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

4.91 from 184 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. 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.

    • M says

      How big is your slow cooker? If you use a big one and only fill the bottom, it cooks much faster than expected and the liquid cooks out completely, leaving your chicken with a texture similar to sawdust.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Bob! I’m sorry that happened. The size of the crockpot can definitely make a difference, but if the chicken was not overcooked then I’m not sure what else could have gone wrong.

    • 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

  2. 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.

  3. Em says

    I’ve used this recipe several times and my family loves the flavor of the chicken and the slow cooker convenience. We also change it up, sometimes adding veggies, chili, sage, or thyme. The basic recipe provides a great beginning. We keep a small mason jar filled with this mix and go from there. Thank you.

  4. Deena says

    I have an instant pot with a slow cook function. I believe it is 6 quarts. Wondering how I should adjust this recipe for 6 chicken breasts? I really want to try it!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Deena! Unfortunately although I have an Instant Pot I have never used the slow cooker function as I’ve heard it’s not great (since I still have my slow cookers I prefer to use those). I would likely start with about the same amount of time and then check the internal temperature to see if it should be adjusted.

  5. Jena says

    This was absolutely delicious! Even my EXTREMELY picky 7 year old son liked it. This will definitely be a staple in my household. Thank you!

  6. Joy says

    Best chicken ever! I was really pleasantly surprised to find the chicken very tender and juicy. I’ve not had much luck in the past as the chicken usually came out too dry. I will be cooking my chicken this way from now on! Thank you!Joy

  7. Christina P says

    I signed up for your emails Every recipe is always awesome ,thank you for your time and effort creating these delicious easy meals for us to enjoy !

    Christina from Newmarket Ontario

  8. Alicia says

    Great recipe! I added chopped onion, green onion and bell peppers to it and it came out amazing! I’m from New Orleans, so you know we have to use the holy trinity (chopped seasoning). I will definitely recommend this recipe!! And will make it again:)

  9. Laura says

    I only have a 7qt crock pot. How long would 3-4 breasts cook in that? How do I know when it’s done so I don’t overcook? Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  10. Barbara Galagusz says

    I made this on the weekend and although I loved the simplicity of the recipe, my chicken breasts were dry and not very flavorful. I used fresh chicken breasts and prepared according to the recipe. I did not use a large slow cooker, it is medium size. I was able to fit 2 large breasts without overlapping the meat. I cooked on low for 3 hours. I am wondering if because I used a smaller slow cooker that I cooked the chicken too long? Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Barbara! My slow cooker is 2.5 quarts and I find that 3 hours is perfect. If you only used 2 chicken breasts, or your slow cooker cooks on the hotter side (they all cook at a slightly different temperature), you may be able to get away with a cook time of 2-2.5 hours on low, but I would be sure to check the internal temperature before eating to make sure they are cooked through.

  11. Margot says

    Appreciate your tip on thawing frozen chicken breasts as I have actually cracked a crockpot liner – I always thought because of the cold frozen meat (don’t recall exactly what cut I was cooking) not reacting well with the crockpot heating up. 😕

  12. Jo Ann says

    Went right by the recipe. Forgot the butter. Turned out great. Was not dry. Very moist. Will cut back on the salt next time.

  13. jerome says

    super recipe!!!! i had no chcken broth melted 4 tablespoons of butter with white wine had six breasts,,soper moist delicious great flavor..so quick and easy! A++++++++++++++++

  14. Lisa P says

    This looks great — so easy too! I’m going to try this tomorrow and I’m thinking about browning the chicken first (only because that’s what I always do.) I imagine the cooking time will then need to be reduced, but I’m also making a large batch (got 5lbs at Sam’s Club) and freezing it for later so maybe not?

    Have you tried the browning step by any chance? Any tips?

    Also, I like my chicken HIGHLY seasoned so I’m probably going to double all of the amounts. Wish me luck! 🙂

      • ROBIN A ADAIR says

        I am just now cooking……I do have a question, did you mean 3 hours on high? I’ve slow cooked these a number of times and it has always taken 6-8 hours low, 3-4 hours high so I had to ask.

      • Steve says

        I’ve read that frozen chicken in a slow cooker will be in the danger zone 40-140 degrees fahrenheit

      • ROBIN A ADAIR says

        My bad Ashley, I didn’t realize you had a magic recipe where the Breasts cook in half the time than is normal per my experience….Go figure

  15. Terri says

    I have made this recipe several times. The butter is an excellent addition, especially when I make gravy with the liquid. I slice the breasts in half and place them on edge side by side in my 2.5 qt. crock pot, then add a bit more chicken broth to almost cover them. They are moist but not “boiled”. I’ve also tried using chili powder and a bit of red pepper for a spicier twist. Easy, quick, and delicious!

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