If you want a flavorful dinner that cooks itself, my easy slow cooker chicken leg quarters is a great dish! It has a homemade barbecue sauce and lots of onions to add a ton of flavor. Everyone will love this meal, even your picky eaters!
When days get shorter, and the weather is cold, I find myself turning to my slow cooker more and more often. It is a great way to make dinner with so little work!
These chicken leg quarters are slow-cooked with homemade barbecue sauce. The flavor penetrates the meat, making it absolutely delicious! Chicken legs and chicken leg quarters are also great for those on a budget!
If you haven't tried cooking in a slow cooker or Crock Pot yet, I encourage you to try it. There is nothing like dumping ingredients in and then coming home to a ready-made hot meal!
I have lots of delicious gluten free slow cooker recipes if you want even more dinner ideas :-).
Why this recipe is great:
- It cooks while you are away!
- Meats cooked in a slow cooker stay tender, moist, and delicious. The flavor also slowly cooks into the meat, making it so good!
- Even your picky eaters will love my homemade mild-sweet barbecue sauce recipe.
If you love these chicken legs in a slow cooker recipe, try my Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken recipe too!
- Chicken leg quarters - I love these because they have a lot of meat. You can also use regular bone in chicken thighs or legs too!
- Ketchup - You can use any brand. Although most ketchup is gluten free, it is good to always read the labels.
- Mustard - I like to use brown mustard because it adds more flavor. You can also use dijon if you prefer.
- Spices - Chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Be sure if you are sensitive to gluten that your spices are gluten free and not processed on shared equipment.
This is the slow cooker I own. I bought it a couple of years ago, and it is still going strong! This Crock Pot can hold a whole 3-pound chicken and does a great job cooking!
- Holds a lot of food
- Easy cleanup
- Cooks evenly
- It doesn't have an auto-switch from high to low temp
What slow cooker is best?
Any slow cooker will work well; I find size is the most important because I like to cook a big meal so that there are leftovers to freeze. I use this 7-quart Crock Pot.
Recipe step-by-step directions:
Step 1: In a small bowl, add the sauce ingredients and mix well.
Step 2: Add the chicken leg quarters and sliced onions to the slow cooker.
HINT: I created this slow cooker chicken quarters recipe to be a dump-and-go recipe because I wanted it to be the easiest possible. If you like a browned finish for your chicken, I would encourage you to brown the chicken in a hot oiled skillet on each side for 4 minutes before adding it to the slow cooker.
Step 3: Smother the sauce over the chicken and add the water to the slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
You can vary the flavors in this barbecue slow cooker chicken legs recipe.
- You can make this slow cooker chicken with mushrooms or add veggies like carrots and potatoes.
- Add some spice by adding ½ teaspoon of crushed red peppers to the barbecue sauce.
- Use boneless chicken breasts and shred the meat when cooked so you can use it for sandwiches.
This easy slow cooker BBQ chicken will keep for up to 4 days in an air-tight container or for up to 4 months in the freezer.
To freeze this chicken, add it to a freezer-safe zip-style bag and press the extra air out.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
You can definitely put raw chicken in your slow cooker. That is how it cooks with all of the flavors from the sauce.
The chicken will make a lot of liquid as it cooks, so it is unnecessary to cover the chicken in liquid.
Although it is hard, you can overcook your chicken in a slow cooker. Always stick to a recipe's cook time for the best results.
Unfortunately, you can not cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker. The temperature is too low, and the chicken can spoil cooking so slowly.
More gluten free chicken recipes:
- Slow Cooker Cornish Game Hens
- Grilled Chicken Filet Burger
- Gluten Free Oven Fried Chicken
- Easy Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie
Barbecue Slow Cooker Chicken Leg Quarters
- 1 ½ pounds chicken leg quarters
- 1 cup ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons brown mustard Dijon also tastes great
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground paprika
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ cup onion sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup water
- Put the barbecue sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
- Pour the water into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add your chicken leg quarters to the slow cooker and then top with the sliced onions.
- Pour the sauce on top of the chicken and onions.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- HINT: I created this slow cooker chicken quarters recipe to be a dump-and-go recipe because I wanted it to be the easiest possible. If you like a browned finish for your chicken, I would encourage you to brown the chicken in a hot oiled skillet on each side for 4 minutes before adding it to the slow cooker.
- Enjoy hot. You can add potatoes and carrots if you would like to slow cook some vegetables with the chicken.
- You can use chicken leg quarters, chicken legs, or any bone-in chicken pieces you have on hand.
- If you like your chicken really saucy, double the barbecue sauce recipe.
- This chicken dinner will keep fresh for up to 4 days in an air-tight container.
- You can freeze this chicken easily in a freezer-safe zip-style bag.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
If you love the recipes you find on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free gluten free lemon dessert e-cookbook!)
This was easy and delicious! I will definitely make it again. I prepared it as per the recipe and it was done perfectly. Served with southern style mashed potatoes and a green veg, it’s a wonderfully comforting dinner that ticks all of the boxes. The sauce was really good and made the house smell scrumptious too. I am going to try slow cooking a pork tenderloin in the same BBQ sauce tomorrow. 😉
I am so glad you loved this recipe. It is deceptively simple and the flavors are amazing.
You most certainly can cook frozen chicken in the slow. It's better to cook it on high, not low. Make bbq chicken leg quarters from frozen all the time in the slow cooker.
We loved this, thanks! Didn't brown the chicken, removed the skin though, added sliced red peppers & jalapeño too, served with rice, yum!
Oooh, I love you added jalapeños. I need to try that next!
Thank you sounds great am making it right now. do you happen to have any cobbler recommendations?
I have some great cobbler recipes. You can put cobbler in the blog search bar to find them. Here is my gf apple cobbler. https://www.fearlessdining.com/easy-gluten-free-apple-cobbler/
That is strange. I have been cooking frozen chicken in my slow cooker for well over a decade and have never had it go bad on me. I guess I have just been lucky?
Great recipe! Very delicious.
I think it has something to do with the low heat and long cooking time on the frozen chicken.
Hi , like Robert am a bit confused too. There are a lot more ingredients than the picture of them, happy with that but how much water please and is it put in the bbq sauce or in bottom of cooker?
I wasn't able to find little images of all ingredients so follow the recipe card.
This sounds like a good recipe, but I am confused as to which ingredients go into the BBQ sauce, and which just go into the slow cooker.
Hi Robert, the chicken cooks in the BBQ sauce, so all of the ingredients go into the slow cooker. Enjoy :-).
My first time cooking BBQ chicken. It was so delicious! Definitely will be making this again. I didn't change anything in the recipe.
I am so glad you enjoyed the chicken recipe! It is one of my favorites because it is so easy. Thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know you enjoyed it!!