Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

For some home cooks, the slow cooker is the fairy godmother of kitchen appliances. Toss a few ingredients into the crock (maybe sear the meat or sauté some veg, if you like), set the timer, go about your day and, when you come home, ta-da! Your kitchen smells like someone has been minding the stove all day, and dinner is, with the exception of a few finishing touches, done.

The 13 recipes below all feature chicken, that ever-versatile and much-loved protein, and unless otherwise noted, were created by Sarah DiGregorio, a recipe developer and slow cooker fangirl. Many of the recipes call for boneless thighs, but boneless breasts work, too. Just be aware that you may need to cut down on cook time to avoid dry, stringy chicken.

(Shopping for a new slow cooker? Wirecutter has some recommendations.)

This vibrant chicken soup is loaded with carrots, onions, garlic, jalapeño and three kinds of tomatoes. Feel free to sub canned tomatoes for fresh, and while the roasted cherry tomatoes add a nice dimension, you can skip those, too, if you’re in a rush. Serve with your choice of tortilla chips, avocado, lime wedges, hot sauce, cilantro and queso fresco for topping.

Cacciatore, which translates to “hunter style,” refers to a classic Italian braise that features chicken or rabbit with lots of peppers, tomatoes and wine. Serve this version, which gets a flavor boost from bacon and mushrooms, over pasta or polenta, and with hunks of bread to soak up the sauce.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore With Mushrooms and Bacon

Jennifer Steinhauer’s slow cooker version of the transcontinental favorite can be quickly prepared in the morning, then left to simmer until you’re ready for dinner. Serve with rice or naan.

Lively and light, this chicken soup calls for asparagus and peas, but feel free to substitute two cups of quick-cooking seasonal vegetables, like fresh or frozen corn, baby spinach or arugula, or thinly sliced zucchini.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Lemony Chicken Soup

Tinga is a Pueblan dish of braised chicken or pork in a chipotle, tomato and onion sauce. This slow-cooker variation calls for fresh or frozen corn kernels, which adds happy little pops of sweetness.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos

Miso soup is traditionally made with dashi, a stock made from kombu seaweed and dried bonito, but this recipe takes a shortcut by using chicken broth, optional dried shiitake mushrooms and a quick kombu steep.

No need to add liquid to the crock for this spicy-sweet pulled chicken: The meat releases flavorful juices as it cooks. Leftovers are great as a topping for nachos or baked potatoes.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Hot-Honey Chicken Sandwiches

When British colonizers encountered rasam, a soupy lentil dish from Tamil Nadu, a region in southern India, they added ingredients to make it closer to the soups they knew, changing it until it became a thick, chunky and meaty stew called mulligatawny. Over the years, the stew has evolved, yielding many delicious versions. This slow cooker version includes masoor dal (or red lentils), coconut cream, boneless chicken thighs and tart apple.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Mulligatawny Soup

Ten minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes just before you eat: That’s all the time it takes to put together this satisfying soup. Add just the amount of tortellini you plan on eating — or boil the entire bag separately and add to your bowl as you go — because tortellini left in the soup will become mushy.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortellini Tomato Soup

Boneless chicken thighs are braised with tomato, carrot, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme and red-pepper flakes in this spicy chicken ragù. Toss with pasta, then add a dollop of ricotta for a welcome lasagna vibe.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Ragu With Herbed Ricotta

This smart recipe skips the stovetop roux and instead calls for making it in the microwave right in the crock. (Double-check first that your slow-cooker insert is microwave-safe!)

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Also known as dakbokkeum-tang, this warming Korean chicken stew is unabashedly spicy from gochugaru, gochujang and Korean chile. Serve over a pile of white rice to cut the heat.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Daktori Tang

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