Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

teriyaki chicken in a white bowl

Let’s talk dinner.

The slow cooker was my saving grace during the last month of my pregnancy, aka the penguin waddle month. (Speaking of– I’ll be introducing our daughter on my blog this Monday! We’ve been on cloud 9 the past two weeks with her.) Not only did the slow cooker help me prepare a ton of freezer meals, it kept Kevin and I fed for lunch and dinner when my energy was zapped during my waddle weeks.

Also next week! Sharing a blog post all about freezer meals. Stay tuned!

teriyaki chicken in the slow cooker with a metal spoon

One of my favorite meals was this slow cooker honey teriyaki chicken. Massively flavorful and satisfying, this healthy dinner is versatile and simple. I ate it on top of a bed of rice or quinoa, but loved it with a big side of steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes too. Kevin liked it with rice or sandwich style on hearty kaiser rolls. Basically anything to soak up all the homemade teriyaki sauce.

I can’t say this about many meals, but this slow cooker teriyaki chicken is SERIOUSLY SO GOOD reheated as leftovers. Even better after a day or 2 because the sauce thickens in the fridge and the chicken seeps it all up– it’s completely drenched with it. Loaded with fresh flavors like garlic and ginger, sweetened with honey and a touch of brown sugar, this is the meal that keeps on giving.

Let me tell you how I made it.

pouring teriyaki sauce onto chicken breasts in a slow cooker

The slow cooker does most of the work for you, but this recipe does require 10 minutes of prep and another 5-6 minutes to shred the chicken.

  1. Make homemade teriyaki sauce on the stove
  2. Pour over chicken and diced onions
  3. Cook
  4. Shred chicken and cook for another hour.

You likely have all of the ingredients for the homemade teriyaki sauce in your kitchen now. There’s no reason to use store-bought sauce! In fact, the two shouldn’t even share the same name. Store-bought teriyaki sauce has NOTHING on this homemade version. Allow it to thicken on the stove, then pour over a few chicken breasts. I added onion for extra flavor, but you can leave it out if you’re not a fan.

As the chicken simmers and cooks in the teriyaki sauce, it locks in all that massive flavor. It’s incredibly tender after a few hours and shreds like a dream. Hardly any work to shred this chicken. If you’d rather eat the breasts whole, be my guest! But the shredded chicken really seeps up all the sauce. I highly recommend it.

shredded chicken on a white cutting board with 2 forks

The sauce recipe is similar to the teriyaki sauce I use for my baked pineapple teriyaki chicken and 30 minute teriyaki shrimp, though I use mostly all honey in today’s version for a slightly different flavor. I still add a little brown sugar. Why both honey and brown sugar? Depth of flavor. I found the sauce lacking when I left out the brown sugar completely.

I can’t get enough of this comfort food meal! And I love that there are so many ways to serve/eat it. You’ll never get bored.

overhead image of teriyaki chicken in white bowls

I made a couple more batches and threw them in the freezer for these first few weeks with our baby girl– when cooking just ISN’T happening. Freezing instructions included below!

More save-the-day slow cooker recipes: slow cooker cinnamon rolls | chicken corn chowder | bbq turkey meatballs | slow cooker hot chocolate | chicken chili

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teriyaki chicken in a white bowl

Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Japanese


Place quick homemade teriyaki sauce and chicken into your slow cooker, set it and forget it! This delicious slow cooker honey teriyaki chicken is so easy.


  • 1 tablespoon (7g) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) room temperature water
  • 3 Tablespoons (50g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vinegar (either rice wine or apple cider is great)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 12 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.52 lbs total)
  • optional for serving: sesame seeds and chopped scallion


  1. Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until combined, then pour into a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Allow to simmer while whisking occasionally. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  2. Place chopped onion and chicken into a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. (Here’s one I own and love!) Pour teriyaki sauce on top. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and, using 2 forks, shred into smaller pieces. Place back into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook for 1 more hour on low, stirring occasionally.
  4. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallion, if desired, and serve on top of cooked rice or quinoa or alongside steamed vegetables. Or pile onto rolls and enjoy sandwich style. Keep leftovers in a large tupperware in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Place cooled cooked chicken/sauce into a freezer-friendly container or large zipped-top bag and freeze up to 3-4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or place the container/bag in the sink filled with warm water. Once thawed, cook in a large pot on medium heat for 10 minutes. Or reheat in the microwave until warmed throughout. You can also freeze this uncooked. Place everything in a freezer-friendly container or large zipped-top bag, freeze up to 3-4 months, thaw in the refrigerator, then add to the slow cooker and proceed with the recipe.
  2. Why Brown Sugar and Honey? Depth of flavor. We both preferred the flavor of this teriyaki sauce when both sweeteners were used.
  3. No Slow Cooker? No problem! Follow recipe through step 1. Set sauce aside. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and chicken and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is browned on both sides. Pour the teriyaki sauce on top. Turn the stove down to low heat and allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.

Another meal to love:

Easy sweet chili chicken (super simple + flavorful meal)

sweet chili chicken on a blue plate with rice and a fork


  1. Can I double this?

  2. Hey Sally! We’ve recently discovered your blog and we are now super hooked!! We have already made 3 recipes and there were all absolutely delicious!! But we have a question regarding your Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chichen…. we tend to use heather honey ( I believe it is called, you know the dark, rich and more raw type…) should we reduced the amount of honey if we use this type of honey? Or should we change anything else in order to be able to use this type of honey?
    We don’t generally have regular honey at home.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Marco! So glad you are enjoying my recipes. You can either reduce the amount of honey (perhaps down to 2 Tbsp) or you can use brown sugar in its place.

  3. Saw this come through in your email and made it the very next night. Easy and quick to throw together in the crockpot. Served with rice and broccoli. My husband and I both loved it!

  4. Ashley Gerb says:

    Love this recipe!

    Question for freezing – is it best to still make the sauce in a pan, let it cool, then put it into the freezer safe bag with the chicken and freeze or put all the separate ingredients into the bag with the chicken and freeze then dump into the crockpot all together?

    1. Hi Ashley, I’ve made this recipe both ways and have never noticed a difference in the final outcome/taste/texture. Either way works.

  5. Made this tonight and it was so good! Husband loved it as well!

  6. Hi! I love all your recipes! Question… do you have or are you going to have a cookbook with the entree recipes in it like for dinners/salads/pizza/sides/etc?

    I’d really love to get my hands on one!


    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tiffany, thanks so much for your positive feedback! We don’t have plans for a savory cookbook at this time.

  7. Susan Konopka says:

    Forgot the garnishes, but oh my, very tasty. I like spices but not hot. This was so good. With just 2 of us, I froze 2 helpings and put the other in fridge for leftover night. Will make again. My husband gave it 5 stars too.

  8. Sally Richardson says:

    This was fabulous! I made it for my son and his girlfriend, and they both loved it. So easy, the slow cooker does the work. I served it over jasmine rice with vegetables and a salad on the side. It’s a keeper in my house!

  9. What are the nutritional facts on this meal?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Danielle, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one:

  10. This was absolutely delicious! I tried this last weekend in my slow cooker and my only complaint was that there wasn’t more chicken (I cooked 1.34 pounds of chicken)! My husband enjoyed every bite! And the flavor got better the longer it sat. It was even better as leftovers! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. I don’t have a slow cooker and did it as stated in the notes (frying bite-sized chicken pieces and then adding the teriyaki sauce). It was sooo good, loved it, will be definitely making it again.
    I used sesame oil instead of olive oil for the chicken for some additional flavor.

  12. Will it taste bad without ginger we can’t find any

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kyra, It should still be delicious. I actually made it for the 1,000th time last night and didn’t have any fresh ginger so I used 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and it was still wonderful 🙂

  13. I’ve got a ton of chicken breast tenders from Costco I’d like to use for this. Should I shorten the cook time?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sara, If the chicken pieces are much smaller than whole chicken breasts your cook time may be less, but I’m unsure exactly how long it would take.

  14. I haven’t tried the recipe yet but wondered if you can just leave the chicken and not shred it? Would the cooking time be longer? Thanks.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can, yes. Cook time should be the same.

  15. Hi Sally! I made this recipe for dinner today! It was so delicious. Can’t wait to have the leftovers tomorrow! The spice level was just right and everything cooked perfectly. Thank you!

  16. Is it possible to sub in chicken thighs instead of breasts? It might even come out better with thighs.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Keith, Definitely! Use 1.5 – 2 lbs total.

  17. How long do I cook it if I’m using frozen chicken? Also would you happen to know how long to do it if I’m doing it in the Instant pot?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lydia! We recommend you thaw your chicken before using in this recipe. We haven’t tested it in an instant post but would love to hear how it goes for you!

  18. Can i put ingredients into crockpot the night before and refrigerate and cook next day?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sue! We wouldn’t put the whole crockpot bowl in the fridge, but you could add everything to a large container or bag, place that in the fridge overnight, then transfer the contents to the crockpot the next day.

  19. This was amazing!

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