Why you’ll love this honey garlic chicken thighs recipe:
Crockpot chicken thighs get a major upgrade with a sticky sweet glaze! Sweet honey, tangy ketchup, and umami-rich soy sauce create an addictive sauce. I circle back to this dish every time I need something quick and low-maintenance but BIG on flavor. It’s a family favorite, and even picky kiddos devour it!
Slow cooker honey garlic chicken thighs are a set-it-and-forget-it meal (my favorite kind!). Mix the sauce, pour it over the chicken thighs, and let your crockpot work magic. Once it’s done, the chicken literally falls apart, and the sauce is slightly thicker and dangerously good.
I like to serve slow cooker chicken thighs with white rice and roasted veggies, but mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, noodles, or even cauliflower rice works great!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – Dark meat chicken is very forgiving! It stays moist and tender in the crockpot even when it’s cooked on high. If you prefer white meat, boneless skinless chicken breasts work too.
- Garlic – Garlic sweetens and mellows as it cooks. Four cloves is the perfect amount for a garlicky flavor. Pre minced garlic can be used in a pinch. One garlic clove equals roughly 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
- Honey – For that sticky sweet honeyed taste! Brown sugar or maple syrup can be used in place of honey.
- Ketchup – Any brand is fine!
- Soy sauce – Low sodium soy sauce is a good option if you’re watching your sodium content. If not, you can use regular soy sauce. Or for a gluten-free option, use tamari soy sauce instead.
- Green onion – Green onions are mild, but if you don’t like onions, you can leave them out.
How to make this honey garlic chicken recipe:
- Spray the bottom of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix the garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, and green onions.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in an even layer on the bottom of the pot. Try to avoid overlapping them too much so they cook evenly.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked.
- Sprinkle on some sesame seeds for added crunch and serve with white rice. Add some chopped green onions and enjoy!
Ways to serve honey garlic chicken:
Honestly, this recipe is versatile and pairs with anything you put it with! But if you’re short on ideas, here’s a few of my favorites:
- Rice – For a quick side, microwave steam-in-bag jasmine rice! Or mix it up a bit with fried rice, brown rice, cilantro rice, or garlic butter rice. For a low-carb option, serve with with cauliflower rice.
- Noodles – Pile on top of a bowl of noodles. Lo mein noodles, ramen, rice noodles, or chow mein noodles all taste delicious!
- Veggies – Steam, roast, or stir-fry veggies. I buy a big bag of stir fry veggies at Costco and cook them in a hot skillet with a little bit of oil, then add a splash of soy sauce.
- To check for doneness, use an internal thermometer. The chicken should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful bacteria, AND it should be fall-apart tender from the slow cooking time!
- If you like heat, add a few teaspoons of chili paste. Sriracha, sambal oelek, or your hot sauce of choice!
- For a thicker sauce, add cornstarch to the sauce mixture. Add three tablespoons of cornstarch to the sauce mixture before you pour it over the chicken thighs.
- Serve with perfectly fluffy stovetop white rice for a complete meal.
- Store – Store leftover crockpot chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat – Reheat in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave until hot throughout. You can also reheat in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a splash of water if needed.
- Freeze – Transfer cooked chicken and sauce to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Yes! Chicken thighs have connective tissue which breaks down as they cook. The slow cooking time allows the tissue to dissolve and results in a juicy, tender bite. It’s nearly impossible to overcook chicken thighs!
Both chicken breasts and thighs work great in a slow cooker, but chicken thighs are more forgiving. If you overcook chicken breasts, they get chewy and tough. Dark meat chicken has connective tissue that keeps it moist and tender. For this reason, I highly recommend boneless skinless chicken thighs! If you use chicken breasts, it’s best to cook them on low instead of high.
Yes, but it’s important to thaw the chicken thighs in the refrigerator first. This reduces the risk of foodborne illness. Frozen chicken takes too long to thaw in the crockpot, which means it sits at room temperature too long to be safe from bacteria.
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- slow cooker
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs Note 1
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup honey Note 2
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons green onion sliced (plus more for garnish), Note 3
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds optional
- Spray a 5 quart or larger slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken thighs in one layer to the bottom of the insert.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce and green onions. Pour over the chicken thighs.
- Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve over white rice and sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds, garnish with sliced green onion. Enjoy!
– Store: Store leftover crockpot chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
– Reheat: Reheat in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave until hot throughout. You can also reheat it in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a splash of water, if needed.
– Freeze: Transfer cooked chicken and sauce to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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