How to Slow Cook a Whole Chicken and 20 Recipes That Use Cooked Chicken

How to Slow Cook a Whole Chicken

I remember the first time I cooked a whole chicken. I was totally intimidated.

Newly engaged, I decided to take a cooking class through the Parks and Recreation department in our town.

Up to this point, I had only cooked tenders or breasts. I hadn’t even branched out into thighs and drumsticks.

Organic Whole Chicken

A whole chicken just looked so big and complicated.

Not to mention it looks like a chicken! None of that sterile parts on a styrofoam tray stuff.

I quickly learned it is not hard at all. And it’s one of the most economical ways to buy chicken. You pay far less per pound than you do the individual parts.

The main objection most people have is dealing with the insides. While not my favorite part, it’s just a matter of removing them. Quick and easy.

Once they are out, you need to rinse your chicken well and pat it dry. It’s then ready for you to smooth on all the spices.

Chicken ready for basting

This slow cooker recipe really does make cooking a whole chicken easy. All you need is the chicken, a lemon, olive oil and some spices.

You don’t even need to add liquid to the slow cooker!

The meat will turn out fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy every single time with very little effort on your part.

How to Slow Cook a Whole Chicken


  • 4 to 5 pound organic whole roasting chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced


  1. Remove the giblets packet from the chicken cavity.
  2. Rinse and drain chicken, pat dry.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper into cavity of chicken. Cut lemon in half. Squeeze juice into chicken cavity then stuff lemon halves into cavity.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Rub mixture all over chicken.
  5. Place chicken in 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Chicken is fully cooked when meat thermometer stuck in leg reaches 160 degrees.
  6. Allow to cool. Remove chicken from bones and chop.

When you follow this recipe to slow cook a whole chicken, you will end up with about 4 1/2 cups of moist, juicy and flavorful cooked chicken.

Use your cooked chicken to jump start your meal plan for the week. Having cooked chicken ready to go means you can have a meal on the table in a minimal amount of time!

20 Recipes That Use Cooked Chicken

Chicken Fried Rice
Pumpkin Black Bean Chicken Chili
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas
Chicken Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
Easy Chicken Salad
Skillet White Chicken Chili Dip
Chicken Pot Pie
Green Chile Chicken Casserole
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Pineapple and Basil Chicken Salad
Chef’s Salad
Thai Chicken Soup
Olive Garden Style Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
Easy Homemade Chicken Alfredo Sauce
Cuban Chicken Tacos
Real Food Chicken Soup
Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

Have a recipe that uses cooked chicken? Leave a link in the comments!

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Sweet and Smoky Jalapeno Slow Cooker Pork Ribs

Slow Cooker Sweet and Smoky Jalapeno Pork Ribs

Just wait until you see how easy this slow cooker pork ribs recipe is!

Layer, stir, set and forget. Dinner is ready in 6 hours. Your family raves. You never broke a seat and yet you are the dinner hero.

Sweet and Smoky Jalapeno Ribs Ingredients

I purchased all these ingredients at Trader Joe’s. And yes, there are some prepackaged foods in here.

Trader Joe’s declares they use non GMO ingredients and no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors. If I’m going to use a prepackaged ingredient, I feel good about buying it from there.

Besides, the sauce this recipe makes from the steak sauce-jalapeno jelly is ridiculously good. The sweet of the jalapeno jelly perfectly compliments the smoky of the steak sauce.

Perfectly suited to slow cooking, country pork ribs also happen to be a really inexpensive cut of meat. Little prep time and easy on the budget are a winning combination.

For those who have a fear of fat, you can broil the ribs for a few minutes on each side to cook some of the fat off before adding them to the slow cooker.

The way I look at it, broiling the ribs first just creates one more pan I really don’t want to wash.

Layer of Pinto Beans

I’m recommending you heat the steak sauce and jalapeno jelly together before you pour over the pork ribs. Heating the jelly makes it easier to pour.

Sweet and Smoky Jalapeno Pork Ribs Sauce

Once your sauce is smooth enough, pour it over your ribs. Set the slow cooker and go about your day!

Sweet and Smoky Jalapeno Pork Ribs in the Slow Cooker

Sweet and Smoky Jalapeno Slow Cooker Pork Ribs


  • 3 pounds pork ribs
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jar jalapeno pepper jelly
  • 1 bottle smoky steak sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos


  1. In the bottom of a slow cooker, add the pinto beans, onions and the optional pickled jalapenos.
  2. Place pork ribs on top of beans. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the jelly and steak sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until the jelly melts.
  4. Pour the jelly mixture over the pork ribs.
  5. Place lid on slow cooker. Cook ribs on high for 5 1/2 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  6. There will be a lot of liquid at the end of the cook time. Use a slotted spoon to serve.

Trust me. You’ll want to serve this recipe with some whole wheat rolls to sop up all the extra sauce on your plate. It’s simply delicious!

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Mexican Meatloaf Cupcakes with Guacamole Frosting (Paleo and Sugar Detox)

Mexican Meatloaf Cupcakes and Guacamole Frosting Recipe

The versatility of these Mexican Meatloaf Cupcakes with Guacamole Frosting is what I love best about this recipe.

Other than the taste, that is. What I really love is the taste!

Things to love about this recipe:

First, the recipe as it stands makes 15 cupcakes. If you have little eaters in your house, then you have plenty to freeze.

To Freeze Cupcakes: After baking, allow to cool. Place on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour before transferring to a freezer safe container.

To Bake Cupcakes From Frozen: No need to thaw. Add an additional 10 minutes to cooking time. Internal temperature should get to 165 in the center.

Next, the way this recipe is written, it is Paleo, Grain-Free, and 21 Day Sugar Detox Friendly. If you eat grains, you could easily add one and a half cups of breadcrumbs, or even quinoa, to the mixture and stretch the number of cupcakes you get from 15 to 18 – 20. This definitely gives you plenty to freeze!

Finally, the fact these are cupcake sized instead of bread pan sized means they cook up in half the time. Such a great way to get dinner on the table fast!

Guacamole topped anything makes me happy. Quickly topping something with guacamole makes me even happier.

I used a store bought guacamole for my cupcakes. Again, this is a time saver for me. If you have ripe avocados, by all means make up a batch of homemade guacamole. However, sometimes ripeness and the desire to cook a recipe don’t always coincide.

Mexican Meatloaf Cupcakes with Guacamole Frosting

Mexican Meatloaf Cupcakes with Guacamole Frosting


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 4.5 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red pepper, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Guacamole (homemade or store-bought)


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin pans.
  2. In a skillet, saute onions and garlic until translucent. Allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, mix tomato paste with chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in carrots, red pepper and chiles.
  5. Add beaten eggs and ground beef. Mix well with your hands.
  6. Evenly divide beef mixture between 15 muffin cups.
  7. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165.
  8. Once baked, remove from oven and top with guacamole. You can pipe it to make it look like frosting, or you can just dollop it, depending on your time.

Have you made meatloaf cupcakes before?

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Sugar Detox: Quick and Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
I’m on day 7 of my 30 day Sugar Detox.

What I’m quickly realizing is the key to success is planning ahead.

Having these quick and healthy chicken fajitas in the slow cooker meant getting dinner on the table was a cinch.

Since only my husband and I are on a sugar detox, and my girls are not, I could use the chicken fajita meat in two ways. My girls made traditional fajitas by wrapping the meat in a tortilla and adding shredded cheddar cheese.

For my husband and I, I turned the meat into a fajita salad. I served it on a huge bed of lettuce with chopped tomatoes.

We all had guacamole on our fajitas. :)

Quick and Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas


  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds chicken (you can use breasts or thighs or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Place the onions and peppers on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Top with chicken pieces.
  3. Pour chicken broth over the top.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, cumin, paprika and red pepper.
  5. Sprinkle spices over the chicken.
  6. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

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Simple Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder Roast

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder Roast with apples and garlic couldn’t be a more delicious fall recipe and it’s simple to make!

We get tired of the same recipes over and over at our house, so I decided to create a new Pork Shoulder Roast Recipe that used some of the apples from our visit to the local apple orchard this fall.  Not only was this simple to make but it made the house smell amazing and have that warm and cozy fall feeling.

Finding Slow Cooker Recipes that aren’t full of cream of soups or ingredients that aren’t all that great for us isn’t always easy.  This a whole food recipe that uses pork, apples and seasonings. To be completely honest, this way of cooking is new to our family and is something we are working towards as a life change.


We love these easy Slow Cooker Recipes, there is nothing easier, in my opinion, than throwing ingredients in the slow cooker first thing in the morning and coming home to a meal that’s ready to go!  I swear there are days that I would never get dinner on the table if it wasn’t for my slow cooker and the convenience of our slow cooker meals!

Another one of our favorite recipes is our Crock Pot Chicken Fajita Recipe that uses chicken and vegies to make a yummy and flavorful fajita.  My kids love having these for dinner because they can decide how they want to top their fajitas and make them the just the way they want and love.

Be sure to check out the 25 Slow Cooker Recipes Round up with more ideas of recipes to add to your monthly menu! There you will find a bunch more recipes that you will want to serve your family because they are full of great taste and ingredients you know and trust.

Chrissy Taylor is a wife, Mom, blogger and property manager. She and her husband of 15 years are raising two active boys in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Chrissy enjoys blogging about cooking, crafts, gifts and household tips.

You can connect with her at:

The Taylor House * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Google+

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30 Healthy Mexican Recipes for Cinco De Mayo

30 Healthy Mexican RecipesCinco De Mayo is just a few short days away and I LOVE any excuse to eat Mexican Food! I’ve gathered up 30 Healthy Recipes for Cinco De Mayo to help you celebrate.


Looking for great Mexican flavor in a drink that even the kids can enjoy? Make a pitcher of Green Tea Mock-jitos.

If you’ve got company coming, you can’t go wrong with Mexican Layer Dip and this looks so lovely in a trifle bowl.

You’ll need salsa, so take your pick from Salsa Fresca, Garden Fresh Salsa, or Easy Salsa.

Then, whether you are serving it as a dip, or a condiment, here is a great recipe for Organic Guacamole.

*Bonus Tip* Do you know How to Keep Guacamole Green?


I have been dying to make these Soft Homemade Tortillas.


A classic soup to make for Cinco de Mayo is Southwest Taco Soup Need gluten-free? Try this recipe for Gluten-Free Taco Soup.

Don’t forget these other classic soups like Spicy Black Bean Soup or Posole.


To make a really great Cinco De Mayo meal, you could start out by making Homemade Tex-Mex Enchilada Sauce. Then use it to make Cheese Enchiladas or Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas. Tempting, no?

Looking for something out of the ordinary? This Mexican Chicken and Pasta Skillet looks good as does this recipe for Tinga – something I’ve never tried.

Two of our family favorites are Tortilla Pie and Cheddar Corn Bake.

When I eat Mexican out, I’m always tempted by the chimichangas. Much healthier are these Homemade Chicken Chimichangas.

We frequently do breakfast for dinner. I’ll make a play on breakfast like these Black Bean Cakes. Or, I love to serve an egg dish like Huevos a la Mexicana or Frijoles Rancheros.


You seriously can not have Mexican food without some sort of beans. I like to make a batch of Pinto Beans in the crockpot and use them for Homemade Refried Beans or to make a Vegetarian Burrito Bowl that is sooooo much cheaper than what you get a Chipotle.

You can’t go wrong serving classic Black Beans and Rice for Cinco de Mayo.


Tacos are a Mexican staple that are quick and easy to whip up. Especially if you keep Homemade Taco Seasoning on hand. Use it to whip up Simple Chicken Tacos, quick and easy Oven Tacos or even Grilled Fish Tacos.

What will you be serving this Cinco de Mayo?

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Easy Recipes: 5 Recipes Using Chicken and Tomatoes

I am thrilled to be here today guest posting with Andrea.  I love her site and the resources she provides as I incorporate organic items into our family meal rotation.

As a busy mom of very active boys I am constantly on the hunt for easy recipes to add to my meal plan.

I absolutely love the flavors of chicken and tomatoes used together,  so today I am going to share five of my favorite recipes using these simple ingredients.

easy recipes

Easy Recipes Using Chicken and Tomatoes


  1. Vodka Chicken Pasta– this is a stove top dish that comes together quickly. Serve with a dinner salad and you have a scrumptious meal.
  2. Puerto Rican Stew– my husband is Puerto Rican and I love incorporating authentic food that his family teaches me to cook into our meal rotation. This is one of my favorites and it includes chicken and tomato sauce. You’ll notice this recipe calls for potatoes. I always use organic potatoes when a recipe calls for them due to the research I’ve read about this vegetable and pesticides. Also, you can sub the steamed white rice for brown rice.
  3. Crockpot Crushed Tomato and Chicken Soup– this is so simple and absolutely delicious!
  4. Easy Chicken Nachos– I love using up leftover chicken making dinners like these nachos. We like the organic blue corn chips I find at Target and locally grown fresh tomatoes are awesome!
  5. Chicken Artichoke Tomato Pizza– this is my favorite pizza on the planet and it a knock-off from a local pizzeria. Quick dinner for a busy school or work night. Also another great recipe for using up that leftover chicken.

It doesn’t get much easier than that.

What is your main struggle when getting dinner on the table during the busy school and work week?

I hope you will hop over and check out my mommy resource site Crystal & Co., where I share tons of ideas and solutions to help busy moms just like you and me. If meal planning is something you struggle with, I have an ebook that is available for preorder- How to Meal Plan: A Step by Step Guide for Busy Moms. It will hit the pages of Amazon mid-November.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.