Slow Cooker Whole Chicken & Gravy!  A complete Sunday meal made easy in the crockpot. While it takes only minutes of prep, this  tender, juicy crock pot chicken & gravy tastes like you’ve been in the kitchen all day.

This makes the perfect easy weeknight meal served alongside Garlic Ranch Mashed Potatoes and our favorite Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole! Your whole family is going to love this easy slow cooker whole chicken & gravy!

Overhead shot of a whole chicken rubbed with spices in a slow cooker   ©

If you’ve never cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker before, you are going to LOVE this recipe!  I wish I could tell you in words how amazing this chicken is! It’s literally minutes of prep for a meal that tastes like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen all day long!

Chicken is my dinner time go-to… we love it grilled, baked and stuffed with cheese or even shredded for tacos but I have to admit, this whole chicken in the crockpot is one of my Sunday supper favorites! It is a perfect family dinner served with mashed potatoes and veggies but it’s also a great way to effortlessly cook a chicken in place of rotisserie chicken!

Close up of cooked whole chicken

How to Cook a Whole Chicken a Slow Cooker

A quick homemade rub is added to a chicken which then cooks up tender and juicy in the slow cooker.

I prepare this in a 4QT slow cooker and I add balled up foil to slightly lift the chicken off the bottom of the pan but if you have a little rack that fits in your slow cooker you can certainly use that too! Adding a few onions and some celery to the bottom of the crockpot along with the foil makes the most flavorful and fabulous gravy!

If you like a crispy skin, broil it about 6″ from the broiler for a few minutes before serving.

Pouring a ladle full of gravy over cooked chicken on a white plate with mashed potatoes. Slow cooker in the background

Most of the time the chicken produces plenty of drippings for gravy but if you want extra, just add in some chicken broth.  Mixing together a quick slurry of cornstarch and adding it to the slow cooker while the chicken rests creates a rich flavorful gravy.  I sometimes add a can of mushrooms to the gravy (or add fresh mushrooms to the slow cooker before cooking).

You may be wondering if it is safe to cook a whole chicken in your crock pot and the answer is yes, it’s safe as the crockpot is intended to cook meat low and slow.  Ensure your lid is on well to keep the heat in. I would definitely NOT recommend using frozen chicken in the slow cooker, if using whole chicken you’ll want to make sure it’s thawed.

As with all slow cookers, cooking times can vary slightly, you’ll want to make sure your chicken reaches 165 degrees in the thigh.

Overhead shot of a whole chicken rubbed with spices in a slow cooker
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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken & Gravy

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken & Gravy! A complete Sunday meal in one pot. While it takes only minutes of prep, this tender, juicy chicken & gravy tastes like you’ve been in the kitchen all day.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 1 small chicken about 4lbs
  • 2 slices onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cornstarch
  • chicken broth (optional)

Seasoning Mix

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon thyme


  • Combine all seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Brush chicken with olive oil and rub seasoning into chicken.
  • Roll up balls of foil and place in the bottom of the slow cooker with 2 thick slices of onion. Place chicken on foil, breast side up so it is slightly lifted off the bottom of the slow cooker. (You can use onion and carrot chunks instead if you prefer).
  • Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. (165 degrees)
  • Remove chicken and place on a small pan. Broil 3-4 minutes to crisp skin (optional). Rest 10 minutes before slicing.


  • Remove foil and onion from slow cooker and turn onto high. If required, add broth to create about 2 cups of liquid.
  • In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water to create a slurry.
  • Whisk about ⅔ of the cornstarch into the drippings/broth and let cook on high. Depending on the amount of liquid you may need to add more of the cornstarch slurry to reach desired consistency. Let cook at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Taste and season with salt & pepper.


Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Nutritional information calculated without chicken broth
4.94 from 136 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 479 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 392mg | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Rub Adapted from

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. Finally! A recipe that doesn’t lie about how long it takes for the prep work. (Usually when recipes say “minutes to prep” or “on your table in 20 minutes with only one pan,” I’m there for 2 1/2 hours, between chopping all the vegetables and washing the pan multiple times in between cooking all the vegetables separately in “one” pan, wondering where in the heck I went wrong.) Why? Why must they lie? This recipe doesn’t lie. I spent more time pulling out the crockpot than I did prepping the chicken. Making the gravy was key (I added 3 large sliced mushrooms to it first, and it was amazing!). Served with mashed potatoes, this was the perfect almost no-work Sunday dinner. A million times better than Kentucky Fried Chicken’s famous bowls. Add some fresh corn to it … yummm! And with prices what they are, if you can get a whole chicken for .$99/lb when it’s on sale, this is a great way to feed a family for under $15, all in. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  2. With school starting and my children’s crazy schedules for sports etc, I went searching for crockpot recipes and found this. My family loves rotisserie chicken so I am super excited to try this recipe. It is cooking as we speak. I followed the recipe as close as possible, however I did add some Bells seasoning and add a bunch of sage, thyme and rosemary to the cavity of the chicken. Put fresh carrots and potatoes in the crock pot with an onion. Set on low for 8 hours. Can’t wait for dinner!5 stars

  3. I have made this 4 times. twice the gravy was perfect almost the minute i added the cornstarch mixture. the other 2 times it was literal water consistency and i could never get it thickened. adding more cornstarch mixture made it a powdery, cornstarchy mess. what gives? what did I do wrong those 2 times? I’m at a complete loss. It sucks to work hard to make this delicious chicken and then have to use yucky powder packaged gravy.

    1. I’m so sorry that happened, Andrea. I can’t say for sure what happened but when using cornstarch it is important to mix it with cold water before adding to the gravy mixture and to whisk in slowly to ensure it mixes properly. Hope that helps!