broth adds, but you can also use store bought regular or low sodium stock.
  • Cornstarch – Needed to thicken up the cream sauce.
  • Heavy Cream – Used to make the sauce nice and creamy. The higher the fat content the richer it is, so don’t skimp on the heavy cream!
  • Minced Garlic – An aromatic added to this dish that elevates this chicken dish as garlic usually does!
  • SeasoningsItalian seasoning, onion powder, and paprika.
  • Sundried Tomatoes – The signature aspect of this special dish. Sundried tomatoes are naturally sweet and acidic so it provides both at the same time. If they’re drenched in oil, pat them dry a bit before adding.
  • Butter – Added for a delicious buttery flavor but also helps to smooth out the sauce.
  • Basil – Optional garnish, but fresh chopped basil adds a bit of sweet, slightly spicy flavor in addition to the pop of color to finish it off. Highly recommended!
overhead shot of labeled ingredient laid out to make marry me chicken in a crockpot.

How to make Marry Me Chicken

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

Jump
  1. Step One: Brown chicken breasts in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You’re not cooking it through, just searing it for about 2 minutes per side.
overhead shot of seared chicken breasts in a skillet.
  1. Step Two: Transfer the seared chicken to the basin of the crockpot.
  2. Step Three: In a mixing bowl, whisk the chicken stock, cornstarch, and heavy cream together. Then add the garlic and all seasoning.
seasonings and heavy cream in a mixing bowl.
  1. Step Four: Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and top with sundried tomatoes and butter.
  1. Step Five: Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Once done, allow it to rest for a few minutes to keep the juices in. Serve it whole or slice it up. Garnish with chopped basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese if you’d like. Enjoy!
spoon lifting a marry me chicken breast from a slow cooker.

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

What to serve with it

This is the type of dish with a sauce you want every last drop of! Serving it with a carb like rice, garlic mashed potatoes, or pasta to absorb all of those incredible flavors.

Traditional spaghetti, angel hair pasta, fettuccine, penne, or fusilli are also great choices.

You can also keep it low carb with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles or even just a side salad.

Keep a basket of 1-hour dinner rolls on the table for the end when you want to scoop up that last bit of sauce. Trust me, it’s pretty much the law.

  • Do not use butterflied chicken breasts or chicken cutlets. They will cook too quickly and possibly dry out.
  • For even cooking use the same size pieces.
  • Add a bit of the oil from the sundried tomato jar to the skillet for extra flavor when browning the chicken.
  • Try adding sliced mushrooms to the slow cooker, too. If you want to add fresh spinach, add it during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  • For a lighter sauce you can substitute heavy cream for half and half but it will be thinner.
  • Swap the sundried tomatoes for roasted red peppers if you prefer the flavor.
  • For a bit of heat add some red pepper flakes to the cream sauce.

Storage & Leftovers

How to store leftovers

Keep any leftover chicken, sauce included, in an airtight container. Allow it to completely cool before covering it with the lid.

How long will it last in the fridge?

For up to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.

Can I freeze marry me chicken?

You can store leftovers in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. It’s not highly recommended though because of the change in texture cream sauces have once thawed.

How to reheat leftovers

The microwave is all it takes, especially if it’s just a serving or two. You can also use a skillet on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or broth if you need to thin out the sauce.

spoon lifting a chicken breast topped with tomatoes & basil from a slow cooker.

FAQs

Is this recipe gluten free?

Yes, it is, as long as you use cornstarch and don’t swap it for flour, it’ll stay that way. Check the labels on your seasonings too, because gluten is a sneaky bugger sometimes.

Does the chicken have to be covered in water in slow cooker?

I get this question a lot in my slow cooker group. No, you don’t need to add water as we’re adding other liquids and the chicken itself will give off moisture. Cooking low and slow helps to retain the moisture while cooking on high can lead to drier chicken.

Do I use sundried tomatoes in oil?

You can use sundried tomatoes in oil or ones that come dry in a bag, it’s up to you. If using the ones in oil, pat them dry beforehand.

Do I have to sear the chicken first?

Technically no, because you can add raw chicken to a slow cooker basin. I do recommend it though!
It’s a way to give the chicken a golden brown color that it wouldn’t achieve in the crockpot, and it helps to lock in moisture. So, yes…do it!
It only takes a couple minutes per side to lock in the flavor so you end up with juicy chicken breasts.

Need more slow cooker chicken recipes? Try these:

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Tortellini

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Dill Pickle Chicken

Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Carrots

Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

plate of marry me chicken on spaghetti noodles.
overhead shot of marry me chicken on a bed of noodles.
4.80 from 43 votes

Slow Cooker Marry Me Chicken

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Slow cooker marry me chicken is an Italian-inspired recipe made with tender, juicy chicken slow-cooked in a seasoned, rich, buttery cream sauce with sundried tomatoes and basil. It’s fancy enough for a special occasion but easy enough to make throughout the week. Serve over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes for a tasty meal everyone will devour!

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Trim any fat from the chicken breasts and season both sides with salt & pepper.
    2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, salt & pepper
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, add a turn of olive oil. Once heated, add the seasoned chicken and brown each side for about 2 minutes per side. You are not looking to cook the chicken through, just to add color and lock in juices.
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Place the seared chicken in the basin of a 6 quart slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, cornstarch, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and paprika.
    1 ½ cups chicken stock, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup heavy cream, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken.
  • Top with the sundried tomatoes and cubed butter.
    ½ cup sundried tomatoes, 4 tablespoons butter
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  • Garnish with chopped basil and serve over cooked pasta.
    basil

Notes

  • If you prefer dark meat, chicken thighs can be used.
  • Serve over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes. 
  • For added vegetables, add fresh baby spinach in the last 30 minutes of cook time and stir until wilted. Sliced mushrooms can also be added. 
  • Top with chopped basil and additional parmesan cheese.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 994mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1032IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published March 9, 2023; photos updated May 31, 2024

overhead shot of marry me chicken on a bed of noodles.


4.80 from 43 votes (38 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

19 Comments

    1. I am not sure if you will still see this as its now June 1st but I wanted to give you an answer. Country Crock now makes a plant cream that is dairy free and can be used in place of heavy cream.

  1. 2 stars
    I cooked it on high for 3 hours. The sauce was curdled and the chicken was over 200F way over cooked. I’m not sure I want to try it again.

    1. That’s why it says this:
      Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

  2. 5 stars
    Yummy and easy! I love cooking but every once in a while I need to have time to do other things. This fit the bill. Super tasty. All my favorite ingredients.

  3. 5 stars
    Have you tried it without searing the chicken breasts first? Do you think it would make a big difference in taste or texture?

  4. This dish is delicious! Everything tasted great!
    I had just one problem….the cream curdled and there really was no sauce to speak of. I scooped out some of the liquid and blended it, so that helped. But mine certainly didn’t look like your gorgeous pictures.
    I’d love some suggestions!