Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe (Plus 5 Meals You Can Make!)

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I love cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot! It’s an easy set-it-and-forget-it recipe that you can turn into many different meals! It’s a wonderful budget-friendly option on a diet that can easily strain the wallet.

Specialty Diets Can Be Expensive

It’s true! Specialty diets can be expensive. You buy ingredients you’ve never bought before. You try new recipes found on Pinterest. Soon, you realize this new way of eating has blown up your grocery budget.

I found myself with this same problem soon after starting the keto diet. Super-excited to try out a bunch of new recipes, I found myself overspending quite a bit.

Once the initial excitement wore off, I realized if I wanted to continue eating a keto diet, I needed to figure out how to simplify my recipes to stay within a reasonable grocery budget. Fortunately, this actually turned out to be fairly simple!

Also see – our Keto Diet Success Story

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe Pin 1

Meal Prep and Batch Cooking

Meal prep and batch cooking is key to staying within your grocery budget. One of my favorite things is to cook a whole chicken in the crockpot, shred the chicken and make several different recipes out of the one chicken. (full disclosure, my husband is on shredding duty and with some cool meat shredders we purchased he pretends like he’s Wolverine while teaching our son the ins and outs of “proper chicken shredding”)

I typically get 10-12 three-ounce servings out of one chicken. Often I’ll measure out 3 oz portions with my food scale and individually package into properly sized Ziploc baggies for single “grab-and-heat” meals, like stir-frys. Other times I’ll use a larger portion of the meat to make soups, chilis, and chicken salads.

But before we get to the 5 different meals you can make with a whole chicken, let me show you a ridiculously simple recipe for the slow cooker chicken itself.

Super Simple a Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

You won’t find a more simple way to cook a whole chicken. All you do is rinse the chicken, place it in the slow cooker, and sprinkle with your favorite dry rub seasoning. Then, set it and forget it. My favorite kind of recipe!

Once the chicken is done, debone it, shred it, and decide what you want to make with it.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken

Yield: 8

This slow cooker whole chicken recipe is super easy and you can easily make many different meals out of the shredded chicken!


  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper


  1. Remove any giblets from chicken and rinse chicken; Place chicken in Slow Cooker/Crockpot.
  2. Combine and mix all spices in a bowl.
  3. Rub dry spice mix over chicken. I usually sprinkle a teaspoon or two inside the chicken too.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. No extra liquid is needed because the chicken makes it’s own juices.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252.8Total Fat: 17.45gSodium: 271.73mgCarbohydrates: 1.19gFiber: 0.43gSugar: 0.11gProtein: 21.63g

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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Recipe pin 2

5 Different Meals to Make from Shredded Chicken


1. Protein Base for a stir-fry bowl

A while back, my husband and I stopped at a restaurant in Florence, SC called Clean Eatz and ordered their “Build a Bowl”. The concept was so simple! Choose a base, a protein, three veggies, choose a sauce and a spice.

As we enjoyed our build-a-bowls, it dawned on us how easy it would be to duplicate this at home. You can view their menu here to get a few ideas, but here is what I like to throw together:

  • Asparagus
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Garlic Salt

The veggies of choice can be portioned and combined into single-serving bags and frozen. Then you just toss the bag of veggies into a skillet with some olive oil then add the shredded chicken and spices once the veggies thaw and begin to cook. Super quick and super simple!

2. Chicken Salad

Try this Low Carb Basic Chicken Salad from LowCarbYum.Com! It only takes about 5 minutes to whip up if you already have your shredded chicken ready to go. Plus you can add your own flair by adding in onions, peppers, or even pickles!

Chicken Salad goes great over a bed of leafy greens or sandwiched between two slices of your favorite keto-friendly bread.

Chicken Salad

3. Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Nothing comforts and warms a belly like a bowl of warm soup. This chicken and mushroom soup is ready in 30 minutes. Reduce the servings to make a smaller batch for one night, or double the recipe and have leftovers for a few days.

Creamy chicken and mushroom soup

4. Shredded Chicken Chili

Most chilis are made with beef, but this shredded chicken chili gives those versions a run for their money. Easy to throw together and quick to make, you won’t be disappointed!

Shredded Chicken Chili

5. Shredded Chicken Taco Salad

Last, but certainly not least, the shredded chicken taco salad! I was born and raised in Dallas and let’s just say, I’m a bit partial to Tex-Mex food. Although I’ve given up corn and flour tacos and burritos since going keto, I refuse to give up on Mexican food.

This taco salad cures my Tex-Mex food cravings and it’s really inexpensive to make!

Like the build-a-bowl, a taco salad is as diverse as the person making it. Here’s what I like to include!

  • Shredded chicken
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Cheese
Taco Salad

Want some bread to go with your meals? You HAVE to try my easy keto bread recipe!

Endless Options

Cooking and shredding a whole chicken can save you both time and money when meal planning and budgeting. And, you can simplify your meal planning without having the same boring meals night after night.

I like to think of this as saving without sacrificing! Both your bank account and your taste buds will be satisfied!

 The options for shredded chicken are endless. If you don’t think you have enough time for the recipes listed above, you can make it even more simple when you have pre-portioned three-ounce bags, ready to grab and heat in the microwave. Here are a few variations my family has used.

  • Shredded chicken with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese Shredded chicken on a sandwich with sliced cheese
  • Shredded chicken with sour cream, shredded cheese, and olives (ok, that one is just me, the rest of the family hates olives)
  • Shredded chicken with a side of broccoli (or any veggie of choice)

Cooking “fancy” low carb meals can be fun and exciting, but it’s not always financially practical. Don’t let your budget deter you from following a ketogenic diet. You can eat on the cheap, and enjoy every bite!

More Keto Dinner Recipes 

4-H Burger Mate (Healthy Homemade Hamburger Helper

1-Skillet Meal: Lamb Kabobs and Green Beans

Salmon Patties Made with Wild Caught Salmon

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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