Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Recipe By Tessa Arias
July 15th, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken is ridiculously tender, tasty, simple, and cheap and surely better than your local takeout joint.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 4 hours

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The vinegar, soy sauce, and red pepper offset the sweetness of the honey so you’re left with a nice balance of flavors.
Texture: The chicken is incredibly tender and moist and every bite is coated in that luscious sauce.
Ease: Super duper easy and perfect for a weeknight meal.
Appearance: The sesame seed and green onion garnish make this look like a restaurant dish.
Pros: Easy, simple, cheap, and delicious.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken is ridiculously tender, tasty, simple, and cheap and surely better than your local takeout joint.
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken from Handle the Heat

I could troll the internet ALL DAY for hilarious videos, memes, gifs, and other internet gems. But the worst part in doing so is when you realize you’ve seen everything, you get to that impossible point where you feel as though you’ve reached the end of the internet and nothing will ever make you laugh again. So you take a break for a couple of days and BAM, the people of the internet have produced more comedic gold for you to enjoy. Thanks, guys. You all keep me joyously entertained. It’s been a while since I went on the hunt for online funnies so I have a question to ask of you:

what has been the funniest thing you’ve seen online recently?

Let me know!!

This recipe for Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken has certainly made a name for itself among food blogs. I’ve seen the recipe several times and have always wondered if it could be as tasty and easy as everyone says it is. I’m here to report to you that the rumors are true… this recipe is outstanding! And I’ve made a few changes to make it a little less indulgent and a little more appropriate for a family favorite weeknight meal.

How to make
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken is ridiculously tender, tasty, simple, and cheap and surely better than your local takeout joint.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish


  1. Season both sides of the chicken with lightly with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, onion, tomato sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  3. Remove the chicken from slow cooker, leaving the sauce. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/3 cup of water and pour into the slow cooker. Add in the sesame oil. Stir to combine with the sauce. Replace the lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces, then return to the pot and toss with the sauce before serving. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallions and serve over rice or noodles.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Baby Center
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Paul Boucher — April 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    GREAT find! It was the kids and I tonight, so dad got to put on the chef hat and daughter helped make this. Outstanding taste, nice but of heat. Loved by all.

    • #
      Tessa — April 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Fantastic Paul! So glad you and the kids enjoyed ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. #
    Amy — August 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    This is a delicious meal! It was so easy too.

    Wondering what your thoughts are on turning this into a freezer meal. Would you suggest freezing the mixture before cooking (except for the thickening part) or after?

  3. #
    Jennifer — January 9, 2014 at 7:30 am

    I made this yesterday using chicken breasts instead of thighs just because that’s what i had on hand. It was delicious! I was feeding 7 people, so i increased everything by 50%. Right before I was ready to serve it, I sauteed 2 giant heads of broccoli til just tender-crisp, then mixed it all together and topped with the sesame seeds and scallions.

    It’s hard to find recipes that the adults and all 5 kids ages 2 to 24 ALL LIKE. But everyone loved this! Will definitely use the thighs next time.

  4. #
    Jillian — December 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

    How do you get the sauce to thicken? My sauce was quite runny even after following the recipe to a T. I probably needed more cornstarch but was too hungry to try to thicken it some more!

  5. #
    Tami — November 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Tessa – Made this dish for dinner tonite. It is excellent!

    • #
      Tessa — November 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. #
    Catherine — November 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Can’t wait to try this recipe out! Hope my kids will like it too.

    This is the funniest thing I have seen recently:

  7. #
    Jenna — November 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    What do you mean by ‘replace the lid’?

  8. #
    Samantha — August 29, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Do you think that I could substitute chicken breasts for thighs? Chicken breasts are massively on sale at my grocery store this week and I’d love to make this!

    • #
      Tessa — August 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm


  9. #
    Amy Peden — August 3, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Could this possibly be a freezer meal?

  10. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — July 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

    This sounds delicious! My crock pot has been on serious hiatus, but I think it needs to be brought out for this! Pinned.

  11. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — July 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I love honey sesame chicken! I need to dig out my crock pot and give this a try!

  12. #
    Don Birdsall — July 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I made this exactly as described with no tweaks or substitutions. I had all of the ingredients on hand except the sesame oil and of course the main ingredient chicken thighs. After quick trip to the supermarket I was ready to cook! Actually, not much cooking skill is involved. Chop some onion and throw most of the ingredients into a crock pot.

    I cheated a little on the rice. I bought some “heat and serve” Jasmine rice. It saves another pot to clean.

    The result was excellent. The balance of flavors is brilliant. If I bought this in a restaurant I would b e complimenting the chef.

    Keep up the good work! This is a five star recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — July 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      I’m so thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for the comment.

  13. #
    ashley – baker by nature — July 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Um YUM! I want to eat this all.

  14. #
    Kiran @ — July 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I really need a slow cooker in my life!! This looks amazingly delish!

  15. #
    Jennifer — July 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Great recipe!

    And response to your request for funny videos, I sure hope you’ve seen “Odin Eating Like a Person”

    • #
      Tessa — July 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      Oh my god that is so weird! The guy laughing is the best part!

  16. #
    Lauren — July 15, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I love the blog “what should we call me”. It has daily posts that I watch at work and laugh out loud only to remember I am at work. I love your recipe – I will probably try it and put it over some of my sesame soba noodles!

    • #
      Tessa — July 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks for sharing – I’m loving that blog!

  17. #
    Tieghan — July 15, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I love honey sesame chicken. What a great recipe and perfect for summer parties!

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