This easy slow cooker hunters chicken recipe is perfect for busy weeknight dinners. Prepare it in the morning, and have a fantastic chicken entree ready to eat in the afternoon.
Hunters chicken is bacon wrapped chicken breasts topped with cheese, and cooked in BBQ sauce. This slow cooker version of the dish is packed with flavor, and easy to make, making it a great choice for weeknight dinners.
The slow cooker is perfect for this dish! It makes the chicken pull-apart tender, and the meat absorbs the incredible flavors of the sauce.
Why you'll love it
- Easy chicken entree that you can prepare in a few minutes
- Pairs perfectly with a variety of side dishes
- Only requires 4 ingredients and seasoning
- Affordable slow cooker chicken recipe
- Adjust the recipe to suit your preferences
- Gluten free and nut free
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Chicken breasts: Tender chicken breasts are best suited for this recipe. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. If you want to use frozen chicken, you will have to thaw it first.
BBQ sauce: I love my favorite homemade BBQ sauce, but you can use any store bought sauce that you like.
Bacon: Use smoked or unsmoked bacon strips.
Cheese: Shredded mozzarella, or shredded cheddar cheese are best suited for this recipe. You can use any cheese that you like, as long as it melts well.
Seasoning: Salt, pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning add a lot of flavor to the dish. You can also adjust the seasoning to taste.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Pour BBQ sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Two: Season the chicken, and wrap bacon strips around them. Place them on top of the BBQ sauce.
Three: Add additional BBQ sauce on top of the chicken breasts, and make sure to coat them evenly. Cover with a lid, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Four: Transfer the chicken breasts and some sauce to a casserole dish or an oven safe baking dish. Cover with shredded cheese, and place it under a broiler for a few minutes, or cook in the oven at 400 F / 200 C for a few minutes, until the cheese has melted.
💡 TIP! If you don't want to cook the chicken in the oven before serving, you can add the cheese to the slow cooker around 30 minutes before serving. The cheese and bacon will be softer, but this reduces an extra cooking step.
- Keep the slow cooker covered with a lid through the entire cooking process. Removing the lid can increase the required cooking time.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F / 74 C before you serve it. Or, you can slice a chicken breast in half and make sure that the meat is white throughout.
- Broiling or oven baking the slow cooked chicken will give the cheese and bacon a great texture. This step is optional, but really improves the flavor of the dish.
- Feel free to adjust the seasoning however you like. See the Variations section below for some ideas.
- Carefully keep an eye on the chicken while it's baking in the oven, as the cheese can brown very quickly.
Slow cooker hunters chicken is a delicious entree best served for lunch or dinner. I love to pair it with a variety of side dishes to complete the meal.
Here are my favorite sides to serve with it:
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Skin On Fries
- Parmentier Potatoes
- Mexican Potatoes
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Carrots
- Air Fryer Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
Other seasoning: Feel free to adjust the seasoning, or use any other spices that you like. Garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, cumin, taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, chili powder and red pepper flakes are excellent options.
Dairy free: Use dairy free cheese, or omit the cheese.
Other types of chicken: You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs, or any other cuts of chicken that you like. Skinless chicken pieces are recommended, as any chicken skin would become soft and rubbery under the bacon.
Leaner choices: For a lighter and leaner dish, you can use light BBQ sauce and cheese alternatives. You can find these in most supermarkets. You can also omit the bacon, or substitute it for turkey bacon.
To make this recipe, you will need a 3 quart or 6 quart slow cooker. I like to use a wider slow cooker, as this makes it easier to place the chicken breasts on top of the sauce.
Additionally, to melt the cheese and make the bacon crispy on top, you will need an oven dish or a baking pan. This is used to cook the chicken in the oven for a few minutes before serving. You can omit this step if you want, although I highly recommend it.
Store leftover slow cooker hunters chicken in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a microwave, frying pan or pot on the stove top, and serve it warm.
You can also dice or shred the chicken and bacon, and use the leftovers in other dishes like sandwiches or casseroles. This is a great way to use leftovers without having to eat the same dish twice.
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Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! The slow cooker is great for making hunter's chicken, as it makes the meat tender and delicious.
Hunter's chicken is a dish consisting of chicken cooked in a red sauce. The dish exists in several countries, with regional varieties. The British hunter's chicken is bacon wrapped chicken breasts covered with cheese and BBQ sauce.
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Slow Cooker Hunter's Chicken
- Pour ¾ cup BBQ sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker.1 cup BBQ sauce
- Season the chicken, and wrap bacon strips around them. Place them on top of the BBQ sauce.4 large chicken breasts, 8 strips bacon, ½ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Add the remaining ¼ cup BBQ sauce on top of the chicken breasts, and make sure to coat them evenly. Cover with a lid, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Transfer the chicken breasts and some sauce to a casserole dish or an oven safe baking dish. Cover with shredded cheese, and place it under a broiler for a few minutes, or cook in the oven at 400 F / 200 C for a few minutes, until the cheese has melted.½ cup shredded mozzarella
- Store leftover hunter's chicken in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the meat, and serve it warm. You can also dice the chicken and bacon, and serve it in a sandwich or casserole instead.
- To make an easier version of the dish, you can skip the step of broiling the slow cooked chicken. Instead, serve the chicken straight from the slow cooker, topped with shredded cheese.
Food safety tips
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended