4-Ingredient Crock Pot Cola Chicken

Slow Cooker Cola Chicken
Slow Cooker Cola Chicken. Diana Rattray
  • 6 hrs 8 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins,
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (4)

This is an easy, no-fuss chicken recipe made with your choice of chicken parts and only 3 more ingredients plus salt and pepper. It's also a versatile recipe — feel free to add garlic powder, a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, or a dash of crushed red pepper flakes.

The chicken may be served as an entree, or it can be shredded and served on buns with some of the sauce.

I made this dish (pictured) with chicken halves. Because the pieces were large, I cooked them on high for 1 hour and then turned the setting to low and cooked them for about 2 1/2 hours longer — the chicken was thoroughly cooked but not yet falling apart. If you plan to shred the chicken, cook it for an hour or two longer, or until it's falling apart.

Slow cooked bone-in chicken can look pale and unappetizing, but it doesn't have to. See the tips below the recipe for some serving ideas and variations that will make your chicken look as good as it tastes.

What You'll Need

  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
  • 1 frying chicken, cut up, about 3 to 4 pounds of chicken parts
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup cola or Dr. Pepper

How to Make It

Place half of the sliced onions in the bottom of the pot. 

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

Top with the remaining sliced onions.

In a small bowl or two-cup measure, combine the ketchup and cola or Dr. Pepper. Mix to blend thoroughly.

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

Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 7 hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked.

The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (73.9 C). If unsure, check with an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken — not touching bone.

See the tips below for some serving and finishing ideas.

Serve whole pieces and the onions on a platter with the sauce (pictured) or shred the chicken and serve with the sauce on buns or over rice. See the tips below for reducing and thickening the sauce.


  • 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 for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned.
  • If the chicken pieces are large, cook the dish on high for 1 hour — reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for about 4 to 5 hours longer, or until the chicken tests done.
  • To thicken the sauce and concentrate flavors, skim the fat off and strain it into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce measures about 1 1/4 cups.


  • Replace the ketchup with 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce.


  • Sprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with garlic powder along with the salt and pepper.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the ketchup and cola mixture.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to the ketchup and cola mixture.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke the the ketchup and cola mixture.
  • Add 1 sweet bell pepper, sliced, along with the onion layers.

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