Oh yes and please! Sweet yet savoury, sticky and saucy slow cooker honey soy chicken – it tastes amazing and is both comforting yet light enough to have any time of year. It’s ideally served over a bed of steaming hot rice maybe with a side of crisp steamed green vegetables.

  • The chicken – tender, shreddable and oh so delectable.
  • That Asian inspired sauce – soy, honey and spiked with a nice hit of garlic to boot.
  • Quick and easy to prep.
  • Can be made ahead and perfect for easy weeknight dinners.

We’re talking flavour central here. There is a 100% chance the whole family will be running to the kitchen for seconds. You can tell I love this honey soy combo – just check out these sticky honey soy chicken wings too.

Top down view of shredded honey soy chicken in a large serving dish.

There was a time I thought all slow cooker meals were stews and had the same sort of flavour. Not so. I’ve come to realise that the slow cooker / crockpot is an absolute gamechanger, lifesaver and all round wonderful piece of kitchen equipment. When you can have something like this just bubbling away for hours while you get on with your day, what could be better?!

Ingredients you’ll need for honey soy chicken

There really aren’t as many ingredients as you may think you need to get something with such a big flavour bang. I add a couple of veggies into the mix but you could certainly leave them out and just serve veg on the side.

Ingredients for slow cooker honey soy chicken on a baking tray.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

What you’ll need;

  • Chicken: Chicken thighs are my go to here but boneless skinless chicken breasts work too.
  • Sauces: Soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, Shaoxing rice wine (or use some dry sherry).
  • Flavour boosters: fresh garlic,  fresh ginger and a little sesame oil give this boldness, umami and tang.
  • Vegetables: Some capsicum (bell pepper) and onion.
  • Butter: Yep, just a little butter adds so much richness to this sauce.
  • Toppings: Top it off before serving with some spring onions (green onions/scallions) and sesame seeds.
  • Cornflour: Known as cornstarch in the US, cornflour is used to thicken the sauce.

How to make slow cooker honey and soy chicken (step-by-step)

Start by trimming any excess fat from your chicken thighs and double check the butcher hasn’t left any bones behind. Now you’re ready to put it together.

A collage showing the steps to making slow cooker honey soy chicken.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. The sauce: Combine the sauce ingredients and pour them into a slow cooker dish.
  2. Add the chicken, onion and butter (photo 1) then cook on low for 3-3 ½ hours.
  3. For the last ½ hour add the capsicum, sesame oil and cornflour mixed with some water to thicken the sauce (photo 2).

There are also two optional steps to take this honey and soy chicken beyond amazing and takes literally an extra 10 minutes.

  1. Grill the chicken: Transfer the chicken pieces to a lined baking tray (photo 3) and put them under the broiler / overhead grill on high for 1-2 minutes each side to get some caramelisation on the edges.
  2. Thicken the sauce: If you want to thicken the sauce further, transfer it to a saucepan (photo 4) while the chicken is under the grill and boil it until the consistency thickens to your liking.

Now finish it off.

  1. Now you can shred the chicken (photo 5) (if you feel like it – it’s by no means a necessary step), mix it back into the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions (photo 6).
A spoon dribbling sauce onto chicken on a plate.

Frequently asked questions

Is it ok to put raw chicken in the slow cooker?

Yes! It’s absolutely ok to use raw chicken in your slow cooker. Slow cookers/crock pots are designed to properly cook it through and get it to a safe eating temperature.

Should chicken be covered in liquid in the slow cooker?

You don’t need to cover the chicken with liquid in the slow cooker, you just need enough liquid to cover the base. The chicken and vegetables will release water as they cook. This goes for other meats too.

Can you overdo chicken in the slow cooker?

Yes! Cooking chicken for too long in the slow cooker will result in dry, tough chicken. You only want to cook it long enough that it’s able to be shredded. The size of the chicken pieces and whether you use thighs or breast will affect the cooking time. Use the times given as a guide but keep an eye on it closer to the end.

How long to cook chicken in the slow cooker

The length of time to cook chicken in the slow cooker will depend on the size of the pieces. Pieces of breast and thigh will take between 3 – 4 ½ hours on low. Chicken is best cooked on low to keep it tender.

Should I brown chicken before putting in slow cooker?

Often, I will brown any meat prior to putting it into the slow cooker as it adds another layer of flavour. With this recipe though, there is no need as we brown it at the end under a grill.

What to serve with honey soy chicken

I serve this slow cooked chicken, shredded, over steamed rice and often add a side of green veggies to compliment the capsicum already in the dish. Green beans, broccoli and bok choy are some of my favourites with this. It’s also great over cauliflower rice as a low carb alternative.

There is no reason why you can’t just serve this wrapped up in a tortilla too, as we often do in our house with my honey pepper pork stir fry. It keeps things very easy during the week.

Variations

As always, there are options to adjust this recipe to your own tastes. Add some mushrooms to the slow cooker (I like to saute in a little oil until golden then add them in the last ½ hour with the capsicum.

For a bit of spice, add some dried chilli flakes (red pepper flakes).

Yield and storage

This recipe makes enough for 6 serves.

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container, ready for a quick dinner any time.

Slow cooker honey soy chicken over rice on a plate with beans on the side.

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Close up of shredded slow cooked honey soy chicken.

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken

5 from 4 ratings
This slow cooker honey soy chicken is chicken thighs, slow cooked to tender, shreddable perfection in a sweet a sticky sauce. The sweet and salty easy dinner is mouth-watering and totally irresistible.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium red onion (cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 42 g salted butter (3 tablespoons)

TO FINISH

  • 1 medium red capsicum (bell pepper), ½ inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornflour (US cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Spring onion greens (green onions/scallions), finely sliced

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and double check the butcher hasn't left in any pieces of bone.
  • In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing rice wine, garlic and ginger. Whisk until fully mixed.
  • Add the chicken and onion, then mix everything to combine. Drop the butter on top.
  • Cook, covered, on low for 3- 3 ½ hours or until it’s tender and starting to break apart when you stir.
  • Add the capsicum and sesame oil. Stir together the cornflour and water then pour into the slow cooker and stir well. Turn the slow cooker up to high and cook for another 40 minutes.
  • OPTIONAL 1:
    Scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon and transfer to a lined baking tray and place under a broiler / overhead grill for 1-2 minutes on each side to caramelise the edges a little.
  • OPTIONAL 2:
    If you want the sauce even thicker, transfer just the sauce to a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 4-5 minutes until thickened to your taste.
  • Shred the chicken and mix it back into the sauce. Scatter over sesame seeds and sliced spring onions.
  • Serve over steamed rice with greens like beans, broccoli or bok choy
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. Gluten-free option: To make this recipe gluten free, swap the soy sauce for tamari and check the label on the oyster sauce (many will contain soy but some, like kikkoman are gluten free).
  2. Shaoxing rice wine: You can swap this a dry sherry, or even for rice vinegar.
  3. Chicken: You can swap the boneless chicken thighs for bone-in chicken thighs. These add extra flavour.

More Information

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