Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken made with just five ingredients, you can set it in minutes and have the perfect weeknight meal!

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken made with just five ingredients, you can set it in the morning in just minutes and have the perfect weeknight meal!

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is the slow cooker chicken version of one of the most popular recipes on my blog of all time, Brown Sugar Garlic Pork with Carrots & Potatoes.

Or if you’re looking for a slow cooker pork version of this recipe (minus the veggies and plus some bacon) here it is! Slow Cooker Bacon Garlic Pork Loin

Some notes about this Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken:

  • Yes, you can absolutely make this meal in the oven. Set it on a sheet pan just like you would in the slow cooker and roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (you may want to use foil).
  • Want some spice? Add in crushed red pepper or a squirt of Sriracha.
  • If you want an even deeper caramel flavor, try dark brown sugar.
  • Do not add any liquid! I know it can be scary to cook dry in a slow cooker, the chicken will release a lot of liquids.
  • Serve with rice or potato wedges and roasted vegetables.

We LOVE this Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken, we've made it twice this week!

You can also swap out different cuts of chicken in the slow cooker.

  • Try using Chicken Breasts (brownie points for draping bacon on them to keep the chicken moist).
  • Double the topping and toss chicken wings with the same topping and cook for 6 hours on low.
  • Try rubbing a double topping amount over an entire chicken propped up on some foil balls to keep the chicken out of liquid.

Looking for more slow cooker chicken recipes?

5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is AMAZING and EASY!

Looking for more awesome Brown Sugar Garlic Recipes?

Tools Used in the making of these Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Thighs:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. For larger roasts I also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.

Recipe

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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

4.98 from 247 votes
  • Yield: 5 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken made with just five ingredients, you can set it in the morning in just minutes and have the perfect weeknight meal!

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar packed

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the chicken, salt, pepper and garlic to the slow cooker.
  2. Mix it up then flip the chicken skin side up.
  3. Sprinkle on the brown sugar.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 5 Servings, Amount per serving: 308 calories, Calories: 308g, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 110mg, Sodium: 324mg, Potassium: 263mg, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 90g, Vitamin C: 1g, Calcium: 27g, Iron: 0.9g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken made with just five ingredients, you can set it in the morning in just minutes and have the perfect weeknight meal!
Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken made with just five ingredients, you can set it in the morning in just minutes and have the perfect weeknight meal!
We LOVE this Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken, we've made it twice this week!
5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken is AMAZING and EASY!

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Comments

  1. I used tenderloins and they cook way faster! I’d say 2 2 1/2 hours on high. I added some butter to keep it moist. Then broiled in the oven for browned look. Still was overdone and dry. But flavors were good

  2. So delicious and so easy! Used boneless/skinless thighs. I’ve been disappointed with many slow cooker recipes I’ve tried, but not this one. New favorite right here! Great tip about adding red pepper flakes for a little spice.

  3. Fantastic recipe!! It sprung a ton of liquid and was very juicy and full of flavor. It goes very well with scallop potatoes. I found that the low temperature at eight hours was perfect. I wonder if there is a way to make this with a whole chicken? How would that work?

    1. It should be completely thawed. I even pat it down with paper towels before putting it in the slow cooker to get rid of any excess moisture. Enjoy!

  4. As it turned out, I purchased boneless/skinless thighs this time. I doubled the recipe as my slow cooker is large and I had a family pack of thighs. **Do I need to adjust the cooking time due to no skin on the meat? It’s cooking now on high for 4 hours.
    BTW, I’ve made this recipe multiple times in the past and shared with many people. We all agree .. it’s awesome!

    1. I’d keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t dry out since it’s not protected by skin or bone. I’m so glad you enjoy the recipe so much.

  5. The brown sugar garlic chicken- you said slow cooker, can I make this in a crock pot ? & if so for how long. done in oven-how long & temp, Thank-you for sharing your recipes. Can you come over & show me how to do some of these recipes ???

  6. I followed the recipe, used the exact amount of ingredients and my chicken did not look like the picture at all. The picture had a dark brown saucy look and mine looks like chicken broth

    1. The chicken will release liquid as it cooks down. If you add liquid, the chicken will steam vs having a crisp on it. I hope you decide to give it a try.

  7. Hello I tried this recipe and it tasted wonderfully, but my chicken was not nearly as dark as yours externally. Did you “toast” before hand? or add anything else to get that color?

    1. You can always place it under the broiler for a bit before serving to get it darker. Just make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Enjoy!

  8. Well I have to say that was amazing! Glad I didn’t read the reviews till after I made it! I did 6 chicken thighs with the ingredients suggested above and cooked on high for 3 hours, then did an hour and a half on low. I made mash potatoes, carrots and peas to go with it. After removing the chicken from the slow cooker I added some chicken gravy granules to it and poured it over the meal. It was so good. Everyone said how delicious it was. I’m thrilled because it was so easy to make. Can’t understand how it ruined for others? Their cookers must be hotter than mine or they just cooked it for too long maybe?

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes with us ??

  9. I made it once before in the oven and it’s amazing. I am currently waiting for it to cook in the Crockpot. I am not sure if I should flip the chicken or not as even with three hours left it looks cooked at the bottom but not cooked at the top.

  10. In the picture of slow cooker chicken garlic brown sugar there are green flecks of some kind of herb that is not included in the 5 ingredients listed.

    1. I just added a sprinkle of parsley at the end for presentation (and mainly photos). It’s not really needed for the recipe so I didn’t include it.

  11. I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs, but I made this recipe, just as stated, and now I’m hooked! I’ve made if four times for family and friends, and they all think I can cook now!!!

  12. It says not to add liquid and I followed all of the measurements and cook time and my chicken was BLACK on the bottom and completely dry. The meal wasn’t even edible. Wasted perfectly good chicken. Super upset ?

  13. Hi, I am so excited to make this recipe this week, but I was wondering, do you have any suggestions of how to add rice to the recipe? I would love to put rice in to cook in all of the juices..

    1. I’ve not tested it that way before so I’m not comfortable giving a recommendation. You might just want to cook the rice on the side and combine otherwise cooking the chicken in liquid will not allow the chicken to crisp up.

  14. The recipe calls out that you can make this with breasts, but it doesn’t seem like anyone who has tried it can get it right – myself included. I tried today with 6 chicken breasts – I seasoned them and wrapped them with bacon, then sprinkled them with about half a cup of brown sugar since some comments said it helped.

    I saw a review where someone said it tasted like boiled chicken and that’s exactly right. The breasts let off moisture as they cook and all of the seasoning and flavor goes straight into that moisture: you’re effectively just boiling the chicken in lightly flavored chicken broth for 6 hours.

    The breasts were bland and dry, even after the precautions I took and cooking them for only about 5 hours. I ended up “saving” them by unwrapping (and throwing away) the bacon, searing the breasts in a pan for a few minutes, then making a brown-sugar garlic sauce and simmering the breasts in it for another 10-15 minutes. Then they were delicious, though they were a bit chewy from overcooking (unavoidable).

    If you’re taking the risk of making this with breasts, definitely have a backup plan in place.

  15. Okay, what the heck is up with these negative reviews?? I was so hesitant to make this because of them but I’m so glad I gave it a shot. Admittedly, I used brown sugar and honey because we ran out of sugar, I used a pat of butter to help hopefully ward off any dryness and I wrapped each bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh in thick-cut bacon. I cooked on low for 6 hours and this was *phenomenal*. Highly recommend. Smokey sweet garlicky goodness!

  16. This was delicious. I’m on KetoDiet and used brown sugar Splenda as substitute. This will be a staple in my family’s weekly menu. Yum!

  17. I had to use 2 large chicken breasts because that’s all I could find, so I hope this works out ok….will let you know once it’s done!

    1. After reading all the comments I was stressed about having used chicken breasts. The chicken was a bit dry, but it was good. I cooked it on low for 6.5 hours instead of 8, and added a bit of extra brown sugar. Probably another 1/3 of a cup. It came out tasting really great. I think will a bit less cooking time it would be great.

  18. Will not be making this again in the slow cooker. All you taste is chicken grease, even adding more brown sugar. Total disappointment. Tried to add this comment and it says I’ve already added when I haven’t made this recipe before ODD

  19. Delicious! I used 15 chicken tenderloins and to compensate for the potential dryness I went ahead and added 1/2 stick of butter and it turned out great! Thank you Chef Sabrina for your simple and delicious recipe ideas.

  20. This chicken was phenomenal ?? I used 4 thick chicken cutlets and also wrapped the chicken with thick cut hickory smoked bacon. I recommend wrapping it in bacon so the fat keeps the chicken from drying out. Let me tell you it was nice and juicy ? I alternated from low to high for 7.5 hours and halfway through cooking time I added pepper flakes and more brown sugar. I used the correct amount of fresh minced garlic but added just a dash of garlic powder into the liquid provided by the bacon halfway through. If you try the recipe definitely use the bacon if you make this given other reviewers said their chicken was dried out( the publisher also recommended it in one of the paragraphs above) I also paired the chicken with tiny purple seasoned potatoes, cheesey rice and dinner rolls it was absolutely delicious and I’ll be making this on the regular!!!

    1. What liquid did you use? Recipe doesn’t say. But I’m sure you need a liquid when cooking in slow cooker. I’d love to make today.

      1. Nothing additional added from the recipe card. The chicken will release liquid as it cooks down in the slow cooker. Enjoy!

  21. I’m new to cooking and would like to make this but I’m unsure if I should buy frozen chicken or the chicken in the refrigerator section. Which did you use? Thank you!

    1. Fresh would be better because if you buy frozen, you’ll have to thaw it before placing it in the slow cooker anyway. It’ll save you a step. Enjoy!

  22. I see liquid in the picture. I don’t see chicken broth listed in the ingredients. Is it missing from the ingredients by chance? I also see parsley in the picture. Are all the ingredients listed?

    1. The chicken will release liquid as it cooks down. No need to add any additional ingredients other than what’s listed in the recipe card.

  23. I followed the recipe exactly, using boneless skinless chicken thighs (not specified in recipe if skin on/off or bone in/out). I cooked on high for 4.5 hours and they were cooked through, I’m glad I did not leave it in for the 8 hours suggested in the recipe! The liquid was fatty and tasted faintly garlicky, not much sweetness. I’m not sure where I went wrong, I was hoping for greatness!

  24. Delicious! It was so easy to make, too. I used the oven instructions, and baked it at 400 for about 25 minutes. First, coated with the salt and pepper, then rolled it around in the garlic. I then placed it on the baking sheet (with foil) and sprinkled half of the brown sugar on top. Halfway through, I flipped and then topped the rest of the sugar on. My husband loved it, and my son asked for thirds (he’s 5). Thank you! We will definitely be making this again.

        1. No, don’t add any additional ingredients other than what’s listed in the recipe card. The chicken will cook down and release liquid. Enjoy!

  25. Can this be made with boneless chicken thighs? If so are there any adjustments? Could not tell from ingredients if it should be boneless or not. Thank you!

  26. This is a wonderful recipe! I usually use chicken breasts instead of thighs. While they are tasty, mine seem to turn out a little dry. I don’t add bacon because my husband has dietary restrictions. Do you have any other suggestions to keep them more moist?

    I have made this several times and it is delicious each time!

  27. I had to triple the recipe for a larger gathering and halfway into finishing noticed that the liquid was very runny from the large amount of chicken. One of my family members suggested I pour the liquid from the crockpot into a skillet and cook it on the stove while stirring cornstarch to help thicken it. Although the sauce still looked too runny, it certainly made a difference! I added more seasoning to the chicken, poured the sauce back into the crockpot and allowed the chicken to cook in the sauce for about 10 extra mins. We DEVOURED our dinner tonight! I will definitely be using this again in the future!

  28. We make this regularly but add lots of sriracha. It does not work for me with breasts, only thighs come out tender.

  29. I made this last night. It was delicious. I used boneless skinless thighs because that’s all I had. The chicken actually got a little caramelized. I did cut the cooking time from 8 hours on low setting to 6 and it came out perfect. Hubby said I could make this as many times as I wanted. Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Great flavours together! I made this with quarter legs and added a can of chicken broth because I was afraid of it going dry….but It was delicious! It didn’t brown as I wanted it too and that’s probably because I had too much liquid in there including the chickens liquid. After it cooked I had taken the chicken out and pulled them apart into shreds and missed it in with a few table spoons of its broth. I ate it with salad because I wanted it to be like one of those salad bowls from Chipotle. Was so tender and juicy! Thanks for sharing

  31. Looks like a watery mess. Followed the recipe to a tee. Used chicken wings, doubled the ingredients as suggested

    1. Oh bummer! Was your chicken completely thawed before adding them to the slow cooker? I’m wondering if that created the watery portion.

  32. Hi, I see you said this will work roasted in the oven. Would you recommend putting any oil or something on the chicken if using the oven? Or still cooking them dry?

  33. Wasted 4 thighs and 2 breasts making this. I knew it needed a liquid element in a crockpot to keep from drying out but decided to just follow the recipe. Big mistake. After 4 hours on high, I pretty much had jerky…even the thighs were completely dried out…bone in and skin on and that’s tough to do. This chicken died in vein.

  34. My family loves this. I have a similar recipe but you have to cook it in the oven, I live in south Florida, so not a good idea in the summer! When I found this recipe I did a fist pump and have been using it since. Thank you Sabrina!

    1. I really want to try this recipe but am concerned that the skin on the thighs will remain fatty and rubbery. Can anyone address this? Thank you.

  35. I made this using chicken breasts and my family loved it! Even my picky eater!!! I honestly was surprised because I wasn’t sure how brown sugar and garlic would go together but it turns out the go great together!

  36. I tried this recipe using chicken breasts and keep everything else the same. This recipe ended up smelling like flavorless, swimming in water boiled chicken after 2 hours. It is really lacking in any flavor and the garlic doesn’t blend well with the taste of the brown sugar. I wasted nearly 2lbs of meat on this recipe. ?

    1. To Highly disappointed …. maybe you used too much chicken and I am not sure if you are saying you boiled the chicken or not but I made this with chicken breasts (3 or 4 large breasts) cooked it on high for part of the time then turned it down to low. My family loved it! Even my daughter who is super picky and hardly ever eats meat! Maybe give it another shot with less chicken ????

    2. I’ve been using this recipe for a while now. Had to find it again online because I’m making it for my sister tomorrow. Kids and adults alike love when I make this! I highly recommend boneless skinless thighs over breasts in this recipe, the breasts come out a little tough every time I try this on them. Thank you!!