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
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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!
  • Jazz things up and try this Crockpot Tuscan Chicken!

More crockpot chicken breast recipes:

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Slow Cooker Chicken Breast

4.86 from 125 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. Amber Rau says

    Hello!! I made this for my family…we added a lil more of the spices and chicken broth even rubbed some butter on the chicken and it came out perfect…not dry at all and everyone loved it!! Will definitely be making this again and again!!!

  2. Eric says

    I made this recipe at 2x for six chicken breasts that were getting beyond their “use by” date so I had to cook them without much planning. With two tablespoons of butter, I used leftover beef broth I had in the fridge rather than chicken broth, and I just used a couple of those Taco Seasoning spice packets by McCormick for the seasoning. It saved our chicken! I was only getting started three hours before dinner and I was nervous it wouldn’t be long enough, so I started my Ninja pot on high to get it to heat up quicker and then turned it down to low for the three hours. When I probed the largest breast, it was at 177, so I probably didn’t need to kick-start it. It hadn’t turned too dry yet and was still really good though. This recipe is a great starting point for experimentation.

  3. Mary M Warren says

    This isn’t bad for chicken breast. It was still a little dry, but just a little. There are chicken breast recipes I like better, but this is pretty good for a basic. I doubled the broth and spices, and I’m glad I did. But I can now use the leftovers in a cobb salad or as fajita meat. Might also be very good with salsa verde.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Mary! Can I ask what the internal temperature was of your chicken? If it was dry this is due to overcooking. The internal temperature should never be above 165 F.

  4. Joddie says

    Made this for my brother and he LOVED it! He commented on how juicy it was. I was concerned about 3 hours on low but it came out great! I added 1/4 extra of the chicken broth just cause he tends to like more sauce/gravy on everything. Also added some minced garlic and Walkerswood Jerk seasoning. THANK YOU!

  5. Eva says

    Honestly I was skeptical that 3hrs on low would be enough but WOW. Chicken was excellent and I can’t wait to make it again.
    Love from Ireland!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Terry, while I specifically did this recipe just to show how to cook chicken breast in a slow cooker you could probably add those vegetables to it. I haven’t tried it myself so you would be experimenting. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Meredith says

    I didn’t believe you on the timing until I tried it. And OH MY WORD YOU WERE RIGHT; EVERYBODY COOKS IT TOO LONG!!! I revised my recipe box accordingly, and DANG, has this upped my chicken game. Thank you, thank you for this!!!

  7. Kathleen Sherman says

    I’ve heard that you should not cook chicken on the low setting in a slow cooker, only high. Reason being that if a chicken cooks too slowly, salmonella could set in. I was curious if you’ve heard anything about that.

  8. robert says

    Cooked for 3 hours on low and chicken came out dry and overcooked, also a bit flavorless, will use it for chicken salad I guess

  9. Heather says

    If I use boneless skinless thighs, does it need to be cooked in less time? Still add all the same ingredients? Thanks so much for any input!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Heather! The recipe is flexible so you can use pretty much however many you want to cook. Space wise, two boneless chicken thighs is probably equal to one chicken breast, and the time would be about the same.

  10. Brian M. says

    I was afraid that the 3 hours on low wouldn’t be long enough.. but sure enough they were cooked all the way through. Tasted great! Thanks

  11. Sandy says

    I am getting ready to try this recipe, but I am confused. This recipe for juicy slow cooker chicken shows a cook time of 3 hours on low. But your recipe for shredded chicken says to cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Why the huge difference in cooking time when you are using the same amount of chicken and you only need to cook it until 165 degrees?

  12. Abigail G says

    Hi Ashley! I’m trying to make better meal choices and this recipe stuck out to me. I have 3 smaller breasts that I’m unthawing now, but a larger crock pot. Any recommendations on cook time since I won’t be filling the pot? I’m nervous they’re gonna cook way too fast… 😬

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Alison! Step 4 says: Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or UNTIL an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.

  13. Kim G. says

    Made these and froze half-my kids loved them, the first and second time around! So happy to have a delicious make-ahead recipe. Thank you!

  14. Jezebellydancer says

    If I’m really lazy, I just put the chicken breast in the slow cooker with butter. That way I can use them in any recipe or cover them in any sauce I want. I put it in chicken alfredo, or pour on some Thai chili sauce with soy sauce when it’s done. I also make a sauce with balsamic vinegar and honey and brush the breasts with that. I have MS, so I can’t slave by a stove. Anything that requires little prep is perfect for me. I like to make food in batches so I can freeze it for later, or just eat it all week long. Chicken with different sauces keeps it from getting boring.

    • JMac says

      Great idea Jezebellydancer. I’m always rushing and end up with dinner in the table much later than I want, or even worse/later if I have a migraine. I could even direct my 14 year old to do either of these. Thanks All

      • deborah says

        sorry this is off topic but i just happened across a lady says she gets rid of her migraines by chewing fresh rosemary, like right off the plant. nothing else works.

        also, trying this chicken today from frozen

  15. Jeanne says

    This was the easiest ever method of cooking chicken breasts. They came out fork tender and falling apart. Can’t wait to try them in your chicken spaghetti recipe. Thanks!!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      If you use a larger slow cooker (4-6 quart) you may not need to increase the cook time at all. If your slow cooker is very full, you may want to cook for 4-5 hours on low

  16. Andrew says

    Well… Im giving this a try. It didn’t say to preheat and I can’t really tell from online if that is required, so I didn’t preheat. I will find out if this works I guess.

  17. Andrew says

    How large should the chicken breast be? I don’t really know how to cook and always mess something up, so want to try this instead.

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