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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!

Obsessed with honey garlic flavors? Try these easy skillet Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts or this Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken recipe.

honey garlic slow cooker chicken thighs in a bowl, served over rice and topped with scallions and sesame seeds

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.

What you’ll need

  • 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!
  • 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 – 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.

adding chicken thighs to a slow cooker and whisking honey garlic sauce in a glass bowl

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.

honey garlic chicken in a slow cooker before and after cooking

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!

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • 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.

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.

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.
close-up of honey garlic slow cooker chicken thighs shredded in Crockpot

If you made these Crockpot honey garlic chicken thighs, let me know in the comments below! Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made any of my recipes.

honey garlic slow cooker chicken thighs in a bowl, served over rice and topped with scallions and sesame seeds
4.86 from 27 votes

Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

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!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total: 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless skinless
  • For serving: chopped scallions, sesame seeds, rice optional, to taste

Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • This recipe serves 4-6 depending on portion size.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 148mg, Sodium: 711mg, Potassium: 401mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 192IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 2mg

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

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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86 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very tasty. Decided to try this in the Dutch oven over hot coals. Took 34 minutes for absolute perfection and easy shred chicken. Added a hint of bourbon to the sauce as well…so dang tasty!!

  2. Plan on making this but we prefer chicken breasts. Can I cut into cubes? If so before cooking or after? Also what would be the time difference and how many pounds would you recommend?

    1. Hi Ash! I have a note about chicken breasts in the subs & variations second of the blog post. I wouldn’t cut them up until after they’re cooked. I don’t know the exact time difference as I’ve only made it with chicken thighs, but the general rule is 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, so I’d just check them after the minimum time to see if they’re cooked. I’d probably just throw in 4 large chicken breasts so they cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Weight-wise I’d still aim for about 2 pounds.

  3. 5 stars
    Just made last night and was absolutely delicious. You could taste the honey and spices on every bite. Definitely recommend and make again. Thanks for the good recipe.

  4. Will the sauce evaporate if I’m setting the slow cooker to low and a bit longer on warm until I get home. Or is there enough moisture?

  5. Hi! I’m cooking this tonight. If I am doubling the recipe, do I need to double the cornstarch slurry as well?

    1. Hi! I would not use that much powdered ginger as it’s very strong. Truthfully, I don’t really like using it in general… to me it tastes a lot different and is so much more potent. I’d use a small pinch… maybe like 1/4 tsp then add more if needed after tasting it.

  6. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I served it over white rice and a side of broccoli. I will definitely be making this again!

  7. This may be a very silly question – but if I am making this as a “freezer meal” would I cook everything first? Then thaw and warm up? Or would I just combine ingredients with the raw chicken and then freeze? I am new to freezer meals and am making a bunch for a friend who is having a baby. Thanks for your help!

    1. Not a silly question, and that’s so kind of you to do for your friend! 🙂 Yes, you’d cook the chicken first, portion it out, then freeze so she can have a convenient meal to reheat later (see “Storage and Leftovers” section of the blog post). This chicken recipe would be a good one. As a general note, creamy sauces don’t freeze well, so you’ll probably want to stay away from those when choosing other recipes to make. Spaghetti sauce, meatballs, casseroles, and soups without cream are all great options.