Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

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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

Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
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!
4.49 from 2315 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 715 kcal


  • 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: 1gCalories: 715kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 52gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 2668mgPotassium: 1121mgFiber: 1gSugar: 78gVitamin A: 295IUVitamin C: 6.4mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 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.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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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. Matt says

    Just wondering if chunking the chicken ahead of time would help with stopping the dryness.

    • Pauline says

      Love making this dish it’s a huge hit in my household. I find cutting up the chicken into chunks saves me time and chicken doesn’t become dry

  2. Farmer Stacy says

    5 stars
    Very very tasty. I served it with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sounds like the perfect pairing. Thanks for letting me know!

    • Hawkins says

      3 stars
      I like the idea of easy simple recipes and very little ingredients. And i had all these ingredients so i decided why not. i had 2pounds of chicken breast soaked in this sauce that smells great but my chicken came out dry 😢 3hrs on low was definitely too long for my chicken. definitely will probably try thighs instead.

    • Melissa Williams says

      your slow cooker must run hot (many do) – 3 hours on LOW should not dry it out.

  3. Myka says

    It’s called bourbon chicken, but where’s the bourbon?

  4. Scott says

    This looks and sounds amazing! Just wondering if I need to make any changes to make a day or 2 ahead of time to serve quickly on one of our busy nights this week?

  5. candos says

    what does the ketchup do? I dont keep ketchup is there a replacement recommendation you have?

  6. Jennifer says

    Is there enough sauce to serve over rice or noodles?

  7. Debbie says

    5 stars
    Smells so good in my house! Thank you for your pointers about thickening. Also thank you for mentioning about not putting frozen chicken in slow cooker – after this dinner, I will not do that again….

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thanks, Debbie! I’m glad that was helpful 🙂

  8. Tessa says

    Could this be made in instant pot??

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sure. I haven’t tested it but I’d do 15 minutes on manual, then 5 min natural release (with thawed chicken).

  9. Jeanne says

    4 stars
    I give this dish 4.5 stars. It’s good but unfortunately the sauce didn’t thicken up like in the photo. I made it to the T and my chicken is dry even though it’s surrounded by all these juices.

    • Alexis says

      Try using cornstarch to thicken up any sauce e

  10. Hollie says

    Inquiring minds want to know what makes it Bourbon Chicken without a drop of bourbon in the recipe…vivid imagination or an oversight?

    • Melissa Williams says

      If only that was answered in the body of the post… 🙂

    • John says

      Which inquiring minds are those? The ones that read, or the ones that don’t?

  11. Christine says

    Where is the Bourbon in this and I was thinking Bourbon Flavoring

  12. Cindy says

    Looks good, but where is the Bourbon?

  13. Katlyn says

    What are the best sides to serve with the chicken?

  14. Sheri l Hough says

    I have this in the crockpot now. Smells delish and can’t wait to try it!

  15. Shana says

    This might be a dumb question but if I make this with 4 chicken breasts instead of 2, should I increase cook time? If so, by how much? Thanks!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Not dumb and no, cook time should stay around 4 hours on HIGH or 6 on LOW.

    • Shana says

      Thank you! That would be an increase though wouldn’t it? It says 3-4 on low or 1.5-2.5 on high in the recipe above.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yeah, sorry. I do almost all my dishes on LOW for 4-6 hours but slow cookers seem to cook quickly for many. If you have a meat thermometer, just make sure it hits 165°.

  16. Summer says

    5 stars
    This was awesome! Made last night and my family loved it!

  17. Linda says

    Where’s the bourbon in the recipe.

    • Bonnie says

      Several people have asked and she refuses to answer the question…..I’ve looked and can’t find her answer. She’s cocky…..

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi. “She” here. I’m not at all cocky, the answer is written above, in bold. It has been asked and answered many times.

  18. Lori says

    5 stars
    Melissa, Thank you for this amazing recipe! After a very hectic day at work it was really nice to come home to such a delicious meal that didn’t take a lot of work! I hate to waste food, so I had a couple chicken wings and Drumsticks, that I needed to cook. I even had a couple links of chicken sausage I needed to cook up. I threw it all in together, and this worked out better than I had ever anticipated! It really helped me cook up a lot of things I had on hand, and use them before they turned. Sauce was delish, too! Thanks again for sharing this!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I love that – thanks for letting me know, Lori!

    • Shannon says

      5 stars
      So many haters about the lack of bourbon in the recipe that I had to go read the reasoning even though I didn’t personally care 🙄. I made this for lunch on a cold day to have after we came in from working in the yard and all thought it was delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Jessica Weathers says

    Can you share the rice recipe


    5 stars
    where is the bourbon though????????

    • Andy says

      My sediment exactly. How can one call it Bourbon chicken when there is no bourbon in the recipe. Might as well be Gin Chicken.

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