Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken from Very Culinary

by Amy Flanigan on February 9, 2012 · 117 comments

My friend Nicole hates to cook; it’s a complete chore to her. I think she’d rather pick up poop from her pet sitting business or scrub her bathroom floors than make dinner.

But I love Nicole.

So I’ve made it my mission in life to find delicious crock pot meals that she can easily throw together. Are you reading Nicole? I AM SO THERE FOR YOU.

Problem is, most crock pot meals are just. not. good. Granted, they don’t usually reach this extreme of awful, but after much trial and error and many crock pot recipes gracing my table over the past several years, it’s my firm opinion that combined foods and textures are really not meant to slow cook together over an 8-hour period of time.

But I keep trying. Because eventually I’m going to find a winner.

And guess what? I not only found one, but two (!) fantastic crock pot recipes last week. I’m still reeling in shock and delight.

This one first. (The second one coming soon.)

For starters, you don’t need to saute the chicken before transferring it to the crock. (Which frees up 5 minutes that you I can waste on Facebook and Pinterest. Score.)

The red pepper flakes and sesame seeds, along with chopped scallions that I added, balanced out some of the sweetness. I also opted not to combine the cooked chicken back with the sauce – there was a lot of sauce – instead, I decided to put the chicken on the rice and then pour some sauce on top, to taste.

This was SO good, and not at all one dimensional like I was expecting.

Really excited about this. For Nicole. And me!

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours on low

Ingredients
• 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
• salt and pepper
• 1 cup honey
• 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium or gluten-free)
• 1/2 cup diced onion
• 1/4 cup ketchup
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
• 1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds
• 3 scallions, chopped

Directions
Lightly season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.

In a medium bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.

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.

Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Then in individual bowls, place chicken pieces over cooked rice and spoon some sauce on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

(adapted from Six Sisters Stuff)

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{ 117 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina May 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Hi,
This sounds so good, Do you think it can be made with scallops or dried bean curd? Thank you :)

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Amy @Very Culinary May 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Hi Tina – gosh, I have no idea, but I can’t imagine slow cooking scallops for 4 hours would be appetizing :/

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maria January 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

This recipe is awesome! I used chicken breasts and used just over half the reccomended amount of honey and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe:-)

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Amy @Very Culinary January 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

So happy to hear it!

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dot brooks December 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

make sure to print this, dottie

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john November 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

sounds good

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Mom September 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I just made this for a pot luck dinner, with huge success. Since I don’t have a crock pot, I used a roasting pan and cooked in the oven at 250 deg. for 4 hrs. The sauce called for in the recipe was enough for the
5 lbs. of bone-in chicken thighs. I removed the bones after cooking and served over 1 1/2 cups of white rice. The plate was wiped clean!

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Matt September 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Here is a great recipe to make on a weekend in a crockpot and then eat during the week reheated.

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renee August 5, 2013 at 7:56 am

what if i don’t have a crock pot?

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Amy August 5, 2013 at 8:03 am

Hi Renee – go buy one! Lol. Just kidding. Uuuummm…I guess you could try and simply slow cook it on the stove in a regular pot. But I don’t know at what range or for how long, so I can’t vouch for the results. Sorry :(

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khris July 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Made exactly as written, after cooking 3 hours on low, my chicken was very done, any more would of been super dry. Also, mine came out way too sweet. Good base recipe but needs tweaking.

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karen t July 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm

khris, did you use chicken breasts or thighs like the recipe calls for? seems like the reviews that said it was dry used breasts. also, of course it’s sweet – that’s what you get from honey and ketchup! I agree with the vast number of people who loved it. this was a big winner with my family and I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Tracey Ayers July 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Thank you for a wonderful recipe! My husband and two girls ate huge bowls of this dish! I used boneless thighs and boneless breast, and after I shred the chicken I placed it back into the slightly thickened sauce to stay warm until we were ready to eat. We spooned it over jasmine rice that we made in the rice cooker! It was wonderful!!!

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lovetotry June 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

We used chix tenders and it came out too dry. I’m not sure if it was the soy sauce or the honey, but we could barely stand the smell while cooking. Needless-to-say, the end result was not a big hit. I think maybe cutting down on soy and honey and maybe adding brown sugar might be good. Plus pineapple on top might also be good. There were only 3 of us so I’m going to try to doctor it up for chix salad later in the week…we shall see. We put ours on broccoli and had to add the Thai sauce that comes prepared in order to get it down. :) Still happy to try new recipes. Thanks for sharing!

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Kelley February 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

If you were to add broccoli, when would you add it to have it tender?

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Amy February 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hi Kelley – I’ve never added broccoli, although I’m sure that would be good. A few people said they added it in at the end…but I don’t know if that means they added it in the slow cooker, or if they boiled it on the stove top and then mixed it in. Broccoli usually steams in what, 6 minutes? Since a slow cooker cooks sloooowly, maybe add it in the last 15? 20? I really don’t know.

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Kelley February 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

If you were to add broccoli, when would you add it?

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Tasha February 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe!!! This was an excellent accommodation to our dinner meal. I too used chicken breast, and decided to add a few pineapples. Thanks a million!!!

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Natasha January 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I’ve made this twice now for my family of six, they all love it!! I used chicken breast, instead of the thighs, as that is what I always have on hand, but it still turns out great. I just cut the chicken up into strips and then added all of the sauce.

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Susie B December 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Made 12/17/12. I left mine in the crock pot for 6 hours on low and it was definitely too long. I’d stick to the 4 hour recommendation… maybe you could push it to 5 hours if you keep an eye on it. I also used 3 large chicken breasts instead of thighs. Despite leaving it in the crock pot too long it was still wonderful and will definitely make it into the rotation frequently!

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Gina December 3, 2012 at 10:48 am

O M G. This recipe is definitely going into my rotation. I usually don’t finish my own homemade dinners because they just aren’t that tasty as when someone else cooks for me, lol. BUT THIS WAS AWESOME! AND SO EASY! The bad reviewers…they either unknowingly used bad quality/old ingredients and or thought they followed it exactly, but didn’t. There is no way this could not be enjoyed and devoured completely.

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Amy December 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Right? That’s exactly how I feel about this dish! Based on all the comments, we’re in the majority, so it’s ok. Thanks, Gina!

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Tracy October 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

My family and I are enjoying this right now, and it is a HUGE hit! Sadly, I decided to skip the scallions and sesame seeds, which I will NOT do the next time. I actually used breasts and figured, what the heck, I’ll cook it all day. So mine cooked for about 8 hours. I can tell you that there will be NONE left. Thanks A TON for posting this!

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Tracie October 12, 2012 at 7:51 am

I loved this – already made it once.

I agree the flavor is strong – but we (kids included) all loved it the way it was made. I skipped the seasoning of the chicken breasts as well.

Making it again – I want to add pineapple chunks to it – should I decrease the amount of honey then??

Thanks!

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Amy October 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

Hi Tracie – so glad you liked it. I love the idea of adding pineapple. I don’t know about the amount of honey. Maybe cut back a little? I suppose it depends how sweet you like your food.

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tracie October 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

Hi-

I added the pineapple and decreased the honey a little bit but not much.

It was delicious. Family ASKS for it now. I am getting ready to make it again for tonight :)

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Amy October 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

Awesome! I’m going to try it with pineapple next time :D

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Elaine September 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I’m so glad there are others that agree with me. I thought this was the worst chicken recipe I’ve ever eaten. I followed the recipe to a T. The soy sauce was overpowering and the chicken dry. The honey taste was also overpowering. Sorry, but did not like.

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Sara November 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I made this with frozen chicken quarters and it came out perfectly. I think that breast don’t have enough moisture in them for the long cooking time. A whole chicken would work too. I was initially worried about the bones, but the 79 cent price on the quarters convinced me to give it a try. Since I didn’t see my honey I used agave nectar in lieu, and I didn’t have crushed red pepper so I used a teaspoon of cayenne. Also I put it in for 5 hours. There was plenty of moisture when I came home at 4 hours, but I did swap the top and bottom quarters to make sure they all got some marinating. My thermometer made it to 180 on all of the chicken quarters.

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Karrie August 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

Making this tonight!

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Karrie August 26, 2012 at 4:59 am

Loved it! Added broccoli at the end…..will also add waterchestnuts at the end next time! Thanks!

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Stefanie May 1, 2012 at 7:38 am

I have now made this twice. My husband loves it and says “this is becoming one of my favorite meals”!

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kate April 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

i made this dish tonight. I agree with the other Kate that the smell was not appetizing. Also, the chicken came out dry and leathery on the edges. I do like the sauce flavor though. I plan to try it again cooked in a regular pot rather than a crock pot.

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Mom April 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I made this tonight, and we really enjoyed it. I don’t have a crock pot so I baked for four hours at 300 degrees in the oven. I couldn’t sleep, so I started preparing at 4 am. It was done by 8:30 and finished off the toppings just before serving. You know it must be good if your father enjoyed a chicken dish!

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Amy April 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Wow, no kidding. I knew this one would be a long shot for Dad, and also didn’t know if it would be too sweet for both of you. So happy it worked out (and in the oven!) I’ve made this several times…chicken can be a hard sell for the kids, too, but they love this one.

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Erin April 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Made this tonight for dinner-double recipe because my family are big eaters-and it turned out a unanimous 5 out of 5 (kids and adults alike)! I too didn’t add salt & added a squirt of Sriracha. The fresh chopped scallions and sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, IMHO, are a must. Definitely adding this to my permanent recipe file. Thanks so much! Looking forward to trying the Mongolian Beef recipe the end of this week.

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Amy April 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I’m so glad! We love it, too. Hope the Mongolian Beef works out for you…it’s a completely different kind of tasty. Thanks for stopping by Erin :D

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Erin April 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Amy – I’ve now shared your recipe & website with my family, friends, & everyone at work. Looking forward to making it on a regular basis. Please, please create some more recipes for us followers! =0)

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Amy April 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

How wonderful, thank you Erin! I’m constantly trying new dishes and aim to please. I know everyone is always on the lookout for good crock recipes, but most are utterly disappointing. So if I post one, be sure it’s delicious!

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Kate April 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Made this for dinner tonight and as leftovers for tomorrow since it’s just me. I’m sorry, but I followed the recipe exactly and did not care for the result. I LOVE sesame chicken, but the smell of soy sauce cooking in my crock pot all afternoon smelled gross (to me) and though it was definitely edible for dinner, I don’t think it’d ever make it out of the fridge if I kept more for leftovers. Maybe the problem was that I used chicken breasts instead of thighs or maybe my taste buds are funny, but this wasn’t sweet enough, wasn’t spicy enough, and just kind of tasted flat and slightly burnt. Sorry!

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Kelly September 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

It’s not the thighs (though they don’t help). I made this with thighs using the same recipe (though from another blog) and have been sick all day from the smell. I actually looked up the name of this dish with “gross” to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind.

No offense to the blogger. It seems some people don’t mind the smell and the dish turns out wonderfully, but if you’re sensitive to certain smells, skip this one!

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Me March 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

Yummy!

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amy March 20, 2012 at 7:03 am

Well…I just realized I read it wrong. HEHE. I thought it said cook on high 4 hours, which is why I thought I could sub high for 8 hours. OOPS. =)

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Amy March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Oh, bummer :( Try it again on low for 4 hours as instructed… you’ll love it!

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amy March 20, 2012 at 7:01 am

I tried making this but figured that I could cook it on low for 8 hours. I was so wrong! It smelled burned in the house when I came home from work. I guess that is too long to cook? I feel like it would have been an awesome meal too.

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Barbara Ward March 13, 2012 at 6:52 am

Wow! This is so delicious! The only change I made was I didn’t add salt and pepper to the chicken. I thought the soy sauce added enough sodium. Next time I will double the recipe. Good! Good! Good!

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Toni March 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

This was AWESOME!!!!!! You know it’s good when my husband who was hung over all day cleared his bowl!!!! hehehe

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