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The Best Dang Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken


This crock pot teriyaki chicken recipe is seriously the BEST! With juicy chicken breasts simmered in a sticky six ingredient sauce, it’s better than your favorite take out. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

When it comes to slow cooker chicken recipes, Asian flavors are so good! Sticky slow cooker honey garlic chicken thighs are a family favorite, as is this crock pot teriyaki chicken recipe.

crock pot teriyaki chicken recipe in blue bowl with chopsticks

Teriyaki is a favorite amongst both adults and kids, and for good reason! It is packed full of sweet and savory flavor but isn’t too spicy. It pairs with any number of protein or vegetables, and is super simple to prep.

Reasons you’ll love crock pot teriyaki chicken

  • it requires no pre-cooking and uses simple ingredients
  • the sauce is sticky, sweet, savory and so flavorful!
  • it’s great for meal prep – assemble ahead and freeze, or cook ahead and reheat

Recipe video

Watch the video below to see exactly how I prepped this recipe. It’s so simple! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel, or on Facebook.

Don’t forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!

slow cooker teriyaki chicken recipe in slow cooker before cooking

Origins of teriyaki

While Trendy often associated with Japanese cuisine, there is controversy surrounding it’s genuine origins. Some say teriyaki originated in the kitchens of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, using local ingredients to recreate flavors from home (1), while others point to Korean roots and influence in making teriyaki popular in the US (2).

Whatever the origins, teriyaki usually refers to meat which has been marinated in a sauce containing soy sauce, sugar and mirin, then grilled, broiled or roasted. My goal with this crock pot teriyaki chicken was to combine these delicious flavors with the ease of the slow cooker, making them simple and accessible to busy home cooks.

Ingredient notes

  • chicken– as written, this recipe uses boneless skinless chicken breasts, however you could replace them with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Increase the total cook time to 4-5 hours on low.
  • soy sauce– I like to use reduced sodium soy sauce as I find regular quite salty. Swap for tamari, coconut aminos or liquid soy seasoning for a gluten-free option.
  • honey– feel free to use your favorite sweetener in this recipe: I’ve tested with brown sugar, maple syrup and honey. Use low carb sweeteners at your own risk.
  • mirin– traditional Japanese cooking wine, this ingredient adds a subtle tangy aftertaste that is characteristic of bottled teriyaki sauce. If you can’t find it, swap for sake, white wine, sherry, or rice vinegar. Taste and adjust the sweetness as needed.

slow cooker chicken teriyaki in slow cooker after cooking

How to cook it

Getting it started

To obtain this recipe started, add the soy sauce, honey, water, mirin, garlic and ginger to the base of a 6 quart slow cooker. Whisk together until smooth, then add the chicken breasts, turning to coat in the sauce.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours*, and make sure not to lift the lid during the cook time.

*If you cognize your slow cooker cooks lower or slower, consider increasing the cook time as needed.

Thickening the sauce

Once the chicken is cooked through, it’s time to thicken the sauce. We’ve used cornstarch in this recipe, but you could also use arrowroot starch.

Mix together the cornstarch with water until fully dissolved. Lift the lid of the slow cooker, add the cornstarch slurry, and mix it in as top as you can with a spatula. Replace the lid on the slow cooker as quickly as you can, turn the slow cooker to high, and simmer for 30 minutes.

At this point, the liquid should be bubbly and thick.

Cut or shred the chicken

Depending on your preferences, you can either cube the chicken breast, or shred it.

  • Cubing– you may want to let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cubing, as this helps the juices settle. To do this, simply let them sit on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes, then return to the slow cooker and toss in the sauce.
  • Shredding– to shred the chicken, transfer to a clean bowl, then use an electric hand mixer or two forks to shred the chicken. Return to the slow cooker and toss in the sauce.

Garnish

Garnishes are optional, but add color and subtle flavor to the dish. We love sprinkling with toasted sesame seeds and green onion.

Serving size + equipment

This recipe is formulated to be cooked in a larger slow cooker- 5 or 6 quarts, and it makes a large portion (serves 8). If you don’t want to have ample leftovers, you can cut the recipe in half and cook in a 2.5 or smaller slow cooker.

teriyaki chicken bowl in meal prep container with rice and broccoli

Adding vegetables to the recipe

Yes, you can exactly add vegetables to this recipe! We like to add fresh or frozen broccoli, stir fry mix, or cauliflower right to the slow cooker. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Do not add the vegetables at the commence as they will overcook.
  2. Add longer cooking vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower during the last 1 hour (fresh) or 2 hours (frozen) of cook time. If you use fast cooking vegetables like peas or green beans, you’ll want to reduce the cook time to 30 minutes (fresh) and 1 hour (frozen).
  3. Consider adding extra cornstarch (1/2 tablespoon) to account for extra water that comes out of the vegetables while they cook).

Meal prep + storage

Crock pot chicken teriyaki is a great recipe for meal prep! Here are two ways you can meal prep it:

1. Crock pot freezer meal

A crock pot freezer meal is assembled ahead and frozen before cooking. This way, when it’s time to cook, you simply dump the ingredients into the slow cooker and skip any measuring. This is a great recipe to prepare for someone who is expecting a baby.

Here’s how you can turn this recipe into a freezer meal:

  1. Assemble the boneless skinless chicken breasts plus all remaining ingredients (except for the cornstarch) in a gallon-sized freezer bag, reusable silicone bag, or meal prep container.
  2. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
  3. Freeze flat for up to 3 months.
  4. Thaw completely, then cook as directed in the recipe card.

Find my favorite freezer containers here!

2. Cook ahead and reheat

You can cook this recipe all the way through, portion out with rice and vegetables in meal prep containers, and store in the fridge (4 days) or freezer (3 months).

Reheat in the microwave until steaming hot, and enjoy!

Find my favorite meal prep containers here!

close up of crock pot teriyaki chicken in meal prep container

More slow cooker chicken recipes

The Best Dang Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Japanese

Keyword: chicken, slow cooker

Calories: 201kcal

Servings: 8

This crock pot teriyaki chicken recipe is seriously the BEST! With juicy chicken breasts simmered in a sticky sauce that is better than your favorite take out. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time4 hrs

Total Time4 hrs 15 mins

Instructions

  • Add the soy sauce, honey, water, mirin, garlic and ginger to the insert of a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Stir until completely combined, then add the chicken and turn to coat.

  • Place the lid on the slow cooker, then cook on low for 3-4 hours.

  • Stir together the cornstarch and water, then add to the slow cooker. Stir it in as top as you can, and replace the lid quickly.

  • Turn slow cooker to high and cook for 30 min – 1 hour more, until cooking liquid is thickened.

  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, cut or shred, then return to the sauce. Serve over rice.

To assemble ahead and freeze

  • Combine all ingredients not marked ‘after cooking’ in a gallon-sized freezer bag.

  • Squeeze out extra air.

  • Freeze flat for up to 3 months.

  • Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.

Notes

1- roughly 4 large chicken breasts; swap for boneless skinless chicken thighs and increase the cook time to 4-5 hours on low
2- you can use regular soy sauce, though your sauce may be saltier. Swap for tamari, coconut aminos or liquid soy seasoning for a gluten-free version
3- honey may be swapped for brown sugar or maple syrup; abandon us a comment if you try a low carb sweetener!
4- mirin can occasionally be found in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store, in specialized Asian grocery stores, or online. If you can’t find it, swap for dry white wine, sherry, or rice vinegar; adjust the sweetness of the sauce to taste.
Adding vegetables

  1. Do not add the vegetables at the commence as they will overcook.
  2. Add longer cooking vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower during the last 1 hour (fresh) or 2 hours (frozen) of cook time. If you use fast cooking vegetables like peas or green beans, you’ll want to reduce the cook time to 30 minutes (fresh) and 1 hour (frozen).
  3. Consider adding extra cornstarch (1/2 tablespoon) to account for extra water that comes out of the vegetables while they cook).

Storage
After cooking, cool completely before storing.

  • fridge- store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
  • freezer- freeze for up to 3 months in a meal prep container, silicone or plastic freezer bag

Reheating
Heat in the microwave until steaming hot, or cook in a frying pan, using tongs to flip the pieces of chicken and heat through evenly. 
Do not reheat more than once.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of batch | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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