These tender slow cooker chicken thighs are super easy to make with a short prep time and everyday ingredients. The honey garlic sauce is absolutely irresistible!
Why you'll love it
Is there anything better than homemade honey garlic sauce? It's got bold flavors, and it perfectly coats the melt-in-your mouth tender chicken thighs. This versatile recipe is wonderful over rice, noodles, or even in a sandwich. Asian inspired flavors just bring so much more to the table when it comes to shredded chicken!
This is a family friendly meal that you'll make again and again. There's tons of the mouthwatering sauce that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. Smother it over veggies, and you're golden. Busy parents will appreciate that it's an incredibly simple to make dump-and-go chicken dinner.
You need only a few pantry staples
- Chicken - boneless chicken thighs are a great choice for slow cooking because they become more tender and don't dry out as easily as chicken breasts do
- Soy sauce - we're using the low sodium variety here
- Honey - this gives a sweet contrast and balance to the savory ingredients
- Ketchup - adds a bit more sweetness and depth. Don't worry, it definitely doesn't give an overwhelming tomato taste at all!
- Garlic - feel free to adjust the garlic quantity to your tastes
- Apple cider vinegar - my not-so-secret ingredient to amp up the flavor
- Ginger - don't skip the fresh ginger! It's essential to this recipe
- Red pepper flakes - optional, but I like giving it a little kick
- Cornstarch - added at the end to thicken the sauce
How to make slow cooker chicken thighs
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Place the chicken thighs in your slow cooker, arranging them so that they're in a fairly even layer. In a bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients together.
Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cook on high for 3.5 hours, then add in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce up and continue cooking it for another 15 minutes. Shred with two forks and enjoy!
Substitutions and variations
- You can swap the chicken thighs for chicken breasts, but they may not turn out quite as tender since they have less fat and aren't as well-suited for slow cooking. Cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on their size.
- Using bone-in chicken thighs is an option, but I would increase cook time to 4 hours on high. If you use ones that are skin-on, keep in mind the sauce may end up a little too oily.
- If you want to keep the thighs intact and not shred them, that's fine! But the meat will easily fall apart anyway after slow cooking.
Tools you'll need
- I use this Crockpot model.
- Ginger is much easier to grate when it's frozen. I always keep a piece of ginger in my freezer in a ZipLoc and then grate it with my Microplane when needed. That way, you're also never without ginger!
- For the garlic, I simply use a garlic press to crush it. I do this as a shortcut for any recipe that requires minced garlic.
What to serve with honey garlic chicken
- This recipe pairs really well with jasmine rice and chopped scallions. I also garnished the chicken with sesame seeds, but that's totally optional!
- You can also serve it over noodles or with steamed or stir fried vegetables.
- One of my favorite ways to serve shredded chicken is in a bun with some homemade coleslaw.
Leftovers and storage
- Keep any leftovers of this chicken recipe in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat. Microwaving will work fine as well. I'd make fresh rice or noodles.
- Freezing should be good for up to 3 months with this one. Thaw overnight, or very slowly over a low heat.
Questions about these Crockpot honey garlic chicken thighs? Let me know in the comments below!
Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless skinless
- For serving: chopped scallions, sesame seeds, rice optional, to taste
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Add the chicken thighs to your Crockpot (in an even layer).
- Add the sauce ingredients (except for the cornstarch) to a bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook on high for 3.5 hours. Low for 6-8 hours will work too.
- Mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl, and then pour it into the slow cooker. Give it a stir. Let it cook (on high) for another 15 minutes or so to ensure the cornstarch has activated and the sauce thickens.
- You can leave the chicken pieces whole or shred them with 2 forks (I do this right in the slow cooker). Serve over rice and with scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled over top if desired.
- This recipe serves 4-6 depending on portion size.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.