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Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

by Adrianne

This Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken recipe is a delicious dinner recipe! Resulting in juicy and tender whole chicken cooked in the slow cooker.  A hard choice between this our Creamy Garlic Chicken Thighs but either way its Winner winner, chicken dinner time! 

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken in a blue baking tray

Blue Cheese Mac and CheeseMoroccan Lamb CouscousTurkey Chilli Con Carne, Ground Beef Casserole, are all delicious dinner recipes you can serve or pair with a side dish like our skin on roast potatoes or horseradish mashed potatoes for a complete meal!

If chicken with citrus is your thing, check out the Mexican Lime Chicken Thighs recipe! 

Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Lemon Garlic is quick to prepare, hands off as it cooks and smells delicious. For an easy lemon chicken Crockpot recipe you have come to the right place!!

Be prepared when you make this for family and friends, that they will ALL ask you for the recipe!

Whole Chicken in Slow Cooker is a family friendly, week night possible dinner that will save you stopping at the shops on the way home!

This is an easy lemon chicken crockpot recipe and you literally cannot go wrong with it.

If you have ever wanted to cook a whole chicken in slow cooker but were too scared, trust me, my friends, it is super easy to do.

How to cook whole chicken in the slow cooker

To cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker, you will need a rack for the base to lift the chicken off the surface. I don’t have one, so I make my own with alfoil. You have a few options to do that. Making a ring with the foil is popular as is making balls to place under the chicken. I use both to achieve my Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken (see picture below). 

Alfoil rack for slow cooker demonstration

After the rack is inserted into the slow cooker, you place your chicken on top and season it.

For our recipe, we use a small bowl and add a few key ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
The process is as simple as mixing the oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper together. Filling the cavity of the chicken with the bay leaves, lemon and garlic. Then brushing the lemon mix all over the chicken to coat.

Simply set the slow cooker to high and place a timer on for 3-4 hrs.(Imagine all of the things you can get done during this time! I do however, have a habit of checking the chicken every hour on the hour as well, I can’t help myself!! It smells SO good and you can literally hear the juices dripping and sizzling away!) 

This is seriously such an easy lemon chicken crockpot recipe, you will start making it every week.

Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?

The answer to this question is yes. For this recipe, we do. You might remember from the Slow Cooker Mushroom Chicken Thighs that we braised the chicken thighs before we put them in the slow cooker.

This recipe is different and calls for us putting the raw whole chicken into the slow cooker. It will cook nicely in there after a few hours.

Raw seasoned chicken in slow cooker

Is is safe to cook chicken in a slow cooker?

Absolutely it is. I totally understand that it might seem risky to set and forget when it comes to your slow cooker. Leaving the house with something cooking can fill us with panic as we wouldn’t be there if anything happened.

I recommend if you are new to slow cooking, use it for a few times whilst you are home till you get used to it and feel confident with how it works.

In terms of ensuring that the meat is cooked properly, you can either test the chicken with a thermometer till it is 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). Or pierce the meat with a skewer near the bone and see that the juices run clear (not pink) before eating (my preferred method).

Do you put water in slow cooker chicken?

Slow Cookers are great for recipes that use a lot of liquid, like a soup or stew. They are also great for recipes like this that don’t require vasts amounts of liquid for them to cook.

We do not use any water to cook our Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken.

Can I put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

I would not recommend putting a frozen chicken in the crockpot. It would be very difficult to work out how long to cook it for and the water would run into the slow cooker bowl as it cooked.

Instead, I recommend using a fresh chicken, or defrosting a chicken overnight and then using that.

What to serve with Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken?

I recommend serving up this chicken with some freshly roasted brussel sprouts. They are crunchy and delicious and don’t take long in the oven. Recipe is >> here.

To serve, I like to place the slow cooker whole chicken in a baking tray, surround it with roasted brussel sprouts, fresh lemon slices (or wedges) and thyme.

Brussel Sprouts in a blue baking tray

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken questions answered:

About the recipe:

  • This recipe takes less than 10 mins of prep before cooking
  • The chicken is seasoned with lemon juice, thyme, oil, salt and pepper
  • Place the leftover lemon into the cavity of the chicken with the bay leaves and garlic
  • It takes 3-4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low to cook
  • The recipe is flexible and can be done in the oven as well 

Your quick questions answered:

  1. You can freeze the chicken (cut up) after cooking
  2. We use raw chicken
  3. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best
  4. You can serve this dish with roasted brussels sprouts
  5. This is an EASY slow cooker recipe 

Slow Cooker chicken recipes from friends

If you plan on spending your entire winter only using your slow cooker and hey, why not, it is a great idea! Then you should check out some of these awesome slow cooker recipes:

Kylie over at Kidgredients, has some kid approved recipes that win the hearts of big kids too! Have a look at these 2 fabulous recipes:

Tania, my friend over at The Cooks Pyjamas makes simply divine looking slow cooker chicken recipes. Have a look at these 2 for inspiration:

Winter Warming Recipe Ideas

  1. Slow Cooker Mushroom Chicken (easy slow cooker recipe) 
  2. Chicken Thighs in Creamy Garlic Wine Sauce (one pot recipe)
  3. Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese (vegetarian recipe)
  4. Beef Bean Pasta Bake (family favourite)
  5. Minestrone Soup (packed with veggies)
  6. Meatball Tomato Soup (one of my favourites) 

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken shown in picture below, after broiling for 10 mins to crisp up the skin. We use this method also in our Honey Soy Chicken Wings. It works to bring that crispy skin to our table perfectly.

Serve with brussel sprouts, lemon quarters and fresh thyme!

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken with brussel sprouts in blue dish

The photo below is to show you the slow cooker whole chicken lemon in the cavity of the chicken. You can see how it is visible and hasn’t fully opened up during the cooking process.

I love stuffing a roast chicken, but for this recipe, I am mindful of creating a simple roast chicken albeit, cooked in the slow cooker and broiled to crisp up the skin. You will note from this lemon roast chicken recipe that not stuffing the chicken and serving it with brussel sprouts is an fact a healthier version than you would get at the supermarket. And guess what, it still tastes delicious!

I am also not knocking a good rotisserie take way chicken, as quite simply they are necessary some times. But for those other times, healthy chicken and vegetable recipes like this one tick a lot of boxes.

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken looking at cavity with lemon inside

I cook the brussel sprouts in the oven in the last hr of the slow cook time, this way the oven is on and hot so that I can change the setting to broil for the crispy skin. 

You can serve this recipe by carving the chicken, placing on a serving dish and adding the brussel sprouts, thyme and garlic from the cavity of the chicken.

Blue plate with 2 forks showing lemon garlic chicken

The garlic we used in the cavity of the chicken can then be plated along with the brussel sprouts and thyme. The bay leaves and lemon from the cavity are dis-guarded.

Close up of blue plate with chicken and brussel sprouts

Blue plate with 2 forks showing lemon garlic chicken

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken is easy and delicious! Juicy and tender whole chicken with crispy skin will become a family favourite. This is a weeknight lemon chicken crockpot recipe!
5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Australian, Australian, International
Keyword: Lemon Garlic Chicken, roast chicken, Whole Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 265kcal
Author: Adrianne


Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

  • 1.5 kg chicken 3.3lb, Note 1
  • 1 lemon to juice, keep for cavity
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon to garnish, for serving
  • 1/4 bunch thyme fresh, to garnish, for serving


Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

  • Insert rack into Slow Cooker Note 2, see image in post.
  • Remove chicken from packaging and place on plate Note 3
  • In a small bowl combine oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut 1 lemon in half, juice it and add that juice to the oil mix. Keep the lemon to insert into the cavity.
  • Place chicken into slow cooker.
  • Open the cavity and add the bay leaves. Fill the empty halves of the lemon with the garlic bulbs and push into cavity. Fold skin of chicken closed. Note 4
  • Use a pastry brush to coat the raw chicken in the seasoning mix. Do this all over and underneath.
  • Set slow cooker on high and cook for 3 - 4 hours (or 7-8 hrs on low) . Note 5
  • Preheat oven to 200°c /400°F, gas 6, fan-grill. Broil/grill the chicken for 10 minutes, to crisp up the skin Note 6, 7

  • Serve with additional lemon quarters, oven roasted brussel sprouts and fresh thyme.



  • Note 1, your chicken needs to be raw or defrosted for this recipe. You can't use frozen chicken. 
  • Note 2, make a rack using alfoil if you don't have a rack to insert into your slow cooker. It will lift the chicken off the base of the crockpot and ensure that any juices that run out of the chicken aren't boiling it from below. 
  • Note 3, some recipes will say that you need to pat the chicken dry with paper towel. I don't. As I don't always have paper towel on hand and I am not going to run out and grab some just for one recipe. Reality is, if you don't pat the chicken dry it will still taste AMAZING! 
  • Note 4, don't worry about tying the chicken legs or using a skewer to close them. We want the remaining lemon juice to seep out of the chicken and drip into the slow cooker. If we tied the legs like a traditional roast in the oven, this would not work the same. It is a good technique for oven roasting chicken as the cook time is shorter and the heat much higher. However, for this slow cooker chicken recipe, we don't need to do that. It actually wouldn't taste as good if we did. The garlic bulbs will be tart from the inside of the empty lemon shell. If you prefer, you can push the bay leaves, lemon and garlic bulbs into the cavity without putting the garlic into the lemon halves. 
  • Note 5, if you are leaving the slow cooker on whilst you are out for the day, use a low heat. The chicken will be cooked after 3 hrs on high. My slow cooker takes 3 hrs 15 minutes to make this recipe. But it would still be fine if it was left on for 4 hrs on high or 7-8 hrs on low (got to LOVE slow cooking!) 
  • Note 6, USA friends the term broiler is the same as Australian Fan-Grill. When I say fan-grill, I mean place under the broiler for 10 minutes. 
  • Note 7, the broiling or grilling will be fast. You need eyes on it and stay in the kitchen. You don't want to have done all the work (well, the slow cooker do all the work), to over cook it at the last minute. Trust me, stay close and keep an eye on it. 


Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 16.8mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Share on Instagram!It makes my day when you make my recipes! Tag @sweetcaramelsunday

Easy meals from the Slow Cooker

Another reason why I love this recipe is other than it being super easy, you get to crisp up the skin in the oven! You know what that means? Partaking in one of my all time favourite hobbies, sitting on the floor in front of the oven and watching things cook. Try it, you might enjoy it!

Love the smell of a whole chicken in the slow cooker!! From morning till night the aroma will waft around the house.

Hope that you love this recipe and I am confident you will. Enjoy it!

Adrianne xx

If chicken recipes are your thing, they have a look at these ones:


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Brenda July 21, 2019 - 7:02 am

5 stars
Can you use bottled lemon juice for this chicken recipe?

Adrianne July 21, 2019 - 7:33 am

Yes, you can, cheers Brenda!

Amanda Wren-Grimwood July 21, 2019 - 10:05 am

5 stars
I have never cooked a chicken in a slow cooker but this looks amazing and the flavours are perfect. I’m definitely making this!

Adrianne July 21, 2019 - 10:40 am

Thanks Amanda, I think you will love it! The house smells great and you know dinner is going to be delicious!

Tisha July 21, 2019 - 10:13 am

5 stars
Great placement of the foil this is perfectly cooked and looks amazing!

Adrianne July 21, 2019 - 10:40 am

Appreciate your feedback Tisha! The foil does the trick everytime!

Jennifer July 21, 2019 - 1:35 pm

That looks like the perfect chicken for a weekend dinner. Gonna have to give this a try!

Adrianne July 22, 2019 - 10:15 am

Thanks Jennifer!

Natalie July 21, 2019 - 1:37 pm

5 stars
I just love lemon garlic chicken! Looks so delicious and perfect for BBQ season!

Adrianne July 22, 2019 - 10:15 am

Great to hear Natalie, bring on bbq season!

Andrea Metlika July 21, 2019 - 3:25 pm

5 stars
This looks Delicious. Really like that you made it in the slow cooker and paired it with my favorite Brussels sprouts.

Adrianne July 22, 2019 - 10:16 am

Thanks Andrea! Brussel sprouts are the best aren’t they!

Leo Prestia July 27, 2019 - 7:52 pm

5 stars
I will give it a try in my kitchen!

Adrianne July 27, 2019 - 9:09 pm

Sounds good Leo. Hope you enjoy it!


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