Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

5 from 4 votes
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Slow cooker honey garlic chicken requires just 5 minutes of prep and combines tender, juicy chicken breasts in a sticky, sweet, salty, slightly spicy sauce.

A bowl with rice and honey garlic chicken

This slow cooker honey garlic chicken is a cozy and comforting meal that the whole family will love. It’s made with simple pantry staples and is easy to prepare – just throw everything into the slow cooker. The chicken is melt-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce is sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, and umami-rich. Plus, it stores and freezes well.

Ingredients

Ingredients for crock pot honey garlic chicken
  • Chicken: I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you use other cuts, make sure to cook them longer.
  • Butter: I prefer to use unsalted, as soy sauce adds salt.
  • Honey
  • Soy sauce: Use regular or low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari/coconut aminos). Use a combination of light and dark soy sauce for flavor depth.
  • Rice vinegar: Or white vinegar/apple cider vinegar.
  • Fresh garlic: Minced.
  • Red pepper flakes: Or chili paste to add heat to the sauce – reduce or omit it, if preferred.
  • Water: To bring the sauce to the correct consistency.
  • Cornstarch: To help thicken the sauce into a glaze-like consistency. You’ll need a little water to make the slurry.

Instructions

Slow Cook the Chicken: First, place the chicken in the crockpot in a single layer. Then, add the minced garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes, and water to the slow cooker – no need to stir. Top with the butter, cubed into several pieces. Finally, add the lid and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.

Ingredients placed in a slow cooker

If you use other cuts of chicken, you’d need to adjust the cooking time as follows:

  • Bone-in Chicken Breasts: 4-6 hours on LOW or 2.5-3.5 hours on HIGH.
  • Bone-in Chicken Thighs: 4-6 hours on LOW or 2.5-3.5 hours on HIGH.
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs: 4-5 hours on LOW or 2-3 hours on HIGH.

The exact time depends on their size and your crock pot so monitor it the first time you make the recipe and test the meat for doneness.

Check for doneness: Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should read 165ºF/74ºC to be safe to consume. Alternatively, insert a fork into the thickest part of the chicken – the fork should go through the meat easily, and any running juices should be clear (no sign of pinkness).

For super juicy chicken, the internal temperature should be 160ºF/71ºC. The residual heat will finish cooking it while it rests.

Chicken breast cooked in a slow cooker

Thicken the sauce: Towards the end of cooking, prepare the cornstarch slurry. Combine the starch and water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Once ready, remove the chicken from the crockpot and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes, loosely tented with foil. Then, pour all the liquid into a saucepan and add the cornstarch slurry. Mix well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stir/whisk constantly until it thickens – just a couple of minutes.

Mixing cornstarch slurry with honey garlic cooking liquid

Finally, serve the cooked slow cooker chicken breasts with the honey garlic sauce, optionally garnish with scallions (green onions) and sesame seeds, and enjoy!

How to serve

This crockpot honey garlic chicken is a fabulously juicy and tender protein ready to add to dozens of meals:

You can also enjoy it shredded on a bun with fresh Asian slaw and optionally sliced avocado or in lettuce wraps.

A close up of honey garlic chicken cooked in crockpot

How to store

  • Refrigerate: Allow the chicken to cool for no more than two hours. Then store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Store any leftovers in an airtight container or Ziplock bag with the sauce for up to 4 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight (for up to 24 hours) when needed.
  • Reheat: Reheat in a saucepan with a splash of broth or water (to keep it juicy). Alternatively, you could wrap the dish in foil to bake at 350ºF/175ºC until hot (about 10-15 minutes).

More easy chicken breast recipes

If you try this slow cooker chicken breast recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

5 from 4 votes
By: Samira
Slow cooker honey garlic chicken requires just 5 minutes of prep and combines tender, juicy chicken breasts in a sticky, sweet, salty, slightly spicy sauce.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1.5 lb chicken breasts 4 medium-sized, boneless skinless
  • 1/3 cup butter unsalted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2.5 Tbsp soy sauce regular or reduced-sodium; coconut aminos/tamari for gluten-free
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp chili flakes

For the slurry

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions 

  • Place the chicken in the crockpot in a single layer so it cooks evenly.
  • Add the minced garlic with all the sauce ingredients (minus the cornstarch slurry), to the slow cooker – no need to stir. Top with the butter, cubed into several pieces.
  • Add the lid and cook the chicken until tender – on LOW for 4-5 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
    The exact time will vary so check for doneness. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken. It should read 165ºF/74ºC. Alternatively, insert a fork into the thickest part of the chicken – the fork should go through the meat easily, and any running juices should be clear (no sign of pinkness).
  • Towards the end of cooking, prepare the cornstarch slurry by combining the starch and water and mixing until smooth.
  • Once ready, remove the chicken from the crockpot and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes, loosely tented with foil.
  • Pour all the liquid into a saucepan and add the cornstarch slurry. Mix well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stir/whisk constantly until it thickens – just a couple of minutes.
  • Serve the chicken breasts with the honey garlic sauce, optionally garnish with scallions (green onions) and sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: Allow the chicken to cool for no more than two hours. Then store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
    Freeze: Store any leftovers in an airtight container or Ziplock bag with the sauce for up to 4 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight (for up to 24 hours) when needed.
    Reheat: Reheat in a saucepan with a splash of broth or water (to keep it juicy). Alternatively, you could wrap the dish in foil to bake at 350ºF/175ºC until hot (about 10-15 minutes).

Notes

  • The cooking time can vary depending on the chicken’s thickness, whether it has bones, and on your slow cooker. Check the chicken 30-60 minutes before the earliest recommended time to ensure it’s cooked through. 
  • For other cuts of meat, adjust the cooking as follows:
    • Bone-in Chicken Breasts: 4-6 hours on LOW or 2.5-3.5 hours on HIGH.
    • Bone-in Chicken Thighs: 4-6 hours on LOW or 2.5-3.5 hours on HIGH.
    • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs: 4-5 hours on LOW or 2-3 hours on HIGH.
  • If using frozen chicken: I don’t recommend placing frozen chicken in a slow cooker for food safety reasons. It’s best to thaw it in the fridge overnight first.
Check the blog post for serving suggestions!
Course: Main
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Freezer friendly: 3-4 Months
Shelf life: 3-4 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 584kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 150mg, Sodium: 880mg, Potassium: 451mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 771IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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