Slow-Cooker-Spinach-Artichoke-Chicken1

If you like the popular appetizer dip, you’re going to go crazy over this recipe! Our Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Chicken takes all the flavor from the dip and turns it into a delicious dinner. It’s still as tender and creamy as the delicious appetizer, but with a fraction of the calories. Not only that but since we cooked it up with chicken, you won’t need to waste your carbs on dipping bread!

This simple, slow cooker chicken recipe looks gourmet, but it’s so easy to make. You just toss the ingredients into the Crock Pot and turn it on low for six to eight hours. The chicken will be melt-in-your-mouth tender, and that sauce is so creamy, you won’t believe it’s actually healthy! This recipe is perfect for lazy autumn weekends or wowing company at a dinner party.

You might be wondering why we say to use reduced-fat cream cheese, but state NOT to use the fat-free stuff. What’s the deal with that? Wouldn’t we want you to use the lowest calorie, lowest fat ingredient possible? When it comes to cream cheese, it’s not worth it, and we’ll tell you why.

The thing about milk is that it’s naturally full of fat. It’s one thing to opt for skim milk at the store. To make that milk less fattening, the manufacturer only has to skim the cream off the top. Same thing with 2% milk: they remove the majority of the cream before homogenizing the milk.

When it comes to cheese, it’s not that easy. Skim milk doesn’t make great cheese because the butterfat is part of what gives cheese its texture and consistency. So, to make fat-free cream cheese, cheesemakers are adding in chemicals, sugar, and sodium. Just take a peek at the ingredients label of fat-free cream cheese and reduced-fat cream cheese and tell us which one you’d rather eat!

Using reduced-fat cream cheese is a great way to achieve a delicious sauce that mimics everything you love about spinach artichoke dip. But, it cuts out a significant amount of calories as compared to the full-fat versions without adding any extra sugar or sodium. How great is that?

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Chicken

Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1 chicken breast and 1/4 of the spinach, tomatoes, and artichokes | Calories: 246 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 82 mg | Sodium: 243 mg | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 3 g | Protein: 35 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5 |

Ingredients

  • 8 cups loosely packed spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 (6-8 ounce) whole chicken breasts (bone-in with skin)
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, reduced-fat but not fat free
  • 4 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 (14-ounce) can preservative-free artichoke hearts OR 6- 8 artichoke hearts from a jar, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped grape or cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place spinach, chicken broth, and chicken breasts in 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic, onion, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high from 4-6 hours.
  2. Just before serving, gently remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and place on serving platters. Stir in cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and artichokes. Stir until creamy. Spoon sauce over chicken.
  3. Top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.
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