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The slow cooker does all the work in this easy Crock Pot Chicken Salad recipe. It's perfect for make-ahead dinners, lunches, and entertaining!
Like 3 Ingredient Salsa Chicken, this easy recipe for chicken salad is a versatile choice for weekly meal prep. There are so many great ways to use it!
You can spread it on your favorite bread or tortilla wrap for sandwiches. But It stands alone as a low-carb salad served in lettuce wraps too.
It's inspired by crack chicken made with cream cheese in a crock-pot! Have you seen recipes with that name? It suggests that the result is very delicious. And it is!
We took that slow cooker trend in a different direction by combining creamy chicken with the traditional ingredients used in shredded chicken salad. We also swapped Greek yogurt for sour cream in this healthy chicken salad recipe.
Let's just say there's something very appealing about popping whole boneless chicken breasts into a slow cooker in the morning and ending up with a creamy mound of chicken salad later in the day!
The time-consuming part is done, which is another reason you'll love this delicious recipe, whether making a big batch for a party or weekly lunches.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you'll cook in the crock-pot for this chicken salad:
- Uncooked chicken - Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
- Cream cheese - Use whole fat for the creamiest result.
- Tarragon gives this chicken salad tons of flavor you'll love if you're a fan of this herb. If not, leave it out or add another spice, like Italian seasoning, dill, or basil.
- Salt and Pepper to taste! We added ½ teaspoon of each.
Once it's cooked and shredded, stir in these simple ingredients for the perfect combination of textures: creamy, crunchy, and sweet!
- Greek Yogurt replaces sour cream in this recipe and adds extra protein too. You can use either ingredient.
- Celery with a fine dice since it's going into a salad mixture.
- Almonds or other nuts, like walnuts or pecans.
- Cranberries, grapes, or diced apples make the final salad pop! Leave out the fruit or use less to lower the carbs.
Variations: Bottom line...use whatever ingredients you have in the house, including cooked, crumbled bacon, diced pepper, carrots, or other vegetables.
It's really that easy!
Directions with Pictures
Below are the steps to make delicious crock pot chicken salad:
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Mist the slow cooker with cooking spray and place chicken breasts in a single layer.
- Place chunks of cream cheese on top. Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. The exact cooking time will vary based on your particular model. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F.
- Shred chicken with two forks and stir to incorporate the cream cheese. The cream cheese firms up quickly. Add Greek yogurt to make it creamy.
- Stir in all of the other ingredients. We used celery, slivered almonds, and cranberries.
Tip: Shred Chicken with a Hand Mixer
The easiest way to shred chicken is with a hand mixer. Process on low for several minutes or until uniformly shredded.
Serving Ideas for Crock Pot Chicken Salad
The fun part comes at serving time. Just scoop! Portion the shredded chicken in:
- Lettuce cups (low-carb)
- Bread (traditional)
- Croissants (fancy)
- Flour tortillas (perfect for the lunchbox!)
- Crackers (appetizer)
- Mix it into pasta.
No other sandwich fixings are necessary, which is exactly why it's perfect for a party. Serve it straight from the slow cooker, or move it to a serving bowl.
Simply lay out a platter with bread, lettuce...and a scoop! Use our ultimate chicken salad side dishes list to round out the meal!
Storage and Reheating
Crock pot chicken salad may be served warm or cold.
- Store - Store leftover chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serve Cold - Chicken salad is traditionally served cold.
- Serve Warm - Heat leftovers in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until warm, which will only take a few minutes.
- Freeze - Freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, with excess air removed. Store for up to 2 months for best quality. It may be microwaved from frozen or defrosted overnight in the refrigerator and then warmed.
- NOTE: It's best to only freeze the creamy chicken mixture. Add veggies, nuts, and fruits just before serving.
Tip: If the mixture becomes thick when reheating, add Greek yogurt or a little broth to thin it out.
Easy Entertaining Slow Cooker Recipes
These recipes are also perfect for a party and are made in a crock-pot.
Easy slow cooker chicken salad means more time with family and friends and less time in the kitchen! And that's exactly why you've got to make it!
Did you make this recipe?
Please leave a rating and tell us how you liked it!
Crock Pot Chicken Salad (Easy Slow Cooker Recipe)
- 2 pounds Boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to taste we used about ½ teaspoon of each
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup cranberries, optional leave out to make even lower-carb
- Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.
- Sprinkle tarragon over the top of the chicken.
- Cut cream cheese into cubes and place on top of chicken.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Open slow cooker and shred chicken with two forks, mixing in melted cream cheese.
- Remove chicken base to serving dish, if desired.
- Stir in Greek yogurt, celery, almonds and cranberries, if using.
- Serve in lettuce cups, on bread with crackers or in a wrap.
- Store - Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serve Cold - Chicken salad is traditionally served cold.
- Serve Warm - Heat leftovers in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave until warmed through, which will only take a few minutes.
- Freeze - Leftovers may be frozen in an airtight storage container or resealable plastic bag, with excess air removed. Store up to 2 months for best quality. May be microwaved from frozen or defrosted overnight in the refrigerator and then warmed. It's best to freeze only the creamy chicken portion and stir everything else in just before serving.
This recipe was originally published 8/23/17. It was updated to improve the reader experience.