4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cola Chicken

Slow Cooker Cola Chicken recipe

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 8 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1099 Calories
60g Fat
26g Carbs
110g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1099
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 60g 76%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 426mg 142%
Sodium 1026mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 110g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 8mg 42%
Potassium 1152mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is an easy, no-fuss slow cooker chicken recipe made with your choice of chicken parts and only three additional ingredients (plus salt and pepper). Use a cut-up whole chicken, chicken leg quarters, or a combination of thighs and drumsticks. The chicken may be served as an entrée, or it can be removed from the bones and shredded for sandwiches. Serve the shredded chicken on buns with some of the sauce.

If you use very large pieces, like chicken halves, cook them on high for 1 hour and then turn the setting to low and continue cooking for about 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours longer. The 1 hour higher temperature start will ensure the chicken gets up to a safe temperature quickly.

Serve the chicken with potato salad or baked potatoes and steamed vegetables for a satisfying family meal. If you're making sandwiches with the shredded chicken and sauce, serve them with baked beans and coleslaw.


  • 1 large onion

  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken parts

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 cup cola, or Dr Pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the ends off the onion, peel it, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Slice the halves thinly.

  3. Place half of the onion slices in the bottom of the 5- to 6-quart slow cooker crockery insert.

  4. Place the chicken pieces on the onion layer. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Top the chicken with the remaining onion slices.

  6. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and cola or Dr Pepper. Mix to blend thoroughly.

  7. Pour the cola and ketchup mixture over the chicken pieces in the slow cooker.

  8. Cover the pot and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 7 hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked but not yet falling apart. If you want it shreddable, go for the longer time of 7 hours. The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (73.9 C). If in doubt, check for doneness with an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken (not touching bone).

  9. Serve whole pieces and the onion slices on a platter with the sauce or shred the chicken and serve with the sauce on buns. Enjoy.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat-resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

There are a few notable flavor variations you might want to try.

  • Instead of ketchup, use your favorite purchased or homemade barbecue sauce.
  • Or add 1 or 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to get that barbecue flavor.
  • Or kick it up with 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of crushed red pepper flakes for heat.
  • Strips of red and/or green bell pepper may be added for flavor and color. Layer the pepper strips along with the sliced onions.


  • To give the chicken some color and crisp the skin a bit, place the pieces on a foil-lined baking pan and put it under the broiler—about 4 inches from the heat source—for about 2 to 5 minutes, or until browned.
  • To thicken the sauce and concentrate flavors, remove the chicken to a plate, and ​keep it warm. Skim the fat off the liquids and strain them into a saucepan. Bring the defatted liquids to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to boil them for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups.
  • For an attractive presentation, sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or cilantro over the chicken.