Slow cooker honey garlic steak bites are an easy way to make an impressive meal everyone will love. Seared steak bites are cooked low and slow in the crockpot in a quick honey garlic sauce until fall-apart tender and full of flavor. Served over rice or noodles for a comforting meal or on a mini skewer for a game day appetizer!
Crockpot Honey Garlic Steak Bites
Those have been really popular so I figured it was time to switch up the flavor with a little sweetness! Enter honey garlic steak bites.
These seared little cubes of beef are cooked low and slow in a rich, dark, and flavorful sauce made with the perfectly balanced flavors of honey and garlic. It’s a flavor combo that everyone loves.
Other than the initial sear (which I don’t recommend skipping) it’s a dump-and-set recipe that requires minimal work. You will need to watch so that the sugars don’t burn, but otherwise, it really is an easy hands-off dinner.
We love it served with fried rice or ramen as a meal but you could also enjoy them in tacos, on top of a salad, or just over some buttered noodles. They’re also great as little toothpick appetizers!
Seriously, they turn out so melt-in-your-mouth tender that you could technically turn them into shredded beef if you wanted to.
Why you’ll love Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Steak Bites
Easy dinner – As busy parents, there’s nothing better than having a completely satisfying meal for your whole family to come home to at the end of the day.
Great flavor – Sweet, savory, garlicky, and saucy is a heavenly combo. The juicy, tender beef is amazing, and the aroma of it all is just mouth-watering.
Family favorite – Everyone loves a classic sweet and savory sauce. The little steak bites make it easier for little ones to enjoy just as much as the adults!
Versatile – As mentioned earlier, I love it on rice, but it’s a recipe that can be used for so many things like tacos, burritos, salads, etc. Good thing it makes a lot, so there’s no shortage of leftovers!
Equipment you’ll need
- Slow Cooker – This is the 6 quart slow cooker that I most often use. You can read my full review here.
- Whisk – I’ve been meaning to get a flat whisk to save space in my drawer.
- Mixing Bowls – I like that these are microwave and dishwasher safe.
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.
- Sesame Oil – This type of oil (whether toasted or regular) has a great earthy nutty flavor to it so I love using it to sear the steak bites.
- Stew Beef – This kind of beef typically comes pre-cut to bite size pieces in the grocery store. It’s usually made of chuck or round beef which is relatively inexpensive and best cooked low and slow to tenderize the fibers.
- Garlic – Can’t have honey garlic without fresh garlic. If you don’t have fresh, minced garlic that comes packed in oil will work as well (I always keep that on hand as backup).
- Honey – Or the honey! This is what gives the sauce its sweet and sticky flavor and consistency.
- Ketchup – I love using ketchup to give it a bit of acidity, without being too tomato-y. Just has a great overall flavor.
- Soy Sauce – This umami flavoring will darken the sauce quite a bit while giving it another layer of deliciousness. I recommend using low-sodium soy sauce. If you’re wanting to keep it gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos instead.
- Dried Oregano – A simple herb is all this needs as there is already so much complexity in honey garlic steak bites as is.
- Garnish – Sesame seeds and fresh parsley or scallions.
- Cornstarch – If needed to thicken the sauce to your liking.
How to make Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Steak Bites
- Step One: Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the stew beef until brown on all sides. No need to cook all the way through, just as long as we’re locking in the flavor and moisture. It will cook all the way through once in the slow cooker.
- Step Two: Add the browned steak bites to the basin of the slow cooker and pour the whisked combination of garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, and oregano overtop. Stir to combine.
- Step Three: Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or until the beef is tender. Since every slow cooker runs differently, I don’t recommend cooking it on high. Low works well to reduce the chance of the sugars burning.
- Step Four: If you notice the sauce getting too thick before the beef is tender, add 1/2 cup of water to the crockpot. If it’s too thin, then mix a cornstarch slurry of 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and stir it into the sauce.
- Step Five: Once the beef is tender and the sauce is the right consistency, serve with rice and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, parsley, or scallions if desired. Enjoy!
What to serve with Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Steak Bites
With the Asian-inspired flavors coming from the sesame oil and soy sauce, a simple side that pairs well with those plus the honey garlic flavors are plain white rice or brown rice. You can even keep it low-carb with some cauliflower rice.
You could always do a side of ramen noodles or butter noodles, or delicious garlic mashed potatoes.
You can’t forget to add some veggies to your meat and carbs like these oven roasted garlic green beans and sauteed asparagus. There’s also something about a classic creamy coleslaw that I love with sweet sauces.
If you plan to serve these as appetizers, a bunch of napkins and toothpicks should do the trick. You can also make mini skewers and add some extra honey garlic dipping sauce on the side.
Tips & Suggestions 🍯🧄
- Add some veggies! Diced carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, or onions would be great additions to this dish.
- For a bit of a shortcut, you could pour in some store-bought honey garlic sauce or teriyaki sauce instead.
- When searing the steak bites, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Leave enough room between each one so that heat isn’t transferring too closely from one piece to another creating steam. You want to brown it and give it a nice sear.
- The sesame oil definitely adds that extra element, but if you don’t have any, you can certainly use any other cooking oil. Avocado or olive oil are also great choices.
How to reheat and store leftovers
How long will crockpot honey garlic steak bites last in the fridge?
Keep them stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Can I freeze them?
These freeze very well when sealed properly in an airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure they are completely cooled first and then store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
How to reheat steak bites
You can easily dump them back into the crockpot and heat them that way. It’s especially great if you’ve made them ahead of time and plan to serve them to a crowd. Once they’re heated through, you can keep them warm until you’re ready.
You can also reheat them in a skillet on the stovetop or the microwave. If you think the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water to it while it reheats.
Can I make these slow cooker honey garlic steak bites in the Instant Pot?
Absolutely! The Instant Pot is the only other way I know that will get these bites as equally fall apart tender. Sear them first on saute mode. Then, turn off saute mode and add the remaining ingredients except for the honey. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Quickly release the pressure, stir in the honey, and season to taste.
What kind of beef can I use?
The beautiful thing about the slow cooker is that low and slow cooking tenderizes all kinds of different cuts of beef. Even the cheap cuts or pieces with loads of marbling. Round, chuck, sirloin, or stew meat are all top choices in my books.
Do I have to sear the beef first?
The honest answer is no, you don’t. The right answer is yes, you do. You really don’t want to miss the chance to get all of that extra flavor on the outside of each of those little bites. Plus, the searing process locks in moisture inside the beef.
Need more crockpot beef recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of beef recipes.