15 Easy Crockpot Chicken Recipes to Make for Dinner
Chicken is a meat that frequents many of our dinner tables at least once a week. It can be baked and served as is, flavored with sweet sauces and piquant spices, or turned into a filler for tacos and enchiladas. There’s another way to cook your chicken, however, and it’s a method that will save you time. Cooking your chicken in a slow cooker not only keeps you out of the kitchen, but it allows your meat to simmer in the flavors of your choosing all day, creating a tender, moist piece of meat you and your family will love. Requiring just a few minutes of prep time, these 15 chicken recipes yield delicious results while ensuring you spend minimal time cooking. Sounds like a win-win to us!
1. Barbecue Pulled Chicken
Step aside, pork — there’s a new delicious pulled meat about to take over the dinner scene. Eating Well uses chicken in place of pork, and gives it fantastic flavor by simmering it in a mixture consisting of tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ground chipotle, onion, and garlic.
This hearty main dish tastes great as a sandwich, or when served atop mashed potatoes or spaghetti. The great thing about pulled chicken is that it can be personalized to suit your tastes; feel free to play around with the flavors and add in more veggies, spices, seasonings, and sauce. It serves 8.
- 1 (8-ounce) can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Directions: Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle, and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion, and garlic; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.
2. Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
After a long day of work, nothing beats arriving home to a ready-made meal. Allrecipes.com’s dish requires only 5 ingredients, and its preparation is as simple as tossing the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in your crockpot. About 30 minutes before serving, toss the biscuit dough into your slow cooker, and continue cooking until the dough pieces are no longer raw in the middle. It makes 8 servings.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken sou;
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 (10-ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces
Directions: Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on high. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.
3. Slow Cooker Curried Chicken With Ginger and Yogurt
Rich, warm flavors abound in Real Simple’s curried chicken with ginger and yogurt. Chicken thighs are simmered in a zesty mixture consisting of tomato paste, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, and onion for 7 to 8 hours, and just before serving, Greek yogurt is mixed in, ensuring this dish has a nice creamy texture. For a well-rounded meal, serve the curried chicken with rice and garnish with scallions. It serves 6.
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1½ cups long-grain white rice
- ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Directions: In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the tomato paste, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cumin, and ¾ cup water. Add the onion and stir to combine. Place the chicken on top and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions. Just before serving, add the yogurt and ½ teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with the scallions.
4. Chicken Enchilada Stack
Enchiladas can easily be made in the crockpot thanks to Oxmoor House’s recipe. Instead of rolling the tortillas, stack them in the slow cooker, layering each with a chicken mixture and cheese. For easy enchilada removal, line your crockpot with a slow-cooker bag. It makes 8 servings.
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped seeded poblano chile
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and oregano
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen baby white and yellow corn
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 5 (8-inch) corn and flour blend tortillas
- 8 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
- Cilantro sprigs (optional)
Directions: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, poblano chile, and garlic to pan; cook 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Place half of tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until almost smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture.
Coat a 5-quart round electric slow cooker with cooking spray; place 3 tablespoons tomato mixture in bottom of slow cooker. Combine remaining tomato mixture, chicken, corn, and beans. Place one tortilla on sauce in slow cooker; pour 1 cup chicken mixture over tortilla; sprinkle with ⅓ cup cheese. Top with another tortilla. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken mixture, tortillas, and cheese. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or until cheese melts and edges are lightly browned. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Cut into 8 wedges.
5. Slow Cooker Bacon-Ranch Chicken Melts
Betty Crocker seasons this chicken to perfection, creating a tasty and filling sandwich to serve your family for supper. Slow-cooked shredded chicken is particularly flavorful due to broth and ranch seasoning and is made even better when paired with a toasted bun, baked bacon, and cheese. It yields 8 servings.
- 4 or 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup unsalted chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
- 5 slices bacon
- 8 burger buns
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Thinly sliced green onions and/or pickled jalapeño slices
Directions: Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with salt and pepper. Place chicken breasts in single layer in slow cooker. In measuring cup, beat chicken broth and ranch seasoning with whisk. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on high heat setting 4 hours.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bacon on cookie sheet lined with cooking parchment paper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cool slightly before crumbling or slicing into bits. When chicken is done, carefully remove to cutting board, and shred using 2 forks. Place shredded chicken back into broth in slow cooker.
Set oven control to broil. Butter each bun half, and place on cookie sheet, butter sides up. Broil with tops 6 inches from heat for a minute or two or until golden brown. Remove from oven, leaving broiler on, and set top buns aside. Pile some of the chicken onto each bottom bun; top with cheese, green onions and/or jalapeños, and place back under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbling. Top with top buns, and serve warm.
6. Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken
Create sweet-tasting chicken using Midwest Living’s recipe. Cranberry sauce, tapioca, and onion soup create the perfect sauce for your chicken to simmer in, and serving it with rice completes this palate-pleasing meal. It serves 6.
- 2½-3 pounds chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skinned
- 1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
- 2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- 3 cups hot cooked rice
Directions: Place chicken pieces in a 3½- or 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, stir together cranberry sauce, dry soup mix, and tapioca. Pour over chicken pieces. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2½ to 3 hours. Serve chicken and sauce over hot cooked rice. Makes 6 servings.
7. Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos
If nachos are what you crave when you go out to eat, then you’ll have to try these chicken nachos from Bev Cooks. The chicken is made easy in the slow cooker, and the addition of veggies turns this typically unhealthy fare into a flavorful dish that’s packed with nutrients. Serves 4.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper
- ½ cup favorite salsa
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 scallion, finely sliced
- ½ avocado, diced
- 1 lime, for the juice
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ bag favorite tortilla chips
Directions: Place the chicken, roasted red pepper, salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6.
Take two forks and shred the chicken after it’s finished cooking for about 3 hours. Add the pinto beans to the crockpot, toss with all other ingredients, then cook for another hour. Add more salsa if mixture becomes too thick.
On a large platter, arrange tortilla chips. Spoon the chicken and bean mixture over the chips and sprinkle the cheese over top. Put platter under the broiler and heat for a few minutes, or until the cheese has melted and browned.
Remove platter from the oven and top with cilantro, scallions, and avocado. Squeeze lime juice over the nachos. Serve.
8. Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
These slow cooker chicken fajitas from Cooking Classy are flavorful, healthful, and super simple to toss together. We especially love the hint of sweetness from a bit of honey. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and salsa, and you have one delicious meal. This recipe makes about 9 fajitas.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 red, orange, and green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2½ teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Flour tortillas
- Sour cream
- Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese
Directions: Into the bottom of the crockpot, pour half of the tomatoes and spread out to cover. Add half the onions and half the peppers, and sprinkle garlic on top. Then, add chicken breasts.
Whisk chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper together in a separate bowl. Sprinkle half of this seasoning over the chicken. Flip chicken breasts over and sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the chicken. Add the rest of the tomatoes on top, and layer peppers and onions as the next layer.
Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is completely cooked and veggies are tender.
Remove the chicken and cut into strips (or shred if you prefer). Take a ladle and remove 1 cup of broth (mostly liquid from the tomatoes) and discard. In a small separate bowl, add lime juice and honey and whisk together. Add this mixture to the crockpot broth. Add the chicken back in and season with salt and pepper if desired. Gently toss everything together.
To serve, warm the tortillas and add whatever else you’d like. Top with chicken fajita mixture.
9. Super Simple Peachy Barbecue Chicken
If you don’t feel like spending your day watching chicken cook on the grill (or slaving over the stove when it’s cold), try making a barbecue bird right in your crockpot. You can enjoy the summery flavor of peaches thanks to some preserves, and you can add fresh or frozen peach slices if you’d like a bit more sweetness. This recipe from Midwest Living serves 4 to 6.
- 2½ to 3 pounds chicken drumsticks, skinned if desired
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- ⅓ cup apricot or peach preserves
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- Fresh peaches, cut into wedges (optional)
Directions: In a small bowl, add barbecue sauce, mustard, and preserves. Stir to combine and set aside.
Add the chicken drumsticks to a 3½- to 4-quart crockpot. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook the drumsticks for 6 to 8 hours on low, or for 3 to 4 hours on high.
When the chicken has finished cooking, transfer it to a serving dish and cover to keep warm. Take the sauce from the crockpot and transfer it to a medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn down the heat, allowing it to simmer. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until thickened to desired consistency. Serve chicken with sauce and peach wedges if desired.
10. Crockpot Beer Chicken
If you have a can or two of your favorite beer lying around the house, try out this crockpot beer chicken from LaaLoosh. This recipe couldn’t be simpler — add chicken, add your favorite beer, throw in some seasonings, then let it cook. Serve with rice and your favorite veggie on the side to round out the dish. Serves 8.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 8 pieces
- 1 bottle or can of your favorite beer, such as stout or porter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Directions: Place chicken and beer in the crockpot, and top with spices. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve with whatever sides you’d like.
11. Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches
You might expect pulled pork or barbecue chicken to come from a crockpot, so this chicken Caesar sandwich from Boys Ahoy is a nice change of pace. The crockpot makes deliciously moist chicken that you’ll coat with Caesar dressing before piling onto a sandwich. If you have other mouths to feed, this recipe is even more perfect, as it makes 12 sandwiches.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bottle of your favorite Caesar dressing or 1 (10-ounce) can cream of chicken soup plus one packet Caesar dressing mix
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
12 french hamburger buns or buns of your choice
Directions: Place chicken in a 3- to 4-quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add chicken back in the crockpot with dressing or soup and dressing mix, Parmesan, parsley, and pepper. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Cover and cook for an additional 30-35 minutes over high heat, or until the mixture is heated.
Place a piece of lettuce on each bun. Spoon ¼ cup of the mixture for each sandwich. Serve.
12. Slow Cooker Jalapeño Popper Chicken Taquitos
If you thought you could only get delicious, crunchy taquitos from your favorite Mexican restaurant, you’ll have to try this recipe from Creme de la Crumb. Not only will you get that crispy texture and moist chicken that you look for in a great taquito, but the addition of jalapeños and cream cheese gives this dish that burst of flavor you’ll love. Your crockpot makes this dish even easier to prepare when you’re under a tight schedule, too. This recipe serves 4.
- 3 to 4 chicken breasts
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ⅓ cup jarred whole or sliced jalapeños, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 16 taco-size flour tortillas
- 1½ cups shredded cheese of your choice
- Fresh cilantro
- Extra jalapeños
- Ranch dressing
Directions: To a crockpot, add chicken, ½ cup water, cream cheese, sliced jalapeños, garlic powder, salt, and cumin. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit a few minutes before the dish is ready to serve. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Shred the chicken once it’s finished cooking and leave it in the crockpot to meld with other flavors.
Place tortillas in the microwave and heat them for a few seconds to soften. This will make them easier to roll. Add the cheese in the middle of each tortilla, and then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on top of cheese. Roll tortillas into tight log shapes.
Place the taquitos on the baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until they begin to crisp and brown. Serve immediately with dipping sauces and toppings of your choice.
13. Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Soup is one of the most comforting dishes to make during the fall and winter months, but many recipes can take a ton of time. For an easier path to dinner, try this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. It couldn’t be easier, even during your busiest weeks. Add the veggies, rice, and chicken all into one pot, then it’ll be ready when you come home. Serves 4.
- 1 pound fresh chicken breasts, cut in half if large
- ½ small onion or 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 carrots, minced
- 2 celery stalks, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 large or 2 small bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup wild rice or brown rice blend
Directions: Add all ingredients to a 6-quart crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Rice should be done about the same time. If rice is not done, remove the chicken, shred, and keep in the refrigerator while rice is still cooking. Once rice is finished, add the chicken back in and let warm for 5 minutes before serving.
If rice is done at the same time as the chicken, shred the chicken and stir it back into the soup immediately. Serve.
14. Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
If you love buffalo wings but don’t feel like putting the time and effort into making them, then you’ll have to try these buffalo chicken meatballs from Damn Delicious. These little meatballs are made with ground chicken and panko breadcrumbs and they’re flavored with plenty of herbs and buffalo sauce. Put some blue cheese dressing on the side for dipping, and you have yourself a delicious dinner. This recipe serves 6.
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ¾ cup panko
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup buffalo sauce
- ¼ cup blue cheese dressing (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Add ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, green onions, salt, and pepper to a large bowl, and combine with a wooden spoon or your hands. Roll this mixture into meatballs, about 1¼ to 1½ inches in size. This mix makes about 24 meatballs.
Place meatballs on prepared sheet and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Add meatballs and buffalo sauce to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side.
15. Slow Cooker Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken
If you’re looking for a tropical spin on your dinner, try this recipe from Dinner, Then Dessert. The combination of chicken, pineapple, honey, and soy sauce is completely delicious. Serve over rice for a creative meal that’s easy to prepare. This recipe serves 4.
- 4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
- 2 cups pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Parsley, for garnish
Directions: Begin by browning your chicken thighs for 3-5 minutes on both sides over high heat in a pan or a cast-iron aluminum crockpot insert. Set aside if in pan, or remove from crockpot once browned.
Add pineapple and onion to the bottom of the crockpot.
In a separate bowl, mix honey, soy sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger, and garlic, and add it to the crockpot. Add your browned chicken thighs into the crockpot next. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or on high for 3 hours.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and add it to the crockpot once the chicken is just about finished cooking. Then, add your bell peppers, and let the contents cook for an additional 30 minutes. You can use this time to make some rice to accompany your meal if you wish.
Serve, and garnish with parsley if desired.
Lauren Weiler also contributed to this article.