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Slow Cooker Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches are an easy, spicy dinner idea made right in the crock pot. Pulled chicken cooked in a hot honey sauce and then piled onto your favorite bun. The perfect slow cooker meal for any time of year!

hot honey shredded chicken sandwich on a brioche bun topped with pickles.

Crockpot Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches

I’m always on the lookout for a new chicken recipe to make in the slow cooker. They’re easy, delicious, and the whole family generally likes them.

I make bbq chicken sandwiches, buffalo chicken sandwiches, and now hot honey chicken sandwiches.

You can easily adjust the amount of heat to suit your family. I still have little kids who think even black pepper is spicy so we save this one for the adults, but if your kids are a bit more adventurous, you’ll be just fine.

The tangy sauce is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet. I like to load up a brioche bun (my favorite) with the cooked chicken, some pickles, and serve with a side of french fries and some fresh fruit.

It is the perfect meal for a BBQ or summer get-together.

Why you’ll love this hot honey chicken

  • Quick and easy – This one only takes 5 minutes of prep and can be done in as soon as 2 hours.
  • Some like it hot – If you’re into spice, you’re going to like this one, but it’s easy to adjust to your family’s liking.
  • Great for a crowd – Because you’re piling the shredded chicken onto sandwiches, it is great to feed a crowd. You can easily feed 6-8 with this recipe.
spoon lifting a scoop of shredded hot honey chicken from a slow cooker.

Tools you’ll need

  • Slow Cooker – this is my slow cooker of choice, you’ll need at least a 6 quart for this recipe.
  • Meat Claws – you can use forks to shred the chicken or get fancy with these claws.
  • Tongs – I always like using tongs to handle meat.

Ingredients for Hot Honey Chicken

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 prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts but you can use thighs if that’s what you like.
  • CAYENNE PEPPER – Start with 1 tablespoon and build up if your family likes more heat.
  • SMOKED PAPRIKA – Smoked paprika adds a rich, smoky flavor.
  • GARLIC SALT – Garlic salt is just that – a mixture of 3 parts salt to 1 part garlic powder.
  • BROWN SUGAR – Brown sugar helps to balance the heat with some sweetness. You can use light or dark.
  • HONEY – More sweet to balance the heat. A local honey is always best but use what you have.
  • VINEGAR – You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • BUTTER – I like to use salted butter but unsalted works as well. It will add moisture to the chicken and sauce.
  • BUNS – Choose your favorite buns for piling the shredded chicken onto.
  • PICKLES – Dill chips are the perfect topping. I really like Grillo’s Pickles.
labeled ingredients laid out to make slow cooker hot honey chicken.

How to make Slow Cooker Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches

  1. STEP ONE: Prep. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray and lay the trimmed chicken breasts in the bottom.
  2. STEP TWO: Season. Mix up the seasonings and sprinkle evenly over the chicken. Then, top with the brown sugar, drizzle on the honey, pour in the vinegar, and top with pats of butter.
  1. STEP THREE: Cook. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours.
  2. STEP FOUR: Shred Chicken. After the cook time is up, use two forks to shred the chicken right in the juices.
two forks shredding chicken in a slow cooker.
  1. STEP FIVE: Serve. Pile some shredded chicken onto a bun, top with pickles and enjoy!
tongs piling shredded chicken onto a bun.

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

🔥 Heat Tip

Start with 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne and move up from there to suit your family. You can always add more heat but you can’t take it out!

What to serve with hot honey chicken sandwiches

Toppings

  • Use your favorite buns – brioche, hamburger buns, pretzel buns, slider buns, Hawaiian sweet rolls, etc.
  • To cool them down, top with dill pickle chips, creamy coleslaw, or ranch dressing.
  • Some people like to add a slice of cheese like pepper jack or cheddar to the top.
  • Make it a deluxe by adding some crispy bacon.

Sides

These chicken sandwiches make a really easy dinner idea. You can pair them with sweet potato fries, waffle fries, potato chips, macaroni and cheese, baked potato wedges, or baked beans.

honey drizzling on a shredded chicken sandwich.

Possible Substitutions/Additions

  • You can use boneless breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  • Don’t want to have a pulled chicken sandwich? Try serving the shredded chicken with a side of rice or stuff it into a baked potato!
  • White vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work.

How to reheat and store

How to store leftovers

Leftover chicken can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze it?

Absolutely. You can freeze the cooked chicken in freezer safe containers (I like Souper Cubes) or make this a freezer meal.

Freezer Meal Instructions

Prep the recipe as written but place the ingredients into a large freezer bag and squeeze out excess air. Label the bag with the name and cooking instructions and place in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When ready to cook, move the bag to the refrigerator overnight to thaw or for a quicker option, place the entire bag in a large bowl of cold water for approximately 1 hour or until thawed enough to pour into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

How to reheat hot chicken

Reheat individual portions in the microwave or if you have enough, pour the entire portion back into the slow cooker to heat through.

overhead shot of a bowl of shredded chicken.

FAQs

Do I have to add liquid to the slow cooker?

Nope. The chicken will give off moisture as it cooks so you don’t need to add additional cooking liquid.

Can I put frozen chicken in the slow cooker?

The safe answer is no, you shouldn’t. Plenty of people will tell you they do it all the time and are fine, but the official recommendation, per the USDA, is to thaw it first. A slow cooker cooks…slow, which means meat stays at an unsafe temperature for too long.

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Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

hot honey chicken sandwiches on a plate with chips.

Did You Make This?

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went in the comments section below.

You can also tag me on Instagram – @melissa_pplates or share a pic in the Persnickety Plates Community Facebook group. I love seeing what you’ve tried!

hot honey shredded chicken sandwich on a brioche bun topped with pickles.
4.79 from 281 votes

Slow Cooker Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Slow Cooker Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches are an easy, spicy dinner idea made right in the crock pot. Pulled chicken cooked in a hot honey sauce and then piled onto your favorite bun. The perfect slow cooker meal for any time of year!

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • buns for serving
  • pickles for topping

Instructions

  • Spray the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray and lay the chicken breasts in.
  • In a small bowl, mix up the cayenne pepper, paprika and garlic salt.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning all over the chicken.
  • Sprinkle on the brown sugar.
  • Drizzle the honey all over the top of the chicken.
  • Pour in the vinegar.
  • Place the butter on top.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours.
  • Once cooked, use two forks to shred the chicken right in the slow cooker.
  • Serve on soft buns with pickle slices.

Notes

  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • This is a spicy recipe – to tone it down, reduce the cayenne pepper to 1/2 tablespoon. If you like extra spicy, increase the cayenne to 2 tablespoons.
  • Serving suggestions – brioche buns, hamburger buns, or pretzel buns. 
  • Optional toppings – ranch dressing or cole slaw. 
Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 466mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 594IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published June 20, 2022; photos updated January 29, 2024

hot honey shredded chicken sandwich on a brioche bun topped with pickles.


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31 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was really good – so easy to make and really great flavor. I think it could be even more spicy! I will be making it again, even my picky 15 yro loved it!

  2. 5 stars
    First time leaving a review for recipe but I loved it so much. It sounded good but just expected another pulled chicken sandwich recipe! Boy was I pleasantly surprised. I love this recipe so much. This will go into my fav recipes rotation.

  3. Do you need to let this sit for a while when done cooking? I think I followed everything perfectly but it’s VERY liquidy and none of the juices really stick to the chicken. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! Can it be made with boneless skinless chicken thighs? If so, does the cook time change?

  5. 5 stars
    This was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe! Super easy! Love how you offer the recipe for doubling/tripling. I would recommend at least doubling. People will want seconds or leftovers or you could freeze it.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this recipe for my family. I halved the cayenne pepper. I also added coleslaw on top of the shredded chicken and toasted the brioche buns. My family loved it. Adding a bit more seasoning next time, we are heavy seasoners! Will keep this recipe in my box of keeps.

    1. If you hate crock pot chicken recipes, I’m not sure why you picked one 🤔, but if your chicken is dry, you overcooked it. Every slow cooker runs differently, many run hot, so adjust your cook times & you’ll have better luck. As for the heat, it’s a “hot honey” chicken sandwich.

  7. I’m confused because normally it’s 4 hours high, 8 hours low. The chicken will be fully cooked in 4 hours on low??

    1. That’s why I have this disclaimer in a couple places. You know yours best, but mine is done in 4 hours on LOW.
      Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

  8. 5 stars
    This chicken gave my husband a stomachache….. because he ate 5 sandwiches!! Yes you read that right. 5. This is the first crockpot recipe I’ve made that I had zero leftovers. My picky AF 7yo even loved it. He took it off the bun and just ate the chicken. I’m getting ready to make this again for dinner and it’s been requested by everyone that I double the recipe. I used the exact amount of cayenne it calls for and it was perfect for us. Not too spicy. Like I said, my 7yo loved it. If you aren’t a fan of spicy at all, maybe cut the cayenne in half. This recipe was a home run!!