Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
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.

overhead image of four chicken breasts in white slow cooker.

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.

sliced crockpot chicken breast on grey plate.

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.
crockpot chicken breast in white slow cooker with juices.
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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!
  • Jazz things up and try this Crockpot Tuscan Chicken!

More crockpot chicken breast recipes:

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Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

4.95 from 690 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 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
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. Taylor says

    Super easy and works every time. I cook in low for 4 hours to get shredded chicken for many recipes. Thank you!

  2. Samantha says

    I used the chicken to shred for a chicken salad and I was pleased with how the chicken came out with this recipe. I’ll be making this again

  3. Mary Jo Payne says

    I made this. Very tender moist and delicious. Will be making again and again. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  4. Kristy says

    Omit the broth next time and it should be much better! It tends to overcook if it looks like its bathing. I’ve done it enough times that I should know better!

    • Kay says

      Thank you for your comment. I read through these and realized I should try but check after 2 hours. I had a 4.5 qt round cooker and used 1.7 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts. I used broth and took internal temp which was 165-170 at 2 hours on low.

  5. Traci says

    Definitely not juicy and won’t be using this recipe again. Luckily I checked this dish very early, about the 1.5 hr mark, and it was already cooked. Was not tender and lacked much flavor.

      • Karen Oeffling says

        Kay and Traci, she specifically said a smaller crockpot,, 2.5. I haven’t tried this yet because I wait for comments but maybe the size of the crockpot that you both used made the difference. I don’t know.

  6. Fred Blackmar says

    Absolutely the best crock pot chicken that is fool proof. Made this today and it is absolutely perfect. Thank you for making my life easier.

  7. Kathleen says

    I was skeptical about using the smaller insert but figured I would follow your advice. Chicken wasn’t cooked fully at the 3 hour time and ended up needing an extra 45 minutes to get to an internal temp of 160. When it was finally cooked through, it was dry and tough. Guess I’ll have to keep looking for a hands-off way to cook chicken breast :/

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Kathleen, I’m not sure what you mean when you say used a smaller insert? This method has worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you to!

  8. Laura says

    So simple and so easy! I doubled the garlic and onion since those flavors were also in the pasta dish that I cooked along with it. Awesome!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      It’s not recommended to cook chicken breasts from frozen in the slow cooker because they are at an unsafe temperature for too long. I would defrost it first.

  9. Jessica says

    I didn’t use the spice mix recommended (solely for convenience reasons, sounded great!) so I won’t speak on flavor, but can say say as a cooking method it worked well

  10. Silver Mayser says

    Hi, I am making this rn… I only have two large breasts (1.99 lbs) used the same amount of each ingredient, but added 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning as I am out of dried parsley… is there anything I should add or change before it finishes? its only been in the crockpot for 20 min.

  11. Connie says

    Didn’t want to heat the oven for 2 chicken breasts, so I gave this a try. Wow! My husband loved it! It definitely keeps the meat moist. Thank you!

  12. Dawn says

    Didn’t work for me 🙁 I think my slow cooker was too large maybe..I’ve got a 7.6l I instant pot so added about a cup of broth (so more than the 1/4 cup) and put it on low slow cook for 2.5 hours, plus I just used 2 chicken breasts – but the chicken was too tough and a bit dry. Did I put too much broth in? Or should I of maybe given it less time?

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