Treat your taste buds to an irresistible combination of sweet, sticky honey and savory garlic with these Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs. This easy crock pot chicken recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal that can easily be paired with your favorite side dishes!
This recipe takes the classic combination of honey and garlic to new heights by infusing it with aromatic flavors that make for the best-tasting chicken thighs you've ever had!
The homemade marinade is simple and easy to make. Honey brings a touch of sweetness, while the sesame seed oil adds a nutty aroma that complements the other ingredients. The tangy ketchup and soy sauce gives it an umami kick while mixed with a classic garlic flavor. Each bite is a blend of sweet and savory, which makes it easy to pair with any side dish.
Using a slow cooker is the best way to make chicken thighs. The crock pot allows the chicken to become incredibly tender and infused with all the flavors of the marinade. As the chicken thighs slowly cook, they soak up the sweet and savory ingredients until fully cooked through. And Crock pot cooking makes it perfect for busy days or when you simply want to set it and forget it!
Once the chicken is cooked, there are countless ways to serve it. Spoon it over a bed of fluffy rice or noodles, or shred the chicken and use it as a filling for tacos or sandwiches, adding a burst of sweet and tangy flavor to your favorite dishes. Fresh green onions and sesame seeds, which add a vibrant green color and flavor along with some crunch. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, this dish will become a family favorite that you'll make over and over again!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The combination of honey, garlic, and a medley of spices creates a mouthwatering marinade that infuses every juicy bite of the tender chicken thighs.
- Chicken thighs are a budget friendly cut of chicken that has a higher fat content making them perfect for the slow cooker.
- No confusing or difficult cooking steps! Simply toss the chicken thighs in the slow cooker, pour the marinade over them, and let the magic happen.
- You can serve this chicken in many different ways! Pour over a bed of rice or noodles, use in sandwiches and wraps, or serve with steamed veggies for a lighter take.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs - Serves as the main protein in this recipe. They are tender, flavorful, and cook to perfection in the crock pot, absorbing all the delicious flavors of the marinade.
- Honey - The honey adds a natural sweetness to balance out the savory flavors. It also helps to create a sticky glaze on the chicken, enhancing its appearance and texture.
- Sesame Seed Oil - Adds a nutty aroma and flavor to the dish, giving it an authentic Asian-inspired taste.
- Ketchup - Adds a tangy and slightly sweet element to the marinade.
- Soy Sauce - Brings a savory umami flavor to the dish. It adds depth and richness to the marinade, enhancing the overall taste of the chicken thighs.
- Minced Garlic - A key ingredient in this recipe, providing a pungent and aromatic flavor that is popular in Asian cooking.
- Seasonings - Black pepper adds a touch of heat and balances the sweetness, while paprika contributes a smoky and slightly spicy flavor. Italian seasoning brings a blend of herbs that adds an herb touch to the dish.
- Cornstarch & Water - This mixture or slurry is used as a thickening agent for the sauce. It helps to create a velvety and glossy texture, coating the chicken thighs with a flavorful glaze.
- Garnish (Green Onions, Sesame Seeds) - Green onions provide a fresh and vibrant pop of color to the dish. Sesame seeds, when sprinkled on top, add a delightful nutty crunch and a visual appeal making this dish even more enjoyable to eat!
How To Make Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs In The Crock Pot
Prepare the chicken thighs: Trim off any excess fat from the chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the prepared chicken on the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Assemble the marinade: To a medium sized mixing bowl, add the honey, sesame seed oil, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, and sesame seeds. Whisk until well combined. Then pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours or until the chicken thighs are fully cooked through.
Thicken the sauce: Make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch and water together. Pour the mixture into the crock pot and stir. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Garnish and serve: Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred if desired. Garnish the top with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!
- For the best flavor and texture, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. They are more forgiving in the slow cooking process and stay moist and tender.
- To maximize the infusion of flavors, marinate the chicken thighs in the honey garlic mixture for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the crock pot. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful dish.
- If you prefer a thicker sauce, adjust the consistency by increasing the amount of cornstarch and water mixture. Add it gradually until you achieve your desired thickness. Keep in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so don't worry if it seems slightly thin while cooking.
- This chicken can be served in full pieces, or it can easily be shredded to use for sandwiches, wraps, or salads.
- For a spicy kick, add a teaspoon or two of sriracha or hot sauce to the marinade. Adjust the amount according to your spice tolerance.
- Experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor profile of the dish. Try adding a teaspoon of dried thyme or oregano to the marinade for a Mediterranean twist or use smoked paprika for a hint of smoky flavor.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon or lime into the marinade. The bright acidity will add a refreshing and tangy note to the dish, balancing out the sweetness of the honey.
- Toss some vegetables into the crock pot along with the chicken thighs. Bell peppers, sliced carrots, and snap peas are great options that will cook and soak up the flavors alongside the chicken. Just ensure to cut the vegetables into similar-sized pieces for even cooking.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Allow the chicken thighs to cool completely and then transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate the chicken for up to 3-4 days. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat the chicken in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
Freezing: Place cooled chicken in a freezer-safe container or freezer bags. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. The chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the microwave, oven, or stovetop until heated through.
Yes, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the chicken thighs. Keep in mind that chicken breasts tend to be leaner, so they may require slightly less cooking time to avoid drying out.
This recipe is easily scalable. Simply double the ingredients and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Keep in mind that the crock pot may need a bit more time to reach the desired temperature when cooking a larger batch.
If you are living a gluten-free lifestyle, consider replacing the soy sauce with tamari or coconut aminos. You can also use low-sodium soy sauce to keep the salt content a bit lighter.
More Asian Inspired Crock Pot Recipes
- Crock Pot Chicken and Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
- Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- Slow Cooker PF Changs Lettuce Wraps
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Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tsp sesame seed oil
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ soy sauce
- 3 tsp garlic (minced)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- 2 green onions (diced)
- Add chicken thighs to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add honey, sesame seed oil, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Then pour over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or 5-6 hours on low.
- In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water together. Pour into the crock pot and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.
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