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Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

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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?!

Two bowls of crockpot honey sesame chicken served over white rice, garnished with green onions

Even though I know the chicken they serve at food court Chinese restaurants isn’t authentic, I still can’t resist it—even when it’s the form of a sample on a toothpick shoved in my face at 10am. 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.

Two bowls filled with white rice and topped with honey sesame chicken, garnished with green onions

What You’ll Need

Most of these are ingredients you probably have in your fridge or pantry. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Honey
  • Low sodium soy sauce – You can use tamari if you prefer.
  • Ketchup
  • Vegetable oil – Canola oil or another neutral-flavored cooking oil will work, too.
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Red pepper flakes – Add more or less, depending on your preferences.
  • Cornstarch
  • Sesame seeds – Use black, white, or a combination of both.

Do I have to use chicken thighs?

You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs if you prefer.

Spoon drizzling sauce onto bowl of rice with honey sesame chicken

How to Make Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

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:

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 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.

Sprinkling sesame seeds onto bowl of crockpot honey sesame chicken and rice

Serving Suggestions

Here are some ways to serve your honey sesame chicken:

  • Make meal bowls with steamed broccoli, rice (or another grain), and chicken.
  • Serve the chicken alongside an Asian-inspired salad (like my Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad) for a lighter meal.
  • Once the chicken is done, make a quick vegetable stir-fry; add the sauce and chicken.
  • Put it on toothpicks and offer it to your neighbors as they walk by your house. (Kidding!)

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave until it’s warmed through.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

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.

Closeup of honey sesame chicken served over bed of white rice
Two bowls of crockpot honey sesame chicken served over white rice, garnished with green onions

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

Who needs takeout when you can make sticky honey sesame chicken at home in the slow cooker?
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 5
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of honey
  • ½ cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Cornstarch
  • Sesame seeds

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.



  • 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.

Recipe Notes


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 550 kcal | Carbohydrates: 74 g | Protein: 24 g | Fat: 12 g | Sugar: 70 g

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.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: easy crockpot meals, slow cooker chicken recipes, sticky chicken


Recipe Rating


Monday 20th of February 2023

Recipe says vegetable oil but doesn’t say where to use it

Julie Chiou

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

in step two it says: Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Pour over the chicken.

Bill in Oregon

Thursday 2nd of February 2023

I made this for dinner last night. Pretty tasty although I backed off on the honey by about 1/4 cup per other comments. I had a frozen pack of 5 thighs to use so skinned them and just about cut the bone out but left it in for some flavor. I seared the thighs for effect and put in slow cooker for three hours total. Used high heat to get everything bubbling, switching to low for the rest of time. Easy & tasty for a quick meal served with Costco fried rice & some fresh eggrolls. I thickened with a 'thick' cornstarch slurry which worked wonders for the sauce after some fat skimming. Making the slurry thick (less water added) is the key IMO to avoiding runny sauce. Why add a lot more water to something you want to thicken?

Linda Westerfield

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

I saved your recipe on pinterest when I went back there to get recipe someone had changed where it took me. I don't know if there is something to do to fix it. I thought you would like to know.

Julie Chiou

Thursday 22nd of July 2021

Thanks Linda! Unfortunately it happens all the time and I wish I could do something about it. Pinterest is not very creator-friendly anymore :( it's just all spam from other websites.


Saturday 10th of April 2021

My husband and I love this! I add extra red pepper flakes for a little kick.


Friday 7th of February 2020

I love new crockpot recipes. I find they are great for big families where it is heard to fit enough in the pan at once. Just throw it in the slow cooker. I am pinning this honey bourbon chicken to try soon.