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Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

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This Slow Cooker Chicken Breast recipe comes out perfectly juicy and seasoned every time! Learn my tips for getting the best crockpot chicken breast, perfect for salads, sandwiches or an easy dinner.

slow cooker chicken breast in white crockpot sitting in broth

I KNOW.

Boring, right??

Except, perfect slow cooker chicken breast isn’t boring at all.

This chicken is so flavorful, and so juicy, with just a few ingredients (and one secret ingredient!).

I will admit, I have made plenty of dry, overcooked, unpalatable boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker. I’m not proud of it, but we all do it every now and then, am I right??

I wanted to come up with a foolproof way to make great crockpot chicken breast — that is big on flavor (but still versatile enough to use it a variety of different ways or add your own sauce at the end), and ridiculously juicy.

Naturally, I started with this Crockpot Shredded Chicken recipe as my base, since so many of you have already loved it (check out this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken if that’s more your style!), but I made a couple swaps and additions for an extra little boost of flavor.

This slow cooker chicken recipe is perfect just on its own, with a side of rice or noodles or a big salad if that’s your thing, but if you’ve got leftovers?

Throw them in this Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti the next day, or swap the ground beef for chicken in this Rigatoni Pasta Bake.

crockpot chicken breast on blue plate sliced close up

How to make perfect Slow Cooker Chicken Breast:

  1. Choose good quality chicken. I’m not saying it has to be expensive (I buy my chicken breasts frozen when they’re on sale!), but overtime I’ve noticed that there can be a real difference in quality from one box of chicken breasts to the next. Find a kind you’re happy with it and stick with it.
  2. Not too full or too empty: I use this 2.5 quart crockpot for, honestly? Almost everything these days. It’s the perfect size for 4 or 6 chicken breasts. I’ve found if I cook just a couple chicken breasts in a larger crockpot, it cooks more quickly and is more prone to overcooking. When you have your slow cooker at least half full, it gives the chicken a little “insulation” and prevents it from cooking too quickly.
  3. To sear or not to sear. I tried both ways because I like to know what I’m talking about when I’m giving you the most delicious slow cooker chicken breast you’ve ever had. What I found was not a lot of difference between the two. If you want to sear it beforehand, go ahead, if you’re frazzled enough as it is and want to dump and go, do that.
  4. Butter (my secret ingredient that makes all the difference). Or margarine. Another moment of honesty — I use margarine a lot. I just don’t hate it. Chicken thighs are known to have much better flavor and juiciness than breasts, and it’s because they have 3x the amount of fat. I figured if I added just a little bit of fat into the slow cooker, I could give my chicken breasts some of that some fat love. (SPOILER: it works. It’s delicious, and not even drowning in half a cup).
  5. Don’t overcook. If you want a longer cook time, try filling your slow cooker more than half full, as this slows down the cooking process some.
slow cooker chicken breast close up on blue plate sliced

Tips for making frozen chicken in the crockpot:

Here’s the truth:

I woke up one morning, the morning I wanted to start testing this slow cooker chicken breast, with my chicken breasts still rock solid in the freezer because I, like many parents of 3 kids 6 and under, had forgotten to take them out.

Rather than cooking frozen chicken in the crockpot, I placed my chicken breasts in a large freezer bag, sealed it tight, and covered them with cool water (think perfectly not cold or not warm), and let them sit about 20 minutes. Flip, and let sit another 20 minutes. Perfectly thawed.

I threw them in the slow cooker and away I went.

It’s not that you can’t cook frozen chicken in the crockpot — it’s just that I knew they would cook more evenly and probably be better if I didn’t.

Now, I’ve cooked frozen chicken breasts plenty of times (remember that I used to work outside of the house and be gone for 8+ hours a day), and they’ve been just fine.

They will release more moisture and cook a little less evenly, but the world will (probably) not end.

Variations on this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast:

  • Toss in a package of taco seasoning for slow cooker chicken tacos!
  • Brush with barbecue sauce once they’re done cooking, before serving.
  • Brush with pretty much any of your favorite sauces, and there you go — the easiest dinner you never had to babysit!

More crockpot chicken breast recipes:

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Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

4.85 from 79 votes
This Slow Cooker Chicken Breast recipe comes out perfectly juicy and seasoned every time! Learn my tips for getting the best crockpot chicken breast, perfect for salads, sandwiches or an easy dinner.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 157cal

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the salt, parsley, garlic, pepper, onion powder and paprika. Season both sides of the chicken.
  • Add chicken broth and butter to slow cooker, and stir to combine (mash the butter up a bit to disperse if you can).
  • Add the chicken to the slow cooker, overlapping only as much as necessary.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. 
  • If you’re hoping for clean slices, remove to a cutting board and cover to keep warm. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 157cal | Protein: 24g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 451mg | Potassium: 430mg | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Keywords crockpot chicken, slow cooker chicken

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Jenna says

    I am trying this today. I had chicken marinating in itialian dressing. I used the butter trick by putting a couple small cubes on each breast.

  2. Sheryl S says

    Hello, Ashley! I’m a Slow Cooker novice and your Slow Cooker Chicken Breast is my first foray into the enterprise. Might you be able to offer any advice (or product suggestion) for how I check the ‘internal temperature’ of the Slow Cooker? (I see it referenced above in the Q&A.) Thank you for any help you can give!😊

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Sheryl! I honestly have never tested mine but with time it is pretty easy to tell — if everything seems to take longer than it should to cook, it’s likely a little cool. If everything cooks much more quickly and dries out, it is likely on the hot side. It just takes time!

  3. Kim says

    I want to try this recipe. I need to cook it early therefore it will be done a few hours before dinner. Can I turn my slow cooker off and leave it in the juices until time to serve for dinner?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Kim! If you have a keep warm option, that would be best. You just don’t want it to sit at room temperature too long or it won’t be safe to eat. A better option would likely be to leave it on low, but it can dry out if cooked too long

  4. Phyllis says

    This is the only recipe I use now when making chicken breasts. Making it this weekend before our camping trip. Cook and pack. Delicious

  5. Amanda says

    This recipe sounds great and I’m gonna try it out, but I’m wondering.. about how many pounds of chicken is used? I see that it says 4 chicken breasts and I have two large chicken breasts that weigh a little over 1 1/2lbs total. Should I follow this recipe exactly or adjust it?

  6. Larry says

    Made this many times always turns out well,fully cooked and moist. My crockpot on low cooks 3 large breasts in approximately 1:30 to 1:45. I check with instant read thermometer at 1 1/2 hours and go from there.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. kristin brown says

    I tried and absolutely love it! I use the leftover chicken for chicken salad, or I cut it in strips and put on my salads. It’s sooooo yummy!!!

  8. Nat says

    Delicious recipe!
    So quick and easy and the chicken was so tender and juicy.
    When I took the chicken out to cool and slice, I poured leftover juices into a saucepan, added cream and thickened.
    Then paired sliced chicken with basmati rice and poured the creamy sauce over top.
    Delicious 🤤 kids loved it.

  9. Bob Wescott says

    I tried this recipe and followed it exactly, used quality chicken, cooked on low, stopped when temperature was reached (about two quarter hours, not three recommended ) and the result was too thought to eat.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      I don’t recommend it because gentle cooking gives a better texture, but it could probably be done. I would just check the internal temperature before serving

  10. Leslie Morrissette says

    I did not believe that only 3 hours (on low) would be enough time to cook these chicken breasts, but they come out PERFECT every time. This has become my “go to” for when I want something delicious and easy.

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