17 Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Dinners to Add to Your Meal Plan

updated May 1, 2019
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The make-ahead magic of the slow cooker does it again. With the right recipes, this handy appliance is one of the best tools in the kitchen for getting super-easy, nearly hands-off chicken dinners on the table night after night. From slow cooker burrito bowls and fajitas, to the easiest ever chicken tikka masala and comforting soups, here are a handful of easy slow cooker chicken dinners to keep in regular rotation in your meal plan.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The slow cooker is your ticket to making zesty chicken fajitas a hands-off meal. The chicken cooks in a blend of canned tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a few spices for a flavor-packed main.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

This is the dump-and-stir recipe that your meal plan needs when busy weeks pop up. The chicken and sauce are cooked together in the slow cooker, and can be spooned over rice, noodles, or even a salad when it’s time to eat.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

This is the easiest, most comforting burrito bowl around. Filled with chili-spiced brown rice, black beans, corn, and tender bites of shredded chicken, this recipe takes less than five minutes to prep and then rewards you with a delicious, healthy dinner at the end of the day.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

It doesn’t get much easier or more versatile than slow cooker shredded chicken. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it superstar, and requires just two ingredients: boneless chicken breast and your choice of water or chicken stock. Use shredded chicken in everything from burritos and grain bowls, to pastas and sandwiches.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Add the slow cooker to the equation and Taco Tuesday instantly gets a lot easier. The slow cooker delivers tender, juicy shredded chicken and all that’s left to do is grab the salsa, guacamole, and tortillas.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

This mild-mannered chili cooks while you’re at work, so all you have to do when you get home is ladle the blend of juicy, spiced shredded chicken, big white beans, and fire-roasted green chiles into your bowl.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

There are few things more comforting than coming home to a pot of warm and hearty chicken soup. With this soup, you just come home to shred the cooked chicken and add a few finishing touches before digging in.

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

When you crave the lively flavors of stir-fry without the hands-on cooking in the evening, it’s time to break out the slow cooker. This recipe replicates the goodness of a stir-fry, then tops it off with the most irresistible and creamy peanut sauce.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Just when you thought the goodness of chicken tikka masala couldn’t get any better, it gets paired with the slow cooker to make your weeknight dinner dreams come true. This rich curry benefits from a long, slow simmer, so all that’s left to do is prep the rice and you’re ready to eat.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

This zesty Tex-Mex soup relies on chicken thighs for big flavor and guaranteed juicy results. Dump everything in the slow cooker in the morning, then shred the chicken and grab the tortilla chips before serving.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Be sure to save the garlic cloves that are cooked with the chicken in the slow cooker. Pop them out of their skins, mash them with a bit of salt, and use them as an incredible spread for crusty bread.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

This recipe calls for just one ingredient: a whole chicken. But the result is something so flavorful and tender, you’ll have trouble convincing anyone who eats it that that’s all that went into it.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

This hearty bean- and corn-studded soup freezes exceptionally well, so definitely do yourself a favor and double the recipe.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

While pasta is the usual choice in any minestrone, cooked rice, farro, or quinoa would also be a great addition to this soup.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Cooking a whole chicken in milk may seem a bit odd, but trust us: After trying it once, you may never cook chicken any other way.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Chicken, beans, broccoli, and brown rice make this one seriously balanced one-bowl dinner. Be sure to save leftovers to pack up for lunch throughout the week.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Crispy might not be the first thing that comes to mind with just about anything you cook in the slow cooker, but this foolproof method ensures you’ll get crackly, irresistible skin on your chicken without the need for the oven or a skillet.