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 2378 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. Renee says

    5 stars
    Best chicken recipes I’ve ever eaten. All the ingredients worked perfectly together.

  2. LuAnn says

    @persnicketyplates Why is it called Honey Bourbon Chicken. When there isn’t any bourbon listed in the ingredients?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Luckily I answered that above in the post 🙂

  3. Carolyn says

    Can this be made stove top? I am not physically able to handle getting a slow cooker in and out of my storage area and to the counter top.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, I would Season & lightly cook the chicken then add the sauce and let it simmer for a bit until cooked through. Or you can try my specifically stovetop version.

  4. Lisa says

    Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Definitely. I almost always do & have been meaning to change it.

  5. Paul says

    Where is the bourbon??

    • Liz says

      Paul, just because it says Bourbon, doesn’t mean it’s in the recipe. If your an experienced cook you would know that.

    • Stacy says

      Not to mention the author clearly states why it is called Bourbon. 🤦‍♀️

    • Fae says

      Stacy and Liz, No need to be snarky…some of us jump to the recipe. I rarely, if ever, read the post that comes before a recipe. More often than not it holds zero value to me. The author was not so nice either by not answering it when asked just ‘ Luckily I answered that above in the post 🙂”

      Paul, since no one saw fit to tell you, it is a recipe that possibly originated on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Except I did see fit to tell him, and everyone else that stumbles upon the recipe…in the post text.

      If you jump to recipe (which is your prerogative) & have a question, 99% of the time, the answer is held in the post above the recipe card, you just have to scroll up a bit for your answer.

      I say this without snark – I value your time and provide you answers to commonly asked questions (so you don’t have to ask me & wait for a response). I ask that you value mine & at least look for an answer in the text I provide.

  6. Lisa says

    What type of onion did you use?

  7. Gloria says

    Soy sauce is NOT on the ingredients list, but in the directions, it says to add soy sauce in the crock pot…how much soy sauce do you use? Or is that stated above as well

    • Melissa Williams says

      Soy sauce is the 4th ingredient in the list – 1 cup 🙂

    • Reader says

      Lmao learn how to read

  8. Rick Lentinello says

    Great Recipes

  9. Linda says

    Can you make this with bone in chicken? Do I need to add more time? Looks delicious.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, it will take slightly longer. Just watch out for the bones, when it’s tender & falls apart, sometimes it’s easy to lose them.

  10. Amanda says

    Hi can I use boneless thighs for this?

  11. Stephanie says

    Any way I can make this in an instant pot?

    • Melissa Williams says

      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 IP, put the thawed chicken in & coat it in the sauce. Seal & cook for 15 mins, natural release for 5 mins, then quick release. Hope that helps!

  12. Kelly says

    5 stars
    I made this substituting Sweet Baby Ray’s original BBQ sauce in place of the ketchup. It was delicious!

  13. Jodi says

    What could I substitute for the honey? I have diabetic to cook for.

    • Chanie says

      Hi, have you tried cooking it on a lower flame for longer

  14. Dee says

    Have you tried it with boneless pork chops? Thinking of making this tomorrow using chops.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I haven’t, but it should work fine!

  15. carolyn duncan says

    5 stars
    I used legs and wings cooked 3 hours, placed chicken on foiled pan thickened sauce poured over chicken and cook in oven 350 degrees until sauce jelled a little. Wonderful. Served with fried rice. A keeper recipe.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sounds excellent, thanks for reporting back!

  16. Dawn says

    2 stars
    Made for Sunday dinner but it has way to much soy sauce taste, so today I’m having leftovers and I added 4 tablespoon of honey to it but it still does not taste like honey bourbon chicken.

    Any help would be great.

  17. Silvia says

    Just call it Honey Bourbon St. Chicken….problem solved…..LOL…..sounds great, gonna try it.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Too late now but yes, hindsight in 20/20 lol

  18. Pamela says

    Where is the BOURBON in this Honey-Bourbon chicken recipe?

  19. Allison says

    Made this today! Excellent flavor. The parts of the chicken closest to the side of the crockpot were a bit dry-but towards the middle they were perfect. I made a little extra of the sauce mixture to heat and have on the side in case anyone wanted more on top once it was done. There was plenty in the bottom of the crockpot too.
    My family is super picky so I opted to make this on a night where one kid is at work-the other tried it and said it was decent. Husband said it was good and he’d like me to make it again sometime.

  20. Susan says

    I’m making the crockpot honey bourbon chicken as i’m typing this. It smells delicious. Cooking it on high. I have 30 mins left. Also making jasmine rice in my rice cooker. Can’t wait to try it. Will let us know how it turns out.

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