This is a slow cooker recipe. It’s also kind of a think outside the box recipe. You’re probably wondering how green beans can be considered croutons. It’s kind of a loose interpretation but I did sauté them in olive oil to make them brown and crispy. And croutons are crispy, right?
If I have a (minor) complaint about slow cooker recipes it’s that the texture of the food is relatively uniform in its softness. There’s not usually any crunch. So I decided I wanted a slight crunch aspect to this otherwise soft noodle dish…plus a little something unexpected is just fun.
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Also, chicken and noodles aren’t usually Italian. Again I wanted something a little different. So I used a packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing, plus some diced tomatoes to season the broth and cream cheese enveloping the chicken. I like egg noodles because they stand up better being kept warm in a slow cooker than regular pasta does. Once pasta goes past its “al dente” phase it gets gluey and weird.
The kids LOVED this meal. Hannah is already asking when I’ll make it again and Caleb inhaled it after swim practice. He basically inhales most everything these days, but he’ll let me know if he doesn’t like it. And he liked this. Another weeknight favorite from the slow cooker that makes my life a little easier.
Creamy Italian Chicken and Noodles with Green Bean Croutons
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 can 15 oz. petit cut diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
- 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 4 c. chicken broth divided
- salt and pepper
- 12 oz. egg noodles
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pkg. 16 oz. frozen green beans
- Place the chicken, tomatoes, cream cheese, Italian dressing seasoning and 2 cups of the chicken broth in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred chicken and mix to combine. Can be made the day ahead and reheated.
- When ready to eat, cook the noodles in a combination of the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and water according to package directions. Drain. Stir the cooked noodles into the Italian chicken mixture. Can be kept warm in the slow cooker until everyone gets home to eat.
- Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are browned and crispy. Use as a topping for the Creamy Italian Chicken and Noodles.