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Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

I think you guys would laugh if you could hear some of the conversations Eric and I have, especially in regards to blogging. While working on this post, I was telling Eric that my chicken looked darker (because it’s dark meat and not white) than other photos I’ve seen of this recipe. Eric’s response? “Pssh. Thigh meat is where it’s at, especially with Asian food.” I love how he can change my perspective, even on issues as simple as the color of my chicken. I tend to obsess/worry about things (sometimes needlessly), and I’m thankful that Eric is there to remind me that “it’s probably not that big of a deal.” Indeed.

You know what is a big deal, though? My slow cooker. I feel like we’ve rekindled our love after a too-long hiatus. I know I was just talking about it recently, but I seriously want to cook everything in it. I love being able to start dinner at some point before dinnertime and not have to worry about it again. This leads to more snuggle/storytime with Clara, more playing, more coloring, more pushing Clara around in the laundry basket (her new favorite thing to do), more time hanging out with Eric before we get into our evening routine. The way our house smells while the slow cooker is working its magic definitely doesn’t hurt, either.

This recipe has become pretty popular in our house. We first made it when two neighbors had babies, and we needed something we could take both families for dinner. It was fun knowing that all three of our families were enjoying the same dinner that night. Eric and I made sliders with ours the first time and obviously served it over brown rice this time around. Either way you serve this chicken, you can’t go wrong. It’s juicy and flavorful, and it cooks up quickly and easily in the slow cooker. In addition to swapping out thighs for breasts, I upped the amount of Sriracha. It’s still not spicy but gives the sauce enough heat to cut through the sweetness of the honey. I think it was the perfect balance.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

This chicken tastes fabulous over rice or on buns as sandwiches or sliders. If you want it spicier, increase the amount of Sriracha.


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breasts, thighs, or a mixture of both)
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup honey
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
Sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, for garnish


Season chicken with pepper and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, tomato paste, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, water, sesame oil, onion powder and Sriracha. Pour over the chicken.

Cover and turn slow cooker to low heat. Cook for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and easily shreds with a fork.

When the chicken has finished cooking, transfer to a large bowl. Whisk together the cornstarch and remaining water in a small bowl, then add to the sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and set on high. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.


Barely adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

  • Autumn Makes & Does

    I have to agree with Eric. Chicken thighs are definitely where it’s at! So much flavor. Also, always up the sriracha :)

    • Courtney

      This is why we’re friends. :) Well that, and the fact that you’re awesome.

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Me and my slow cooker have yet to really be friends this season — I need to change that, starting with this scrumdiddlyumptious-looking chicken!

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    I recently just re-stole my slow cooker back from my mom so I can definitely see us rekindling our passion for each other. Love the flavors in this dish!

  • simplebites

    So excited to bring back the slow cooker for fall! Adding this to the menu plan. =)

  • Tracey

    I’m so late to get over here and comment, but wanted to let you know I’m really glad this one was a hit for you guys as well! We go through phases with the recipe, eating it once a week or more for a month and then setting it aside for a month or two :) I love that it feeds us for days and days!

  • ErinsFoodFiles

    My biggest thing is finding good slow cooker recipes that do NOT require a 12 step process before cooking in the slow cooker! I understand browning the meat for certain recipes makes it better, but sometimes it defeats the purpose of the time-saving perks of the slow cooker! Thanks for another recipe I can add to my arsenal that doesn’t require extensive prep!

    PS. The laundry basket is one of Elliott’s favorite toys! He loves to load things into it and push it around the house, as well as turn it over and stand on it.