Make this easy slow cooker whole chicken when you want a complete dinner ready at the end of your day with very little effort. Tender, juicy whole chicken is seasoned to perfection and then cooked low and slow in the crock pot with chunky veggies that absorb all of those flavorful juices. Plus, you have the option of broiling it for crispy skin and making gravy from the drippings. This complete meal is one your whole family will love!
Cooking a Whole Chicken in a Crockpot
Cooking whole chicken in the slow cooker is an easy way to cook tender, moist, and juicy chicken with the potatoes and veggies you’ll be serving it with.
The seasoning and juices from the chicken drip onto the tender veggies giving them so much flavor!
You can even choose to make gravy with the drippings. This easy slow cooker whole chicken recipe is going to become your new best friend for busy weeknights and Sunday dinners with the family.
It’s also a nice change from cooking a whole turkey for the holidays and special occasions if you’ve only got a few people to feed.
No need to run out and grab a cooked rotisserie chicken from the store anymore as making a rotisserie-style chicken in the crockpot is way too easy!
Feel for a bit more of a roasted-style chicken? Place it under the broiler to get crispy skin!
Why you’ll love Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Crazy Easy Recipe – Chop veggies, season the bird, and let the slow cooker deliver the most tender juicy chicken you’ve ever had. You can’t beat getting an entire chicken that can be used for many things with just minutes of prep time!
Family Dinner – An entire dinner in one that everyone loves is what I love most about this recipe. Chicken and veggies on the side, including potatoes, so I don’t even need to think about adding anything else!
Healthy & Wholesome – Using fresh veggies and homemade seasonings eliminates the additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients found in the seasoning they use to marinate store-bought rotisserie chickens.
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Whole Chicken – I use a 3 lb chicken for this recipe, but if you want yours a little bigger, you can go up to a 5 lb chicken as long as your basin can hold it.
- Veggies – Chopped yellow onion, chopped 1-inch pieces of celery, red skin potatoes (washed and halved).
- Olive oil – Using olive oil helps to distribute the seasoning evenly across the surface of the chicken and it also helps it to brown nicely.
- Seasoning – Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika. Fresh herbs can also be added if you have them (garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, etc).
How to make Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: To the bottom of the slow cooker, add the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes. Spread them out as best you can, but it’s totally fine if they overlap a bit.
- Step Two: Remove any giblets (you can save them and make giblet gravy!) from the cavity of the bird and pat both the inside and the outside dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on top of the veggies in the slow cooker.
- Step Three: Mix olive oil and seasonings in a small bowl until it becomes a paste. Brush it over the entire surface of the bird as well as inside the cavity.
- Step Four: Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours (I recommend low heat if you have time). Remember that slow cooking isn’t exact and cooking time may vary in your slow cooker. For crispy skin, transfer the meat to a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with oil. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes.
What to serve with Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
As mentioned above, this slow cooker whole chicken recipe is an entire meal all on its own. It doesn’t need much (or anything), however, it is nice to have some extra sides to go along with it, especially if you’re serving a hungry crowd.
Tips & Suggestions ⭐️
- Patting the meat dry helps to eliminate any excess moisture. This will help keep the seasoning on the skin as well as give it a nice golden color.
- Melted butter can be used in place of the oil.
- Use a brush or your hands to rub the seasoning paste all over, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.
- Broiling is optional, but the crispy skin is always a nice touch.
- A 3-5 pound chicken will feed approximately 6 people. Depending on the size of your chicken, I recommend including some extra sides if you’re serving a hungrier crowd.
- Don’t discard the carcass or the veggie scraps (peels included!). Use them to make slow cooker chicken broth.
How to reheat and store Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
How to store leftovers
Keep them covered in an airtight container in the fridge.
How long will cooked chicken last in the fridge?
You can enjoy leftover chicken for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze it?
You certainly can, however there are so many ways to use up chicken, that you probably won’t need to.
How to reheat leftovers
Use the microwave for smaller pieces. If you want to reheat a portion of the whole chicken, you can reheat it in the oven. Be careful not to overheat it, it’ll dry out that way.
You can and you should! First, remove the chicken and vegetables from the crockpot and strain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh strainer.
Then, make a roux in a small pot over medium heat by melting 2 Tbsp of butter and whisking in 2 Tbsp of flour. Once the mixture is smooth, slowly whisk in about 1 1/4 cup of the strained chicken drippings until it’s smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Absolutely. The slow cooker does a great job of cooking it thoroughly.
The best way to tell is by using a digital thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat and once it reaches 165°F it’s ready. You can also poke the joints and watch that the juices run clear.
The beauty of this recipe is that it doesn’t matter, the results are the same in the end. It truly depends on what works for you and what you have going on during the day.
Need more crockpot chicken recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.