This easy dinner is perfect for busy weeknights. Slow cooker chicken teriyaki is tender, flavor-packed protein that is served with colorful, al dente veggies for a complete meal.
We spent a beautiful, long weekend in northern Michigan at Torch Lake and man, being up north in far more remote areas is just good for the soul! Hikes, swimming, boating, breweries and wineries, wildlife, s’mores, and laughs – I would say my tank is full, but I’m mostly just tired! Vacationing with kids is hardly relaxing, but we all had a good time. We returned home to lots of laundry, a dog who missed us, and a busy week ahead.
I just put on our calendars all of the girls’ soccer and cheer commitments that are upcoming and all I have to say is: MERCY! I love the energy and buzz of fall, but putting a healthy meal on the table is becoming increasingly more difficult. Easy prep, easy recipes, and my slow cooker are here to stay!
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Crock Pot Fans: Hello, crock pot season! Or do you call it a slow cooker? Whatever you call it, I’m sure you love it as much as I do! Returning home for the wafting scents of a dinner made is a serious sense of triumph and one of the best ways to get dinner on the table FAST!
- No More Boring Chicken Breasts: I love boneless, skinless chicken breasts but if not prepared or seasoned well, they can certainly be….boring. Fully submerged in super flavorful homemade Teriyaki sauce, these chicken breasts are anything but boring or dry! The low and slow moist cooking in the slow cooker results in fork tender meat that the whole family will love.
- For a Crowd or For Later: This chicken freezes beautifully and reheats like a dream for the enjoyment of leftovers for meals to come.
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken: You can use fresh or frozen chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Honey: You can use brown sugar in its place. Agave or maple syrup work, as well. Feel free to use more or less, as you prefer.
- Soy Sauce: Choose a low-sodium soy sauce variety, if available. Salad dressings are high in sodium, as is, and the additional salt is not needed. Not all soy sauces are gluten-free, so do be sure to check for gluten or contamination. Coconut aminos would be a great alternative that is naturally gluten-free.
- Rice Vinegar: You can swap sherry vinegar here.
- Mirin: A sweet cooking wine, mirin is a tricky ingredient to substitute. Sake with a bit of added sugar is the closest substitute.
- Ginger: Powdered is great, but 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger is a welcome swap.
- Garlic: In lieu of garlic powder, you can use 3-4 cloves of fresh minced garlic (1 heaping tablespoon) or omit altogether.
- Sesame Oil: If you don’t have toasted sesame oil, you can use peanut oil.
- Cornstarch: Arrowroot powder, potato starch, or tapioca starch/flour are all excellent substitutes for cornstarch.
- Broccoli: Fresh broccoli crowns or bags of fresh broccoli florets are perfect here. Cauliflower is a great option to swap in for fresh broccoli, too!
- Bell Pepper: A combination of red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers makes for a beautiful presentation, however feel free to use what you have on hand.
- Onion: Sweet, yellow, white, or red onion all work. You may use more, less, or omit based on preference.
- Carb-Conscious: With under 27 grams of carbohydrate per serving, this meal is relatively low in carbohydrate and rich in protein. Protein is satisfying and offers great staying power and satiety.
- Allergen-Friendly: This recipe is naturally gluten-free (check the soy sauce) and dairy-free. It is also soy and nut-free.
What can I serve this over other than white rice?
Lots of things! Cauliflower rice or quinoa are great options to serve the chicken and veggies over. Both are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and lower in carbohydrate than rice. Brown rice, wild rice, or jasmine rice are other great options.
Can this recipe be made in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Follow the same chicken prep steps, pressure cooking for 8 minutes on HIGH. Perform a quick release. Continue with the remaining directions as written.
What veggies other than broccoli, onion, and bell pepper can be used?
If you prefer to switch it up and use more of a stir-fried veggies combination, snap peas, water chestnuts, and carrots would be fun substitutions. Use your favorite veggies and make this a recipe your family will love!
Can I use a prepared teriyaki instead of making my own?
Certainly! Look for a product that is a bit lower in sodium. About 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups should work well. You can use about 60-70% teriyaki marinade and chicken broth or pineapple juice to make up the difference in volume, too.
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- Don’t skip the step of whisking together the cornstarch and water to make the cornstarch slurry. Adding the cornstarch directly to the sauce will result in lumps of cornstarch.
- Top with sesame seeds for an extra pop of color and texture.
- If you prefer to leave the chicken in smaller pieces versus shredded chicken, that works great!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/3 cup honey
- ¾ cup low-sodium soy sauce*
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- ¼ cup mirin
- ½ tsp powdered ginger
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp cold water
- 12 oz broccoli florets
- 3 bell peppers, diced or sliced
- 1 onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Combine honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and sesame oil in the slow cooker; whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8-9 hours.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred between two forks. Transfer the reserved liquid to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Pour into the simmering sauce and whisk; cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
- Meanwhile, place the broccoli florets in a casserole dish covered with a lid or vented plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Remove from the microwave and add the bell pepper and onion; microwave an additional 3 minutes.
- Transfer the microwaved veggies to the empty slow cooker and pour half of the sauce over the top; toss to coat. Pour the sauce over the shredded chicken and toss to coat.
- Serve the chicken and veggies topped with sliced green onions. Serve over rice**, if desired.
*use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos to make gluten-free
**not accounted for in nutrition information
Recipe adapted from Joy Food Sunshine
Looking for more slow cooker recipe gems?
- Slow Cooker Greek Chicken with Tzatziki
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- Shredded Chicken Slow Cooker Tacos
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- Easy Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
- Slow Cooker Summer Chili
- Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Quinoa
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