20 Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes for Healthy, Easy Weeknight Meals

20 Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes for Healthy, Easy Weeknight Meals

If you need a crowd-pleasing, easy weeknight meal, it's slow cooker chicken recipes FTW!

Do not underestimate your slow cooker: It’s one of the handiest tools in the kitchen — especially when you have the right recipes. 

While some slow cooker chicken recipes are pretty much "toss and go" — meaning, toss in a few ingredients and go on with the rest of your day — others require a little bit of prep upfront. But really, that 15 minutes you might spend chopping or browning is nothing when you take into account the rich, layered flavors of the final dish that will be ready a few hours later, whether it’s Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Thai, or otherwise.

That’s right, you can make a whole lot more in your slow cooker than everyday chili. (No shade to chili. We love chili!).

Here are 20 crock pot recipes that will get your slow cooker or Instant Pot warmed up and raring to go. 

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken

By far the most popular slow cooker chicken recipe on Yummly, with more than 205,000 Yums! The Recipe Critic recreates your favorite Chinese take-out dish — General Tso’s Chicken — with almost as much ease as ordering online. The trick for a truly excellent dish is to brown the chicken in the skillet first. But if you’re really in a rush, you can skip that step and it’s still pretty yummy.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken

For when you need a weeknight main dish that’s still rich and decadent, try this Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken from 365 Days of Slow Cooking. Yes, you’ll still need to boil some pasta, make rice, or whip up some mashed potatoes for a full-fledged meal. But this creamy Chicken Alfredo-esque dish with mushrooms and spinach will convince the whole family that you slaved in the kitchen all day. 

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot easier. There is really nothing to this easy weeknight chicken taco recipe — you can even use frozen chicken breasts. “Five ingredients, dump ’em in, and check back in a few hours. You cannot beat that,” writes Ashlyn Edwards of Belle of the Kitchen. And she’s not lying! If you have cilantro, lime, chicken breasts, some taco seasoning, and your favorite salsa — plus the de rigueur taco fixings — you're good to go.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Pepper

This recipe from Budget Bytes serves six for just $7.70, if you can believe it. The trick is using the most basic marinara, buying boneless chicken breasts on sale, and using whatever peppers are most affordable — red, green, or a colorful combo. Serve over pasta, rice, polenta, or between two buns for a versatile, kid-friendly weeknight slow cooker meal.

Easy Slow Cooker Enchilada Chicken

An easy recipe that tastes just like chicken enchiladas, sans the tortillas (a plus if you're grain-free). Chicken breasts join cans of black beans, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, and enchilada sauce in the slow cooker for 4 to 6 hours total time on low. The result can be a complete chicken dinner in a crockpot, almost like a stew, that can also be strained and/or served over white rice.

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken Curry

Don’t shy away from the spices in this curry from Kitchen Sanctuary — it all comes together beautifully at the end. There's a bit of prep involved here: cubing chicken, slicing onions, mincing garlic and ginger, and then browning it all either on the stovetop or in the slow cooker itself. Then it’s the usual set-it-and-forget-it until dinner time. Serve this fragrant curry with basmati rice and naan, and feel free to add veggies toward the end should that suit you. 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff

Cream cheese and a can of cream of chicken soup do wonders to make this the creamiest stroganoff you ever did have. All you need to do after the initial 5 minutes of prep is boil the egg noodles, ladle on the sauce, and serve. Chopped parsley optional — but recommended. It’s a perfect slow cooker chicken recipe for a crowd — or just your own hungry brood.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

This Chicken Cacciatore dish has a relatively long list of ingredients compared to other weeknight slow cooker recipes, but is so, so worth it. For one, using bone-in chicken thighs gives the dish just the right amount of rustic heft, and the combination of garlic, onions, mushroom, peppers, olives, rosemary, tomatoes, and red wine is spot-on Italian. 

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

An Indian take-out classic made at home, because your slow cooker + this recipe from Primal Palate makes it that easy. If you have a well-stocked spice drawer and pantry, all you really need from the grocery store is the chicken. Go ahead and substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for extra flavor (and a lower price tag).

Honey Mustard Slow Cooker Chicken (Low FODMAP, GF, DF, SCD)

If you follow a specific diet — gluten-free, paleo, or what have you — you might not think crockpot meals will fit the bill. Think again! This Honey Mustard Slow Cooker Chicken recipe from Bridgetown Nutrition is super versatile — and it works for anyone who is low FODMAP, Paleo, SCD, SIBO specific, SIBO diet, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free or gluten-free. Whew! 

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

I forget about fajitas, but this dead-simple Crock Pot Chicken Fajita recipe from Life in the Lofthouse is a great reminder. It starts, like so many slow cooker chicken recipes, with tomatoes, onions, and garlic; but the green chiles, green bell peppers, cumin, paprika, and chili powder give it that quintessential Mexican restaurant vibe. The fresh lime and bit of honey at the end are really what pushes this family favorite beyond.

Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Yes, slow cooker lettuce wraps. This Tex-Mex inspired recipe by Eat, Live, Run is a grain-free alternative to tacos — and couldn’t be simpler. Note: Everything hinges on the salsa and taco seasoning you use, so choose wisely. And feel free to omit the jalapeño (or double it!) depending on how much heat your household can handle. 

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken

Seriously, there are just four ingredients in this weeknight slow cooker recipe: chicken breasts, a cup of pesto, Parm, and the secret weapon — dry Ranch seasoning mix. “Honest to goodness it takes all of 4 minutes to put this stuff in the crockpot and turn it on,” says Tiffany of Creme de la Crumb

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken

All this slow cooker BBQ chicken recipe needs is a reason to tailgate — or, let’s be honest, no reason at all. Similar in spirit to pulled pork, the moist, shredded chicken here gets its flavor from a beer of your choice and your favorite BBQ sauce. Jessica Merchant, of How Sweet It Is, prefers a classic amber ale and Bone Suckin’ Sauce. (The thinner the BBQ sauce, the better.)

Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken

Super. Simple. Satisfying. This chicken recipe from Gina Homolka, cookbook author and blogger at Skinnytaste, is beloved by adults and kids alike — and fits the bill when you’re craving Chinese take-out but don’t want to deal. And with a cook time of just 3 to 4 hours, you can start it later in the day and still have it in time for dinner. Boneless skinless chicken breasts cook on low in a delicious honey-soy sauce, with garlic, sesame oil, and a bit of tomato paste to add depth. After you shred the chicken, just thicken the sauce with a bit of cornstarch, then serve over brown rice or jasmine rice for a healthy, easy dinner. Leftovers — assuming you have any — can go into lettuce wraps on day two. 

Slow-Cooker Garlic Chicken with Couscous

This lovely weeknight slow cooker recipe from Martha Stewart is deceptively simple. The only real work is breaking down the whole chicken — into 6 or 8 parts, your choice — and browning the well-seasoned pieces in a separate pan. The slow cooker does the rest. Don't want to break down a chicken? Just substitute a pack of drumsticks and a pack of bone-in chicken thighs.

Slow Cooker "Rotisserie" Chicken

If you’ve ever wondered how to cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker, here’s your answer: the “rotisserie” method. “By contrast to a traditional rotisserie chicken, the slow cooker method will definitely result in a chicken that is fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy, so much so that the chicken may actually fall apart a bit when you try to remove it from the slow cooker,” writes Ali from Gimme Some Oven. Season it well with a blend of paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder, then prop the whole chicken up off the bottom of the slow cooker, with veggies of your choice (preferred!) or some tin foil balls (which works just fine).

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Honey-Dijon Chicken Wings

Five ingredients + five minutes of prep = five-star chicken wing goodness! And it’s Paleo, to boot. “Even if you don’t thicken the sauce, don’t throw it away! Pour it on top of the wings before serving,” suggests Shannon from Fit SlowCooker Queen.

Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup (Keto Slow Cooker Mexican Soup)

This ridiculously creamy soup takes advantage of that keto-friendly secret weapon: cream cheese. Kori from Seeking Good Eats says to be sure to grate your own Monterey jack cheese — pre-grated cheese has additives that keep it from melting perfectly. And you can go with chicken thighs, over breasts, for even more flavor. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

When you’re craving the ultimate comfort food, the slow cooker is your BFF. In this chicken noodle soup recipe from Damn Delicious, you cook the chicken, herbs, and veggies on low for 6 to 8 hours in chicken broth or stock, then throw some broken spaghetti in for the final 30 minutes. Voila! Just like mom used to make. But, like, way easier.


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