X

Easy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

This post may contain affiliate links meaning if you buy from them, I will make a few pennies, at no cost to you. See disclosure here.

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!

overhead shot of a whole chicken in a black crockpot.

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.

sliced whole chicken on a platter with carrots and potatoes.

Equipment you’ll need

Ingredients

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). 
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to cook a whole chicken.

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.

  1. 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.
overhead shot of red skin potatoes and onions in a slow cooker.
  1. 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.
overhead shot of a raw whole chicken in a slow cooker.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
overhead shot of whole chicken in a slow cooker.

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.

One hour dinner rolls or garlic cheese bombs are always a good idea for sopping up any gravy or juices. You can also serve it with rice or pasta for some extra carbs on the side.

If you’re serving it as an alternative to turkey for the holidays, you still gotta have the staple side dishes! Cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and traditional herb stuffing to name a few.

plate with chicken quarter, carrots, and mashed potatoes.

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.

closeup of a whole chicken in a slow cooker.

FAQs

Can I make a gravy from the drippings?

 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.

Is it safe to cook raw chicken to the slow cooker?

Absolutely. The slow cooker does a great job of cooking it thoroughly.

How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?

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.

Is it better to cook it on low or high?

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.

What can I make with leftover slow cooker whole chicken?

Lots of things, and here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Salad
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Need more crockpot chicken recipes? Try these:

Crockpot French Onion Chicken

Slow Cooker Chicken Potatoes & Green Beans

Crockpot Chicken and Rice

Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

overhead shot of a whole chicken in a black crockpot.

Easy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
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!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 351 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pound whole chicken
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 3 ribs celery washed & chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 pound red skin potatoes washed & halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions
 

  • To the bottom of a 6-8 quart slow cooker, add the carrots, chopped celery, chopped onion, and halved potatoes.
  • Clean out the chicken, removing any giblets, and pat the inside and outside dry with paper towels.
  • Place the chicken on top of the veggies in the slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and seasonings to make a paste. Use a pastry brush (or your hands) to evenly spread the seasonings all over the chicken, including the inside.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Remember that slow cooking isn't exact and cooking time may vary in your slow cooker.
  • For crispy skin, remove the cooked chicken from the crockpot and place it on a foil lined baking sheet. Spray it lightly with olive oil and broil on HIGH for 3-5 minutes.

Notes

  • Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or basil can be added to the vegetables. 
  • Melted butter can be used in place of olive oil.
  • Broiling is optional but adds the crisp skin.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • To make a gravy from the drippings, remove the chicken and vegetables from the crockpot. Strain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh strainer. 
  • To a small pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in about 1 ¼ cup of the strained drippings until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 351kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 23gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 748mgPotassium: 837mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 10850IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.



Reader Interactions

    Share Your Thoughts

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Veronica says

    Can I use russet potatoes?

  2. Cheryl says

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. Super easy and super delish. I did add a cup of broth because I was super paranoid it would be dry. I also but dabs of butter on skin before putting it in the broiler. It was sooooo good. 😋

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.