Crockpot honey sesame chicken is the perfect combination of sweet-and-savory flavors, and since it can be made in a slow cooker, it’s super easy too. Who needs takeout?!
Even though I know the chicken they serve at food court Chinese restaurants isn’t authentic, I still can’t resist it. Just because it’s not authentic doesn’t mean it’s not good. That sticky, sweet-and-savory sauce gets me every time! This crockpot honey sesame chicken reminds me of that kind of Americanized food court Chinese food, and I mean that in the best possible way.
If, like me, you have a weakness for sticky sweet chicken, you’re going to flip over this recipe. It tastes even better than the chicken served on toothpicks at the mall, and it’s easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner since it’s all done in the slow cooker. I love making a batch of honey sesame chicken and using it for meal prep lunches all week, too.
Why You’ll Love This Honey Sesame Chicken
Crockpot honey sesame chicken is worthy of your love for many reasons! Here are just a few:
- Packed with flavor. This sesame chicken sauce is made with savory soy sauce, sweet honey, spicy red pepper flakes, and more.
- Easy. It only takes about 5 minutes to prep this meal, and then you can pop everything into the slow cooker and walk away until it’s done!
- Comfort food. A big plate of juicy chicken smothered in a sweet and savory sauce, and served over a bed of fluffy rice, is just the thing to dig into at the end of a long day.
What You’ll Need
Most of these are ingredients you probably have in your fridge or pantry. Here’s what you’ll need (note that you can find the exact measurements for each one in the recipe card below):
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer.
- Salt and pepper – Keep it simple and season your chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Honey – Pure honey works best here!
- Low sodium soy sauce – You can use tamari if you prefer.
- Ketchup – This adds some sweet and sour flavor to the sauce.
- Vegetable oil – Canola oil or another neutral-flavored cooking oil will work, too.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic is best, but store-bought minced garlic is also fine!
- Onion – Use diced white or yellow onion. Chopped scallions make a nice garnish, too!
- Red pepper flakes – Add more or less, depending on your preferences.
- Cornstarch – To thicken up the sauce.
- Sesame seeds – Use black, white, or a combination of both.
How to Make Honey Sesame Chicken in Your Crockpot
I like to put all the ingredients together as soon as I get home from work and cook this on high so I have a low-effort dinner ready in a few hours. Here’s what you’ll need to do (the full set of directions can also be found in the recipe card below):
- Prepare. Arrange the chicken thighs in the crockpot and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Make the sauce. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Cook. Cook the chicken on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- Finish. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Whisk the cornstarch with water, then whisk this mixture into the sauce in the crockpot to thicken it. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and toss it in the sauce.
- Serve. Serve the chicken over a bed of white rice, if desired, and garnish with sesame seeds.
Tips for Success
Super simple, right? I do, however, still have a few more tips and tricks to share with you on this honey sesame chicken recipe.
- Taste and adjust the sauce. Before you add it to the crockpot, taste your sauce to see if you’d like it to be sweeter (more honey) or spicier (more red pepper flakes).
- If the sauce doesn’t thicken when you add in the cornstarch after taking the chicken out, it’s okay. The liquid probably isn’t hot enough to thicken it to the right consistency. It’s okay if the sauce is more on the liquid side.
- If the sauce is too thick, add water. On the other hand, if the sauce is too thick for some reason, add a few tablespoons of water to it.
Here are some easy ways to serve your honey sesame chicken:
- Broccoli and rice. Make meal bowls with steamed broccoli, rice (or another grain), and chicken.
- Salad. Serve the chicken alongside an Asian-inspired salad (like my spicy Chinese cucumber salad) for a lighter meal.
- Stir-fry. Once the chicken is done, make a quick vegetable stir-fry, then add the sauce and chicken.
- Scallion pancakes. I love eating scallion pancakes with pretty much any main dish. They go especially well with this one!
Or you could always put it on toothpicks and offer it to your neighbors as they walk by your house. (Kidding!)
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you end up with leftovers, save them for later! Here’s how to preserve your sesame chicken.
- To store. Store leftover Chinese sesame chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
- To reheat. Reheat it in the microwave until it’s warmed through when you’re ready to eat it again.
Can I Freeze This Crockpot Sesame Chicken?
Yes, you can freeze leftovers for later. Place the chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat the chicken in the microwave until it’s warmed through.
More Chinese Chicken Recipes
If you want to try out some more classic Chinese takeout recipes, you’re in the right place!
- Chicken and Broccoli
- Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs
- Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken
- Orange Chicken
- Chicken Lo Mein
Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
- 1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 5
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup (339 g) honey
- ½ cup (128 g) low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup (60 g) ketchup
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup (80 g) diced onion
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds
- Place the chicken thighs in the crockpot insert and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the crockpot.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
- When done, remove chicken from stock pot and cut into chunks. Prior to putting the chicken back in the stockpot, combine some cornstarch in water and whisk it into the crockpot to thicken up the sauce a bit (if the sauce doesn't thicken, it's ok – the liquid probably isn't hot enough to thicken it to the right consistency. It's ok if the sauce is more on the liquid side.) Throw the chicken back in and stir around to recoat the chicken in the sauce.
- Serve hot over a bed of white rice (optional) and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
- Source: Six Sisters’ Stuff
- To store: Store leftover sesame chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave until it’s warmed through when you’re ready to eat it again.
- To freeze: Place the chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat the chicken in the microwave until it’s warmed through.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.