Slow Cooker Chicken & Orzo Pesto Soup



Hey guys! It’s Kristy from Sweet Treats & More  and I’ve got a hearty and healthy soup for ya today!  This Chicken & Orzo Pesto Soup is loaded with flavor {who doesn’t love pesto?} and full of vegetables–carrots, onion, celery, and my very favorite, Italian squash.  I know spring and warmer weather is just around the corner, but it’s still a little chilly over here in Utah and I’m still craving soup (I could actually eat it year-round).   Plus this soup is perfect for those busy days you know you just won’t have time to make dinner.  After all, you can never have too many slow cooker recipes, right?



I ordered a  similar soup at a restaurant a few weeks ago and it was so good I had to recreate it at home.  I’m pretty sure it was loaded with butter and full of heavy cream.  Why does butter and cream have to make everything taste so amazing? Serioulsy. I lightened this recipe up by eliminating the butter, and using reduced-fat milk and just a little bit of cream, cutting out some of the fat and calories….so we can all eat a brownie later:)  I almost always use whole grain or whole wheat pasta, so used whole wheat orzo in this soup as well!

The orzo pasta gives it that “umph” it needs to keep you full and satisfied.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Orzo Pesto Soup


  • 2 14 oz cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups reduced fat milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1 medium Italian squash chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo pasta uncooked


1. Whisk everything but the chicken and orzo pasta together in a 6 quart slow cooker . Add chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (could be 4-6 depending on slow cooker). When the chicken is cooked through and easily falls apart, remove and shred.
2. Place shredded chicken back in the slow cooker. Stir in uncooked orzo noodles and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until pasta is cooked. You can also cook the pasta separately and stir it it just before serving.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, serve or turn slow cooker to warm setting. Season with salt and pepper.
**You can also add more pesto for stronger pesto flavor. **add a little more milk if seems too thick



This is a new favorite, and I love not feeling too guilty enjoying a delicious, creamy soup! Looking for some more yummy soups?  This Butternut Squash Chili  and this Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili are healthy favorites.  And if you’re looking for another great slow cooker meal this Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken is amazing!


more by Guest »

Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest blogger.

Stay up to Date

Subscribe to get new post updates via email.

Join in! Leave a comment!


  1. Amanda posted on February 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm (#

    I’m not even sure I know what pesto is, but I would like to try this. I’ve never used ZipList before either, but I’m trying it out so thanks.

  2. Tanya posted on February 25, 2013 at 11:19 am (#

    Looks good! I love making soup this time of year, specially in the slow cooker.

  3. Teresa posted on February 25, 2013 at 11:36 am (#

    Lunch can’t come soon enough. Such a yummy post!

  4. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust posted on February 25, 2013 at 7:12 pm (#

    SO delicious! This looks fabulous!

  5. Carrian-Sweet Basil posted on February 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm (#

    Love this recipe, friend! Or friends I guess. ;)

  6. Crystal posted on February 26, 2013 at 8:43 am (#

    Looks delicious!! We love pesto so my family should enjoy this soup. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Jenn posted on March 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm (#

    Do you think it would cook the liquids too quickly to cook on the high setting? It only takes me about 3.5 hours for a large chicken breast to go from frozen to thoroughly cooked on high, but I don’t think I’ve tried any recipes that use milk from the very beginning.

  8. Name posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm (#

    Well I actually made this soup according to the directions and I don’t think it’s edible. The milk curdled. I believe I remember now that you aren’t supposed to cook dairy in the crockpot like that. Other recipes I have tried usually put it in at the end. Very disappointed and hopefully not a waste of a lot of ingredients. Guess I’m having McDonalds for dinner. :(

  9. Shannon posted on February 4, 2014 at 11:07 pm (#

    I made this tonight (not in the slow cooker) and just used cooked chicken and it was really good. I will definitely be making it again – it’s a comforting winter soup that is relatively healthy. Thanks!

  10. Rarity posted on March 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm (#

    Looks like a winner. I’m trying this soup for dinner tonight. Thank you. (=

    • Jamielyn posted on March 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm (#

      Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

  11. Cheryl posted on March 13, 2014 at 9:11 am (#

    What is an Italian Squash? Is it a zucchini? I looked at my grocery store and cannot find it.

    • Jamielyn posted on March 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm (#

      Italian Squash and Zucchini are the same thing! :)

  12. Naomi posted on November 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm (#

    Can I use whole milk?

    • Jamielyn posted on November 14, 2014 at 12:01 am (#

      I’m sure it would work great with whole milk :)

  13. Paul posted on May 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm (#

    If you like curdled milk then make this soup. Just learned a valuable crockpot lesson. Only add your dairy products last. This recipe is bogus and wasted a lot of time and money for me. Poor effort here

  14. Chris posted on June 26, 2015 at 9:50 am (#

    WONDERFUL!  Family loved it.  Husband wouldn’t stop eating it! Made according to directions except I only had fat-free milk.  Not sure why others had problems. Milk did  NOT curdle.  WIll make again. Thanks for sharing!!!

  15. Kelly Moores posted on January 7, 2016 at 7:29 pm (#

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit. The kids walked into the house after school and said what smells so good? 

    Thank you!!! 

  16. tiffany posted on January 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm (#

    I am worried that the milk will curdle for that long in the crock pot
    . have you tried it on the stove and adding the milk in later?

    • I Heart Naptime posted on January 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm (#

      I’ve only made it in the slow cooker, and haven’t had any issues. :)