Please do yourself and your taste buds a service; ditch the takeout and make this Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken recipe instead!

bowl of crock pot teriyaki chicken over rice

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Along with General Tso’s Tofu, teriyaki chicken was my high school fast-food favorite.

Whenever I was out running errands with my mom, I’d beg her to stop at Japan Express so that I could order their jumbo-sized bowl of teriyaki chicken with sticky rice.

While it was absolutely a step up from the mall food court, that chicken, though tasty, never left me feeling particularly stellar afterward.

I’d often experience a serious afternoon slump, which I now recognize as a sugar crash.

I’m pleased to report that today’s homemade slow cooker honey teriyaki chicken recipe has the same takeout flavor I remember but is made with real, more wholesome ingredients you can feel good about enjoying any night of the week.

You don’t even need bottled teriyaki sauce to make this teriyaki chicken.

  • The homemade teriyaki sauce recipe is only six ingredients, most of which I bet you have in your pantry right now: soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, and garlic and ginger. (If you’re a fan of teriyaki sauce, you’ll love this Teriyaki Salmon recipe too.)
  • Simply stir the sauce ingredients together, place the chicken in your crock pot, then pour the teriyaki sauce over the top. Bye-bye bottle.
2 bowls of Teriyaki chicken and rice garnished with sesame seeds

What is Teriayki Chicken?

Teriyaki chicken is pieces of tender cooked boneless chicken breasts or thighs in a teriyaki chicken marinade. It’s tossed in a teriyaki sauce sauce that is sweet, sticky, and savory. It is typically served over rice.

Teriyaki chicken sauce is made of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and sugar (I used a combination of brown sugar and honey for this recipe).

While Teriyaki chicken is actually Japanese, what we order at takeout restaurants in America is typically a much sweeter version of a classic Japanese teriyaki chicken recipe.

5 Star Review

“A hit! This was so easy to make, and my hard-to-please eaters really enjoyed it!”

— Jenni —

How to Make Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

With easy prep and an even easier ingredients list, this crock pot teriyaki chicken recipe is one you’ll want to make on repeat.

It’s family-friendly and tastes amazing leftover.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Thighs. For max tenderness, I opted for slow cooker teriyaki chicken thighs. Even though I usually prefer white meat, by the time the chicken thighs are bathed in that wonderful homemade honey teriyaki sauce, the dark meat is undetectable.

Substitution Tip

If you prefer to make a teriyaki chicken breast recipe, try my Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken or Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry instead. Or, you can swap chicken breast in this recipe. Note that it will cook more quickly.

  • Soy. The main flavor maker in our homemade teriyaki sauce. It adds delightful umami goodness. I used low-sodium soy sauce to keep the sauce from becoming too salty.
  • Rice Vinegar. Acidity with a hint of sweetness.
  • Honey + Brown Sugar. Teriyaki sauce needs some sweetness, so I chose to use a combination of honey and brown sugar. Both ingredients also help make the sauce thick and sticky.
  • Garlic + Ginger. The classic duo that creates exceptional, can’t-be-missed flavor.
  • Cornstarch. A teriyaki chicken cornstarch slurry helps thicken the sauce.

The Directions

  1. Add the chicken to a slow cooker.
  2. Whisk the sauce ingredients together, then pour it over the chicken.
  3. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or on LOW for 4 hours. Shred the chicken. Strain the sauce into a saucepan.
  4. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the saucepan, cooking over medium-high heat until thickened. Remove it from the heat.
  5. Stir the chicken into the sauce. Serve with rice or quinoa, sesame seeds, and green onions. DIG IN!
bowls of Asian chicken teriyaki served over rice

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze teriyaki chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, whisk the sauce ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

What to Serve with Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Programmable Slow Cooker

This slow cooker switches to “keep warm” after the cooking time has ended to deter overcooking. It’s perfect for any of your favorite slow cooker meals!

bowl of crock pot teriyaki chicken over rice

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Overcook Pulled Chicken in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can overcook pulled chicken in a slow cooker. 2 hours on HIGH or 4 hours on LOW is how long chicken cooks in a crockpot. To ensure you don’t overcook the chicken, follow the cook times listed in the recipe instructions. For ease, you can also use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness.

Is Teriyaki Chicken Good for You?

Generally, takeout teriyaki chicken is not good for you because of its high levels of sugar and sodium. This crock pot teriyaki chicken, however, uses less sugar than most restaurant-style teriyaki chicken dishes. To keep the sodium level low, I also made this as a low-sodium Kikkoman teriyaki chicken slow cooker recipe.

Is it Safe to Slow Cook Chicken in a Crock Pot?

While it is safe to slow cook chicken in a crock pot, you cannot put frozen chicken in a crockpot. The chicken may spend too long at room temperature and become unsafe to eat.

What Can I Add to My Teriyaki Chicken?

To boost the recipe’s nutrition content and add flavor, you could make this into a crock pot teriyaki chicken with pineapple (add diced pineapple a the end) or a crock pot teriyaki chicken and broccoli (serve it with my Grilled Broccoli or Air Fryer Broccoli, or stir in broccoli florets during the last hour or so of cooking).

bowl of crock pot teriyaki chicken over rice

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

4.92 from 35 votes
An easy recipe for Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken that takes less than 10 minutes to prep! Delicious, healthy, and so much better than takeout!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2/3  cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Toasted sesame seeds for serving
  • Chopped green onions for serving
  • Prepared brown rice quinoa, or other whole grain, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Pour over the chicken thighs.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Strain the cooking liquid through a mesh sieve and into a medium saucepan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the strained cooking liquid, whisk to incorporate, then heat the saucepan over medium high, stirring constantly until the sauce bubbles. Continue cooking and stirring until glossy and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Add the chicken to the sauce. Toss to coat. Serve warm with rice or quinoa, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions as desired.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze teriyaki chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4), without riceCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 35gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 162mgPotassium: 505mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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165 Comments

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  1. Hello! Love the recipe! But how is this low fat?! When I entered the recipe into my fitness app to track my macros, it said this recipe was anything but low fat! I followed the recipe to a T. Thanks in advance!5 stars

    1. Hi Jessica! The nutrition information is just an estimate based on the ingredients I used, so the numbers can change based on your specific ingredients. The estimate also does not include the rice. I’m happy that you enjoyed the recipe!

    2. Jessica,

      The use of chicken thighs will add to the fat content. If you want a lower fat version, try using chicken breat.

    3. Make sure that when you put the recipe into your Fitness App tracker you say boneless SKINLESS chicken thighs or else it will count the skin towards your fat content. If that is still too high in fat for you, then use chicken breasts instead of thighs. It won’t taste as good, but the fat content will be much lower.

    1. Hi Creshendah! Bone-in should work fine. They may take a little longer to cook, so you’ll want to check them for doneness before shredding/serving. However, I would recommend removing any skin before cooking, as it will get soggy. I hope this helps!

      1. One of my favorite recipes! We make this about every couple of weeks. I want to make this tomrorow, but I won’t have time to prepare the sauce in the morning before work; can the sauce be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated overnight?5 stars

        1. Hi Alicia! So glad you enjoy the recipe! You should be able to put it together ahead of time but you may need to give it a good whisk before pouring it over the chicken. If you decide to experiment with it, let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi KK! I recommend creating the cornstarch slurry called for in the recipe. This will help keep the cornstarch from clumping in the sauce. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

    1. Hi Aim! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so you’d be experimenting. You’d likely need to use more flour to thicken it up. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  2. This looks delicious! What should i adjust my cooking time to when using chicken breast instead of thighs? I don’t want to dry it out. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Carolyn! It will depend on the type and size of your chicken breasts. I would suggest you use bone-in chicken breast if you can to help make sure it doesn’t dry out. If you do decide to use boneless chicken breast, definitely keep it whole and check them early and often. I hope that helps!

  3. Love this recipe! I stuck to the recipe as written and served over jasmine rice. Loved the recipe so much that I am making it again this weekend!!

    Thank you, Erin for a delicious recipe!5 stars

  4. Highly recommend. Very easy recipe and pretty delicious. The onion and sesame really add to it. After being disappointed with a crockpot lo mein I decided to give this one a try. Glad I did. Thanks for the recipe, this will be a go to now.5 stars

  5. I loved this recipe! So easy to make and tastes so good. I even tried it with beef and that was just as delicious :)5 stars

  6. This was a hit with my family of 5 (3 kids). Definitely put into dinner rotations. I only had ground ginger instead of minced, and it still turned out delish!5 stars

    1. Hi Fran! I have an instant pot version you’d might like! https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-teriyaki-chicken/

  7. A hit! This was so easy to make, and my hard-to-please eaters really enjoyed it! I thought the chicken was tasty without adding the sauce back on. Both ways were delicious!5 stars

  8. As a single gal, I have one of those small 3qt round rival crockpots passed down from my mom, will this recipe fit or will I need to make adjustments?

    1. Hi Amanda, I’m sorry but I haven’t tested this out in a 3qt crockpot. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes.

  9. Trying this recipe out today. It looks good. For those who are asking about chicken breasts instead of legs try coating them in cornstarch and letting them set 20or 30 minutes.

  10. Hi Jess, I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish it would have been a hit for you. I would definitely make sure you are using low-sodium soy sauce and if it’s too much for you, feel free to reduce the amount.

    1. Hi Rita. I’m confused because I see it on my end. The full recipe with the measurements was right in the recipe card above the area where you commented. There is also a “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page as well to help get you to the recipe card faster. Can you please double check? Thanks!

  11. The method was super easy and the texture of the chicken was good, but the flavor was disappointing. SO salty, only a little sweet (and yes, used low sodium soy sauce).2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Mamainsea. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish it would have been a hit for you.

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