Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

If you didn’t know it already, after reading this recipe it will be very clear to you that I am not afraid to cook with, serve my family, or eat high fat foods.  Welcome to a recipe that includes butter, cream and cream cheese.  Oh yes, that’s why it tastes so good.

If you are afraid of fats, I’d love to assure you of how healthy it is to eat these whole, natural foods.  There’s a big difference in the fat you consume at McGreasies and fat which is whole and natural.  Our bodies, skin and hair need healthy fats in order to thrive.  Here is a post I wrote a while ago regarding butter and cream – and if you’d like to read through my entire series of Getting Real with Food posts, you can do that here.

Ah, and I have to laugh at myself because while this recipe calls for butter, cream and cream cheese – it also calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which always makes me think of low-fat cooking.  I’m not afraid of the fat in the skin of a chicken, nor am I afraid of cooking a chicken with bones – but I don’t really prefer pieces of bone or skin in my pasta dishes.  Therefore, I find that boneless, skinless chicken works best in this recipe.  ;)

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons dry Italian Dressing Mix
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Place chicken, dressing mix and butter in a crock pot.  I used my homemade Italian Dressing Mix to make this dish.  Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Shred chicken with a knife and fork.  Add cream and cream cheese to the chicken and stir.  Cook for 1/2 hour longer on low.


Serve with whole grain noodles or brown rice.

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

 

What are the fats you include in your healthy diet?

Comments

  1. rachel byers says

    Can I use turkey breast instead? How many servings for this recipe? We have big fam:) thankyou! Can’t wait to try this! YUMMMMMMM!!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sure, I think turkey breast would work just fine. I’d say this makes about 8 servings. :)

    [Reply]

    Katelyn Reply:

    could you start adding number of servings to your recipes? I always halve them because I know you have 4 growing boys, and it is just me and my husband, but it would be helpful to know sometimes :)
    Love your blog and all the recipes!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I have been terrible about remembering to write the number of servings in my recipes – I’m so sorry about that. I’m not sure why I never remember, but I will TRY to be better about it!!! :)

  2. says

    Neither of my girls can have dairy so I am just going to sit here and drool. We do lots of raw goat milk, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado and nuts!

    [Reply]

    Lana Reply:

    When I was allergic to milk I often simmered goat milk in a skillet until it was reduced and thickened. It makes a delicious cheesey tasting sauce. You could cook the chicken and then add the reduced goat milk to it and I think it would be similar to the posted recipe. Hope you like it! It really filled a void in my diet for many years.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Roberts Reply:

    I’m not sure if these products are sold where you live, but
    http://www.galaxyfoods.com makes a dairy-free cream cheese. Haven’t tried it
    but it might be a good substitute for regular cream cheese for you.

    [Reply]

  3. kristin says

    Have you frozen this? I’m preparing for baby #3 in 8 weeks so I’m making lots of food that is freezable!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve not tried freezing this, but I think it would freeze well.

    [Reply]

  4. Hayley says

    WOW, that looks good…glad I haven’t made my grocery list yet because this is DEFINITELY getting made next week!!

    Can you use yogurt cheese instead of cream cheese?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I think that would work just fine!

    [Reply]

  5. says

    I’ve been cooking a variation of this for a while now. A great friend now gives us free raw milk from her Jersey, and I will now use cream rather than the horrifying cream of (fill in to many disturbing ingredients here) soup. THANK YOU for what you do here! It’s been a blessing. Now, my hubby knows that a new recipe comes from here and he knows it’s “That Blog I found!” lol.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Wow, to get free raw milk – what a blessing!! I’m so glad to be “that blog you found”!!! :)

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  6. Brooke says

    Yummy!!!
    Laura, I have a question… (although I’m afraid of the answer ;) ) Anyways, it’s very hard to find raw milk in my city – I think we’re down to one store that sells it and I don’t even want to know what the price is b/c I’m sure if I wanted to make my own creams and buttermilk, etc… with it it would cost me a fortune. Do you still think that buy regular cream cheese and buttermilk, etc… from the stores are still a healthy version? Not that I have much choice but are these fats still healthy even not coming from Raw milk or being organic? I do buy organic milk but mostly also use Almond milk or coconut milk (and sometime rice milk).

    [Reply]

    sheila Reply:

    Horizon Organics make cream cheese and I use vinegar or lemon juice to make “buttermilk” from organic milk.

    [Reply]

    Brooke Reply:

    Sheila, what do you mean you use Vinegar or lemon juice? How do you make it exactly? B/c I do use buttermilk offen and I’d like to make it healthier. Thank you for your help and advice.

    [Reply]

    sa'ada Reply:

    it’s not really ‘making’ buttermilk, it’s actually a buttermilk substitute.

    use 1 Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and add milk to make 1 cup. let sit for about 5 minutes or until thickened (although i usually skip that part). here are more options:
    http://frugalliving.about.com/od/condimentsandspices/r/Buttermilk_Sub.htm

    Laura Reply:

    Unfortunately, my understanding is that many of the “bad things” like hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and such are more concentrated in the fattier parts of regular milk. Therefore, it’s best to at least buy organic varieties of dairy if possible. I like your idea of using mostly Almond or coconut milk, and the occasional regular dairy.

    On the other hand, I always say that AT LEAST if you are making food from scratch at home, even if you are using regular ol’ store bought ingredients (like regular dairy products), at least you are eating a healthier diet than if you were eating a lot of boxed processed foods or eating out all the time. :)

    [Reply]

  7. says

    Mmmmm….adding this to next weeks menu. We use butter, olive oil, cream cheese…I’m sure there’s others, but our main one is butter – we switched from magarine to butter earlier this year and I’m trying to include more healthy fats in our diets.

    [Reply]

  8. Margaret says

    I’m iffy on eating super high fat meals regularly. I’m totally with you on eating healthy fats, but high fat meals – well, both my husband’s and my digestive system respond really badly to too much fat, and I can’t eat large quantities of dairy. Instead I pair fats with things like veggies, beans, etc, and usually only use either meat or dairy. It’s cheaper, and our bodies fair much better, and truthfully, that’s how people used to eat anyway. The only ones who could afford to ingest rich meals and large quantities of fat were the wealthy, who suffered from a lot of health problems. We’re grad students (I’m actually currently doing research on the history of food, of all things – nothing like combining work and your passion), so we eat like peasants – heavy on the beans and veggies, meat and good fat to impart flavour. I figure it’s best to listen to your body, and ours protest with too much fat. Everyone needs to figure out what works for them.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Good thoughts here! Now that you mention it, I do notice that eating rich, dairy fat meals like this one don’t settle with me as well as when I eat other higher fat foods (with coconut oil). Hmmm…

    [Reply]

    baking mama Reply:

    I totally agree with this … too much total fat here for digestive health. Laura, we’d love to see more recipes using beans!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Beans…yikes. I’ve got a few recipes with beans, even posted a new one a couple weeks ago (http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/healthy-crock-pot-recipes-turkey-sausage-and-red-bean-stew), but my family doesn’t like them very much unfortunately. I try slowly but surely to work them into our menus, and will share recipes if/when I ever come up with winners my family will enjoy!

    [Reply]

  9. KT says

    Just wanted to share that most every crock pot may contain lead that will leach into your food. So even healthy crock pot recipes may now have become toxic. You might want to research crock pots and test yours to see if it’s one of the few that might not contain lead. A good link to start is from here: http://greenlivingqa.com/content/slow-cooker-lead-free-glaze. Read all of the comments to learn of research others have done. No amount of lead is safe for human consumption, though the government allows a certain amount in products anyway. The heat from crock pot cooking leaches the lead out much quicker and in higher quantities than cold food coming into contact with lead surfaces. I encourage all to do some research before crock-pot cooking again. An alternative is cooking like great-grandma did in pre-crock pot days, dutch oven style, though I’d encourage enamel lined cast iron with proof there is no lead in the interior glaze. Xtrema (ceramic cookware) is one brand with such proof as is Le Creuset (enameled cast iron-don’t get their non-stick stuff). Steel can leach (check for nickel!) and aluminum or non-stick cookware is the worst for leaching aluminum or other dangerous chemicals. If you’ve never researched cookware, you’re in for an eye-opener of how toxic most of the stuff is we all commonly use. Debra’s Green Living site referenced above has several threads that discuss research on various kinds of cookware (as well as many other toxic topics). Healthy living extends well beyond the food we eat.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for mentioning this. I have a Hamilton Beach crock pot – I asked them on the phone about this a few weeks ago while researching lead in crock pots, and they said that none of theirs have lead. I *think* I believe them. :)

    [Reply]

    Naomi Reply:

    I don’t know whether you’re familiar with Cheeseslave.com, but she recommends Hamilton Beach crockpots also as lead-free.

    [Reply]

    KT Reply:

    If you read through the comments of crock pot owners on Debra’s post, a few share their responses from Hamilton Beach. They got the same response as you about no lead until pushed further. One comment posted their written response from HB that said there was less than 10% of the allowable limit of lead, another said the HB attorney cited one micron per liter of lead. Another wrote that her Hamilton Beach burst into flames on her coutnertop (thankfully she was home!). One micron is a very small amount in the big picture if a crock pot is essential to have. From reading through the comments on Debra’s site, I’m not convinced there is a perfectly safe crock pot out there so it’s not in my cooking rotation.

    [Reply]

  10. Sharon says

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Laura! I’ve been looking for some healthy meals to make in the crock pot. I can’t wait to try this one.

    [Reply]

  11. says

    Can I tell you, my house smells amazing! I even made the home made Italian dressing mix. Super easy! I planned on making chicken today anyway. Got soy cream and soy cream cheese and used margarine (we have a dairy allergy in our family) and I’ve used these things before in crock pot dishes and they worked well. So you can make it dairy free if you wanted. My kids asked for it over noodles with broccoli. How can I refuse that request?! thanks for another great recipe!

    [Reply]

  12. Jennifer J says

    I make this same recipe, except I add the cream cheese at the beginning and add 1/2 C White Wine, whisk before serving, and it’s INCREDIBLE! My husband requests this all the time!

    [Reply]

  13. says

    I love this recipe but I combine it with pasta and spinach-It’s DIVINE! Once the chicken is done I boil my pasta, drain it and add it to the crockpot along with a few cups of fresh chopped spinach and mix it together. It’s a must-have in our house!

    [Reply]

  14. Naomi says

    Have you heard of Katie Kimball’s recipe ebook called “Everything Beans”? She’s at Kitchen Stewardship.com. She shows how to make a white sauce for pasta with white beans, and many other ways to use beans. Maybe you bean-haters could get a few ideas about preparing beans in new ways for your family.

    I, too, need the number of servings info on recipes. Sometimes I cang gauge it by how much meat is in a dish or something like that, but sometimes it’s just hard to tell, and I cook for my husband and myself, but sometimes (weekly at the very least) for a crowd of 40 to 50 pelple. It really is crucial to know how many people I can count on the dish feeding.

    Love your blog, there are so many delicious looking recipes, and this one looks outta sight!

    Love in Yeshua,
    Naomi

    [Reply]

  15. Serenity Summers says

    I have been making this for several years. EXCEPT, my recipe called for a can of cream of chicken. Yuck! It was the last recipe I used that included chicken slime and I had been wondering lately how to convert it to not include chicken slime. I actually thought of emailing you for suggestions :) Well, we will be enjoying this healthier version this weekend!!!!!

    [Reply]

  16. connie says

    hi laura….mmmmmm, this recipe looks positively yummy, not to mention easy.
    and lead in crock pots? are you kidding? arg. why is it so difficult to be healthy these days?! at least mine is a hamilton beach, so between your and cheeseslave’s research, i’m going to use mine with confidence.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I KNOW!! Just when you think you can feel good about the way you are feeding your family, you read something else that makes you question whether you’re doing the right thing or not. :( Glad you have a Hamilton Beach – I feel pretty confident about mine and have decided just to be okay with it!

    [Reply]

  17. Nicole Stoddard says

    This looked so good I had to make it for dinner this weekend, and it was GREAT!! I also added sliced mushrooms to the mix, and used a little chicken stock in place of some cream (because I was out!). Was sooo delicious. I will be making this again with broccoli and carrots in it I think. A winner!

    [Reply]

  18. Faith says

    Just wanted to say we had this last night for dinner and it was delicious!!!!! I think I am going to cut the italian mix back to 1 tsp though b/c it was extra salty, but it was VERY good….I am actually having leftovers today for lunch :)…Oh, and I cooked it on the 6 hour setting and the chicken was somewhat burned on the sides (but that always happens with my crockpot, I think because it is so big and high powered apparently) so I am going to adjust the setting down a notch next time probably or not cook it as long. Other then that, it was perfect. This is definitely something I am going to cook for company in the future! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Faith Reply:

    I meant 1 tbs, sorry!

    [Reply]

  19. says

    This was our dinner tonight…oh my, was it delicious! And so, so easy! Thank you Laura! As a note, I used your homemade italian mix (mmm!) but we were out of garlic powder so I left that out. I thought it would be missing something but the dish is still wonderful. Also, I tasted the chicken before I put the cream & cream cheese in and it was so incredibly delicious that way too…I think I am going to make it both ways in the future. I had to stop myself from taking half the recipe out and eating it right then and there! What a great recipe!

    [Reply]

  20. Tracy Compaan says

    Had this for dinner tonight and it was SO good! I can’t believe how easy it was! I’m sharing it on FB as I frequently do with many of your recipes that I use. Laura, can I say how much I love you? ;)

    [Reply]

  21. says

    Ok, this may sound like a dumb question but… 4 breast HALVES or 4 breasts? I’m thinking halves considering the amount of the cream sauce
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sorry I wasn’t clear – four whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts. :)

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Ooooh When I went to buy chicken at the meat store for this I bought 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast. It was two HUGE chicken breast halves. Now I am thinking I did not get nearly enough chicken. I guess we will have a very saucy and not too chickeny meal.

    [Reply]

  22. Tasha says

    With 2 very little ones, the crock pot is my best friend! I have this dish cooking right now! Not sure if you are interested in other peoples recipes, but I think I have one that will suit you! (My husbands favorite!!)
    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    15 oz salsa
    8 oz black beans
    8 oz corn
    8 oz cream cheese
    cook top 4 ingredients for 4-5 hours, add cream cheese and cook 30 more minutes.

    Serve over rice. YUM!

    Can’t wait to try your Italian version tonight!

    [Reply]

  23. Red says

    Hello! i was going to mkae this tonight… and we don’t have a crock pot… is there anything else I can use instead???

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never done this in the oven, but I would imagine that should work if you’d like to experiment with that. :)

    [Reply]

  24. Allison says

    Tried this with chicken once and with boneless pork ribs another time – both were fantastic! I know that some people can not handle high fat foods, but I have to say, being someone who has digestive issues, this meal soothed my stomach so well. I did not get the usual bloating and abdominal pain after I ate. I did use brown rice instead of pasta, but still…this makes me want to do more research into eating whole, natural fats. It just might keep my gut happy!

    [Reply]

  25. Emily Woodall says

    This was awesome! I added a small amount of chicken stock at the beginning and so I was able to use a little less cream. I still added it, just not quite as much. I am trying to get more chicken stock in us as well as stretch my cream. I also added a bag of frozen broccoli at the end when I added the cream cheese and cream. We loved it!

    [Reply]

  26. Lizette says

    What can i use instead of cream???

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I think I’d try coconut milk instead and see if that works. :)

    [Reply]

  27. Katie Long says

    I cut this recipe in half and used some leftover shredded chicken I had to make this in a skillet tonight! Added some chopped red bell pepper and it looks delicious! Thought this might be helpful because I am terrible at planning ahead sometimes, and often need to adapt crock pot recipes for a make-it-now meal. :)

    [Reply]

  28. Amber says

    Could I substitute whole milk and/or sour cream for the heavy cream?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    That sounds yummy! It should work out great!

    [Reply]

    Amber Reply:

    I ended up just using whole milk, and it was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

    [Reply]

  29. Katie says

    It’s much cheaper for my family of seven if I buy the whole chicken and cut it up. What do you think about using bone in , skin on , chicken parts, and then removing them shredding them and putting the meat back into the sauce? Would that work? Thanks for the great recipe!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    That should work out just fine. :)

    [Reply]

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