Easy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe

Roasting a whole chicken is definitely not as difficult as it may seem, and doing it in the slow cooker makes the whole process even easier. You come away with lots of meat, and you can even use the leftover bones to make bone broth. You really use every part of the chicken so that no part goes to waste, and it's a great solution for both the dark and white meat lovers in your family.

This particular slow cooker whole chicken recipe is exceptionally simple, and also makes side dishes (roasted onions and carrots) for you in the process. "This recipe was inspired for a classic roasted chicken without the stress of cooking it in an oven," says recipe developer Christina Musgrave of Tasting with Tina. "The slow cooker does all the work for you!" 

Roasting a chicken on Sunday night is a great tool for meal prep, especially since, according to Musgrave, "This will keep for five days refrigerated after cooking."

Gather the ingredients to prepare this slow cooker whole chicken

For this recipe, you'll need a 4 to 5-pound small, whole chicken with the neck and giblets removed. You will also need two white onions, three carrots, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, a lemon, and a few fresh sprigs of rosemary.

The onions should be peeled and quartered, and the carrots should be washed, peeled, and cut in half. Slice the lemon into ¼-inch rounds, and make sure you wash the rosemary prior to using it. Also, you'll have to mince the two cloves of garlic. Then, it's time to move on to the next step.

Add the onions, carrots, and chicken to the slow cooker

The onions and carrots will serve as a base for the chicken in the slow cooker. Rest the chicken on top of the onions and carrots, with the breast side facing up.

Layering these items in the slow cooker correctly is really important. The bottom of the slow cooker is where the heating element is, so items covering the bottom tend to heat up quicker. Because of this, it's ideal to place the items that need a longer cooking time, such as root vegetables like carrots, on the bottom. This also creates a barrier between the chicken and the enamel of the slow cooker, preventing any possible burning or sticking-to-the-pan issues.

Cover the chicken with lemon and rosemary

Once the chicken is comfortably nestled atop the carrots and onions in the slow cooker, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub the olive oil, garlic, and spice mixture all over the surface of the chicken so that it's fully coated.

Next, place the lemon slices on the chicken, then put the fresh rosemary sprigs on and around the chicken. Just make sure that when you're stacking these items on the chicken that you can still put the lid on the slow cooker properly and keep it fully sealed.

Cook the chicken on low for eight hours

Now comes the no-work part of this slow cooker whole chicken recipe. Once all of the ingredients are in the slow cooker as described above, put the lid on, and cook the chicken on the low setting for eight hours. When the eight hours are up, or when the thickest part of the chicken temperature reaches 165 F, remove the chicken from the slow cooker, and serve. Also, Musgrave confirms that you can "definitely serve the carrots and onions with the chicken, they are delicious."

As far as the rosemary and lemon goes, you can serve the chicken with or without these cooked items. "This is definitely a personal preference," says Musgrave. "Usually the rosemary in the slow cooker is very cooked, so I like serving with fresh rosemary for presentation." 

Easy Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
This mouthwatering slow cooker whole chicken is complete with carrots and onions, and topped off with fresh lemon and rosemary.
Prep Time
Cook Time
carved slow cooker chicken
Total time: 8 hours, 5 minutes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 white onions, quartered
  • 4 to 5-pound small whole chicken (neck and giblets removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lemon, sliced
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  1. Prep your ingredients. Peel and cut three large carrots in half, peel and quarter two onions, mince two cloves of garlic, slice the lemon, and wash the rosemary.
  2. Add the carrots and onion to the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side up.
  3. Combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika in a bowl. Rub the mixture evenly all over the chicken.
  4. Add the lemon slices on top of the chicken. Add the rosemary springs to the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the thickest part of the chicken temperature reaches 165 F.
Calories per Serving 808
Total Fat 55.9 g
Saturated Fat 15.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 255.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 3.7 g
Sodium 459.1 mg
Protein 64.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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