Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

This recipe for Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs is an easy, kid-friendly weeknight dinner. Let the crockpot do all the work and serve with rice and steamed veggies for a balanced meal.

*Originally published April 2016. Updated August 2023*

Hi friends!

I first shared these Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs almost 8 years ago and they’re still one of my go-to crockpot meals. When I first made this recipe, it got the seal of approval from hubby and son and then I made it for my parents and my mom asked for the recipe because my dad loved it so much. I passed it on to several friends before I even put it on the blog and continue to share it regularly. My daughter loves it because carrots and sweet potatoes are her favorite.

Need a slow cooker?? I love this basic Crockpot 8qt with auto warm setting. I also have this Instant Electric Round Dutch Oven which is great because you can brown/sear things right in the pot before switching to slow cooking. And finally, if you have an Instant Pot, you can grab a glass lid to turn it into a slow cooker. (aff links)

Can you freeze this honey garlic chicken thighs crockpot recipe?

This has become my go-to recipe to deliver to new moms or friends who have had surgery, have a sick kid etc. You can easily throw everything in a ziploc bag and deliver it and then they can either dump it in the crockpot to make it immediately or stick it in the freezer for later.

Should I use boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts?

This recipe uses chicken thighs. You could make it with chicken breasts. I encourage you to try it at least once with thighs. They do so well in the slow cooker, never drying out like chicken breasts are sometimes prone to do.

Could I use boneless breast tenders?

I wouldn’t recommend tenders for this recipe. Because they’re cooking for a while in the slow cooker, thinner/smaller cuts like tenders would likely end up overcooked and rubbery.

How To Prep Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs for the slow cooker

If you want to prep this ahead of time, just put all of the ingredients in a Ziploc bag.

From there you can either freeze and when ready to use just thaw the night before and throw in the crockpot before work. Or stick the bag in the fridge overnight, then jus dump it into the crockpot in the morning and turn it on.

How To Make Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

Here’s the recipe:


Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs Recipe

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5 from 1 review

This recipe for Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs is an easy, kid-friendly weeknight dinner. Let the crockpot do all the work and serve with rice and steamed veggies for a balanced meal.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6



  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 23 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger (i use the paste)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  1. Chop the sweet potato and carrots to roughly the same size pieces and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Add chicken thighs.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour over chicken and cook in a slow cooker on low for about 6 hours.

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Pretty simple right? If you aren’t a fan of carrots or sweet potatoes you could probably swap in another veggie, just be aware that some veggies get a bit mushy in the slow cooker. I like carrots and sweet potatoes because they hold their shape well.

Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs FAQs

Can you make honey garlic chicken thighs in the instant pot? Can you stack chicken thighs in the instant pot?

Yes! You can easily make this recipe in the Instant pot. Just combine all the ingredients in the Instant pot and cook in manual mode for about 15 minutes. The size, thickness and type of chicken used will determine cooking time but you should be able to shred them easily with a fork.

You can stack chicken thighs 2 high in the instant pot but if you have more than that I would cook in two batches.

Or try this recipe for Instant Pot Honey Ginger Chicken.

What type of chicken thighs should I use for instant pot chicken thighs?

I prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You could try bone-in if you wanted to but I tend to prefer boneless/skinless for slow cooker and instant pot recipes and bone-in chicken with skin when cooking in cast iron on the stove or in the oven.

What setting do you cook chicken on in an Instant pot?

I use manual mode. It allows you to set the timer for the exact number of minutes you’re wanting to cook something for!

Can I put raw chicken in the slow cooker?

Yes! Slow cookers are designed to cook meat at a low temperature over a period of several hours. In most cases, chicken will cook in the slow cooker on low heat in 4-6 hours but you can leave it in there longer.

You’ll know it’s done if you check the temperature with a thermometer or when you can shred it easily with a fork.

Do you have to brown chicken before putting in slow cooker?

No, you do not have to brown chicken before slow cooking. You can! Browning is an easy way to add extra flavor but it can be an extra step and if your slow cooker doesn’t come with a browning option it often means dirtying another pan.

While it’s important in some recipes, I don’t find it to be a necessary step in this recipe.

Is chicken breast or thigh better for slow cooker?

Both work fine. I most often by chicken breasts so I cook with those most frequently and they work just fine. Chicken thighs have darker meat that’s a bit fattier and in many cases this is an asset in slow cooking.

The fat helps keep the chicken moist as it cooks low and slow and for this reason chicken thighs are great for slow cooking.

Is it better to cook chicken on high or low in the slow cooker?

I choose to cook most things in the slow cooker over low heat. Crockpot recipes are designed for cuts of meat the do well when cooked low and slow whereas other cuts of meat do better cooking quickly over high heat like on a grill.

What makes the honey garlic sauce in this chicken recipe?

The sauce is a mix of ginger, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce and chicken broth.

Is this honey garlic chicken thighs recipe super garlicky?

It uses 4 cloves are garlic but you could easily cut back to 2 cloves if you prefer a milder flavor.

I hope you guys love this recipe as much as we do! I usually serve it with rice but you could easily change it up and serve this in tacos or even over a salad!



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