Time to take that crockpot out of the cabinet and put it to use. Here are some delicious, yet healthy chicken crockpot recipes that you and the whole family will enjoy.
You may be used to your classic chicken recipes, like pan-seared chicken breasts or oven-roasted chicken, but have you tried slow cooking chicken in that crockpot you have lying around? The number of healthy recipes to enjoy is endless and that’s why we’ve compiled this delicious list of the healthiest chicken crockpot recipes you’ll be able to make right at home.
Can you put frozen chicken in a crockpot?
According to the USDA, the safest method is to thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker. Frozen meat takes longer to reach a safe internal temperature, resulting in possible foodborne illness.
Is cooking in a crockpot healthy?
The many advantages to using a slow cooker include the ease of adding your ingredients and letting the crockpot go to work. But what makes cooking in these handy devices healthy?
Below is a list of the benefits of slow-cooking in a crockpot.
- Lower temperatures don’t kill off a recipe’s nutritional value
- Reduces exposure to Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
- Recipes are mostly dependent on natural ingredients
- Promotes the use of uncontaminated ingredients
Should you brown the chicken before slow cooking?
Browning, or caramelizing, your chicken before placing it into your slow cooker isn’t necessary, however, the additional step will bring you a more flavorful and complex end result. If you sear the surface of your chicken, it will lend a rich flavor and color to your finished dish.
Additionally, covering your chicken with seasoned flour before browning it will help thicken up your dish’s sauce and offer a more full-bodied final product.
How long does chicken take to cook in a crockpot?
Different sizes and types of meat require varying cook times. When done, check your chicken’s internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Your chicken should be the FDA recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Below is a general guideline on how long to cook chicken in a slow cooker:
- Boneless Chicken Breast: 2 to 3 hours on low
- Bone-in Chicken Breasts: 2 to 3 hours on low; 1 to 2 hours on high
- Boneless Chicken Thighs: 3 to 4 hours on low; 2 to 3 hours on high
- Bone-in Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks: 4 to 5 hours on low; 3 to 4 hours on high
- Shredded Chicken: 4 to 6 hours on low; 3 to 4 hours on high
- Whole chicken: 6 to 8 hours on low; 4 to 5 hours on high
Avoid cooking boneless chicken breasts on high, as cooking on high tends to dry out the chicken. Chicken thighs are less likely to dry out unlike chicken breasts, so you have the option to cook on high.
25 Healthy Chicken Crockpot Recipes that are Simple and Flavorful
1. Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
Your favorite comfort food can be made into a delicious yet healthy version right in your crockpot. Seriously, you’ll wonder why you ever bought that store-bought chicken pot pie.
Using Dad What’s 4 Dinner’s recipe, you’ll throw your chicken, fresh veggies, herbs and spices, and low-fat milk into your crockpot and let the magic happen.
2. Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
What’s more comforting than 10 minutes of prep and letting the crockpot do the rest? A nourishing chicken noodle soup recipe from TipBuzz, that is.
Not to mention, the dish is super easy and chock-full of veggies, too.
3. Healthy 5 Ingredient Honey Garlic Chicken
Taking little time to throw together, you’ll be enjoying this delicious honey garlic chicken from Hello Spoonful in no time. The minimal amount of ingredients in this recipe makes it an easy one and also ensures a fresh and flavorful healthy dish.
4. Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
Looking for a hassle-free and flavor-packed dinner that the whole family will love? Healthy Fitness Meals’ recipe will give you that and more with fresh colorful veggies and lots of herbs and spices!
The recipe is dairy-free, high in protein, and can also be served gluten-free.
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Your favorite Indian dish can be made easier and healthier with the use of your crockpot. Who knew slow-cooking lean chicken breasts in a flavorful sauce was that easy?
The Lemon Bowl’s recipe uses low-calorie, high-impact ingredients to make this fan-favorite flavorful at home.
6. Quick Low-Calorie Crockpot White Chili
An easy Southwest twist to the traditional chili we all know and love, this one from All Recipes takes a little over one hour to make. With a cook time like that, you’ll probably be making this recipe over and over again.
7. Healthy Slow Cooked Pulled BBQ Chicken
Tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Make this recipe from The Chunky Chef for your next dinner at home or bring it to your next barbeque.
The best part? It doesn’t require sugary store-bought barbeque sauce. Bonus: Add onto some toasted buns with coleslaw and you’ve got yourself some sliders.
8. Tender Crockpot Whole Chicken
You won’t want to buy an additive-filled rotisserie chicken at the supermarket after this recipe from Oh Sweet Basil. Anyone will enjoy this tender and juicy whole chicken.
Plus, with a prep time of five minutes, this simple recipe is so easy even the kids can help you out.
9. Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These sweet and slightly salty asian chicken lettuce wraps are easily made using The Family Freezer’s delicious recipe. A light and terrific appetizer for warmer days.
Additionally, this recipe is freezer-friendly and can be saved for a quick heat-up later.
10. Creamy Chicken Enchilada Crockpot Soup
Soup is the best for cooler weather, and this soup from Kim’s Cravings is packed with flavor and simple ingredients. Add some shredded cheese, avocado slices, and fresh cilantro and you’ve got yourself a dish the whole family will want seconds of.
Bonus: Enjoy with a handful of tortilla chips that can be used to dip in this creamy goodness.
11. Healthy Slow Cooker Greek Chicken
You won’t want to miss this moist, juicy Greek chicken recipe from Well Plated by Erin. It even features a simple, 30-second Greek red wine vinegar dressing for tons of added flavor.
With a bright Mediterranean flavor, this recipe is easy, healthy, and tasty.
12. Low-Calorie Crockpot Thai Chicken with Basil
Nothing can beat the exquisite Thai flavors in this dish from All Recipes. Not to mention, this recipe is a mere 127 calories and with two simple steps, you’ll have a delicious and healthy meal in no time.
To acquire the incredible Thai flavor that everyone will love in this dish, you’ll want to opt for the recipe’s recommended Thai basil.
13. Healthy Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
Featuring healthy Brussel sprouts and tender baby red potatoes, this recipe from Delish will become a favorite in your household thanks to loads of balsamic goodness and flavor.
With a prep time of 20 minutes, it will become your favorite to cook.
14. Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Soup
Simple, Mexican-inspired ingredients make this recipe from Healthy Little Peach a savory and cozy meal the whole family will enjoy. They’ll love the flavors in garnishments from lime juice and avocado slices to jalapeno and cilantro.
Not to mention, it’s Low Carb, Paleo, Whole30, and Dairy-Free.
15. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
The family-friendly, authentic Italian dish can easily be made with this healthy crockpot recipe from Well Plated by Erin. Your family will love this one with boneless chicken breasts or thighs simmered in a flavorful and rich tomato sauce.
Serve over a bed of whole wheat pasta noodles or brown rice to bring this filling dish to perfection.
16. Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Filling and rolling enchiladas can be tedious work, especially for a quick weeknight dinner. Instead, try this chicken enchilada casserole made right in the slow cooker with this recipe from Eat This, Not That!
Depending on your preference, the dish can be made with a soupier consistency, or as a chunkier casserole with an easy tip found right in the recipe.
17. Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tortellini Soup
Kids and adults alike will adore this cozy, creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe from Show Me The Yummy. Packed with cheesy tortellini and veggies, this healthy recipe is the best comforting weeknight meal.
The recipe calls for shredded chicken which adds a moist and lean protein to this tasty flavor-packed soup.
18. Slow-Cooked Ranch Chicken and Vegetables
A creamy, delicious, veggie-packed chicken dish comes together simply in your crockpot and makes enough servings for another night’s casserole with this recipe from EatingWell. The recipe is Low-Sodium, Low-Calorie, and Heart Healthy, so you won’t want to miss this one.
19. Healthy Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken
Made with pantry staples, this recipe from SkinnyTaste is the best dump and go slow cooker recipe. No pre-cooking is required for this healthy dish that can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. Chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, fat free yogurt or sour cream, and cheddar are the best toppings for this dish.
Top it with sour cream and reduced fat cheddar cheese and call it a meal, or serve it over cilantro lime rice or cauliflower rice. Or, serve it over baked nachos and jalapeños or over greens for a Santa Fe Taco Salad. The options are endless.
20. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili Recipe
With a fiber and protein-packed superfood like pumpkin, you’ll be making this recipe from Eat This, Not That! all-year-round, not solely in the fall. A unique recipe combining all of the classic chili elements (beans, peppers, onions, celery, carrots) along with the chicken and pumpkin.
A tasty throw-and-go recipe for the slow cooker as you’ll be coming home to a savory, healthy chili that is packed with flavor and nutrients.
21. Crockpot Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole
With minutes of prep work, this creamy, cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen is the best quick crockpot family dinner. Thanks to the slow cooking process, the rice is ultra-creamy which makes it a delicious comfort food classic.
Plus, creamy Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese will have your family thanking you for this one.
22. Healthy Greek Chicken and Vegetable Ragout
Vegetables and moist, succulent chicken thighs make this recipe from EatingWell flavorful and healthy. Impress your family or guests with this easy braise that calls for a finish of avgolémono, a mouth-watering Greek sauce made with egg, lemon, and fresh dill.
With this dish being one of those healthy chicken crockpot recipes that is high in protein, low-calorie, and has low added sugars, it is especially healthy yet even more so delectable.
23. Flavorful Crockpot Basque Chicken Stew
Combining some of the best flavors of northern Spain (smoked paprika, sweet peppers, piquant chorizo), this slow-cooked stew recipe from Eat This, Not That! reflects the beauty of the Basque kitchen.
A savory weeknight meal or special occasion dish that will leave your guests’ taste buds in awe.
24. Healthy Crockpot Sesame Chicken
A healthy yet flavorful version of a takeout classic. You won’t miss the takeout sesame chicken when you see how delicious and easy this recipe is from Show Me The Yummy.
Opt for serving the chicken over brown rice or cauliflower rice to make this recipe extra healthy.
25. Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken
Garlic and parmesan flavors seep deep into tender baby red potatoes in this recipe from Delish. With under 20 minutes of hands-time, the slow-cooker does most of the heavy lifting so you and your family can enjoy this comforting meal.
The recipe uses bone-in skin-on chicken thighs for a tender, juicy dish.
Healthy Chicken Crockpot Recipes FAQs
How Much Water Should You Add to a Crockpot?
You should fill your slow cooker at least 1/2 full to 3/4 full for best results.
Does Water Evaporate in a Crockpot?
Little water is evaporated in the slow cooking process. Your final product may be thicker, so adding additional water during or at the end of your cooking will help to thin it out.
Do You Need to Keep the Lid on the Crockpot While Cooking?
Unless the recipe calls for it, leave the lid on during the entirety of cooking time.
Do You Need to Stir While Cooking in a Crockpot?
Most recipes do not require the need for stirring while cooking, however, some recipes call for stirring. Opening the lid to stir decreases the heat inside and thus increases the cooking time. Recipes that call for stirring will be adjusted for the additional cook time.
Is it Safe to Leave a Crockpot Cooking Unattended?
Most modern crockpots can be left cooking unattended. To ensure that your crockpot is safe cooking while unattended, place it on a clean and flat surface. Make sure that nothing is touching the crockpot and tuck the cord out of the way.
Can You Reheat Food in a Crockpot?
Reheating foods in your crockpot is not recommended, however, most ceramic inserts are oven and microwave safe. Read the instruction manual that came with your crockpot to ensure the crock can safely go in the microwave or oven.
Can You Prepare Ingredients in the Crockpot, Refrigerate, Then put the Cold Pot in the Heating Liner, and Start Cooking Immediately?
Yes, you can.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil or Baking Bags in a Crockpot?
Yes. Some recipes even call for it. Baking bags can be placed in your crock while cooking and lifted out for serving.
How Do You Prevent Over-Cooking or Under-Cooking?
Follow the recipe’s recommended cook time, but cook for the shortest amount of time given so you can check your dish and cook longer if necessary. Fill the crock 1/2 to 3/4 full with water to conform to recommended cook times.
How Do You Prevent Watery Dishes?
If too much water is in your recipe, you may have added too much or your chicken may have been processed with added water. Make sure not to add too much liquid, look for chicken without added water, or brown your chicken beforehand to release some of the added liquid.
Overall, cooking in a crockpot is healthy and convenient, especially with this list of healthy chicken crockpot recipes. With little prep time involved in most of these recipes, you’ll see how simple these dishes are when you let the device go to work for you.