The Easiest Way to Cook Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Every Time

Cooking chicken breasts in the slow cooker is a game-changer for busy weeknights. It’s a hands-off method that yields tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken every time. But, how long should you cook chicken breasts in the slow cooker, and what’s the best way to do it? Let’s dive into the details.

Why Use the Slow Cooker for Chicken Breasts?

Slow cookers are a lifesaver for busy families and individuals who want to enjoy home-cooked meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Here are a few reasons why you should consider cooking chicken breasts in the slow cooker:

  • Convenience: Simply toss the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal.
  • Tender and Juicy: The gentle, moist heat of the slow cooker helps chicken breasts retain their moisture, resulting in tender and juicy meat.
  • Versatility: Cooked chicken breasts can be used in various dishes, from salads and sandwiches to pasta and rice bowls.
  • Hands-Off: Once you’ve prepped the ingredients, you can leave the slow cooker to do its magic, freeing up your time for other tasks.

How Long to Cook Chicken Breasts in the Slow Cooker

The cooking time for chicken breasts in the slow cooker can vary based on factors like the size of the breasts, the desired doneness, and your slow cooker’s temperature settings. However, here’s a general guideline:

  • Low Setting (190°F – 200°F): Cook for 6-7 hours.
  • High Setting (300°F – 325°F): Cook for 3-4 hours.

It’s essential to cook the chicken breasts until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), as recommended by the USDA for food safety reasons. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your chicken is cooked through without overcooking it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Chicken Breasts in the Slow Cooker

Follow these simple steps for perfectly cooked slow cooker chicken breasts every time:

  1. Prepare the chicken: If desired, season the chicken breasts with your favorite spices, herbs, or marinade.
  2. Add liquid: Pour 1/2 cup of liquid (water, broth, or sauce) into the slow cooker to create a moist environment for cooking.
  3. Arrange the chicken: Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker, overlapping them as little as possible for even cooking.
  4. Cook: Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  5. Check for doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check if the thickest part of the chicken breasts has reached 165°F (74°C).
  6. Rest and serve: Transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a plate or cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or shredding. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier meat.

Flavor Variations and Serving Suggestions

One of the best things about slow cooker chicken breasts is their versatility. You can customize the flavors to suit your taste preferences and use the cooked chicken in a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Marinades and Sauces: Marinate the chicken breasts in your favorite marinade or sauce before cooking, or pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Herbs and Spices: Experiment with different herb and spice combinations, such as Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, or lemon-pepper.
  • Salads: Shred or slice the cooked chicken and add it to salads like Caesar, Greek, or Cobb.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Use the chicken for sandwiches, wraps, or quesadillas.
  • Pasta Dishes: Toss the shredded chicken with your favorite pasta sauce or use it in recipes like chicken Alfredo or chicken Parmesan.
  • Rice Bowls: Top rice bowls with sliced or shredded chicken, veggies, and your desired sauces or dressings.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts: They cook more evenly and quickly in the slow cooker compared to bone-in or skin-on chicken breasts.
  • Don’t overfill the slow cooker: Leave enough space for the chicken breasts to cook evenly without overcrowding.
  • Add a bit of fat: Rubbing the chicken breasts with a small amount of butter or olive oil can help keep them moist and flavorful.
  • Adjust cooking time for frozen chicken: If using frozen chicken breasts, add an extra hour or two to the cooking time.
  • Let the chicken rest: After cooking, let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing or shredding to prevent moisture loss.


Cooking chicken breasts in the slow cooker is a simple and foolproof method for tender, juicy, and flavorful results every time. With the right cooking time and a few tips, you can enjoy delicious, hassle-free chicken dishes any night of the week. So, fire up your slow cooker and enjoy the convenience of perfectly cooked chicken breasts without any fuss!

Slow Cooker Chicken Breast ~ Easy Cooking


Is it better to cook chicken breasts on low or high in slow cooker?

We found that the only way to cook chicken (and turkey) in a slow cooker is on the low setting and for a relatively short amount of time.

Is 3 hours in slow cooker enough for chicken?

For a whole chicken – Place it in your slow cooker breast side down. Cover with the lid and cook on High for around 4-5 hours or Low for 6-8 hours. For bone-in pieces – Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in the slow cooker. Cover with the lid and cook on High for around 3-4 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.

Does chicken breast go tough in slow cooker?

Aside from accidentally overcooking the meals, the most common reason we see for tough, rubbery, or overdone chicken is customers using a Crockpot that is far too big.

Is 10 hours too long for chicken in slow cooker?

Slow cookers are a great way to cook chicken if you’re short on time. You can set them up in the morning and let them cook all day, or even overnight. However, there is a limit to how long you can cook chicken in a slow cooker. After 10 hours, the chicken will start to dry out and become tough.

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