This bold and tasty slow cooker teriyaki chicken is made effortlessly in your slow cooker with just a handful of ingredients. It's a must-make recipe that please even the pickiest eaters will love! And it's the kind of carefree dinner that you want around all year— especially for those busy week nights.
This inspiration for this teriyaki chicken comes from my verde chicken chili— one of the most popular dinner recipes on the website. I know, it's my favorite too! Today's recipe is just as simple and leftovers hit the spot.
Tell Me About This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Flavor: Garlic! Honey! Sesame! There's lots of flavor in each forkful. The teriyaki sauce is immensely flavorful and there's plenty of extra for the rice and vegetables.
- Ease: Though you need to pre-cook the teriyaki sauce, it’s straightforward. I’d label this as an easy dinner recipe.
- Time: Set aside 10 minutes to make the teriyaki sauce. Other than that, it's just tossing the chicken in the slow cooker, pouring the sauce on top and adding the chopped onion. It will cook for 4-7 hours depending on whether you cook it on low or high.
Teriyaki Chicken— Better Than Takeout!
- Completely from scratch teriyaki sauce
- It's a set and forget recipe
- Bold flavors
- Serve it over your favorite rice with vegetables
- The best for leftovers
- No refined sugar in the teriyaki sauce
Overview of Key Ingredients
- Chicken: We usually use chicken breasts, but you could use your favorite. Just make sure that there's about 1.5lbs total.
- Honey: Using honey helps sweeten the sauce. Though most teriyaki recipes include brown sugar, I prefer honey for flavor. *When I make this and my daughter eats it, I use agave or brown sugar instead.
- Sesame Oil: Adding just a touch of sesame oil
- Soy Sauce: You can use either regular or low sodium soy sauce. I prefer to use lower sodium.
- Garlic: Lotssss of garlic. The more the better (at least for me!)
- Ginger: Using fresh ginger makes a HUGE difference, though dried ginger can work in a pinch.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Just a touch of vinegar helps balance out the flavors.
- Onion: Adding chopped onion adds a bit more flavor.
- Sesame Seeds: These help add a bit more texture.
- Cornstarch + Water: We need a little slurry to help thicken the teriyaki sauce.
How Do You Make Teriyaki Chicken
This recipe requires minimal work. The teriyaki sauce does need to be cooked in advance but it takes about 10 minutes— it can be made up to 2 days prior or right before everything goes into the slow cooker.
- Make the teriyaki sauce
- Add the chicken and chopped onion
- Pour the teriyaki sauce over top of the chicken
- Cook— 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low
Easy Teriyaki Sauce
This teriyaki sauce is full of fresh flavor and you only need a few pantry staples like honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Plus, a little cornstarch slurry to thicken it up.
What I love most about making this teriyaki sauce was that it's customizable— you control the ingredients and sodium. Want to spice it up a bit? Add some red pepper flakes. Want more garlic and ginger? Add more of it!
What To Serve With Teriyaki Chicken
Keep things simple— you want want the teriyaki chicken to stand out. Here's what I recommend serving with teriyaki chicken:
- steamed vegetables
- cauliflower rice
The combination of flavors within the teriyaki sauce is music to everyone’s taste buds— but you know what’s even better than that? We have a dinner super simple dinner recipe at your fingertips that you can make anytime of the year.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 cup onion, chopped (about 1 small onion)
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5lbs)
- optional for garnish: sesame seeds, sliced green onion, etc.
- Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until combined, then pour into a medium saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds. Allow to simmer, whisking occasionally. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
- Place the chopped onion and chicken into a 4 quart or larger slow cooker— here's the one that I own and love. Pour the teriyaki sauce on top and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and, using 2 forks, shred into smaller pieces. Place the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook for 15-30 minutes more.
- Serve over rice with steam vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions, if desired. Store leftovers in a large tupperware in the refrigerator for up to a week
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The teriyaki sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator in a tupperware container or freeze for up to 3 months. Cooked chicken and sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat as desired.
- Soy Sauce: Like most of my recipes, I prefer to use low sodium soy sauce.