This Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts recipe is a great way to cook simple, basic chicken breasts that are tender and juicy, flavorful, and SO easy and hands off to make! They’re perfect on their own, or to use in chicken salad, soups and stews, sandwiches, and more. These crockpot chicken breasts are flavored with lemon and oregano and can be sliced, chopped, or shredded for all kinds of uses.
These chicken breasts are great on their own for dinner, but I like using these in a more utilitarian way throughout the week.
Having cooked chicken around is one of the best ways to meal prep. You can slice cooked chicken to add to salads, shred it for chicken salad sandwiches or to add to soup, or throw it in some pasta.
Cooking chicken breasts in your slow cooker is so easy, and you don’t even need to touch the raw chicken with your hands! Just use tongs to transfer it in along with some herbs, lemon, and broth, then set it and forget it.
Here’s everything you need to know about cooking these versatile chicken breasts in a crockpot, how to store them, and what to use the cooked chicken for.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Chicken broth/stock – water can also be used.
- Butter – or olive oil, or you can omit it in a pinch for a lower fat version.
- Dried oregano – Italian seasoning will also work (or you can just omit it)
- Lemon – this adds a great flavor but you can leave it out if you want.
- Salt and Pepper
How to cook chicken breasts in a slow cooker
- First, mix chicken broth, melted butter, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Then, add the chicken breasts to the mixture and flip them around to coat. You can use tongs for this if you don’t want to touch the raw meat.
- Season the tops with a little more oregano, salt, and pepper. Nestle the squeezed lemon wedges around the breasts- this will add even more lemony flavor.
- Cover and cook for 1.5 hours on high, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
Recommended Slow Cooker
My favorite slow cooker is the Crock-Pot 6-quart Cook and Carry Programmable Slow Cooker. I use it for all my slow cooker recipes.
I like that it has a digital display, so you can see how much time is left. You can also set it to any amount of time you want within half hour increments. It automatically shifts to “keep warm” when it’s done, so your food will be nice and hot if you eat later than anticipated.
How to shred the chicken
Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker to a cutting board and allow to rest for a few minutes. Discard the lemon wedges.
Shred the chicken with two forks. Then, place the shredded chicken back into the liquid in the crockpot. This will ensure the chicken won’t dry out, and it will be packed with flavor.
How to store the chicken
I recommend storing the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
The chicken will be best stored whole (unsliced), or shredded in the liquid, to prevent it from drying out (as chicken breasts have a tendency to get dry).
You can also freeze the shredded chicken in the liquid in portions in an airtight container or bag for up to 6 months.
Can I cook it on low for longer?
Technically, yes you can. If you like, you can cook for 3 hours on low.
BUT, I actually don’t recommend this. I find that cooking the chicken breasts on high for a shorter time in the slow cooker yields a better texture. Lean poultry cooked on low often results in a stringy, mushy texture. It will still be good to eat, but I prefer high cooking for chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
Recipes that use cooked chicken
- Healthy Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins
- BBQ Chicken Naan Pizza
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Add it to a Greek Salad
Other ways to cook chicken
You may also want to check out this Slow Cooker Boneless Turkey Breast recipe.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts
- In the bottom of a large slow cooker, mix together the chicken broth (1/2 cup), melted butter (2 tablespoons), and half of each of the dried oregano (1/2 tablespoon), kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon). Squeeze the juice out of the quarters of the lemon into the mix as well.
- Add the chicken breasts to the slow cooker and, using tongs, coat each side of the chicken with the mixture. Nestle the juiced lemon quarters around the chicken breasts. Season the top of the chicken breasts evenly with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
- Cover and cook on high for 1.5-2 hours. Check for doneness by making sure the internal temperature on the thickest part of the largest breast is 165 degrees F.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker. Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes, then place in an airtight container to store whole. To slice, remove the chicken breasts to a plate or cutting board and tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then slice against the grain. If shredding, use two forks to shred the chicken breasts (directly in the slow cooker if tender enough, if not, remove to a cutting board and place back in the liquid in the slow cooker when done), and serve or store (with liquid) in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
- Ingredient Substitutions: Water can be used instead of chicken broth in a pinch- you may need to add more seasoning to boost the flavor. Other seasoning, like Italian seasoning, thyme, or Greek seasoning, can be used instead of the oregano. And the butter can be substituted with olive oil, or omitted for a lower fat version.
- For a very simple version, the oregano and lemon can be omitted. Just season with salt and pepper.
- Variations: Try using taco seasoning instead of oregano and lime instead of lemon for a southwestern flavor. Or add a bunch of fresh herbs in the mixture- anything you have growing in your garden! You can also add sliced fresh onion and/or minced garlic, and some veggies like potatoes, carrots, green beans, etc., under the chicken breasts for a complete meal.
- I don’t recommend cooking these on low for longer. The texture of chicken breasts can be stringy and mushy if cooked for too long in the slow cooker. That said, if you really want to, you can cook for 3-3.5 hours on low.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: