Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken. Tender, juicy chicken thighs cooked low and slow for 4 hours until tender and smothered in a homemade teriyaki sauce! This recipe freezes really well and is perfect for meal prep.
If you’re in a hurry, try my Easy Chicken Teriyaki, or even quicker, my Teriyaki Shrimp is ready in just 20 minutes!
I love making my own teriyaki sauce at home. It’s so much easier to control the sweetness and the salt level. I used a similar homemade teriyaki sauce as my Easy Teriyaki Beef Meatballs and my Teriyaki Baked Salmon. The teriyaki sauce consists of soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger, and garlic. That’s it! The sauce makes this recipe!
The chicken thighs get tossed in the homemade teriyaki sauce and cook low and slow in the crockpot for 4 hours until tender. The chicken comes out super juicy and there is lots of sauce leftover which I love to serve over rice or noodles!
How to make homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Aside from the chicken, all you’ll need for this slow cooker teriyaki chicken recipe is teriyaki sauce, and making your own sauce at home is super easy! It’s also a great way to control the sweetness and saltiness of the sauce. To make your own teriyaki sauce at home you’ll need:
- Soy sauce: I always use low sodium soy sauce. You can use regular soy sauce with a splash of water to combat some of the saltiness. For a gluten-free version, look for gluten-free soy sauce or use tamari instead.
- Ginger & Garlic: I prefer to use freshly grated ginger and minced garlic however ground ginger or garlic powder can be substituted in a pinch. You can also buy pre-minced fresh garlic and ginger paste from the supermarket!
- Honey: Adds a nice sweetness to the teriyaki sauce. If you like your teriyaki on the sweeter side adjust the honey to taste.
- Rice wine vinegar: This vinegar can be found in the International or Asian aisle in the grocery store. It adds the perfect acidity to the sauce.
- Mirin: Has a sweeter flavor which helps combat the saltiness from the soy sauce.
- Sesame oil: Adds a wonderfully nutty flavor to this sauce!
- Cornstarch slurry: 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon cold water. This thickens up the sauce!
How to make Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
This recipe couldn’t be easier. I toss all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook it on low for 4 hours. When the chicken shreds easily that means it is done! To thicken up the sauce I heat it up in a small saucepan along with some cornstarch and cold water. While the sauce is simmering I shred the chicken and then toss it all together. Serve with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish!
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- I love to serve the chicken with white or brown rice to soak up all the extra sauce. For a low-carb option try cauliflower rice.
- Vegetable Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Air Fryer Fried Rice
- Garlic Fried Rice
- Steamed vegetables
- Chow mein noodles
- Vegetable Chow Mein
- Lo mein
- Zucchini Noodle Stir-Fry
- Rainbow Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry
- Shrimp Egg Rolls
- Shrimp Spring Rolls
- Vegetable Spring Rolls
Tips for Success
- Use either frozen or thawed raw chicken. If the chicken is frozen, increase the cooking time to 6-8 hours instead of 4. It will taste just as good for little effort!
- I like to keep pre-minced ginger and garlic on hand. I use it all the time and it saves about 5-10 minutes of prep time.
- Freeze this for later! Add all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients along with the raw chicken to a freezer ziplock bag and freeze it until you are ready to use it. I like to freeze 3-4 batches at a time for easy dinners. They last for 4 months in the freezer!
- Alternatively, you can also freeze this slow cooker teriyaki chicken after it’s cooked and cooled. Similarly, store it in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave before consuming.
Is teriyaki sauce the same as marinade?
Yes, teriyaki sauce and marinade are interchangeable! You can smother the chicken in the teriyaki sauce or marinate it before cooking to really bring out the flavors.
How healthy is teriyaki chicken?
How healthy teriyaki chicken is, depends on a couple of factors.
- Homemade or fast food: Fast food will always be loaded with extra unnecessary ingredients and calories. Making it yourself is the healthiest option as you know what is going into it.
- Sugar and salt content: Teriyaki chicken can often be loaded with a ton of sugar and msg. I opted for honey as a healthier, natural ingredient and skipped the msg and extra salt entirely. Soy sauce seasons this slow cooker teriyaki chicken perfectly and I don’t think it needs extra.
Here are more Teriyaki recipes to try
- Homemade Teriyaki Sauce (it goes on everything!)
- Easy Teriyaki Salmon
- Baked Teriyaki Chicken
- Beef Teriyaki Noodles
- Orange Teriyaki Salmon
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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger minced
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- sesame seeds for garnish if desired
- green onions for garnish if desired
- Add the chicken, garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and mirin to your slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with two forks.
- Remove the chicken and shred.
- Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan.
- In a small bowl whisk together water and cornstarch.
- Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and bring to a boil whisking constantly.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.
- Toss the shredded chicken into the sauce and stir to coat the chicken in the sauce.
- Serve immediately with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish, if desired.
Originally published April 2, 2018