Tender chicken breasts are slow cooked in the crock pot and tossed with a sweet garlic honey ginger sauce. This easy crock pot honey garlic chicken is loaded with delicious Asian flavors! This simple slow cooker recipe is the stuff of weeknight dreams - simply set it and forget it for a takeout fakeout that is a heck of a lot tastier, healthier and cheaper than you're used to.
Quick Notes: This recipe was originally published in March 2020. It was updated in December 2020. Also, this post contains affiliate links to my personal favorite items. Please read my disclosure statement for details. Thank you
Why This Recipe is a Treasure
Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity! Do you love crock pot meals? I know I personally couldn't imagine a world without slow cooking. I'm just too dang busy to be bothered with cooking every single night, but I love feeding my family home-cooked meals.
This slow cooker honey garlic chicken is the perfect recipe for those nights that I know I won't have the time or energy to cook when I get home. And even though it tastes like our favorite takeout meal, I can rest easier knowing that it is healthy, MSG free, and much cheaper than what we get at restaurants.
Before you pick up your phone and call your local Chinese delivery restaurant, consider making your own! It's really easy to make, and you may even have leftovers for the next day if it all doesn't get gobbled up. Oh, and it just takes about 10 minutes of prep before you can switch on your crockpot and let the machine work its magic.
I think you'll love this as an easy weeknight crock pot honey garlic chicken. Basically, all you have to do is assemble the ingredients, turn it on, and within a few hours your quick and easy dinner is ready to serve. Kids also love this meal. That amazing sweet sauce is a winner for people of all ages!
Serve the juicy, tender, and sweet chicken over rice or Asian noodles with a side of steamed veggies for a delightfully well rounded meal.
How Long Should I Slow Cook Chicken Breasts?
Cooking chicken breasts in a slow cooker (crockpot) couldn't get any easier. You just have to make sure you don't overcook the chicken or it'll get dry. I've learned cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot on HIGH for 3 hours is perfect IF the chicken breasts are large.
For example, I used three large boneless skinless chicken breasts (with a total weight of approximately 2-½ pounds) for this honey garlic chicken recipe. They were perfectly cooked in my slow cooker after 3 hours on high. This recipe makes about 6 servings when served over rice or noodles.
What Do I Need For This Easy Chicken Dinner?
This recipe calls for low sodium soy sauce, and for good reason! What we want is a savory sweet ginger flavor, not a salt bomb.
TIP: Avoiding gluten? Opt for tamari. Avoiding soy? Use coconut aminos instead.
- Use your favorite honey, whether it's store-bought or from your local farmer. Whenever possible, though, I recommend that you purchase local, raw honey. It has tremendous environmental and health benefits, not to mention how important it is to support our local farms!
- Hoisin sauce is a thick, slightly sweet, slightly salty sauce that is sometimes referred to as Chinese barbeque sauce. Widely used in Asian cooking, it's popular for dipping sauces as well.
- You can use fresh ginger but I always end up throwing any leftover ginger away, which irks me because it can be expensive. I like to buy ginger paste in a tube (next to the fresh herbs in the grocery store). It's finely chopped ginger that stays fresh for weeks in the refrigerator.
TIP: If you have fresh ginger, the easiest way to peel it is using a spoon! Check out this video to see how.
- Toasted sesame oil is an important ingredient for this recipe. It adds that signature nutty flavor that's common in many Asian recipes.
- Red pepper flakes add a hint of heat! You can leave this ingredient out if you're sensitive to spicy foods. Or, on the flip side, feel free to increase the amount used if you're a fan!
- We'll use a little bit of cornstarch mixed with water at the end to thicken the sauce. Then, we'll top it all off with some sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
*try my Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe for more ways to use rice vinegar, soy sauce, & toasted sesame oil
What Should I Serve With This Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe?
The most popular choice would be to serve honey garlic chicken over rice. You can skip cooking your own rice and purchase the pre-cooked rice in a pouch. There are tons of flavors to choose from, but I personally prefer Jasmine rice for this recipe. If you're a noodle lover, then serve honey garlic chicken over your favorite Asian noodles.
While the sauce is thickening on the stove, pop a bag of frozen broccoli into the microwave to serve with your honey garlic chicken. Yummy and delicious!
How to Make Honey Garlic Chicken in the Crock Pot
STEP 1: Place the 3 large chicken breasts in the slow cooker. If using smaller, thinner chicken breasts, the cooking time may be less!
STEP 2: Mix the low sodium soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and oregano in a mixing bowl or jumbo measuring cup. Stir with a whisk to combine. Pour over the chicken breasts. Put the lid on the crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours. Alternatively, you can cook on low for about 6 hours. I would not cook longer than 6 hours or the chicken will be overcooked!
RECIPE TIP: You can prepare the sauce up to 3 days in advance.
STEP 3: When the honey garlic chicken is done cooking, remove the chicken and place it on a plate or cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken. I prefer shredded chicken for this recipe, however, diced or sliced is fine, too.
TIP: In a hurry? Place your cooked chicken breasts in a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to shred the chicken in a fraction of the time. Just be sure to remove them from the sauce to keep it from spattering all over!
STEP 4: Pour the sauce from the crockpot into a small saute pan on the stove. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add it to the sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
STEP 5: Return the chicken and the sauce to the crockpot and stir to combine. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long can I store my leftovers?
Honey Garlic Chicken will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Store in airtight containers. I like to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids. Check out this 18-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids from Bayco. These containers are great for meal prep, too! Available now on Amazon.
Can I make honey garlic chicken with thighs?
Absolutely! We are more of a light meat family, but you do what suits you and your budget the best. As an added benefit, chicken thighs are less likely to dry out from overcooking than breasts.
Are there any good substitutes for soy sauce?
Tamari is soy sauce that’s made without grains, therefore, it’s a great gluten-free soy sauce alternative. Coconut aminos is a soy-free seasoning sauce that’s a popular alternative to soy sauce for those who avoid soy. Coconut aminos are lighter in flavor than tamari, but are a great soy sauce alternative.
Why should I buy a crock-pot?
I am a crock-pot fanatic and will sing their virtues to the end of the Earth! Besides the fact that you can "set it and forget it," there are a whole host of reasons why crock-pots are amazing. Allow me to proselytize for a moment:
- Slow cooking is superior at tenderizing tougher cuts of meat.
- The crock pot will do all the cooking while you're asleep or away from your home.
- At most, there's only ever two pots to clean! One pot to cook the sauce at the end, and the other pot being the slow cooker.
- Slow cookers are convenient to take to the office or another person's home...just plug it up to reheat (or keep warm) that delicious food you just made.
- Slow cooking brings out more flavor most of the time.
- Your crock pot will use much less electricity than your oven or stove.
You can find my favorite 6-quart crockpot here on Amazon. I've had it for several years and love it!
Who Invented the Crock-Pot?
If you're into food history, the story of the Crock-Pot is sure to delight you. The crock-pot was invented by Irving Nachumsohn in 1940! He invented the slow cooker to cook a Jewish stew that is eaten on the Sabbath. All work is prohibited on the Sabbath - even cooking and driving. Brilliant and hungry man that he was, Nachumsohn invented the crock-pot to cook it the day before. Here's the entire article from One Country, A Brief History of Crock-Pot, The Original Slow Cooker.
Need more easy weeknight dinner inspiration? Check out these other delicious recipes:
- Easy Crock Pot Mexican Casserole
- Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Bowls
- Easy Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Hearty Low Carb Chili
If you tried this yummy and easy Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken recipe, be sure to rate and review it below so I know how it turned out for you!
Easy Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- mixing bowl
- measuring cup(s)
- measuring spoons
- slow cooker (crock pot)
- small saute pan
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-½ pounds)
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- sesame seeds for garnish
- sliced green onions for garnish
- Place 3 large chicken breasts in the slow cooker. If using smaller, thinner chicken breasts, the cooking time may be less!
- Mix the low sodium soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and oregano in a mixing bowl or jumbo measuring cup. Stir with a whisk to combine. Pour over the chicken breasts. Put the lid on the crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours. Alternatively, you can cook on low for about 6 hours. I would not cook longer than 6 hours or the chicken will be overcooked!
- When the honey garlic chicken is done cooking, remove the chicken and place it on a plate or cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken. I prefer shredded chicken for this recipe, however, diced or sliced is fine, too.
- Pour the sauce from the crockpot into a small saute pan on the stove. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add it to the sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
- Return the chicken and the sauce to the crockpot and stir to combine. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
- You can prepare the sauce up to 3 days in advance.
- You can opt to cook the chicken for 6 hours on LOW instead
- Cooked chicken will last for 3 days in the refrigerator.