Hey guess what? I made you a new recipe with your three favorite words in the title — slow cooker chicken.
That’s right. Without fail, requests for slow cooker recipes and chicken recipes seem to far outweigh all other topics in surveys and your emails. So today I’m doing a two-for-one and also introducing a healthier new take on a classic — Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken!
This version includes all of the delicious sweet and savory teriyaki flavors you love. But this easy homemade teriyaki sauce is naturally sweetened with honey instead of refined sugar. And since your slow cooker is going to do most of the work for you, there is very minimal prep time required. I think we can call that a win-win.
Speaking of winning, we’re also giving away not one but two amazing new Crock-Pot slow cookers in a giveaway below. Yep, the winner will receive one to keep and one to give to a friend. How cool is that?! So read on for this tasty recipe and take a minute to enter the giveaway too.
I mean, really, just look at that chicken drenched in that thick, sweet teriyaki sauce. It’s calling your name.
Here’s how to make it happen.
First we begin by making the teriyaki sauce base. Simply whisk together the ingredients.
Then lay your chicken breasts out in a single layer in your slow cooker and pour the sauce over them. Cover and cook on high for about 4-5 hours, or until the chicken basically falls apart when shredded with a fork. Get ready, because your home is going to smell a-ma-zing.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it with a slotted spoon and shred it on a separate plate or in a bowl.
Then transfer the remaining teriyaki sauce to a small saucepan, and whisk a cornstarch slurry. Bring it to a boil and let it thicken. Then pour the sauce on top of your shredded chicken.
Gently toss to combine. And then comes the hardest part — deciding how you’re going to enjoy it!
I actually enjoyed my first serving on a little teriyaki chicken slider. So simple!
But of course, the classic way would be over rice. Or quinoa. Or even just on its own, with a side of veggies. I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong any way you choose, especially with that heavenly homemade teriyaki sauce. You’re gonna love it!
Here’s the recipe (and be sure to also check out the giveaway below!)
This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken recipe is simple to make, full of great flavor, and made with natural sweeteners.
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce (use low-sodium if desired)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cold water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
(optional toppings: sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds)
Add the chicken breasts to the bottom of your slow cooker in a single layer.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the garlic, onion, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and black pepper until combined. Pour the mixture on top of the chicken breasts. Cover slow cooker, and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl and shred it using two forks. Transfer the remaining teriyaki sauce from the slow cooker to a medium saucepan.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved and no longer lumpy. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the teriyaki sauce mixture, and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and let it boil for about 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and pour the sauce on top of the shredded chicken. Toss to combine.
Serve topped with scallions (green onions) and toasted sesame seeds if desired.
iStir™ does the stirring for you so you don’t have to. With the slow cooker’s countdown digital timer and automatic stirring, you are provided the convenience of preparing food with perfect results, even if you are not in the kitchen. Simply prepare ingredients, set cook time and attach the motor housing with proper paddle in place. Choose the general purpose paddle for soup and chili or the stew paddle for thick stew and more dense dishes. After an initial 2-hour delay, the stirring self-activates every 30 minutes to ensure thorough mixing and even heating until turned off. Pretty darn cool.
I especially stirring system when making dips and chilis. It’s really handy, especially when just keeping the slow cooker on the “warm” setting while entertaining, to not have to constantly be stirring my recipe. But this Crock-Pot is also a pro at making all of your other favorite slow cooker meals that don’t need stirring. It pretty much does everything. :)
Disclaimer: This giveaway was sponsored by Crock-Pot. I received a complementary slow cooker to test and review, but was not paid and all opinions are 100% my own as always. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this site — and great giveaways — possible!
LOVE this recipe so much I doubled it to have leftovers.
Thanks Brian — we’re so glad to hear that! :D
made this tonight – used white wine vinegar instead of rice wine as i didn’t feel like going across town but followed the rest of the recipe. Came out well. Hubby had 3rds :)
That’s good to know Jen — we’re glad you both enjoyed it! :)
Made this for dinner tonight. Absolutely yummy. It’s a keeper.
Thank you Nadine — we’re so glad you loved it!
I made this last night. It was SO GOOD!!
Thanks Laura — we’re happy to hear you enjoyed it! :)
I just made this tonight for my family. LOVE! Great recipe. It was a hit. :-)
Thanks Katie — we’re so glad to hear that! :)
It really sounds absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to try it out….Perhaps-this week-end?
Thanks Cynthia – we hope you enjoy! :)
Hi, thinking about making this for dinner tonight – but I don’t have chicken breasts thawed out. Will using frozen chicken make it too watery?
Hi Christine! We wouldn’t recommend using frozen chicken in a slow cooker. We’ve learned that putting frozen ingredients in a slow cooker (especially frozen meats) isn’t the safest thing to do. Slow cookers often can’t get frozen meats up to a safe temperature in time, which means your meat will spend too long in the “danger zone” – 40-140 degrees). This While we’ve tried using frozen meats before and been fine (it does work), it’s just too risky, as it raises the likelihood of unsafe bacteria forming, and the possibility of food borne-illnesses.
I LOVE this recipe. It’s in the rotation about every two weeks in our house. It’s so flavorful and simple, not to mention, pretty healthy! I wanted to know whether you’ve ever made this as a freezer meal and if that would be recommended?
Thank you Chrissy — we’re so glad to hear that! This can definitely be frozen (after you’ve made it), but we wouldn’t recommend freezing the ingredients and putting them into the slow cooker frozen. You could thaw them completely first and then do that though. We hope this helps!
thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll try it soon
We hope you enjoy it Resep!
Yummy- made some subs due to what was in the cupboard (dried ginger for fresh… etc)- turned out great. Will make again! Thanks
Thanks! We’re so glad you enjoyed this!
Can you use Apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar? Thanks! X
Hi Amelia! Yes, you could definitely use apple cider vinegar instead. We hope you enjoy this!
I have made this recipe a couple times and I love it. Any idea on how to keep the sauce from turning to gelatin overnight?
We’re glad you enjoy this, Dillon! As for the gelatin-like sauce after refrigeration, that’s normal, and it’s due to the cornstarch. As soon as you reheat the leftovers, the sauce will default back to its original (non-gelatinous form). We hope this helps!
Can you use frozen chicken breasts? I usually do all my crockpot recipes with frozen and then leave it for 8 hours to cook while I am gone. Thanks!
Hi Amy! We wouldn’t recommend using frozen chicken in a slow cooker. We’ve learned that putting frozen ingredients in a slow cooker (especially frozen meats) isn’t the safest thing to do. Slow cookers often can’t get frozen meats up to a safe temperature in time, which means your meat will spend too long in the “danger zone” – 40-140 degrees). This While we’ve tried using frozen meats before and been fine (it does work), it’s just too risky, as it raises the likelihood of unsafe bacteria forming, and the possibility of food borne-illnesses.
I had thawed a turkey breast and was looking for a tasty dinner to make with it. I know your recipe is for chicken breasts, but I thought I’d give it a try. It took me a little longer than 10 min. for prepping the veggies & ginger. The recipe itself was very easy to prepare. I cut the breast in half lengthwise. During the course of cooking, I turned the pieces twice to be sure they soaked up the sauce. Wow, was this ever worth it – loved it. I cooked on med. for just over 4 hours – was afraid it wouldn’t be done, but the thermometer confirmed. I left it for about 20 min. to firm up, by which time it was cool enough to shred it by hand (I find using t forks very awkward). Made the sauce, which thickened beautifully. Yum, yum, yum – can’t tell you how much we enjoyed this.
Thanks for sharing with us, Betty — we’re happy to hear you enjoyed it! :)
This is one of the easiest recipes I have ever followed. It delivered a restaurant quality meal. So good!
We’re so happy you enjoyed it, Marjorie! :)
I’m making this dish RIGHT NOW and wondering how to mitigate against having dry chicken. I put my crock pot (it’s the white smart pot) on High for 4 hours. But if i checked the internal temp of the chicken breasts- and it reaches 165 will that indicate that the chicken is done?
Hope to hear from you!!
Hi Jean! Yes, if you check the internal temp of the chicken and it reads 165, it should be done. We hope you enjoy!
As a follow up, I made this for my 9 year old son and his best friend (and me) for dinner. The chicken is definitely on the dry side. I cooked on high for 4 hours and then it saw warming until we came home.
I used low sodium so did not have the same problems in terms of salty. My son thought there was too much honey. I would say the sauce is not quite right but we age it and it was enjoyed.
We appreciate your feedback, Jean — we’re sorry the chicken came out a bit dry!
PS- My son and his friend said this was about a 6-7 out of 10!
Loved it is one of the best investment for my kitchen is awesome!!
It looks great! I’ll keep my fingers crossed ?
Thanks, Denise! Unfortunately the giveaway is closed (this post was from about 3 years ago).
I am meal planning and making this recipe this week! I do have a question for you. How do you tell how to gauge your crock pot? I have noticed that even on “low,” my chicken always seems to be done 2-3 hours prior to the 6-8 hours that most crock pot recipes call for. Do you have a method for calibrating crock pots? A friend shared your site with me a while ago, and I also recently heard the “Boo Mama Cast” podcast mention you. Thanks for the recipes!
Hi Mandy! Thanks for sharing with us, and that’s really cool about the podcast, we’ll have to check it out! As for crock pot calibrating, we’re afraid we don’t know much about that ourselves, but we did find some tips that may be helpful (we hope)!
I was looking to replicate my favorite sushi restaurant;’ s chicken teriyaki and found this, I like the idea of using a slow cooker to make the chicken extra tender, so thank you for this!
You’re very welcome, we hope you enjoy this!
Made this during my lunch hour today. THE BEST TERIYAKI SAUCE I HAVE EVER HAD. My fiancé was super impressed. We kept picking at the chicken before the sauce was even finished. I am thinking this is a dish I will make when I have to entertain for many guests!
Thank you, Meghan — we’re so glad you and your fiancé enjoyed this!
Hi! I’d love to make this in my Instant Pot. Do I need to make any modifications? Also, how long should I cook it for?
I made this the first time, and followed the recipe, and it came out perfect. The second time I made it, I subbed the rice wine vinegar for white vinegar and it was so disappointing. Wanted to throw that out there for anyone looking to make that sub- don’t!
We’re sorry to hear that, Stephanie, that’s helpful to know about the white vinegar!
Can I replace the chicken breasts with chicken thighs?
We haven’t tried that, but we don’t see why not!
LOVE this recipe! it’s been a staple in our house for a while. I got to thinking about what I could do with the pork tenderloin I have onhand and using the pressure cooker…& this sauce came to mind! any thoughts? thanks!!
We’re so happy to hear that, Dawn, thank you for sharing! And while we haven’t tried this with pork tenderloin, we think it’s worth a shot! :)
Ok, this is a super dumb question. In a GIANT hurry to get out the door and run errands I mixed all ingredients together and poured over chicken to cook….including the water and cornstarch. Oops. So my question is, do you think this will thicken too much and burn or get sticky before the chicken is cooked? Let me know if you get a chance in the next three hours! Lol!
Hi Chelsea! We apologize for getting to your comment so late! We hope this still turned out okay — let us know!
Do you have any suggestions on how to make this freezer friendly? Meal prepping for baby time!
Hi Jessey! This freezes well — we’d recommend freezing individual portions. Congratulations, and we hope you enjoy!
What about freezing the raw chicken and sauce, and then defrosting/dumping into crockpot at a later date?
We think that should be fine! We hope you enjoy. :)
Silly question when i was at the store getting the ingredients i messed up on the rice eine vinegar and got red wine vinegar instead, i have apple cider , balsamic, and white wine vinegar, which one could i substitute for rive wine that ont ruin the recipe abd livibg out in the country nearest store is like 20 miles
Hi Sean! Hmmm, we think we would probably opt for the white balsamic as the closest substitute. We hope this helps!
Best chicken teriyaki I’ve EVER made, and I’ve made a lot of different recipes trying to find the right sauce that reminded me of the place I got it growing up. So easy to prepare too! I think the key is the cornstarch slurry to give it the right consistency. Thx so much!
Wow, thank you so much, Morgan! We’re thrilled you guys loved it!
Would I cut the cooking time in 1/2 if I’m only using 1 lb of chicken? Thanks so much! :-)
Hi Hannah! We wouldn’t cut the cook time in half, but we would recommend checking it after four hours. We hope this helps!
DELISH! Made this tonight and my chef husband raved about how tender the meat was. I made a few tweaks cause I didn’t have everything (1 tsp ground ginger instead of fresh, apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar, red onion instead of white) but the sauce still came out SO good. Saving for later so I can make again!
Whole family loved this! These are hard to please teens who usually don’t want my healthy home made food…but they ate this on brown rice with roasted broccoli and asparagus. Yum
Thank you for the recipe, the article is very useful to learn to make at home
This is absolutely delicious and I will definitely make it again. The only change I made was to slice and lightly brown the chicken first. Otherwise, followed the recipe exactly as written. YUM!!!!
Pre-slicing the chicken helped it cook faster, since I didn’t even start the process until around noon. Also, didn’t have to shred, since it had cooked down and pretty much shredded itself from the occasional stir.
Delicious and easy. Used the leftovers to make sliders the next day.
It was ok. The chicken pulled apart easily and was cooked perfectly, but I found the homemade sauce to be really overwhelming. Very salty, very sweet, ginger taste was too strong. Personally, if you’re not a big ginger fan, I’d use about half the amount suggested. I could only eat about half the portion I would have liked to in one sitting before the sauce got to be too much. I think I’ll use a premade teriyaki next time.
This looks great! Can it be cooked on low throughout the day or does it have to be cooked on high for the shorter period?
I made this tonight. I added raw broccoli after I thickened the sauce and instead of 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce I used 1/4 soy and 1/4 chicken broth because the last time I made recipe as is, I found it a little too salty. I used ginger that comes in a tube instead of fresh ginger. My whole family loved it! It fed 5 people. Also I made this in my rice cooker on slow cook setting. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!
I would love to use the chicken pot pie sauce to make a crustless pot pie with dumplings instead.
Love this recipe. Always turns out a little salty so maybe cut back on the soy sauce. Otherwise great.
I made this for meal prep this week. So easy and delicious!
I’ve prepared this recipe twice, both with boneless skinless chicken. thighs and it was a delicious hit. I substituted organic brown sugar for the honey and paired it with a plum wine. Fantastic!
Delicious! Whole family loved this recipe and it was super easy to make. Thank you!
Made this last night in my pressure cooker.
I left out the rice vinegar as I didn’t have any and used thigh meat instead of chicken breast.
IT WAS AMAZING! Will be making again.
I rarely comment on recipes, but my oh my do I have to on this one! It’s so delicious. I feel it’s even better if you make it the day before eating, when the shredded meat had a night to soak in all the good stuff from the sauce. This is the only way I make Chicken Teriyaki now.
Just what I needed! Thank you!
This is fabulous. I used bonless, skinless thighs. My family loved this. Will make again and probably add pineapple or mandarin oranges to it. Thanks for sharing.