This tantalizing Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is cooked low and slow in a crock pot with salty-sweet teriyaki sauce until it's tender and juicy. Serve atop a bed of rice for a delicious rice bowl that's perfect for weeknight meals or meal prep!
Teriyaki chicken is a popular Japanese dish made with soy sauce, rice wine (or sake), sugar, and ginger. The ingredients are mixed together to make teriyaki sauce then the chicken is cooked in the sauce until it's tender and flavorful. It has an irresistible salty-sweet flavor that everyone loves!
While there are many ways to prepare teriyaki chicken, one of the best ways to make it is to use the slow cooker. The chicken absorbs all of the flavors from the sauce while it cooks low and slow, resulting in tender, juicy chicken packed with flavor. Plus, it's super easy dinner to make and only requires a few simple ingredients!
To serve, ladle the chicken over a bed of rice in a bowl along with some extra teriyaki sauce. You can also top the rice bowl with minced green onions, sesame seeds, or a drizzle of sriracha for an added kick!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: All you have to do is mix together the sauce ingredients, pour over the chicken, and let your slow cooker do all of the work!
- Flavorful: The teriyaki sauce adds a salty-sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with rice.
- Meal prep friendly: You can double or triple this recipe to make enough for meal prepping.
- Versatile: You can serve the chicken over rice or noodles, as tacos, in wraps, or on its own!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken Breast - This high protein cut of chicken is great for the slow cooker because it allows the sweet and salty teriyaki sauce to absorb into the meat.
- Cornstarch - Gives the chicken an outside coating to help the sauce stick.
- Soy Sauce - Adds a bold and salty umami flavor to the sauce.
- Light Brown Sugar & Honey - Gives the teriyaki sauce a deep sweet flavor while making it rich and thick.
- Rice Vinegar - Adds a tangy acidity that balances out the sweet and salty.
- Sesame Oil - Gives the sauce a toasted sesame flavor.
- Ground Ginger - Adds a hint of natural spice popular in Japanese cooking.
- Garlic - Adds a savory garlic flavor to the sauce.
How To Make Teryiaki Chicken In The Slow Cooker
Prepare the chicken: Remove any excess fat from the chicken breast and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then add to a 1-gallon freezer bag. Add cornstarch and close the bag. Shake until completely coated. Then, add to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Assemble the teriyaki sauce: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and honey to a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Then pour over the top of the chicken.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top of the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2½ - 3½ hours or LOW for 4½ - 5½ hours.
Garnish and serve: Ladle the chicken and extra sauce over a bed of rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
- When preparing the chicken, make sure you cut it into uniform pieces, so they cook evenly.
- Be sure to whisk the teriyaki sauce ingredients together well before adding them to the chicken in the slow cooker.
- The safe internal temperature for chicken breast is 165°F. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken before serving.
- If your sauce is too thin, mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water and add to the slow cooker. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. If your sauce is too thick, add ¼ cup of water and stir.
- Change the protein: Instead of chicken breast, feel free to use chicken thighs, pork tenderloin, shrimp, or tofu.
- Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, and make sure your rice vinegar is labeled as gluten-free.
- Add vegetables: Stir in some frozen vegetables like broccoli, peas, or carrots during the last hour of cooking.
- Serving suggestions: Instead of rice, serve teriyaki chicken over rice noodles, in lettuce wraps, or on its own.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, any leftover teriyaki chicken can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing: To freeze, let the chicken cool completely and store it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It will last up to three months in the freezer.
Reheating: The best way to reheat teriyaki chicken is to add it to a skillet on the stove over medium heat, occasionally stirring until it’s heated through.
No, teriyaki marinade is usually used to infuse flavor into the chicken before it’s cooked. The teriyaki sauce is added during the cooking process and creates a thicker consistency.
Yes, rice vinegar can be substituted with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
No, rinsing chicken before cooking can spread bacteria around your kitchen. Instead, use a paper towel or clean kitchen cloth to pat the chicken dry, so it’s easier for the cornstarch to stick.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
- Easy White Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream
- Easy Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie
- Honey Teriyaki Chicken
- Easy Creamy Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
- Easy Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and add to a 1-gallon freezer bag. Add cornstarch and close the bag. Shake until completely coated. Then, add to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and honey to a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Then pour over the top of the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½ - 3½ hours or low for 4½ - 5½ hours.
- Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
- It is certainly possible to include vegetables in this recipe. You can customize this dish by adding commonly used stir fry vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, bell peppers, and more. However, it's important to note that some vegetables may require later addition in the cooking process to prevent them from becoming mushy.
- To thicken a thin sauce, combine one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water and incorporate the mixture into the slow cooker. As it simmers, the sauce will thicken gradually. In contrast, if the sauce appears too thick, adding a quarter cup of water and stirring it well will help to dilute it. Remember to adjust the seasoning to taste after modifying the consistency.
- How To Store: leftover teriyaki chicken, let it cool down first and transfer it to an airtight container. Then, refrigerate the container to keep the chicken fresh for up to four days. Remember to store the leftovers within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth and ensure its safety for consumption.
- To reheat teriyaki chicken, the most effective method is to warm it up in a skillet on medium heat. Stir the chicken occasionally as it heats through to ensure even reheating.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.