If you want to cook a whole chicken for Sunday lunch, or even a midweek dinner, too often the only thing we can think of (or have been suggested to do) is to pop it into an oven tray and roast it. And while this is perfectly fine and the bird comes out beautiful, for me, the taste is always the same.
There isn’t much you can do with an oven-roasted bird other than basting continuously or adding a crust or topping of some sort but then you risk it burning, and the dish needs constant supervision.
I wanted easy meals because our family schedule with the kids is non-stop, so when I discovered these whole chicken crock pot recipes that you must try for the family I was delighted and got straight on it. We haven’t had a bad meal and we don’t plan to either.
#1. Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Hearing these two words is like an inevitable marriage, and for a good reason too, they work so fantastically together that it would be a crime not to make this dish as is.
A golden bird surrounded by tender baby veggies sounds like the perfect dinner to me.
If crock pot whole chicken recipes are something you are considering then starting with this successfully tried and tested one is a must, and I can vouch for it.
It takes no time to prepare, and it cooks slowly throughout the day while you drive the children from one sports event to the next. Then when the family comes home, exhausted, you can plop down at the dining table and enjoy a nutritious meal without any stress of still having to cook.
Get recipe: melissassouthernstylekitchen.com
#2. Crock Pot Mississippi Whole Chicken
This is the ultimate dish to prepare and serve if you are a beginner cook or even if you have no culinary experience, so simple, so humble, and turns out as tender as if you slaved over it for hours.
Whole chicken slow cooker recipes don’t need to be complicated to be tasty, and this meal proves that, and when using the low-fat, and low-sodium seasoning packets it offers a healthier low carb option to keep you on track with your eating plan.
White meat as it is, is lean meat, so it is a great choice for those of us trying to keep up with some form of fitness (not that I’m always successful when they still make chocolate in the world), and you don’t have to worry about the traditional greasy oil needed for basting and roasting.
All the flavour is poured on top of the ready, falling-apart meat and served with the peppers and fluffy rice for a supper sensation that will leave you with clean plates at the end of the meal.
Get recipe: recipesthatcrock.com
#3. Crock-Pot Honey Lemon Chicken
If you thought you couldn’t achieve that golden, crispy coat on the chicken when you cook it in the slow cooker then you would be wrong, which is why you need these whole chicken crock pot recipes in your collection.
Rubbing the bird with the lemon butter and then honey adds a sweet and sour element to the overall dish which brings a perfect balance and you have a flavour profile that has something for everyone.
As the honey is heated and turns a golden caramel colour it elevates the dish and you wouldn’t know you didn’t have the bird in the oven all this time.
The meat is fork-tender, the skin full of nutrients and a beautiful hue, there is nothing you could fault in this meal, other than you may have to add two birds to the slow cooking process next time as requests for seconds become evident.
Feel free to swap out the lemon butter for a garlic and herb version to add a twist to the recipe, and any leftover liquid to thicken and serve over the meat at the table.
Get recipe: diethood.com
#4. Garlic and Herb Whole Chicken
I love making this dish because it is so effortless but has the sneakiness of tasting like hours of sweat and tears spent in the kitchen. I always make this when we have guests over or the family and it has been highly successful so far and a top feature in our dinner menu rotation.
What gives the dish that rich, sumptuous flavor is all the butter (I like to add a few extra pieces than the recipe calls for, but I am an avid butter fan) and it doesn’t disappoint.
Because white meat, in general, is quite a light meal, these slow cooker whole chicken recipes make it the perfect meal for summer dining outside without feeling like a lump afterward. Serve this dish with a side salad to add a nice pop of color to the plate, and to balance the wholesomeness of the bird smothered in delicious butter and herbs.
Get recipe: blessthismessplease.com
#5. Cajun Chicken
Crock pot whole chicken recipes like these that are packed with spices and flavor seem like a luxury, but using ingredients that are, more than likely, already in your pantry makes this an easy dish to pull together.
And not having to buy extra, ‘exotic’ spices or ingredients means it is budget-friendly, and we could all use a meal that is easy on the wallet but still tastes great.
Give the whole chicken a generous rub with the spices and be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, the folds, and the in-betweens for a full flavor impact.
Set the bird in the slow cooker on top of your choice of veggies and potatoes and set the crockpot on low to work its slow cooking magic while you get on with your day.
A humble dish that packs a punch.
Get recipe: recipesthatcrock.com
#6. Crock-Pot Whole BBQ Chicken
This is by far the quickest and most simple dish you will prepare for the family, and with only a handful of ingredients, you don’t need to worry about too many steps either.
Slow cooker whole chicken recipes that have the words BBQ and chicken in the title are a must-have in our home and finding versions of this dish has pushed my creative boundaries I will admit.
The sweetness of the BBQ spice and then the rub as well had me worried it would be too overbearing, but thankfully, it turned out superb.
Not too much BBQ flavor but enough to know it was there, and that’s why I love this meal (and I am not much of a BBQ fan but I am the only one in my family) so I can’t not make these kinds of recipes.
Quick and easy and you have dinner on the table without the stress and fuss.
Get recipe: thecountrycook.net
#7. Slow-Cooker Rotisserie Chicken
We have all seen those golden to perfection birds slowly turning on the rotisserie sticks in the café windows while on holiday, the smell wafting down the street for all to enjoy and essentially to draw you in towards their shop, and it works.
But they have the time and social aspect to sit for hours on end and brush the chickens with their secret herbs and spices concoction, but unless you are on holiday with a group of friends or family we don’t have all that time to spend, as lovely as it would be.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get that golden color for yourself in the comfort of your home, with these whole chicken crock pot recipes in your arsenal you can have your favorite holiday meals at your dining table and have them taste equally delicious.
I like to give the chicken a quick broil (completely optional) in the oven just before serving to really crisp up the skin and almost burn the top. It adds a nice texture element to the meal.
A winning dinner in our house, and will for sure be in yours when you try it for the family.
Get recipe: delish.com
#8. Whole Chicken and Rice in the Slow Cooker Flavored with Onions and Spices
There is nothing tastier (in my humble opinion) than a starch served with a tender protein that absorbs all the meaty goodness of the meat, and the rice does just that (I’d be happy just to eat the rice).
Onions are another great, yet underestimated vegetable that can bring great flavor to the meal, they too soak up the flavorful liquid and are soft and delicate so they melt into the background but are not forgotten.
Whole chicken slow cooker recipes that are easy to pop in the morning have been my go-to the last few months as the family and kids’ routines seem to be never-ending and getting fuller by the day. While I love making dinner for the family there just isn’t time to think about all the components involved, and with the crockpot, I don’t need to keep a constant eye on it either which is a huge weight off for me.
Sometimes I ask my husband to put it together in the morning when I am trying to do 100 things with two hands (do mothers ever have enough hands?) and he has yet to complain – and I put it down to the minimal effort required. Hence, it is just as perfect for those family members who have no clue about cooking. Win-win.
Get recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com
#9. Country-style chicken
If I had a collection of slow cookers I would line them up at the beginning of the week and fill them with the one-pot sensations I have come to know and love, and have had the pleasure of sharing with my family without all the fuss.
Then all I would need to do is put them on in the morning each day and have the peace of mind that dinner was ready and waiting for us when we got home from the office and school.
This country version of a whole chicken is wholesome, heart-warming, and fills the gap in those hungry tummies when the seasons are changing and all you want is comfort food. And because this has everything neatly tucked into one dish I like to pop the whole inner part of the slow cooker onto the dining table (at the end of the course, not in the middle of everyone), and serve it right at the table.
The kids and hubby gave two thumbs up so I will take it, a must-have recipe for the family this autumn season.
Get recipe: bakeatmidnite.com
#10. Tender Slow Cooked Chicken
Lean and mean is how I would best describe this dish. It has all the elements of a healthy, slimming meal which is perfect for fitness fans but has the tastiness of a cheat meal.
The meat falls apart almost by looking at which offers a whole host of options for various meals with the leftovers. I like to shred the remaining chicken meat for the lunch box and snack box sandwiches the next day for the kids and my other half, top it with homemade coleslaw and you are good to go.
It is also a great way to make two birds at once and to use the meat for sliders or game-day brioche filled buns for when the hubby has the lads coming around to shout at the TV and be angry, at least you know they will be fed, and this dish goes down a treat.
You can get the rest of the drinks and snacks ready and set up downstairs for the big game all the while not needing to supervise the chicken slow cooking to perfection in the kitchen. If only there were more solutions for household chores that could be done independently while you carried on with the others (here’s hoping).
Get recipe: slimmingeats.com
#11. Crockpot Whole Bird with Lemon and Garlic
If minimal effort sounds like the kinds of dinner recipes you want then we are the same. I am busy, as we all are, but finding the time or creativity to make a sipper every night that isn’t the same dish as the night before can get tricky.
But my trusty slow cooker has come to save the day time and time again and this recipe has been a frequent visitor to the dining table and a definite must-try for the gang.
The colors are very monotone I will say so I like to add a generous serving of baby carrots and broccoli on the side to bring it to life.
Surrounding the bird with lemons not only adds a nice zesty freshness to the overall meal but helps to tenderize the meat in the process. Be sure to stuff the inside of the chicken with lemon halves and onion halves for a full flavor profile and to balance the meal from all sides.
Simple and speedy, the quickest dinner prep meal you could make this week.
Get recipe: twopinkpeonies.com
#12. Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Soup
Winter is the season for soup (although I don’t mind it throughout the whole year, maybe it’s just me?) and there is no better meal than the classic, chicken soup.
If you have 5 minutes to spare in the morning then you can make this dish, and let it simmer gently during the day while you do laundry, clean the house, and do the other million chores a mother has to do in the house.
Once the meat is done cooking, leave the cooker on low and remove the chicken, shred while it is still warm although this is the easiest part because it pretty much falls off the bone, then adds back to the liquid.
A perfect meal for those chilly evenings, served with fresh rolls or even chunky pieces of brioche to soak up all the goodness as the family eats, and sprinkle with a generous amount of cilantro or coriander to lift the meal. There are pops of color throughout the whole dish and is so appealing to look at it will be hard to resist tucking in (even for the kids).
Get recipe: vjcooks.com
#13. 4 Hour Slow Cooking Juicy Whole Chicken
You may have forgotten that it was your turn to cook but rushing to get a takeaway is not always the best solution, the dishes often have little nutrition to them and are usually covered in more grease than you would like for your family, but if you have a slow cooker then you are in luck.
Yes, they do take longer to cook and are best done on low for the day but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in record time, and when you have just about that much time then this is the solution that will save the day.
Crock pot whole chicken recipes are quick and easy and this one delivers on all fronts.
Simply spice the chicken, pop it into the crockpot with the vegetables and potatoes, and put on medium heat as opposed to low. I like to add a cup of chicken stock or broth into the mix to help the flavor along and give it that little bit extra something.
Now, supper won’t be a nightmare and you have prevented what would have been a back-of-the-car hunger meltdown from the little ones, phew.
Get recipe: brooklynfarmgirl.com
#14. Whole Chicken and Gravy
Meat and gravy have been a classic meal for centuries, the only difference is that the generations of times past only had open fires and then clay ovens, if that, to work with, but they managed. So if you think you can’t make an incredible meal of chicken and gravy without camping in front of the oven then you would be mistaken.
Letting the meat cook slowly during the day is a perk we have, in our house, come to rely on more often than not. And it has yet to disappoint.
And you have the most flavor-infused gravy right at your fingertips, simply take the chicken out and thicken the liquid with some cornstarch, and serve over the chicken to smother it in meaty goodness.
Get recipe: supergoldenbakes.com
#15. Garlic Butter Crockpot Chicken
Gluten-free living doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the good things in life like tasty food or easy-to-make meals, which is why these slow cooker whole chicken recipes will change your life.
You can opt to chop the garlic as finely as possible but I like to use a garlic press which breaks down the cloves and releases the juices and oil which helps to intensify the overall flavor, and we all know you can never have enough garlic in a meal( or it’s just me?)
Mix the pressed garlic into the butter with your choices of herbs, I even like to add in a touch of smoked paprika to give the chicken a bit of color and extra flavor, and rub generously all over the bird.
Pop in the slow cooker for the day, and under the grill in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.
An effortless meal that tastes just as good as it looks, if not better. And if the sauce is not as thick as you like, we have had the success of thickening the liquid with a small amount of almond flour, but you can use coconut flour if there are nut allergies in the family.
Get recipe: butteryourbiscuit.com
#16. Slow-Cooked BBQ Beer Chicken
You may have heard of or even tried BBQ chicken, but adding the beer element brings something new to the table, and you will thank yourself that you tried it.
Beer has a unique flavor to it, the bubbles help to tenderize the meat, and the kids love being part of the process and pouring the beer into the slow cooker on top of the chicken and seeing it fizz, an innocent joy.
As the meat cooks the BBQ melts with the ale and brings a balance to the surprisingly tasty dish, and you won’t taste the beer at the end so it is perfectly fine to serve the meal to the kids. Mine, however, do tell people (much to my horror) that they have food with beer in it for dinner (eek).
If you want a meal that is filling and comforting then look no further, the meal ticks all the boxes.
Get recipe: recipesthatcrock.com
Don’t get sucked into the notion or crowd-pleasing fad of only eating chicken that is done on the outdoor rotisserie or in the oven, whole chicken crock pot recipes that you must try for the family are essential to your sanity in the busyness we know as life.
You have options to suit the whole family, some recipes are quicker than others when time is of the essence, and still, by the end of the day, your family will be fed a delicious, nutritious meal.
Simple to prepare meals is a must for families with children, you can see more great recipe collections on our blog so head there for even more time-saving, easy-to-make meals.
*image by Wirestock/depositphotos