Complete Barbecue Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker


barbeque chicken dinner in slow cooker done

A whole Barbecue Chicken Dinner cooked in the slow cooker!  The trick is in foil packets and layering the food, something I learned from Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking.  She used the trick to make steak, baked potatoes and corn on the cob in the slow cooker.  I’ve used her trick to cook ham with Hashbrown Casserole.

I love pulling everything out of the crockpot, done and ready to go.  Clean up is a breeze too, because there’s just the crock to wash.

Here’s what you’ll need:

barbeque chicken dinner ingr


Complete Barbecue Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker
  • boneless chicken breasts
  • barbecue sauce
  • potatoes, chopped
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • onion, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • a bit of olive oil
  • frozen corn on the cob
  • plenty of foil
  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Pour on some barbecue sauce. You don’t want to add too much, because the goal is to have as little liquid as possible in the bottom of the pot.
  3. Stir the potatoes, a bit of olive oil (that didn’t make it in the photo), onion, cheese and salt and pepper together in a bowl.
  4. Make a large packet out of foil and wrap the potatoes in it, loosely.
  5. Wrap each corn in foil.
  6. Place the potato packet on top of the chicken. Add the corn.
  7. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8.

Here are a few photos of the process:

barbeque chicken dinner packets in foilbarbeque chicken dinner in slow cooker assembledbarbeque chicken dinner potato packet

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  1. Seriously? How easy is that!

  2. This sounds delicious! I’m so excited to try it! I found your site recently and love seeing the things you cook. Thanks! Oh, and you might want to switch the cooking times around a bit. Instead of “Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 7-8” you might want, Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6. I’m pretty tired at the moment so maybe I read it wrong but it did seem a little confusing.

  3. I too learned about layering from Stephanie. I use my crockpot a lot. I’ve taken many of her recipes and adapted them to my liking and made them. Most have come out wonderfully.

  4. I’m SO doing this tomorrow. Thanks!

  5. This sounds like a great idea. I’m adding it to my menu for next week!

  6. Cant wait to try this. Love layering in the crockpot it saves so much time.

  7. I love this idea…I’ll bet the possibilites are endless! Looks delicious.

  8. brilliant ~ thank you! we received a slow cooker for our wedding and can you believe, I haven’t taken it out yet? I’m always intimidated we’ll be having leftovers up to our ears! But I need to try this, now is the time~

    have a lovely weekend~

  9. Excellent idea. I love using my crockpot but the only way I have a whole meal is by making something like pot roast. I’m loving your frugal and easy recipe ideas!

  10. What a cool idea! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog!

  11. Love this idea! I am going to have to try it!I love your blog! Thanks for the time you put into it!

  12. Wow, this is gonna change my life, I can tell!


  13. Are the chicken breasts frozen or thawed?

  14. I learned this from Stephanie’s blog and made it successfully last year. It DOES work. Thank you for putting it back on the ‘front burner’ (so to speak)

  15. Tiffany,

    I have one question. In other words, the chicken is NOT in foil? I want to make this for my Sunday dinner.

    Thank you!

    • Jessica, that’s right. The chicken is on the bottom and not wrapped in foil. Hope you like it for your Sunday dinner!

      • Thanks for asking this question. I was wondering the SAME THING! Gonna try it tonight. Its been 110 here in Texas.. no thank you to using the oven!

  16. Thank you, Tiffany. I’m shopping for the ingredients today. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for getting back to me quickly!

  17. Tiffany, I wanted to give you an update. I made this for our extended family dinner Sunday, and it was a big hit! Everyone loved it, and it was so easy to make. I put it all together Saturday night, and put the crock pot in the refrigerator. Sunday morning, I just took it out and placed it in the heating part of the crock pot, and let it cook all day till suppertime. Actually, I made extra and used 2 crock pots.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe ideas you provide!

  18. Thanks,I plan to try this recipe for this sunday’s dinner.I hope it turns out good !:)

  19. I only wish I had known of your blog before making my menu plan. This is definitely going on my plan next week!

  20. This is a wonderful site, thank you. I am a working mom and cannot come up with good meals for my busy family. Everyone is picky and/or on their way out the door to some activity. This slow cooker idea is wonderful. I’m trying it this week!!!!

  21. hayley espey says:

    Is the chicken suppose to be frozen? and are we suppose to wrap the chicken in foil too?

    Hayley Espey

    • You can start with frozen chicken or thawed chicken. It doesn’t matter, except you will need to give more cooking time to frozen. Put the chicken on the bottom and don’t wrap it in foil.

  22. Wow! I have never heard of this, but I LOVE this idea!!! Can’t wait to try it! BTW, I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and am SOOO THRILLED to have found it!!! What a blessing you are to those of us following you! I love to cook but get tired of coming up with meal ideas! This is EXACTLY what I have wanted and am so grateful to you that you have put this out there for the world to use for free. Thank you so much!! Please know this is truly appreciated by me and many, many others I am sure!

  23. this sounds amazing. Do you have any other recipes like this? Maybe with pork chops?

  24. Love your blog! This recipe sounds delish. Just wondering though, can you do the potatoes without cheese? My husband doesn’t eat cheese.

  25. Hi Tiffany-
    For the Complete Barbecue Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker- do you put the chicken breasts in the slow cooker thawed or frozen?

  26. Thanks for crock pot chicken recipe with vegetables.!!! Could you please give the crock pot recipe for steak, potatoes and corn?
    Love this site!!!

  27. I can’t wait to try this! But my hubby doesn’t like corn on the cob so I wanted to try it with just broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Will it work the same for those? Or do I have to wait to add those? If so, how long do I wait to add them?
    Thanks for all these great recipes and for doing all the planning for us!

    • Julie, if you’re going to cook it all day, I’d use a foil packet for the veggies and start them from frozen. It should work. Let me know how it goes.

      • That was an incredibly FAST reply, thank you! I only have fresh veggies right now, but I was planning on making this either tomorrow or later this week. So, are those types of veggies OK to just be tossed in the freezer? I have a whole bag of them and it would probably be a good idea to do that if I can since I’m not going to use them as soon as I thought I would.
        Also, about how much BBQ sauce should I use? I still haven’t quite figured out that ratio.

        • Julie, since the veggies are fresh, you might just cook them by themselves like you usually do. They’ll be better that way and it doesn’t take long. As for BBQ amount, I usually just pour some in – maybe 1/2 or so.

  28. I made this on Monday. I was really happy with it, but I will make some changes next time.
    I’m not sure if I didn’t wrap the corn properly, but it came out mostly brown…too much exposure? I’m not sure, but I would appreciate people’s thoughts/comments on that.
    I didn’t have time in the morning to really jazz up the potatoes as indicated in the recipe. I added a bit of a sea salt/garlic grinder that I have, as well as some olive oil. The potatoes were pretty bland, so I’ll follow the recipe more precisely next time.
    I had a lot of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker, even though I just basted the chicken.

    My plan for improvement next time:
    • raise the chicken(s) up on balls of foil in the slow cooker to allow for better drainage
    • don’t cook the corn in the slow cooker
    • do a few smaller packets of potatoes with different seasonings/treatments (one of my sons is lactose intolerant, while the other looooves cheese)

    As always, thanks for sharing. This site is fantastic, amazing, stupendous, and spectacular. I am always thankful for those who are willing to share knowledge and resources!!

    • Nancy, that’s interesting about the corn. I’m not sure what would cause that. I like your idea about different potato packs and about cooking the chicken on foil balls. Great solutions!

  29. use crockpot liners and then there is no clean up.

    • I tried this the other day with veggies instead of corn on the cob. Unfortunately, it was not successful for me. It wasn’t the recipe, all my fault, but I figure I would share my mistakes.
      First off, my crock pot cooks pretty fast so even on low it should have only been cooking for maybe 3-4 hours (maybe 5, but I think that really pushes it), but I didn’t get home when I thought I would. The BBQ sauce burned and the chicken was dry. Boy was the smell awful. The chicken was still somewhat edible if I added more BBQ to it, at least that’s what my hubby thought, I didn’t even eat it.
      The potatoes actually turned out good, but I did try the recipe and realized that I probably shouldn’t have since neither my hubby nor I like onions lol. So the onion flavor wasn’t too appealing to us. Generally, if there are onions in a recipe I don’t try to take them out or substitute because if they are cooked we aren’t too bothered by them, but the flavor was really strong on these. The onions may have also had a bit of that over cooked taste to them, but it’s hard for me to tell because I don’t like the onion flavor regardless. But the texture of those turned out right about the way I like them. Maybe a tad too soft since I overcooked them. Way better then when I try to do it in the oven (I always burn it to the pan and end up with crispy potatoes. Hmmm, I sense a pattern). I’ll just have to try it without onions next time. I don’t know why but I’m thinking bacon and ranch seasoning? I’ve been in a “everything needs bacon and ranch” mood lately lol.
      As for the veggies, those were the worst part. I’m pretty sure I over cooked those too. They were dark and tasted awful. I did do it from frozen, but they were overcooked with everything else.
      I will try it again seeing as the only things that went wrong were my tendency to overcook everything and not cooking to our tastes. There are still so many recipes I want to try from this site. I can’t wait to make them.

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean for that post to reply to your comment about liners Tiffany. I thought I was doing my own.

      • Julie, I’ve had the overcooking problem happen with my slow cooker too. They just cook so hot and if you’re late getting home, things can be pretty well past done. Bacon/ranch potatoes sound really good! Great idea!

        • I think it might be time to upgrade to one of those crock pots that has a timer. That will have to be added to my wish list of kitchen appliances 🙂
          If I try to do it with bacon, will the bacon need to be precooked? Or do I just chop it up and throw it in with the potatoes?

  30. Christina says:

    I’m about to throw all of this in the crockpot and i was just curious how much cheese you should use?

    • Christina, you probably already have this in the crockpot. I think I used about 1/4 cup cheese, but you can use more or less depending on how you like it.

      • Christina says:

        Hey Tiffany! Thanks for getting back to me. I just kinda sprinkled a bunch on the potatoes and then stirred them around. I probably used closer to a cup but I think I had a little bit more potatoes. But it smells delicious and it hasn’t even been in the crock pot an hour lol. 🙂

  31. I tried this tonight and my chicken was almost black and very dry. I cooked it on low and just added a small (maybe 1/4 cup) of bbq sauce. Any ideas what I did wrong?

    • Sam, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out. The only thing I can think of is that maybe your slow cooker was too big for the amount of food in it. Slow cookers cook best when they are full. Or maybe, even on low it was too long a cooking time. I’ve found that each slow cooker is a little different in how hot it cooks.

  32. Thank you so much for this recipe, it was a lifesaver for me! My husband has been away for a few days taking care of my father in law who is in liver failure (lots of dietary restrictions). Apparently my father in law hasn’t cooked in a while, because we were shocked to discover his oven no longer works! I quickly pulled up my crock pot Pin board and settled on this. My husband reported it took him about 3 minutes to throw everything together (he just did 4 pieces of corn and 3 whole potatoes). It was a hit, even my father in law liked it! Thanks again!

  33. Kirsten says:

    My family and I tried this recipe this past weekend. Everyone loved it and it was super easy which made me VERY happy!!!

  34. Wow, was sooo easy and soo tasty!
    Will be a regular at our house!

  35. Tracey-lee says:

    I tried the recipe. The chicken was yummy, sadly, the corn was brown, moist but brown. I didn’t do the potatoes as I didn’t have any, but over all it was easy!!

  36. Just made this last night. Mine did not come out as pretty as your picture. My corn was also brown, still yummy but very soft. The potatoes were good but also kind of browned. And my chicken was bland. We added extra BBQ on our plates. I used frozen chicken and it cooked for 8 hours on low and then was in “warm” mode for another 90 mins until I got home from work. I guess that might have been the culprit? Oh well. Thankfully my husband eats everything and my kids still ate it but mostly because they helped me assemble it all that morning so they had fun eating the dinner that “they made.”

  37. I am curious as to how you can cook foil on top of the chicken and not have a foil taste to the chicken. Can you help me here?

    • Keri, I don’t think foil has a taste or at least not one that gets imparted to food. This is similar to baking food in a foil pan or baking potatoes wrapped in foil.

      • Thanks for the quick response. I totally get cooking something in a foil pan or baked potatoes. I am concerned about the chicken that is not wrapped in foil and placing foil on top of it. I’ve never heard of this before so just trying to make sure it is safe.

  38. This is fabulous!

  39. Ok so I have never even thought about making an entire meal “that way” in a crock pot. WOW!

  40. I enjoyed how easy this meal was… I would, like stated above, line the slow cooker with foil balls to help with drainage. Even if you are careful about adding too much BBQ sauce the meal produces quite a bit of liquids. This would provide quite a bit of drainage. I caught this in time and did it mid way through, but next time I would do it from the start. Also we added seasonings to the corn (butter, brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic seasoning) and it turned out delish. Thanks for sharing. I would appreciate other recipes like this!

  41. Try this today. My chicken was frozen and I put a packet of Lipton onion soup in my potatoes instead of onion. It all turned out great. Yummy😀👍

  42. I stumbled upon this while googling recipes and sent it to my husband. We are leaving after 11:20 pm to get the ingredients. My husband doesn’t like to leave the house to get food late at night when we have stuff to cook the next day already. But this looks so delicious he wants to try it before work tomorrow. Xx


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