Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken – this easy chicken teriyaki is made with a just a handful of ingredients and flavors. The ginger and garlic will make your kitchen smell amazing.

Teriyaki Chicken made in slow cooker

Teriyaki Chicken EASILY MADE AT Home

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is an easy weeknight meal you’ll love, but the best part is the leftovers are amazing for lunches! Teriyaki chicken is one of our favorite dishes to order when we go out to eat, so having a quick version to make at home saves us a ton of money. Slow cooker recipes are in regular rotation in our house because of their ease and flavors. We are running around all day long and by the time everyone is home from school and settled in I simply don’t want to be cooking dinner for a long time.

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki: Easy as 1, 2, 3

First, when we make slow cooker chicken meals, I normally just set the rice cooker to make white or brown rice to serve the meal with. Easy.

Second, I either steam or roast some broccoli and carrots to go with the meal. I like to siphon off a couple of tablespoons the marinade and use it for my vegetables. So, in this case, I would add all the ingredients except the chicken to the slow cooker. Then I would take a couple tablespoons of it and add a tablespoon or two of canola oil to a bowl. Tossing the vegetables in that mixture before roasting them (375 degrees for 20-25 minutes) adds an awesome flavor.

Third, there is no standing at the stove top! This meal ends up being almost completely hands off. The slow cooker cooks the chicken, my rice cooker makes the rice and the vegetables go in the oven. how to make teriyaki chicken in slow cooker

Tips for How to Make Teriyaki Chicken IN A SLOW COOKER

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is really as easy as dumping the ingredients into the slow cooker, but I do want to go over a few things about this recipe:

  • Because there are so few ingredients, the quality really matters. I wouldn’t substitute fresh garlic and ginger for powdered. Stay away from inexpensive soy sauces.
  • Try to source mirin and sake if at all possible, I know it can be frustrating to buy ingredients you don’t normally work with, but this dish really will become a staple in your home.
  • If your chicken thighs have a large amount of fat on them, trim the chicken thighs so the fat left can render, and leave a thinner skin you’ll want to eat. Too much fat may not render, meaning you’ll end up discarding the skin.
  • I always use low sodium soy sauce as the sodium content in regular soy sauce is so high, and in cases in the slow cooker where the soy sauce will intensify in flavor and have a lot of time to cook into the meat, regular soy sauce would be too salty.
  • If you have leftovers, you can strain off the fat in the sauce and toss it with any leftover chicken to be used in an easy lunch bowl with rice and steamed vegetables.

slow cooker teriyaki chicken sprinkled with green onions

Looking for more slow cooker Chicken Recipes?

Tools Used to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki:

  1. Sake: If you absolutely can’t get your hands on this sake (or really just don’t want to order through Amazon) you can substitute white wine, but I would highly recommend not making the substitution as the flavors of sake add a signature flavor to the teriyaki chicken.
  2. Low Sodium Soy Sauce – I find regular soy sauce much too salty, remember you can always add salt but you can’t subtract it. Starting with low sodium allows you to alter to your tastes if necessary.
  3. Mirin: This is the most prominent flavor in the chicken teriyaki, I would not suggest making the recipe without it. Most Asian grocery stores will carry it for 2-3 dollars, so check local stores if you have one.
  4. Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
  5. 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.

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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken made with a handful of ingredients has amazing flavors of ginger, garlic that will make your kitchen smell amazing.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 chicken thighs bone in and skin on
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, optional


  • Add all the ingredients into a 6 quart slow cooker and arrange the chicken skin side up.
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds if desired.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1318mg | Potassium: 283mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Keyword: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken cooking in crock pot

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken made with a handful of ingredients has amazing flavors of ginger, garlic that will make your kitchen smell amazing.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken made with a handful of ingredients has amazing flavors of ginger, garlic that will make your kitchen smell amazing.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. Hi… what is sake,mirin? Not sure if I will be able to find the spices here because we live in a very small town, so is there anything else I could use instead. Hope you will be able to help me . Thank you .. SHERRY / HOPE THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HELP.

    1. If you click on the green links (sake and mirin in green writing) in the recipe card, it’ll take you to an amazon site to purchase the exact items I used that way there’s no need to run around town and find them. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Sabrina,

    I made this recipe and it was a resounding success. Absolutely delicious!

    I followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t have any sake at hand and I replaced it with tequila. The chicken was served with steamed rice and a bok choy & snow pea stir fry.

    Thank you,


    1. I try not to use boneless skinless for the slow cooker as much because it tends to dry out a bit from not being protected by a bone or skin. I know others have said they’ve used it with no issue. Just wanted to give you a fair warning before trying. Good luck!

        1. Probably on low for 5-6 hours. But if using breast meat get the bone in skin on to give a bit of extra protection to the chicken. Even if you debone the skin will help.

  3. I need to double the teriyaki chicken recipe for the slow cooker. Is there anything I should do different? Is the cooking time the same? Thank you, Flo

    1. Both are Asian cooking wines and are usually found in the spice aisle at the grocery store. I know they are also sold on Amazon if a store around you doesn’t carry it. Hope this helps!

  4. My daughter & I have a definite sensitivity to ginger— what would you suggest as an adequate replacement??

    1. There’s really no specific spice substitute for ginger; it has a very distinct flavor, but you could try a combo of ground black pepper and nutmeg. I haven’t tested it so I’m not exactly sure. Maybe adding a bit of lemon zest will give a hint of the flavor as well. Sorry I don’t have an exact recommendation for you.

  5. If I use skinless boneless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs, how many do I need & how long should they be in the slow cooker? Judi

    1. They might dry out a bit. I almost never use chicken breasts in the slow cooker but if you’re okay knowing that going into it, sure! I would suggest using a bone in, skin on breast though vs boneless.

  6. I made this last night but unfortunately didn’t quite turn out like the photos, despite not substituting any ingredients. The flavor was ok but the thighs didn’t get crisp like the photos and sauce was very thin. I was expecting it to be a little thicker. Maybe my expectation for results was different?

    1. If you had issues with the chicken or sauce being thin, it sounds like there must have been some extra liquid in the slow cooker. If the chicken isn’t completely thawed, it will add extra liquid through the cooking process. I will even go as far as patting down my chicken with a paper towel before cooking to ensure there isn’t any extra liquid on it. Hopefully this helps in the future.

    2. I made it last night and had the exact same results, the skin didn’t crisp and the sauce was like water.  The flavor was great and they crisped up around the edges, but not all over.  The thighs were not previously frozen, and I trimmed off excess fat.  I don’t know what else I could have done to alter the results, but the flavor was great.  Just don’t know if I’d make them again given the watery sauce.  I couldn’t plate it with anything else because veggies and rice would just get soaked.  

      1. There aren’t enough ingredients in the slow cooker to produce that much liquid. Unfortunately, it sounds like the chicken was pumped with a lot of saline solution. Some packages state up to 15% solution but I know others don’t even state anything 🙁 I’m glad the flavor was still great but that’s the only reason I can think of as to why it was watery.

  7. Hi; I’d like to try this recipe but is there a substitution for Sake? And I have no idea what mirin is.

    1. Yes, you could substitute Chinese rice wine for the sake. Mirin is just a sweet Japanese rice wine, it has a higher sugar content than sake and will lend a bit of acidity to the dish. If you’re unable to find it, you could substitute a dry sherry instead. Hope this helps 🙂

  8. This looks absolutely incredible! There’s something so magic about that sticky-sweet sauce that’s been allowed to slow simmer all day.

  9. I see you keep referring to “mirin” but I don’t see that listed as an ingredient in this recipe. Am I missing something?

  10. The slow cooker is such a life saver. This chicken looks so amazing – the glaze is lovely!

  11. Looks awesome, reminds me I need to get my slow cooker out more often haha! I literally love teriyaki sauce, tasty 🙂

    1. The slow cooker just makes this so much easier to enjoy at the end of a busy day! I’m not sure my slow cooker ever gets put away, haha!