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These Crock Pot chicken thighs take minutes of effort for maximum flavor! My Crock Pot makes healthy dinners a breeze, and these slow cooker chicken thighs are no exception. This time, I decided to change it up from my usual go-to method for bone-in cuts of chicken (compound butter under the skin), and opted for a sweet and savory honey garlic flavor instead.
Slow cooking makes tender meat and rich flavors, so Crock Pot chicken thigh recipes are some of my fave chicken recipes! For more ways to cook chicken thighs in the slow cooker, try creamy Crock Pot chicken and crack chicken (you can make them with either breasts or thighs), or see more ideas below.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for slow cooker chicken thighs, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken – This recipe for Crock Pot chicken thighs uses bone-in chicken thighs, which have great flavor and get a crispy skin, but you can also make it with boneless skinless chicken thighs or even chicken breasts.
- Spices & Herbs – Rub both sides of the chicken with a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. Feel free to use other dried herbs and spices of your choice.
- Olive Oil – Used for searing the skin before cooking the chicken thighs in the Crock Pot. You could also use avocado oil or another neutral heat-safe oil.
- Coconut Aminos – This is my all-time favorite soy sauce substitute, but regular or low sodium soy sauce works as well.
- Honey – I prefer sugar-free honey, but you can use regular honey if you like.
VARIATION: Make it BBQ.
If you want the tasty goodness of BBQ chicken, use the and seasonings from my Crock Pot chicken legs.
How To Make Chicken Thighs In The Crock Pot
This section shows how to make chicken thighs in a slow cooker, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Mix the spices. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, sea salt and black pepper.
- Season the chicken. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub both sides with the spice mixture.
- Sear until crispy. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sear the chicken, skin side down, until the skin is crispy. (I flipped it over in the picture below to show what it looks like, but you don’t have to.)
TIP: You can skip the searing step if you want to, but I don’t recommend it.
A quick sear makes the skin so crispy and delicious! But if you’re in a big rush, you could place the chicken directly into the slow cooker right away.
- Transfer and add the honey mixture. Place the chicken thighs in a slow cooker, skin side up. Whisk together the honey and coconut aminos in a small bowl, then pour the mixture over the chicken.
- Slow cook. Cover and cook chicken thighs in the Crock Pot, until they are very tender.
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs In The Crock Pot?
Cook time for slow cooker chicken thighs is typically 4 to 5 hours on Low or 2 to 2.5 hours on High. For best results, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of at least 170 degrees F — this is the optimal temperature for dark meats to make them juicy.
TIP: If you like, you can make a honey garlic sauce from the juices in the slow cooker!
Simply whisk about a tablespoon cornstarch, or your favorite cornstarch substitute (amount needed may vary), into the liquid at the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Store: Keep leftovers covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: You can mix the spices and sauce mixture ahead of time, and store separately in containers until ready to make. You can also cook the chicken ahead and portion in meal prep containers with your favorite side dishes for easy, healthy lunches.
- Reheat: You can reheat Crock Pot chicken thighs in the microwave, but for crispier results, it’s best to warm up this dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in a hot skillet on the stovetop. You can also use the Warm setting on your slow cooker to reheat.
- Freeze: Place in an airtight container or zip lock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What To Serve With Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
This chicken is so versatile! You can pair it with just about any side dish, but here are a few of my top choices:
- Potatoes – Serve the honey garlic chicken thighs over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes (or cauliflower mashed potatoes, pictured above!) for a comforting meal. You can also try Instant Pot baked potatoes or crispy roasted potatoes, or just arrange some diced potatoes around the chicken thighs in the slow cooker before cooking for a one-pot option.
- Roasted Vegetables – Make roasted brussels sprouts, quick roasted asparagus, or a big medley of your favorite roasted vegetables.
- Rice – Place the chicken on top of a heaping pile of rice (or cauliflower rice).
- Salad – You can’t go wrong with a simple side salad. Crock Pot chicken thigh recipes pair well with any of my healthy salad recipes, but I especially love it with butternut squash salad or beet salad in the fall months.
More Crock Pot Chicken Thigh Recipes
Want to make Crock Pot chicken thighs in a different flavor? Here are a few ways to do it:
- Teriyaki – Make my homemade teriyaki sauce and pour it over chicken thighs in the slow cooker, then cook following the recipe instructions. You can even serve them in place of the chicken pieces in a teriyaki chicken bowl!
- BBQ – To make BBQ chicken thighs in the Crock Pot, omit the other ingredients and simply coat the meat with your favorite BBQ sauce, and cook in the slow cooker. At the end, brush with more sauce and broil for a few minutes if you want to crisp up the skin.
- Garlic Butter – Rub compound butter under the chicken skin (see my oven baked chicken thighs recipe for more details on how to do this). For the skin and outside of the chicken, use the same spices below and sear the same way. Instead of the honey and coconut aminos, pour 3/4 cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the slow cooker before cooking.
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs
Crock Pot Chicken Thighs (Honey Garlic)
This Crock Pot chicken thighs recipe is juicy and tender, with crispy skin and irresistible honey garlic flavor. An easy, delicious dinner!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, sea salt and black pepper.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub both sides with the spice mixture.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken skin, side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.
Transfer the chicken to a slow cooker, skin side up.
Whisk together the honey and coconut aminos. Pour the mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours on Low or 2 to 2.5 hours on High, until the chicken is tender and reaches an internal temperature of at least 170 degrees F (77 degrees C). If you have time, spoon the juices over the chicken thighs every 45-60 minutes during cooking (this is optional).
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Serving size: 1 chicken thigh
Nutrition info is calculated with sugar-free honey, but regular also works.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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