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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

4.84 from 74 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

    • Sara says

      Ashley Fehr says

      August 19, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Thanks Charla! I tend not to use frozen chicken breasts but I gave some tips above in the post on how to quickly thaw them before cooking. If you do need to put them in frozen I would probably add a couple of hours to the cook time.

      This is what she said in a previous comment.

    • Heather Smylie says

      I like to use frozen Boneless chicken in recipes and put the crockpot on low because we are gone all day and this keeps the dishes from overcooking and being burnt. They are simmering and steaming When I get home. They are boiling so I am not worried about germs.

  1. Kathleen Heine says

    I tried this today, used only 2 chicken breasts. Followed directions….YUM! I will make this again. Easy and delicious, tender, juicy chicken.

  2. Kim says

    I’ve used this recipe twice now and it is just delicious! My mother and I both love it! The second time, I even did my own twist by adding some halved mushrooms to the crock pot and throwing a little bit of the seasoning on them before putting the chicken in. It’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Rachelle says

    Made this today for the first time, whole house loves it! Had extra chicken left so mixed additional ingredients and baked in the oven at 350 degrees covered. Served with garlic butter mashed potatos and it was wonderful. Both turned out amazing! Saving this recipe! Thanks!

  4. Maria says

    Excelent recipe!
    I used wine instead of broth
    I wonder if I could stuff the chicken with some goat cheese by opening a small slit on the side,
    Would this change the results?

  5. tori says

    Super easy recipe to follow really like it. However the chicken came out a little more dry than I wanted. Followed the recipe…so I just have bad chicken?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Did you happen to cook longer than 3 hours or on high? Both of those things can contribute to overcooking. The quality of chicken can also make a difference — once you find a source for meat that has really great quality I try to stick with it!

    • Joanna dos Santos says

      I was skeptical about 3h on low but for once, the chicken came out PERFECTLY. Juicy and flavourful. I added some Worcestershire sauce and a drop of hot chipotle sauce as well as a gourmet herb mix (thyme, fennel, basil, savory & lavender). I also swapped out the butter for ghee instead. Will definitely make again.

      Do you store the chicken in it:s juices though? OR would you just store it alone and get rid of the rest?

  6. Susan Sutherland says

    We live in Colorado and things take longer to cook. If I’m home, I start on high until the pot starts to bubble. Then turn down to low. Things boil at a lower temp which isn’t as hot. I wouldn’t get away with cooking on low for 3 hours. If I’m away I could cook 6 hours on low. I have it cooking now. Yum! I added can of Cream of chicken mushroom.

  7. Emelie says

    Sooo good.

    I have tried it using cream of chicken instead of broth and adding a little water with it – it was amazing and by using the cream of chicken it gave it a sauce with it (like a gravy). Needless to say there were no left overs.

    Today I’m doing it this way but added a can of cream of cauliflower.

  8. Loretta Baker says

    Hi I am making this with a pkg of taco seasoning, but i would like to add sweet onion with the taco mix on the bottom of the chicken , how much sweet onion do you think could be used?
    Thanks

  9. Jolie says

    Yep, this was amazing! Turned out perfectly! I added a bag of baby carrots. Definitely using this in our weekly staple! Thank you!!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      It will likely take a little longer if the slow cooker is more full, but it also depends on the size of your slow cooker. If you’re using a larger slow cooker, it may not need any extra time at all.

  10. Michelle says

    I am making this today and was wondering how it would fair if I added chicken gravy? I have some jarred that I’ve been trying to use.

  11. Loretta Baker says

    Hi ,i would like to use dairy and gluten free plant based butter.. can that be measured the same as the regular butter in your recipe?
    Thanks

  12. L b says

    Does anyone know can you put potato’s in with the chicken and if yes how long do you leave in for and what else would I need to add

  13. Isabel says

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

    I read this in your comments about the recipe, but I couldn’t find the secret ingredient – what is it?

  14. Paulz says

    Was looking for a basic chicken recipe to do in the crockpot before I leave for work. I would be gone for 9 hrs so thos is not one to make TOMORROW. But it sounds wonderful and will make it on my day off. Can’t wait!

  15. Donna says

    I will try it, sounds so good, was wandering what it would be like if I browned it first.
    do not like it to be dry.

  16. Lukas says

    Great recipe and method! For recent health issues I’m on a lower fat restricted diet for quite a lengthy foreseeable future. Using the broth definitely helps keep the moisture packed in, and although I really should omit the butter, I just consider it one of very few little cheats I can get away with and it certainly adds a little extra something to the taste. I started with the suggested and simple seasonings and then played around with a few others for some variety; lemon pepper, a few dashes of balsamic vinegar or maybe a Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, Cajun seasonings, mustard powder, just about anything in my pantry.. and the chicken bone broth really helps soak all the flavors in. I do mason jar salads and prep enough to last me the whole school week, so this is the first thing I do and usually by the time I have all my other ingredients washed, prepped and cooked (rice, veggies, beans, etc.) and portioned out, these yummy cuts of chicken are ready to join the other goodies and store away in the fridge for the rest of the week. Absolutely simplifies the process and turns up the flavor and in just a few hours I don’t have to worry about eating so healthy all week.. the work is already done and the chicken stays juicy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!

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