Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli
Slow cooker recipes like this Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli are moving and grooving with my current desire for flexibility in my dinner routine. A healthy stir-fry style recipe that’s takeout-level easy and leggings-level comfortable, its lounge-around vibes are welcome and needed at the end of the day.
Chicken and broccoli cooked in a simple soy ginger sauce, this all-in-one dinner wants you to relax.
The slow cooker does the work, and it reheats like a dream, meaning you can prep and even fully cook this easy crockpot chicken recipe at whatever point in your day is most convenient.
If your kids nap in the morning, you can cook the chicken and broccoli while they snooze, then reheat it later for dinner.
Busy during the day? Chop the broccoli and stir together the sauce ingredients in the morning, then head to work. As soon as you wrap up for the day, toss the chicken and sauce into the slow cooker, set it, and go about your early evening for a few hours. Pour yourself a glass of wine and tidy up (or don’t). Before you know it, dinner will be ready to serve.
This healthy crockpot meal stars moist chicken cooked in a sticky, tangy sauce made with garlic, ginger, and honey. It’s inspired by a number of my favorite Asian crockpot chicken recipes, especially this top-rated, ultra easy Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and this sweet and saucy Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken.
What I love most about this recipe, in addition to the tasty sauce, is that the broccoli steams in the crockpot directly on top of the chicken, saving you the additional step of cooking a separate veggie. It takes broccoli 45 minutes to 1 hour to steam in the crockpot on high. The chicken needs longer, which is why you’ll see that the recipe directs you to give the chicken a head start prior to adding the broccoli.
I cooked this recipe with chicken breasts since that’s what we had on hand, but you could easily swap chicken thighs. No broccoli? Try a different vegetable!
Like any pair of leggings worth their wear, this crockpot ginger chicken and broccoli is all about the wiggle room.
How to Cook Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli
If you cook Asian food often, you’ll have these ingredients in your pantry. I’ve also included a few substitution ideas, along with tips to make this recipe with frozen broccoli.
- Chicken Breasts. My go-to for healthy slow cooker recipes, and they cook in a flash. The chicken becomes deliciously tender, moist, and soaks up all the sticky sauce. You could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe.
- Broccoli. Packed with fiber and antioxidants, broccoli is a nutritious and tasty addition to this recipe. You can use other fresh vegetables in this recipe as well. If they’re harder, like carrots or sweet potatoes, you’ll want to add them towards the beginning of the cooking time so that they will finish at the same time as the chicken. Softer vegetables like snap peas or chopped asparagus you can add towards the end at the same time as the broccoli.
- Soy Sauce. Equal parts salty and umami. Soy sauce is a fantastic base for Asian-style sauces like this one. If you can’t use soy sauce, you could try coconut aminos or tamari instead.
- Honey. A little natural sweetness. Maple syrup also works well here too; it will give the sauce a deeper, more smoky flavor.
- Rice Vinegar. Slightly sweet and perfect for this sauce. If you like Asian-style recipes, it’s well worth picking up a bottle. You can use it in any of my recipes using rice vinegar.
- Cornstarch. Used to create our cornstarch slurry, which makes the sauce nice and thick right in the slow cooker (no need to reduce a separate sauce on the stove).
- Garlic + Ginger. I like fresh the best here. If you don’t have access to fresh ginger, you can swap the amounts called for here for one-third the amount of ground ginger. The flavors won’t be as vibrant, but the dish will still be tasty.
- Red Pepper Flakes. For a touch of heat.
- Toasted Sesame Oil. Adds a nutty, toasty flavor that takes the dish to the next level. It’s another one of my Asian cooking staples.
- Stir together the sauce ingredients then add one-third of the sauce to the bottom of slow cooker. Place the chicken in the slow cooker, then pour the remaining sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours. Lately I’ve found that low is the move with chicken breasts—it makes them far more tender than cooking on high, even when you reduce the cook time.
- Combine the cornstarch and water, then add the slurry to the slow cooker. Add the broccoli, cover, and let the broccoli steam right in the crockpot. Switch to cook on HIGH until the chicken is done and the broccoli is tender. Cut the chicken into small pieces.
- Stir the broccoli and sauce until smooth. Add the chicken, sesame oil, and green onion. Give it a final stir and ENJOY!
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?
YES! You can use frozen broccoli to make crockpot chicken and broccoli. The texture of the broccoli will be completely soft throughout (versus crisp-tender if you were using fresh broccoli), but if you don’t mind a bit of mushiness, it still makes for a dynamite dinner.
- For decent texture combined with max ease when using frozen broccoli, I suggest thawing the broccoli first, patting it dry, then adding it to the slow cooker as directed.
- For the best possible texture, steam the broccoli separately, then stir it in at the very end.
The above methods work with other frozen vegetables too! If you decide to play around, I’d love to hear how it goes.
While you can use frozen broccoli in slow cooker recipes, you cannot use frozen chicken. The chicken should be fully thawed before adding it to the crockpot or it may not be safe to eat, as it will spend too long at room temperature prior to cooking.
What to Serve with Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli
- Grains. Brown rice, quinoa, or any other grains you have in your pantry will work great. If you want to make this low carb, use cauliflower rice.
- Vegetables. Veggie lover? Serve this dish with a side of Sautéed Carrots.
- Fried Rice. Pair this recipe with a side of Homemade Fried Rice for a hearty meal the entire family will love.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead. Chop the garlic, ginger, and broccoli up to 1 day in advance, and store them in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator. Stir together all your sauce ingredients except the sesame oil up to 1 day in advance, and store the sauce in a separate airtight storage container in the refrigerator.
- To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Store chicken and broccoli in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Favorite Easy Crockpot Chicken Recipes
- Crock Pot Chicken Marsala
- Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- Pineapple Chicken
- Crock Pot Cashew Chicken
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Slow Cooker. A beloved appliance in my kitchen. It’s great for any season and so many recipes. See all of my slow cooker recipes for more recipe inspiration.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The most reliable way to tell when your chicken is done.
- Measuring Spoons. These are dishwasher-safe and easy to store.
What’s your favorite takeout-style dish? Are there more healthy slow cooker chicken recipes you are looking for? Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from you.
For even more slow cooker tips and tricks, check out my free slow cooker email series. It contains some of my favorite crockpot recipes, plus ideas to use your slow cooker to make life a little easier.
Crockpot Chicken and Broccoli
For the Sauce:
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce — plus additional to taste
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cloves garlic — minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes — plus additional to taste
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
For the Chicken and Broccoli:
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 heads broccoli — cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch — mixed with 2 tablespoons water to create a slurry
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- For serving: cooked brown rice — quinoa, or cauliflower rice; toasted sesame seeds.
- In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, stir together the sauce ingredients: water, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Pour a thin layer into the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker (about one-third of the sauce). Arrange the chicken breasts on top. Pour on the remaining sauce.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2 hours.
In a small bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to create a slurry, then add to the slow cooker, pouring into the liquid around the chicken. Add the broccoli florets on top. Cover and cook on HIGH, until the broccoli is tender and the chicken is fully cooked through and registers 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Remove the chicken to a plate. Let cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
Stir the broccoli around in the sauce to smooth the sauce out a bit. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add the sesame oil and green onion. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot over rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- See blog posts above for tips to use frozen broccoli and other substitution suggestions.
- TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Store chicken and broccoli in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 4); about 1 1/4 cups chicken) — Calories: 421, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Potassium: 1672mg, Carbohydrates: 42g, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 19g, Protein: 46g, Vitamin A: 2107%, Vitamin C: 276%, Calcium: 168%, Iron: 4%
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