The make-ahead magic of the slow cooker does it again. With the right recipes, this handy appliance is one of the best tools in the kitchen for getting super-easy, nearly hands-off chicken dinners on the table night after night. From slow cooker burrito bowls and fajitas, to the easiest ever chicken tikka masala and comforting soups, here are a handful of easy slow cooker chicken dinners to keep in regular rotation in your meal plan.
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)
1. How To Make Slow Cooker Fajitas
The slow cooker is your ticket to making zesty chicken fajitas a hands-off meal. The chicken cooks in a blend of canned tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a few spices for a flavor-packed main.
2. Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken
This is the dump-and-stir recipe that your meal plan needs when busy weeks pop up. The chicken and sauce are cooked together in the slow cooker, and can be spooned over rice, noodles, or even a salad when it’s time to eat.
3. Slow-Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
This is the easiest, most comforting burrito bowl around. Filled with chili-spiced brown rice, black beans, corn, and tender bites of shredded chicken, this recipe takes less than five minutes to prep and then rewards you with a delicious, healthy dinner at the end of the day.
4. How To Make Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker
It doesn’t get much easier or more versatile than slow cooker shredded chicken. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it superstar, and requires just two ingredients: boneless chicken breast and your choice of water or chicken stock. Use shredded chicken in everything from burritos and grain bowls, to pastas and sandwiches.
(Image credit: Diana Yen)
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Add the slow cooker to the equation and Taco Tuesday instantly gets a lot easier. The slow cooker delivers tender, juicy shredded chicken and all that’s left to do is grab the salsa, guacamole, and tortillas.
6. Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
This mild-mannered chili cooks while you’re at work, so all you have to do when you get home is ladle the blend of juicy, spiced shredded chicken, big white beans, and fire-roasted green chiles into your bowl.
7. Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
There are few things more comforting than coming home to a pot of warm and hearty chicken soup. With this soup, you just come home to shred the cooked chicken and add a few finishing touches before digging in.
(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)
8. Creamy Slow Cooker Peanut Chicken and Broccoli
When you crave the lively flavors of stir-fry without the hands-on cooking in the evening, it’s time to break out the slow cooker. This recipe replicates the goodness of a stir-fry, then tops it off with the most irresistible and creamy peanut sauce.
9. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Just when you thought the goodness of chicken tikka masala couldn’t get any better, it gets paired with the slow cooker to make your weeknight dinner dreams come true. This rich curry benefits from a long, slow simmer, so all that’s left to do is prep the rice and you’re ready to eat.
10. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
This zesty Tex-Mex soup relies on chicken thighs for big flavor and guaranteed juicy results. Dump everything in the slow cooker in the morning, then shred the chicken and grab the tortilla chips before serving.
11. Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
Be sure to save the garlic cloves that are cooked with the chicken in the slow cooker. Pop them out of their skins, mash them with a bit of salt, and use them as an incredible spread for crusty bread.
12. How To Cook a Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
This recipe calls for just one ingredient: a whole chicken. But the result is something so flavorful and tender, you’ll have trouble convincing anyone who eats it that that’s all that went into it.
13. Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
This hearty bean- and corn-studded soup freezes exceptionally well, so definitely do yourself a favor and double the recipe.
14. Slow Cooker Hearty Chicken Minestrone
While pasta is the usual choice in any minestrone, cooked rice, farro, or quinoa would also be a great addition to this soup.
15. Slow Cooker Chicken in Milk
Cooking a whole chicken in milk may seem a bit odd, but trust us: After trying it once, you may never cook chicken any other way.
16. Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Broccoli Bowls
Chicken, beans, broccoli, and brown rice make this one seriously balanced one-bowl dinner. Be sure to save leftovers to pack up for lunch throughout the week.
17. How To Make Crispy, Juicy Chicken Thighs in the Slow Cooker
Crispy might not be the first thing that comes to mind with just about anything you cook in the slow cooker, but this foolproof method ensures you’ll get crackly, irresistible skin on your chicken without the need for the oven or a skillet.