recipe: whole roasted chicken in the crockpot

Making dinner lately has been quite a feat. I try really hard to cook something halfway decent and semi-homemade a few nights a week, rather than just opening the bag of frozen chicken nuggets or making Dan pick something up on his way home from work. But with the crazy schedule we’ve had, plus Dan being out town a lot, plus I’m a billion years pregnant and don’t have the stamina to be in the kitchen for long… I’ve had to make sure to plan meals that are EASY.

Enter: the crockpot.

You know what’s good in a crockpot? A whole chicken. That’s right- a WHOLE CHICKEN! You can roast it right in the crockpot. A total no-brainer. No basting or messy bags or anything crazy. And it turns out DELICIOUS. There’s not even really a recipe… just some basic instructions and you can kind of tweak it to your own tastes, add different seasonings, etc. But here’s what I do!

Rinse the chicken, then pat dry. Rub the skin with olive oil and load it up with black pepper and some salt. Other herbs that are good: rosemary, thyme, oregano. Sometimes if I’m feeling violent, I’ll quarter an onion and shove the chunks up the chicken’s butt. Once I even got creative and made a butter/herb mixture and smeared that UNDER the chicken skin. It worked great! But it was messy and fussy and meh. I usually take the easy route.

Line the bottom of the crockpot with a sliced onion and maybe a few cloves of garlic. Plop (PLOP!) the seasoned chicken on top.

crockpot meal: whole roasted chicken

Put the lid on the crockpot and… turn it on. Super complicated. You can get fancy and use a meat thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature if you’d like. I usually do, because under-cooked chicken is a scary thing. I try to stick the thermometer probe into the meaty part of the breast, keeping away from the bone.

crockpot meal: whole roasted chicken

Cook for 6-8 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F or higher (honestly, because it’s in the crockpot, unless you cook it for three days, it’s probably NOT going to dry out. heh)


crockpot meal: whole roasted chicken

It doesn’t get crispy like it would in the oven, but honestly I don’t eat the chicken skin anyway, so that doesn’t bother me. I just put the whole chicken on a giant platter (sometimes it falls apart as I’m removing it from the crockpot, which just shows how juicy and tender it ends up!) and then I awkwardly carve it. I’m still working on the carving part… but eventually, I get big hunks of chicken and we usually serve it with noodles and a veggie. Sometimes I make gravy (either cheating from a packet or I’ll use the juice from the chicken… but I’m kinda not that good at making gravy yet so I won’t share my skills on that just yet) and sometimes I’ll do mashed potatoes. You really can’t go wrong.

So good. So easy. Like 20 minutes in the kitchen. Leftovers for days. WIN!

crockpot meal: whole roasted chicken


Slow-cooker Whole Roasted Chicken
moist, delicious chicken, made in a crockpot
  1. 1 roasting chicken
  2. olive oil
  3. 1-2 onions, sliced
  4. 3-4 garlic cloves
  5. black pepper
  6. salt
  7. other herbs of your choice (optional)
  1. Rinse the chicken, and pat dry. Rub outer skin with olive oil, then coat with black pepper, salt, and other spices. Place a few onion slices inside the chicken, if desired. Line the bottom of the crockpot with onion slices and garlic cloves. Place the chicken on top. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours or until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Carve and serve!


  1. tehamy

    March 12, 2013 1:23 pm

    Roasting a whole chicken in the crockpot is one of my favorite meals! Plus you are right, it’s leftovers for days!

    One other thing that I do after the chicken is done, is to make chicken stock. Just leave the juices from cooking the chicken in the crockpot, toss the bones and skin back in and add like 8 cups of water. Cook on low for another 8 hours then drain out all the bones and skin and you have stock!

  2. Megan @ Mama Bub

    March 12, 2013 2:56 pm

    Adding this to my mental list of things to make when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. So good in the summer with a salad!

    • Jen

      March 12, 2013 8:28 pm

      Yes!! I always run out of steam with cooking in the summer. It’s hot. I’m lazy. And a lot of things in the crockpot always seem ‘winter-y’ to me (soups, roasts) but you’re right- this would be perfect with a salad!

  3. Tracey (sparkyd)

    March 12, 2013 3:12 pm

    I just recently did a whole chicken in the crockpot for the first time and I totally agree – super easy and delicious. I put potatoes and carrots in at the bottom with the one I made as well – delish. They were seriously yummy. Better even than when you do veggies with a roast in the crockpot.

  4. Tracey (sparkyd)

    March 12, 2013 3:14 pm

    Oh, and I meant to say, if you’ve got any other favourite crock pot recipes, please share. I’m having a really hard time finding recipes I really like, but I love the convenience. I guess I’m being picky because I prefer to avoid recipes that include onion soup mix or canned soup. Not a fan. That cuts out A LOT.

    • Jen

      March 12, 2013 8:30 pm

      I do have one other favorite on the blog from a few years ago- I make this ALL the time, it’s so stinking good.

    • Stephine

      March 20, 2013 6:57 pm

      I agree, more crockpot recipes :) The only thing I’m good at making are a roast (good) and shredded chicken that normally doesn’t turn out good. Definitely going to make this one!

      • Paula

        April 7, 2013 7:24 pm

        I make chicken tacos in the crock pot and they are wonderful! Generally enough for a few meals (if you don’t eat too much the first night!) I take about 5 frozen chicken breast, 1 jar mild salsa, 1 small can corn, 1 can black beans drained and rinsed, 1 pouch chicken taco mix, 1 can chicken broth, 1/2 cup converted rice uncooked, 28 ounce jar diced tomatoes, 6 ounce jar chopped green chiles. I place the chicken in the bottom of the crockpot and place all other ingredients on top. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Stir and shred the chicken. Serve on soft taco shells with sour cream and taco cheese. My family LOVES when I make this. It will fill your crockpot so plan for at least 2 meals for a family of 4. Happy crock potting!

  5. Jesabes

    March 13, 2013 9:03 pm

    This is going on the meal plan for next week immediately.

  6. Allison Spurgin

    April 10, 2013 11:54 pm

    This is a great recipe. I have a whole chicken thawing for tomorrow night. My husband wants to fry it, but since I have everything for this recipe I’m starting this in the morning. :)

  7. susanna

    April 23, 2015 4:27 pm

    can u put water in crockpot to cook chicken?

    • Jen

      April 23, 2015 5:10 pm

      I’m sure you could? But I’ve never needed to! As it cooks, the chicken produces plenty of liquid that you can then use to make gravy or a sauce, if you’d like.

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