A tasty slow cooker recipe is the stuff of weeknight dreams - simply set it and forget it for a takeout fakeout! This easy garlic, ginger, and honey chicken is loaded with delicious Asian flavors and is a heck of a lot tastier, healthier, and cheaper than ordering out. Made in the crock pot so it's ready for when you get home!
Why You'll Love This
Do you love crock pot chicken recipes? 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 garlic, ginger, and honey chicken served over rice 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 just takes about 10 minutes of prep before you can switch on your crockpot and let the machine work its magic.
Why This Recipe Works
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.
To make garlic ginger and honey chicken in the crock pot, I used three large boneless skinless chicken breasts (with a total weight of approximately 2-½ pounds). They were perfectly cooked in my slow cooker after 3 hours on high.
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.
Serve the sweet, juicy, chicken over rice or Asian noodles with a side of steamed veggies for a delightfully well-rounded meal.
This recipe makes about 6 servings when served over rice or noodles.
What Goes Into This
Yes, there are a lot of ingredients for this recipe, but don't let that shy you away from making it! All of the flavors come together nicely and give the chicken the best flavor!
- Honey - 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. If need a honey alternative due to an allergy or dietary restriction, there are several great substitutes for honey.
- Hoisin sauce - 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.
- Low-sodium soy sauce - Be sure to use low-sodium or this dish will be too salty. You can also substitute coconut aminos.
- Rice vinegar - a common ingredient in Asian recipes, vinegar adds a little bit of zing.
- Minced garlic - my favorite is the kind you buy in the jar, that's already minced. It's super convenient. Use fresh garlic if you prefer.
- Ginger - 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.
- Toasted sesame oil - An important ingredient for this honey garlic chicken crock pot recipe, it adds that signature nutty flavor that's common in many Asian recipes.
- Spices - Black pepper and oregano add flavor and red pepper flakes add a hint of heat! You can leave the red pepper out if you're sensitive to spicy foods. Or, on the flip side, feel free to increase the amount if you're a fan!
- Cornstarch - We'll use a little bit of cornstarch mixed with water at the end to thicken the sauce.
- Sesame seeds and sliced green onions - We'll garnish our honey garlic chicken with sesame seeds and sliced green onions (aka scallions).
How to Make It
For the best results, follow the instructions in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Place the 3 large chicken breasts in the slow cooker. If using smaller, thinner chicken breasts, the cooking time may be less! Mix the brown sauce and 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!
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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 4: Return the chicken and the sauce to the crockpot and stir to combine. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately over your favorite rice or noodles!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Yes, you can prepare the sauce up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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.
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.
If you have fresh ginger, check out this video for the easiest way to peel ginger using a spoon!
For side dish options, the most popular choice would be to serve garlic honey chicken over rice. You can cook your own or purchase pre-cooked rice in a pouch. I personally prefer Jasmine rice for this recipe. If you're a noodle lover, go ahead serve over your favorite Asian noodles.
You could also pop a bag of frozen broccoli into the microwave while your sauce is thickening. Broccoli is perfect with this garlic honey chicken crock pot recipe!
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!
I am a crock-pot fanatic! Here are some top reasons you should buy a crock pot:
- 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 in 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.
If you tried this recipe, please rate it and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you!
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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.
The nutritional information does not include tequila. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.
This recipe was originally published in March 2020. It was updated in 2022.