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If you love bourbon chicken from the food court at the mall, you’ll love this version of Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken that’s made right in your slow cooker!

sliced honey bourbon chicken on a plate with rice and zucchini.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken

Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

One of my favorite things about cooking, and I’ve said this before, is having leftovers. Today, however, there was no chicken left and none of the M&M cookies.

I hate when that happens. But, it is a good indicator of how good these dishes are.

I’ve made bourbon chicken before but I really liked this crock pot rendition. This version tastes less like the food court dish but it is simple and very good. I forgot how much I’ve missed my crock pot the last few months.

honey bourbon chicken sliced on a plate next to brown rice.

Why it’s called Bourbon Chicken

Fun Fact: There’s no bourbon in this recipe, which many of you have pointed out to me (mostly rudely). The name Bourbon Chicken comes from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, which it’s named after.

If it makes you happy, throw in some bourbon.

crockpot bourbon chicken sliced on a plate with brown rice and roasted zucchini.

When I was in college, I used to stop at the mall that was across the street and have lunch. My favorite restaurant in the food court was one called Bourbon Street Grill. They had the best bourbon chicken.

I used to get the chicken with potatoes and rice. #carbsoncarbs

This slow cooker version makes a lot of “sauce” which is perfect for spooning over rice or potatoes or whatever you’re serving with the chicken.

Bourbon Chicken Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Chicken – I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also use thighs or tenders.
  • Salt & Pepper – The essentials.
  • Honey
  • Soy Sauce – I like to use low sodium.
  • Ketchup
  • Oil – I usually use vegetable oil but you could use olive oil or canola oil.
  • Garlic – Use two cloves or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
  • Onion – I usually use a yellow or white onion.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Red pepper flakes help to balance the sweetness of the honey and give the chicken a tiny kick. You can skip it if you want.

How to thicken up the sauce

It will be a thin sauce but you can make a cornstarch slurry (2 parts cold water with 1 part cornstarch) and whisk it in to thicken it up. I personally prefer it thin to spoon over my rice and veggies, but I’ve had many commenters say they’d like it thicker.

How to store leftovers

Leftovers should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top. Or, if you have enough, you can put it back in the slow cooker to heat through.

overhead shot of bourbon chicken, brown rice, and zucchini on a dinner plate.

Do you call it a slow cooker or a crock pot? I asked on Facebook and it seems most people call it a Crock Pot but that’s a brand.

Like calling tissue Kleenex.

Or inline skates Roller Blades (do people still do that?? ha).

Whatever you call it, it’s good. & really easy. I served it with brown rice and roasted zucchini.


collage of photos of bourbon chicken with text reading "slow cooker honey bourbon chicken".

Can you put frozen chicken in the Crock Pot?

This is a common question I get, but the safest, best answer is no, you shouldn’t put frozen chicken in the slow cooker.

Because of the amount of time it takes a slow cooker to get meat up to a safe temperature (it’s a slow cooker, after all), bacteria could contaminate the chicken.

Meat should already be thawed when you place it in the crock pot. Ideally, you’d thaw the chicken in the fridge the night before.

That said, I have used frozen chicken in a pinch and lived to tell the tale, but now that I know better, I don’t.

Can I make it in the Instant Pot?

I haven’t tested in the IP, I’m more of a slow cooker girl lol, but I’d whisk up the sauce in the instant pot, put the thawed chicken in & coat it in the sauce. Seal & cook for 15 mins, natural release for 5 mins, then quick release.

Tools to make Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

  • My slow cooker of choice – I love that you can set the cook time then it automatically switches over to “warm” after the cook time.
  • Time-saving minced garlic – I always keep minced garlic packed in oil in my fridge.
  • A whisk if you’re going to make that slurry I talked about above.

Need more crock pot chicken ideas? Try these:

Click here to view my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

Watch how easy this Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken is to make:


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How to make Bourbon Chicken

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken | Persnickety Plates
4.49 from 2454 votes

Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
If you love bourbon chicken from the food court at the mall, you’ll love this version of Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken that’s made right in your slow cooker!


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Trim your chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt & pepper and place them in your slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl, add the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1½ to 2½ hours.
  • When done, remove chicken from crock pot and cut into chunks.



Adapted from Table for Two


Serving: 1g | Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 2668mg | Potassium: 1121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 78g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2.6mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!
Bourbon Chicken just like from the food court! | Persnickety Plates

Or maybe you’d like…
Bourbon Chicken with Roasted Potatoes (a non-slow cooker version)

Roasted Zucchini to go with it

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  1. Honestly, I scrolled back several times & didn’t find the “answered above” reply when someone asked where is the bourbon in the recipe? A recipe shoul be easy to follow. We are all busy-please help by posting the asked for information in an easy format. Thank you!

    1. Agreed, we are all busy, which is why I took the time to answer commonly asked questions above so you don’t have to ask & I don’t have to repeatedly answer. The recipe is easy to follow, as is the text 🙂

    2. I agree with just answering the question in regards to where is the bourbon in this recipe. I too ha e scrolled through the comments and cannot locate the answer either.

  2. I can definitely understand why this is your most popular dish! I made it last night for supper and it was AMAZING! I put extra red pepper flakes in it and I can say this was a mistake. LOL. it was VERY hot. So I will definitely scale that back the next time. But it was soooooo good!

  3. every Recipe for bourbon chicken I have ever seen say Cajun seasoning instead of red pepperflakes. I will be trying this out. I understand the asian influence of soy sauce. (I always use a Teriaki marande and Marinade the chicken the night beofre. IT might be an option you may want to try.

  4. 4 stars
    I loved the taste! I am trying to get used to some spice (pepper is spicy to me) and this was absolutely delicious. Not too spicy, not too sweet. My family loved it. It sat in the sauce for about 5 hours in the fridge before I put it on. My only question is – how do you keep the chicken moist? I would think that the chicken would be moist because it had been in the sauce all day, but it came out dry. I cooked it for 3 hours. Any ideas?

    1. Did you do 3 hours on high? Every slow cooker runs so differently (& most run hot these days) so I recommend cooking on low and you may need less time, just check the internal temp. I’m glad you like it though!

  5. 5 stars
    This looks DELICIOUS! I’m going to try this and I know I will love it! I love how you answered under, “Why it’s called Burbon Chicken.”

    I will be trying this wonderful recipe very soon. And, I’m giving it 5 stars now, because I KNOW it’s going to be over the top delcious!

    I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with nitwits who can’t read, or don’t take the time to read thoroughly, before attacking you for not mentioning where the burbon is! It’s so funny, becasue you were very clear about the burton question above. Clearly, some folks don’t take the time to actually READ.

    Thumbs up! I’m printing this recipe out. Thank you very much for sharing it with us. Yum, yum!!!


  6. I am excited to try this. It sounds super simple and yummy! And I love that the ingredients are things one would have on-hand.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this and the family loved it. The only thing I did differently was swap out 1/2c of soy sauce for bourbon. Soooo amazing with a hint of smokiness. Adding to our meal selection.

    1. Definitely. I would cube & cook the chicken on the stovetop in a large skillet then whisk together the sauce ingredients, pour it over the cooked chicken, and let it simmer for a bit until it thickens 🙂