35 Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes for Weeknights

updated Jan 9, 2024
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There are no shortage of ways to cook up a really great chicken dinner, and one of my absolute favorite ways is in the slow cooker. That’s right — your slow cooker isn’t just for big, tough cuts of meat. It’s also perfect for cooking up tender, juicy chicken. Whether you’re starting with a pack of meaty chicken thighs, lean chicken breasts, or even a whole chicken, your slow cooker is the secret to turning it into an easy, family-friendly dinner.

What’s great about slow cooker chicken recipes is how most don’t actually take all day to cook. Many are ready to go in just a few hours, which means you can really pick a recipe that fits your timeline and schedule best. From chicken and dumplings to chicken tinga, here are 35 easy slow cooker chicken recipes to add to your dinner lineup right now.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipes

It doesn’t get much better than shredded chicken from the slow cooker, if you ask me. These recipes require little upfront prep and reward you with a big batch of tender, shredded meat to use all week for tacos, salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, and more. Chicken breasts, thighs, or a combo of the two are all fair game here.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga
If you’re not already familiar with smoky-sweet chicken tinga, know that it is your ticket to the most delicious shredded chicken tacos you’ll make.
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Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken
This saucy slow cooker favorite can be made with chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination of the two.
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Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
This creamy ranch chicken is full of tangy, herby flavors, thanks to a DIY ranch mix, buttermilk, cream cheese. Add a bun, bacon, and slaw, and you've got dinner.
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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken (in Under an Hour)
Saucy slow cooker Buffalo chicken is an easy, low-effort recipe to feed a crowd that comes together with just a few ingredients.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ragù
Meaty chicken thighs are slow-cooked in a tomato- and bacon-rich sauce paired with sweet and earthy fennel. A bed of buttery mashed potatoes is just right for cradling this homestyle chicken ragù.
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Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is your ticket to making the easiest batch of shredded chicken for salads, grain bowls, sandwiches, and more. Use this recipe as your guide.
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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipes

If you love a whole chicken that’s so wonderfully tender and juicy that the meat practically falls off the bone and melts in your mouth, you’re going to love cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker. You won’t get the burnished skin that comes with an oven-roasted chicken, but these recipes are worth that trade-off.

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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken in Coconut Milk
Inspired by Jamie Oliver's famous chicken in milk, this version starts with the slow cooker and uses coconut milk plus tons of fresh basil, ginger, and garlic.
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Slow Cooker Chicken in Milk
Another chicken slow-cooked in milk! This one turns out oh-so tender, and is infused with the aroma of lemon and sage.
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Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
This recipe delivers the most delicious payoff imaginable — meat so tender and juicy it practically falls right off the bone.
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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup
Starting with a whole chicken guarantees a soup that has plenty of flavor and lots of meat to shred to keep things nice and hearty.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Recipes

Chicken breast in the slow cooker is one of my favorite weekend meals. Since the meat is so lean, it doesn’t require a long cook time (a couple of hours will usually do). I get the recipe going in the afternoon, then step out of the kitchen to do what I need to do around the house, and come dinnertime there’s a hearty meal that’s ready to hit the table.

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Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
A fragrant, fresh, and easy-to-make orange chicken recipe that comes together with the help of the slow cooker.
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Trader Joe's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
This is a low-effort spin on the classic recipe that starts with a jar of Trader Joe's Masala Simmer Sauce.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo
This creamy slow cooker chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach is made even easier with store-bought Alfredo sauce.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala
Because of its relatively short cook time, this is a great recipe to put together on the weekend — especially when you have time to prep dinner but need to get a few things done around the house.
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Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken
Homemade pesto is mixed with hearty chunks of chicken breast in the slow cooker, and leaves you with a week's worth of tender, herby chicken for salads, wraps, and grain bowls.
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Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
A secret sauce and crisp veggies bring this riff on a takeout favorite to the next level.
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Trader Joe's Slow Cooker Spicy Mediterranean Chicken
This easy slow cooker chicken recipe relies on just a handful of Trader Joe's ingredients.
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Slow Cooker Lemon-Garlic Chicken Breast
This recipe promises tender chicken gilded with a velvety lemon sauce infused with a richness reminiscent of roasted garlic.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
This simple chicken chili comes together with just six ingredients and is perfect for a comforting weeknight dinner.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Thigh Recipes

Whether you prefer bone-in or boneless thighs, there are a lot of ways to cook this meaty cut in the slow cooker. And since thighs have more fat than lean chicken breasts, they can stand up to a longer cook time without the risk of drying out.

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Crispy, Juicy Chicken Thighs in the Slow Cooker
Slow-cooking chicken thighs without any cooking liquid on low heat crisps the chicken’s skin while slowly braising the thighs until juicy and tender.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
There's a reason why the slow cooker works so well for chicken noodle soup: the countertop cooking appliance takes care of the simmer so you can set it and forget it.
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Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes
If you ask us, the best way to cook potatoes is nestled underneath chicken. The result is juicy, tender chicken and buttery, chicken schmaltz-soaked potatoes.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala benefits from a slow simmer, which makes it the perfect fit for the slow cooker.
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Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken
A pack of boneless chicken thighs are the best choice for this version of the takeout favorite because their meaty flavor isn’t overshadowed by the rich teriyaki sauce.
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Kerala-Style Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
This slow cooker chicken curry is deeply spiced with fennel, cinnamon, and coriander and simmered in coconut milk until tender.
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Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
Tender chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce crowned with pillowy dumplings, all cooked in a slow cooker.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
Don’t forget the toppings! A squeeze of lime juice, crunchy radishes, fresh cilantro, and crumbled tortilla chips are the final touches that make this Mexican-inspired classic sing.
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Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken
While you can use chicken breasts or thighs to make this recipes, it's the latter that really makes it better than takeout.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Using chicken thigh for this slow-cooked soup, means the meat stays juicy and doesn't dry out.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
A warm bowl of chicken enchilada soup, made in the slow cooker, tastes like you're eating an enchilada with a spoon.
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Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
A fragrant, fresh, and easy-to-make orange chicken recipe that comes together with the help of the slow cooker.
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Slow Cooker Creamy French Mustard Chicken
Tender braised chicken bathed in a creamy French mustard wine sauce.
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Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Recipes

Is there a greater power couple than chicken and rice? We don’t think so! And these four recipes will show you why — and just how easy they can be in the slow cooker.

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Slow Cooker Ginger Chicken Congee

This chicken congee is a savory breakfast which takes less than two minutes to throw into the slow cooker.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
These chicken burrito bowls only require five minutes of hands-on prep time — the rest of the work is done by your slow cooker.
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Slow-Cooker Chicken & Rice Biryani

This Chicken Biryani requires you to do a little prep before turning on the slow cooker, but the layers of nuanced flavor you'll get on the dinner plate will confirm the added effort was well worth it.

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