Crockpot chicken legs on a plate with a blue and white cloth napkin nearby.

When life gets busy and I don’t have time to spend an hour in the kitchen cooking, it’s nice to have a recipe or two I can turn to. These savory slow cooker chicken legs are perfect for busy weeknights because they’re super simple, budget friendly, and I know my family loves them.

Tender chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker crock surrounded by flavorful sauce.

Why should I make these slow cooker chicken drumsticks?

If you’re looking for a set it and forget it slow cooker meal, then you’ve got to try these drumsticks! For starters, they’re the perfect mix of salty and sweet flavors, and the slow cooker keeps the meat moist and tender. This Crock Pot chicken leg recipe comes with a thick sauce that’s slightly sticky so it clings to the meat. Chicken drumsticks make for a great dinner when served alongside some rice, a salad, or veggies. However, this recipe is versatile enough you could also use it to create other chicken recipes.

Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes! Raw chicken is 100% safe to put in the slow cooker. Whether you’re making these slow cooker chicken drumsticks or fall-apart crockpot chicken, the slow cooker is a fantastic way to cook this meat.

Saucy chicken drumsticks on a platter with forks nearby.

Do you add water to slow cooker chicken?

No, you don’t need water to make these slow cooker chicken legs. The recipe has enough liquid ingredients with the honey and soy sauce that adding additional water isn’t necessary.

How long do crock pot chicken legs take?

If you’re searching for a great school night dinner, you’ll fall in love with this one—it only takes five minutes of preparation! You read that right, you only need five minutes of hands-on prep time to create this delicious dinner. Simply add the chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker, whisk together the other ingredients and pour them over the chicken,  and you’re done!

Crockpot chicken legs cook in the slow cooker for four hours on high or six hours on low. Toss this set it and forget it meal in at lunchtime, and you’ll have juicy, savory chicken legs ready for dinner.

Protip: Other cuts of chicken

You can use chicken breasts or thighs in place of chicken legs in this recipe.

Slow cooker chicken served over rice on a white plate.

What do I need to make crockpot chicken legs?

This is a quick five-ingredient meal, perfect for busy weeknight dinners. Make sure you have the following pantry basics (and the chicken!) on hand before starting your slow cooker chicken legs.

  • Minced garlic
  • Ketchup
  • Honey
  • Soya sauce
  • Chicken legs
  • You can garnish with optional green onions, parsley, or sesame seeds

You’ll also need a slow cooker or an Instant Pot with a slow cooker setting.

Protip: No slow cooker? No problem!

If you don’t have a slow cooker and you still want to enjoy delicious, easy chicken legs, try making baked sticky chicken legs in the oven. This is another super simple weeknight dinner recipe that comes together in under ten minutes.

Can you put frozen chicken legs in the crockpot?

You can use frozen chicken legs in this recipe—but you should let them thaw overnight in the fridge first. The thawed chicken will cook more evenly than frozen, and you won’t have to play guessing games with the cooking time. Make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F before serving for food safety.

Protip: When is it done?

When using a meat thermometer, don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch bone. You’ll get a much more accurate temperature reading if the thermometer is in the thickest part of the meat.

A platter of slow cooked chicken drumsticks on a white plate in front of a Crockpot.

How should I serve slow cooker chicken legs?

You can serve these slow cooker chicken legs with pretty much anything. We recommend these family-favorite side dishes:

Protip: For the most tender chicken

Leave the skin on your chicken legs. The skin helps keep the chicken fall-off-the-bone tender on the inside. If you don’t want to eat the skin, you can always remove it before serving.

What’s the best way to store the leftovers?

You can store leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to four days. Allow the meat to cool fully before placing it in an airtight container. We don’t recommend freezing this meal—however, you can make the sauce ahead of time, stick it in a zip-top bag with the chicken, and then freeze it. When you’re ready to make your slow cooker chicken legs, thaw in the fridge overnight, then dump the entire contents of the bag in your slow cooker and cook as directed in the recipe.

Crockpot chicken legs on a plate with a blue and white cloth napkin nearby.

Slow Cooker Chicken Legs Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours

This slow cooker chicken recipe is perfect for any occasion and takes literally five minutes of preparation.


  • 3 pounds chicken legs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Sesame seeds, green onion, or parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare the slow cooker with nonstick spray and place the chicken legs inside the bottom of the insert.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, and garlic.
  3. Pour the prepared sauce over the chicken.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6 hours).
  5. Remove from the slow cooker and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 216mgSodium: 1180mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 43g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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    1. Hi Don! Yes—you can swap in breasts or thighs! You should be able to follow the recipe as written after making the swap, but if the breasts are particularly thick, you might need to add an extra hour or so to the cook time. Let us know how it turns out for you!