Need an easy, healthy crockpot chicken recipe for dinner tonight? Check out this slow cooker lemon garlic chicken! It is a fabulous way to cook a whole chicken in the crockpot that’s tender, flavorful, and delicious. Low carb, keto, and family-friendly, this simple dinner recipe is always a favorite.
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This slow-cooking Lemon Garlic Chicken is one of our favorite easy crockpot recipes. Fresh lemon teams up with garlic and fresh herbs to create a flavor combination that is always a winner, winter, spring, summer, or fall. In other words, It’s perfect for when the weather warms up, and it’s too hot to cook, and when it is so cold outside, all you want to do is bundle up under an electric blanket. This Lemon Garlic Chicken is a healthy, low-carb, keto-friendly meal that is as simple as it is delicious.
6 Reasons You Will Love This Recipe
Time Saver: You can prep this in 10 minutes or less.
Three Ways To Make It Happen: You can cook this chicken recipe in your slow cooker, pressure cooker, or oven.
A Little Extra: Love a Crispy Finish? Pop it under the grill or broiler for 5 minutes to crisp the skin.
You Can’t Mess It Up: Even if you set it and FORGET it and go a few hours over the cooking time, it’s still juicy because crockpots are magical!
Perfect For Meal Prep: It takes less than 10 minutes to prep it and get it in the slow cooker.
Extra, Extra: If your family rolls their eyes at the mention of plain chicken, the Lemon Sauce is divine and effortless – add cornflour or cornstarch into the slow cooker juices.
How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker
This slow cooking Lemon Garlic chicken starts with an olive oil rub that combines lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried herbs of choice (I use thyme, oregano, and parsley).
For maximum flavor, I put most of the rub under the skin of the chicken. For the record, this process is very sloppy, and my approach is far from Martha Stewart’s. I tried doing it her way, and it made my soul cry. My point is do not try to make it perfect.
Just loosen the skin using your fingers or a spoon, and spread the rub under the skin. The rub will slide and naturally spread as it cooks.
Next, pop the used lemon inside the chicken, then place the chicken on a rack in the crockpot, and slow cook for 5 hours on low.
When the chicken comes out of the slow cooker, it will smell amazing, but it won’t be pretty. This is where the broiling step plays in. After 5 to 10 minutes in the oven on the broil setting or your grill, you will have a five-star golden brown chicken!
How long does a whole chicken take in the slow cooker?
A 4lb whole chicken will take 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high. This will be a juicy and carvable chicken like a traditional oven-roasted chicken.
If you have extra time and prefer a falls off the bone tender chicken, slow cook for 7 to 8 hours on low.
Make It In Your Instant Pot
If you’re an Instant Pot fan, you’ll be happy to know you can make this Lemon Garlic Chicken in your pressure cooker. It comes out just as tender and juicy – and a whole lot faster! Just add 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook for 24 minutes on high. Let it depressurize naturally for 10 minutes, then release the valve.
The lemon sauce is the close to effortless extra step that makes this recipe a stand-out. All you have to do is combine the cornstarch or cornflour (or almond flour) and lemon. Then simmer until thickened. That’s all!
The beauty of recipes like this one is the versatility. In other words, you can put your spin on it and substitute ingredients. Here are some ideas:
Swap up the dried herbs – or use fresh instead.
Add spices – or skip the herbs and use a rub instead.
Add a quartered onion and halved head of garlic (or smashed garlic cloves) under the chicken (it will make the gravy even tastier! Strain out of the sauce.)
Add fresh herbs and a halved head of garlic inside the chicken (you need lots of garlic to be able to taste it.)
Use butter instead of oil.
Alternative Cooking Methods
No crockpot? No problem! You can make this chicken happen in your pressure cooker or bake it in your oven.
More Easy Dinner Recipes You Need To TryPrint
This slow cooker lemon garlic chicken is a fabulous way to cook a whole chicken in the crockpot, Instant Pot, or oven that’s tender, flavorful, and delicious. Low carb, keto, and family-friendly, this simple dinner recipe is always a favorite.
- 2 kg / 4 lb whole chicken
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large lemon (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon cornflour or cornstarch (use almond flour if you are keeping it low carb)
1 tablespoon water
Start with the rub: Mix the thyme, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice. (Do not throw away the lemon peel!) The rub combination will be slightly thick – you can adjust it with extra oil if it’s too thick to baste.
Loosen the skin: Use the upside of a spoon to loosen the skin of the chicken. Spoon most of the rub under the skin, leaving about one tablespoon of oil for the skin. Use your hands or a spoon on the skin to spread the paste. Do not overthink it – this doesn’t need to be perfect.
Finally, place the used lemon inside the chicken.
Place a rack inside your slow cooker, and place chicken on top. Spread with the remaining rub, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Slow cook for 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high, or until juices run clear or internal temperature is 165° using a meat thermometer. (Note 4 for other cook methods)
Brown skin: Remove chicken from slow cooker, drizzle with a bit of extra oil. Grill/broil on medium-high for 5 to 10 minutes to brown the skin (~25cm /10″ from heat source). Or in your oven, set at 450° for 10 minutes.
Spoon over pan juices, then serve with the lemon sauce!
Pour all slow cooker liquid into a saucepan, add the cornflour water mixture. Mix.
Bring to simmer over medium-high and cook until liquid thickens. ( This usually takes 3-5 minutes). Adjust salt and pepper to taste; add more lemon if desired (the extra lemon). Pour into a container and set aside until you are ready to serve.
Pressure Cooker Instructions
Add ½ cup water and pressure cook for 24 minutes on high (depressurize naturally 10 min before releasing valve).
Set oven to 450°
Roast for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350° and roast for another 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165° F (or until juices run clear when pierced). Baste twice by spooning the pan’s juices over the chicken’s skin: once after 30 minutes and again at the one-hour mark.
Time To Cook In Crockpot Based On Size/Weight
1-1.5kg / 2-3 lb – 4.5 hrs on low
1.75-2.25kg / 3.5-4.5 lb – 5 hrs on low
2.5kg / 5lb – 6 hrs on low
For “fall apart” swoon-worthy chicken, add 1 to 2 hours onto the cook times.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: dinner
- Method: crockpot, oven, Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: healthy dinner, crockpot recipe, Instant Pot dinner recipe, easy dinner recipe, low carb recipe, keto-friendly recipe
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