Creamy Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Crock pot to the rescue on bowl night! This is one of the most hands-off bowls you can make which makes it an absolute weekday winner. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles with this one, but it seems to be a crowd pleaser.

I didn’t use exact measurements but for two large boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb) I used 1/2 block of light cream cheese (4 oz.) 1/2 package of pesto (I used Trader Joe’s vegan kale cashew pesto), salt and crushed red pepper to taste, and 3/4 c. broth. Let that go in the slow cooker for 3.5 hours on high. When it’s done, it will shred beautifully and have the creamiest sauce. About 20 minutes before you’re ready to eat, cook up some quinoa and about 7 minutes before, sauté sliced mushrooms with garlic followed by some frozen peas. Serve with grated parmesan and extra pesto.

Initially I thought this creamy pesto would work much better with pasta and only went with quinoa because I’d hit my pasta quota for the week and was cutting myself off. Quinoa turned out to be a great choice and didn’t feel as heavy. I love comfort meals like paprikash and stroganoff – especially in the winter – but there’s no denying they can weigh you down. Serving this with quinoa allows you do get the comfort of the creamy chicken without fully putting you in a food coma.