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This Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken is a better-than-takeout meal that takes just a few minutes to prep. It’s made with tender bites of chicken smothered in a sweet, salty, tangy teriyaki sauce.
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki
My favorite meals are slow cooker meals. Especially the ones where all you have to do is dump everything in your crockpot.
This Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken is one of those recipes. It tastes like you got it at a restaurant, but really you spent 5 minutes prepping it, then you let the slow cooker do its thing.
Just walk away and come back in a few hours to a mouthwatering home-cooked meal that the whole family will love!
- Chicken: You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs. See below for cook time adjustments depending on the cut of chicken you use.
- Teriyaki Sauce: We’re whipping up a homemade teriyaki sauce using coconut aminos, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, honey, garlic, and ginger. Coconut aminos is a gluten-free soy sauce alternative. If you’re not cooking gluten-free, feel free to use regular soy sauce instead.
- Slurry: To thicken the sauce, we’re mixing together a slurry made with arrowroot and water. Cornstarch would be the substitute!
- Garnishes: sesame seeds, cilantro, green onions, red pepper flakes.
How to Make Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
Making classic teriyaki chicken in the slow cooker is so darn simple! Just a couple minutes of hands-on time needed.
- Combine and cook: Combine the chicken and sauce ingredients in the slow cooker, then cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Add the slurry: Mix together the arrowroot starch and water. Twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time, mix half of the slurry into the sauce. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes, then check the consistency. If it still isn’t thick enough, add the rest of the slurry and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve: Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks or remove it from the crockpot and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Mix it back into the sauce, then serve and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use More Chicken?
Yes you can, but you will want to adjust your teriyaki sauce amount!
Can I Put Raw Chicken in the Slow Cooker?
Yes! The chicken can go into the slow cooker raw and will come out perfectly cooked, deliciously tender, and oh-so-juicy. No extra steps necessary.
Chicken Breasts vs. Chicken Thighs
I do both all the time! I do breasts if I want it more shredded! Note the cook time is an hour less for breasts to avoid dry chicken!
Cooking Times: Cook on high for 3 hours for chicken breasts or 4 hours for chicken thighs.
Is It Better to Slow Cook Chicken on High or Low?
While both options will cook the chicken well, it depends on how much chicken you are using and so on! I generally like low and slow!
The longer cooking time and lower heat really gives the chicken plenty of time to become fall-apart tender and delicious without drying out at all.
How to Prep This Ahead of Time
What we love about this dish is that you can prepare batches of this Chicken Teriyaki ahead of time and place in the freezer for the next time you need an easy dinner! This dinner meal prep is known as a freezer dump recipe.
It’s as easy as placing all the ingredients in a freezer bag and stashing it away until you are in need of a quick weeknight. Simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight and place everything in the crockpot to cook at dinnertime!
How to Make a Dump Freezer Dinner
So let’s talk a little bit about the concept of a “dump” dinner. A dump dinner is recipe that doesn’t really require too many steps in terms of preparation before it is cooked. Typically you just gather the ingredients, with minimal chopping, and dump them into the cooking equipment (either a slow cooker, a stock pot or an Instant Pot).
A Dump and Start meal refers to a meal that you just gather the ingredients, dump them in your pot and start cooking. A Freezer Dump Dinner is a meal that is gathered ahead of time and frozen in a bag. When you want to cook it, you defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then dump the meal in the cooking vessel when ready to cook!
For this recipe, it will work either way. Gather all off the ingredients for the Teriyaki Chicken and either prepare one (or more) batches ahead of time and freeze, or gather up all the ingredients and cook immediately in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker.
Tips and Notes for Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
- Add veggies. Feel free to give your slow cooker chicken teriyaki an extra boost of nutrition by adding in your favorite stir fry veggies.
- If you do add veggies, do so towards the end of the cooking time so that they don’t over-cook. For longer cooking veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, add them within the last hour (two hours, if frozen.) For quicker cooking veggies like peas, green beans, or peppers, add within the last 30 minutes (one hour, if frozen.)
- Spice it up. Want to kick the heat up a notch? Try adding a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a drizzle of Sriracha. Looking for ways to use your leftovers? Try adding it to lettuce wraps!
- Make It A Freezer Dump Dinner. Put all the ingredients in a freezer bag and stashing it away until you are in need of a quick weeknight. Simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight and place everything in an crockpot to cook at dinnertime!
Does Teriyaki Sauce Go On Before or After Cooking?
Before! The teriyaki sauce acts as the liquid in the crockpot and infuses the chicken with tons of flavor during the long, slow cook time. It’s a win-win!
In This recipe…
KitchenAid ® 6-Qt. Slow Cooker
Easy-read LCD display lets you choose from low, medium, high and warm settings and program up to 24 hours in 30-minute increments.
How to Store
Leftover slow cooker chicken teriyaki will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm on the stove over medium-low heat. You can also microwave smaller portions to warm them, but this may dry the chicken out slightly.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Veggie Dinner
- Crockpot Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Classic Chicken Soup
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs diced
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot
- 1 tablespoon water
- Sesame Seeds
- Green Onions
- Red Pepper Flakes
- If preparing ahead and placing in the freezer: Gather your ingredients and place everything except the arrowroot and water, in a gallon sized freezer bag and seal tightly. Storage flat in the freezer. To defrost, place in the refrigerator the night before.
- To cook: Combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours for chicken breasts or 4 hours for chicken thighs.
- Make a slurry: whisk together the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons water. Pour half of the slurry mixture into the slow cooker. Close the lid and let cook for 10 minutes. Check the sauce consistency. If it has not thickened enough add the remaining arrowroot mixture. If not thickened enough, add in the remaining slurry until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.
- Serve hot with white rice or cauliflower rice, and veggies. Garnish with desired toppings like sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and cilantro.