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Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe

slow cooker Honey sesame chicken
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Need a quick, easy, and delicious slow cooker meal? Well, look no further! We had this for dinner the other night and it instantly became a family favorite. I thought that the honey would make it super sweet, but it was the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor. It was a big hit with our kids and so easy to throw together- a winning combination in my book! I don’t know what I would do without my slow cooker!

This recipe can easily be made into a freezer meal that literally takes only a couple of minutes to prepare – just read the instructions of the recipe for directions on how to make this a quick and easy freezer meal!

And if you are looking for more easy and delicious freezer meals, be sure to check out our newest ebook:

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Inside you will find 75 of our Tried-and-True Freezer Meal Recipes that our families have loved . . . with easy instructions and tips to help make meal planning and prep a breeze.
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Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
One of the easiest and most delicious slow cooker recipes I have ever made!
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
  • Sesame seeds
  1. Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.
  3. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1½ – 2½ hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
  5. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.
  6. *You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.
To make this a freezer meal, place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Pour contents of bag inside the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1½ – 2½ hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.

Recipe adapted from: Baby Center

Looking for more of our favorite slow cooker recipes? Check out these ones:
Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
8 Can Taco Soup
Salsa Verde Chicken
Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches


Camille Sig

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  1. says

    Congrats on hitting 4,000 followers, sisters!! Woo-weeee!! I’m proud of y’all and your hard work and all your efforts! Just wanted you to know that I am on my way to the grocery store to pick up all the ingredients for this one. Will let you know how it goes!!

    • says

      I think that veggies would be yummy in this! If you used fresh, I think that carrots would be great, but I have never cooked fresh broccoli in a slow cooker, so I am not sure how it would turn out! If you used frozen, I would maybe add them when you had about an hour or two left of cook time (or else they would be soggy). Let us know if it works!

      • Robyn L says

        I made this tonight, it’s delicious! I put a microwave steamed bag of broccoli in when I removed the chicken and thickened the sauce, and it came out great!

    • says

      I’ve done fresh broccoli before and it only needs 30-40 minutes to become tender-crisp, so just pop it in at the end.

      I would also up the sesame flavour by adding 1 tsp of sesame oil.

      Fabulous recipe! I’m pinning it for sure.

  2. says

    Could this be cooked for longer – like 6-8 hours on low? Would love to try this, but I usually put things in the slow cooker earlier in the morning and then have ready for dinner time. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kim! The only problem with cooking chicken breasts for that long is that they tend to dry out. However, chicken thighs seem to hold up so much better and stay moist in the slow cooker for longer amounts of time . . . so if you cook it for that long, I would suggest using chicken thighs instead? Or maybe use frozen chicken breasts . . . that way it would take longer for them to cook! Good luck!

    • Leigh says

      We use a timer, like the sort you have for Christmas lights maybe. Then you can set it to go on and off!

  3. says

    I’m so happy I stumbled onto your site. This week I included this recipe in our family menu plan… sounds so yummy. All of you are just adorable … what a fun blog!

  4. says

    Made it tonight and my 4 kids couldn’t get enough! Thank you for a great, easy recipe. I doubled it for my large crowd and it worked out perfectly. Yum!

  5. says

    looking for crock version of a family favorite and I have a question. . .doesn’t the chicken get cold if you take it out and cut it up? Maybe if I just did one breast at a time. I really prefer to just serve it once it is cooked (rather than another step). Have you tried cutting it up beforehand and reducing the cooking time?
    Thanks a million. Really looking forward to spending more time on your site.

    I am the mother of six girlies (and one son)! It is so nice to see what lovely ladies all of you are!

  6. says

    I just tried this tonight. I was wondering if there is a way to make the sauce thicker. I followed the recipe and the sauce never got thick like a traditional Chinese dish. Maybe less water next time? I am open to suggestions.

    • says

      The sauce didn’t thicken in the crock pot for me either. I poured it into a skillet and cooked it on high for a few minutes and it thickened right up.

    • says

      I poured the sauce in a pan and mixed the corn starch with cold water,then added it to the pan. stir until it thinkens..
      she does list this in the recipe. She made it in the slow cooker after removing the chicken..

    • Cassandra says

      I have made this many times now (LOVE it), and I find the sauce doesn’t thicken with the lid on. I leave the lid off and turn it to high so it boils a little bit. Once it’s thickened to where I like it I mix the chicken back in and leave it for a couple minutes to warm it up. I found with the lid on it just keeps all that condensation in, so it never thickens. Good luck!

      • says

        Thank you for writing this. I’ve made this recipe for years and I have never been able to get the sauce to thicken. Made it last night and happened to stumble upon your comment and tried it out – perfect sauce this time. :)

  7. says

    I cooked this tonight for my husband and I and our 1 year old son. My husband and I thought it was tastey (our 1 yr old tried it but wouldn’t eat it), but it doesn’t taste like an Asian dish. Maybe it needs ginger or more garlic? Not a lot of flavor.

  8. says

    Found this on Pinterest and made it last night. Didn’t have cornstarch so I used flour and it worked fine. I used the chicken to make lettuce wraps, and they were so tasty! The whole family really enjoyed it…thanks!

  9. says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I added some sriracha for heat and it turned out great. I also added broccoli with about a half hour left to cook and served over brown rice. I’ll definitely make this again!

    • says

      Sriracha is a good idea. I use it in almost everything. I was interested in this recipe but it seems so sweet with that much honey. I think I’ll try it now.

  10. says

    Just made this for dinner…really easy and absolutely fantastic! I served over brown rice and cooked the sauce for about 15 minutes instead of 10 at the end and it thickened up just fine.

  11. says

    I made this for dinner tonight. So easy and super yummy! I separately cooked a bag of frozen stir fry and added some cashews and soy sauce. Then put the bed of rice down, then the stir fry, and then the sesame chicken. Huge hit with my hubby and 1 year old!!! LOVED this! Thank you for sharing!

  12. says

    Made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful. I only had about 1/2 cup of honey, so I added about a 1/4 cup brown sugar to the pot. Even my picky husband LOVED it. We also had neighbors join us last minute and they called it gourmet – HA! Will definitely make again.

  13. says

    I just made this tonight and was told by my husband that I had a hit. he NEVER says that when I make something new. Thank you. I did add a little sesame oil instead of sesame seeds since I didn’t have any seeds. Thanks again.

  14. says

    I am eating this as I type. Best recipe EVER. Not kidding…my mouth is having a party! Already shared on Facebook it is that good! Thanks! This will become a staple in our house!

  15. says

    I love Sesame Chicken from Chinese take-out, so I definitely want to give this recipe a try. Do you think I could double the sauce and at the end mix in some cooked broccoli with the chicken too? Would that be too much sauce?

    • says

      I was actually thinking about adding broccoli too! I think that it would be delicious! This recipe does make plenty of sauce to cover all the chicken, but no harm in doubling it! :) It’s delicious!

  16. says

    Made this for dinner today. It was delicious. I didn’t have any honey but I did have agave and it tasted great! Plus all my picky little eaters eat it all up. :)

  17. says

    Made this for dinner tonight, AND posted a link to your site on my blog. Hope that was ok… I am new to the blogging thing. THANK YOU for making a recipe that my kids LOVED!!!!

  18. says

    I made this last night and it was delicious. This is the first slow cooker meal I’ve ever made that I actually WANT to make again. Thank you so much for sharing it; I’ve reposted and linked up to you on my blog, and filed it on my recipe page. Leftovers tonight? I think we will! Yay!

  19. says

    Made this last night for dinner and it was a hit! I did add some sesame oil based on the suggestion of a previous commenter, and it was yummy! Thanks!

  20. says

    Found this on pinterst and made it today. O M G! Soooooo good!! I think I could eat all of it in one sitting lol. The only thing is that I could get the sauce to thicken up but it was still deeeeelish. Served it over brown rice, think it would be good with some broccoli slaw added.

  21. says

    i just made this and am eating it right now… it is DELICIOUS!!! the sauce alone is good enough to drink. thank you so much for this recipe.

  22. says

    This is cooking right now…in Florida! Had a couple bites of chicken while cutting it up — yum! Thanks for sharing

    P.S. I pinned this so I could share with others! :)

  23. says

    My husband loves the Seseme chicken that we eat at a local Chinese Resturant so I altered this recipe to be more like theirs. The crockpot version is healthier, but he loved this. I fried my chicken, then stir fried broccoli, onions, mushrooms, water chestnuts and carrot until crisp tender. I served over rice and it was fantastic! I have searched for years for a good recipe. This really hit the spot! Thanks.

  24. says

    Putting it all in the crockpot now and having it for a big lunch. I’m substituting sesame oil for 1/2 the veggie oil. I’ll let you know. This looks delish!!

  25. says

    Made this with a couple changes: used 1 T veg oil and 1 T sesame oil(instead of 2 T veg oil) and only used 2/3c honey(instead of 1c). Also added some grated ginger and about a teaspoon of sriacha(sp?). It was AWESOME. This is definitely a once-a-week-er. Used chicken thighs and served over capanelli. Mmmmm.

  26. says

    I made this the other night, and it was a HUGE HIT!!!!! Even my husband loved it, and he doesn’t like poultry. I left out the red pepper flakes, and it was delicious. But I think I’ll add the pepper next time around. Wow!!!!!

  27. says

    I’ve made this over and over, my family loves it! Even my insanely picky two year old asks for “the yummy chicken” several nights a week.

    I substitute sesame oil for half the canola oil. Delicious!

  28. says

    sooo time im using half the soy sauce or something. i even use low sodium. we couldn’t even eat it it was so salty but it smelled yummy. lovely recipe though

  29. says

    This came out WAY too salty for my taste (even using low sodium soy sauce). We had to throw it out. I may try again sometime, but would reduce the soy sauce by at least half.

  30. says

    Loved it!! My hubby likes spicy so I used cayenne instead of paprika, we made lettuce wraps they turned out great, and saved some cals by eliminating the rice ;)

  31. says

    I made it yesterday for dinner and everyone ate it (that’s saying something). I used Trader Joes chicken breasts. I threw them in there still frozen solid and cooked on low for 6 hours. There were no leftovers!

  32. says

    I didn’t have enough honey so used Molasses and Low sodium soy sauce. After doubling the recipe my entire family loved it and ate every bite. It was delicious! I calculated the calories using 24 ounces of chicken and the calories without the sesame seeds were 233. The sesame seeds add about 20 calories per 8 servings.

  33. says

    I have 9-year-old twin girls and they loved this! One of them is SOOOOO picky and she actually had 4 servings of it!!!! That has to be the most food she’s ever eaten at one sitting. Thank you VERY much for this great recipce! I add a lot more (1 and 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes) since my family all likes their food spicy, and it wasn’t even too spicy for me… just great flavor!

  34. says

    This is my 3rd time making this dish in 2 months. My family LOVES it! I double the recipe adding in some chicken thighs with the breasts, and add some sesame oil and brown sugar to the sauce. Comes out great every time!

  35. says

    I made this last night..Yummy! Lots of sauce left over, next time i will use 6 i have leftovers to go with the delicious sauce!
    you know how we all like to tweak recipes?! I added some sweet chili sauce..

  36. says

    Our house LOVES honey sesame chicken and we are always looking for a “go to” recipe. I think we have found it! The crock pot makes it super easy, and clean up is a breeze! The taste is amazing!

  37. says

    Ok I tried this recipe, but the chicken cooked way to long and it didn’t turn out. I have to be gone most of the day, so this might work for a weekend.

  38. says

    Made this tonight for my younger sister and her friends who were having a study party for finals. They LOVED it!I served it over white rice with broccoli on the side and used five breasts instead of four, with plenty sauce to spare. Definitely a hit with teenagers and will make again for the rest of my family:)

  39. says

    I had to comment and let you know that this recipe was a hit with my family, especially my dad. I am a recent college grad and living on my own for the first time, never had to cook for myself before. I made this for dinner and my dad was so impressed with how good it tasted. So, thanks for giving me some respect in the kitchen! ;)

  40. says

    made this tonight and it was delicious. I decided to try the frozen boneless, skinless chicken tenders(worked beautifully), the only thing i added was green bell pepper at the end and a can of pineapple. sooo tasty. its almost like moo shu pork, gonna try next time shred the chicken and put in flour wraps.

  41. says

    I love this recipe it is delish! We use sesame oil instead of veg or olive oil. Gives it a nice flavor. I can NOT seem to get the sauce to thicken up AT ALL. I am not sure why. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Bummer! I am so sorry! I don’t know why it isn’t thickening up! Maybe you could pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a small sauce pan and cook it over medium/high heat while stirring in the cornstarch and water . . . I wonder if that would help? Good luck!

  42. says

    I made this for dinner tonight. It came out perfect. I cubed 3lbs. of chicken before cooking and I doubled the sauce because towards the end of the cooking cycle I added some broccoli florets and there wouldn’t have been enough sauce. I really like asian food and this is the first recipe I have tried that actually tastes like something I would have ordered out for! Yummy!

  43. says

    I made this for dinner tonight for my husband and 3 sons. Everyone LOVED it. I used 4 organic chicken breasts and rubbed them with good quality olive oil and salt and pepper before putting them in the bottom of the crock pot. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly (except I used 1 tbs olive oil in the bowl instead of 2, as I had already used some on the chicken breasts). I cooked on low for 4 hours. I needed to add a couple extra tsp of cornstarch to thicken up and it took about 20 minutes on high to thicken it. But, I found this recipe to be super easy, and super tasty! I will definitely make it again. Thank you!!

  44. says

    I made this for dinner tonight for my husband and 3 sons. Everyone LOVED it. I used 4 organic chicken breasts and rubbed them with good quality olive oil and salt and pepper before putting them in the bottom of the crock pot. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly (except I used 1 tbs olive oil in the bowl instead of 2, as I had already used some on the chicken breasts). I cooked on low for 4 hours. I needed to add a couple extra tsp of cornstarch to thicken up and it took about 20 minutes on high to thicken it. But, I found this recipe to be super easy, and super tasty! I will definitely make it again. Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi there! Putting in agave for honey would not only give it a very different texture but the taste would be very different! My husband really likes agave but I think if you try it to use a lot less or you might have a very strong flavor of agave. Hope this helps!

  45. says

    I made this and it got the most hits ever on my little blog! I tweaked it a bit and loved it! Loved it cold, couldn’t stop picking on it.

  46. says

    I made this for the first time today…So GOOD!I did sub sesame oil instead and omitted the onions, & served over white rice, and my little boys asked to be served 3 times! This is definitely a keeper in my house, thanks for sharing :)

  47. says

    this was soooooooo cool. i love cooking in the crockpot – it works for working moms. my 8yr old NEVER likes anything that comes out of it. THIS HE ATE!!!! 3 helpings of it!!!! THANKS and it was super easy for me!!! pop it in the crock, went to soccer game and ate when we got home! YOU have made my YEAR!!!


  48. says

    I prefer this with half the amount of honey…cuts down on the Weight Watchers points, too. I found it way too sweet with 1 whole cup! It’s tasty…we’re having it for dinner!

  49. says

    This was absolutely delicious!! I actually added a few things and it really brought out a lot of flavor and turned out amazing!
    I added a few dashes of hot sauce, some cayenne pepper, a little bit of chili powder and ground cloves. I also added fresh broccoli and mushrooms! Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to make it again!

  50. says

    Made this a few weeks ago and it was a hit! I used 1/2 tsp of cayenne instead of crushed red pepper flakes, used 2 HUGE frozen chicken breasts (it’s just me and my hubby and there were plenty of leftovers), cooked low for about 5 hours, cut up and simmered in the sauce for another hour. I didn’t thicken the sauce because the last time I tried a recipe like this in the crock, it ended up being a big pile of goo. The sauce was divine over rice just the way it was! I’m very glad I didn’t thicken it! I’m making it again tonight with Thai sticky rice, yum! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  51. says

    Made this tonight and it was SO delicious! My 3 little kids all loved it. I made it with pea pods and brown rice. Also cut the honey in half and added a little bit of agave nectar. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  52. says

    I just made this, it’s sitting warm in the crockpot while the jasmine rice is cooking in the rice cooker. It tastes absolutely amazing. I put maybe just 1/2-3/4 cup honey because I have natural honey with the honeycomb and everything that I got from a local bee keeper, so it’s pretty strong. And it tastes great! I added just a few drops of pure sesame oil at the end instead of the seeds, it’s awesome! Love it, thanks for this.

  53. says

    Made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! only thing i did different was 1/4 cup soy sauce- also i dipped the chicken in milk and flour and browned it in a pan before i put it in the crockpot. it had a nice breading and was soooo yummy! all 3 of my kids asked for seconds (ages 4,3,and 13 months)

  54. says

    I just made this for my sweetie tonight! He loved it! I added a bit more honey and red pepper flakes and it was killer! The sauce thickened up perfectly when I took out the chicken and added the corn starch. Next time I think I will add some carrots (sliced) and water chestnuts and make a lettuce wrap! Thank you for the recipe and tips!!

  55. says

    I made this recipe tonight for tea and its lovely! I reduced the amount of honey and soy sauce as I thought the amounts given would be too much for the amount of chicken I had and it worked perfectly. I’m on,y just getting into using a slow cooker so it’s good to find recipes like this that work. Love your site. Thanks for sharing!

  56. says

    I LOVE this recipe so much I had to share it with my family on my blog. This is my oldest son’s favorite recipe that I make, and that doesn’t happen very often, so that’s awesome!

  57. Neely says

    I made this tonight and it turned out great! I accidentally bought green onions instead of white, so I used those and just added a whole chopped bunch at end after I’d added back the cut up chicken. Nice and colorful. I also only cooked mine on low for 3.5 hours and did the last 30-60 min. On the “keep warm” setting. I hate dried out chicken. I would not recommend leaving it all day while you work. I would think the sugars in the honey would start to burn.

  58. Shanna says

    I made this tonight with chicken breasts. At the end, when I loaded my rice up with the sauce, I thought it tasted too salty and then after my husband ate it he said it was too sweet. :) Different taste buds! My sauce didn’t thicken up even after 20min in the crockpot, any ideas on making it get thicker?

  59. Amanda Z says

    I made this tonight and it was very good! I had some trouble with the sauce thickening up, but it was still super delicious. I served it with green onions and fresh jalapeños over rice, yum!

  60. Sara says

    This was even more delicious than I expected! Perfect addition to my recipes. I WILL be making this a staple in my home. Thanks for sharing!!!

  61. Sara says

    I have been making this and loving it! Have been adding a spoonful or two of peanut butter to the sauce at the end! Helps thicken it and adds great flavor!! (and the kids LOVE it!!)
    It is a weekly request in our house!!

  62. Amy Hoogstra says

    I just found this recipe and would LOVE to get it going for today but do not have sesame seeds on hand. I do, however, have sesame oil. For flavor could anyone suggest if this is an option in place of the vegetable oil?

    • Sara says

      Amy– I have added a little bit of sesame oil for flavor (as sometimes I don’t have sesame seeds either!) –just a teaspoon is all. I still use the vegetable oil but not as much then.

      • Melissa says

        We love sesame oil at our house and use it frequently. I did a combo of 1 Tbsp canola oil and 2 tsp Trader Joe’s dark sesame oil. I also added 1 tsp of minced ginger. This is my first attempt so I’m crossing my fingers that its good! The reviews make it look promising. I hope my family will love it. They LOVE my Crockpot Sticky Sesame Oil & Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks!

  63. Patrick says

    Planning on trying this tomorrow night and picking up the supplies tonight. Is there any decent alternative to the cornstarch to thicken the sauce?

  64. Chisako says

    I wish I would have seen people’s comments about reducing the honey. This was waaaay too sweet! I will make it again with 1/2 cup of honey.

  65. Serenity says

    I have recently discovered your blog and purchased one of your cookbooks. I love them both but this same question frequently comes up with me, I am a numbers girl sorry! When a recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts etc, are you referring to a 4 oz chicken breast totaling a pound in weight, or a full chicken breast totaling closer to 2 pounds in weight. Thanks so much for your help! Keep the delicious recipes coming! My absolute favorite so far is the Butterfinger blondies!

    • Cyd says

      Hi Serenity! Thanks so much for visiting our blog. Chicken breasts are so tricky because they vary in size. We usually by a 4 pound bag of frozen chicken breasts which have about 7 to 8 breasts in the bag. Every chicken breast in the bag varies in size. So with all the many sizes, the average chicken breast is about 1 cup of cooked chicken. Each chicken breast is about 8 ounces.

  66. Debra K says

    How do you get your sauce so light colored? Mine turned out a dark brown rather than the color I see in the pictures.

    • Cyd says

      Hi Mary, just click on the MAGIC button under the picture and then click on NUTRITION. It will give you all of the nutritional info on this recipe. If you get more servings out of the recipe than listed, the calories will be less.

  67. says

    Some crockpots cook hotter even on low, so experimenting with frozen chicken breasts.
    Removed the sauce at the end, used some of the sauce to barely cook orange pepper, roma seeded tomato and canned chunk pineapple. Pepper in first, pineapple next, tomato last to keep its firmness. Placed the cooked cubed chicken and veggies over cooked brown and black rice, cornstarch thickened sauce over all. Lots of sesame seeds purchased at an Asian market in lg container. Also a side salad of mixed baby greens (what I had on hand, recipe calls for just arugula ), diced date per plate, slivered almonds, blood oranges ( in season) cut in rings then sectioned. One orange or less, per serving, depending on size of serving. Dressing is juice from a squeezed mandarin orange (in season) with olive oil whisked into the juice, and poured over each salad plate. Feeding a hubby who starts work at 2PM and does not eat breakfast, so pack him full of tasty nutrition. Next I make his lunch after done cooking his dinner. This recipe would heat up well for lunch, minus the veggies, add those in a separate container to keep them firm. The orange salad also packs well for lunch add dressing at meal time.

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