Crockpot Sesame Chicken is a simple yet flavorful dish perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something quick, easy, and delicious. With its sweet and tangy sauce, golden brown chicken, and the perfect balance of flavors, this dish will surely be a hit with your family.
Plus, cooking only takes 3 hours, giving you plenty of time to prepare sides like rice and broccoli.
Chicken: You will need one and a half to two pounds. Dice the chicken into one to one-and-a-half-inch pieces.
Salt and Pepper: Add these to taste. A sprinkle of kosher salt and a generous sprinkle of black pepper are recommended.
Cornstarch: This is used to coat the chicken evenly. It helps crisp up your chicken and gives it a nice flavor.
Avocado Oil: This is used for cooking the chicken. You can substitute it with any cooking oil.
For the Sauce:
Honey: Adds a sweet and smoky flavor to the sauce. Use any honey you have on hand.
Ketchup: This forms part of the base of the sauce.
Rice Wine Vinegar: This adds a tangy flavor to the sauce.
Chopped Garlic: You can use fresh or the jarred kind.
Sesame Seed Oil: It adds a beautiful depth to the sauce.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Regular Soy Sauce: This adds a savory, umami flavor to the sauce.
Water: This is used to make a slurry with cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
Cornstarch: This is mixed with water to make a slurry, which helps thicken the sauce.
Ginger (Optional): If you like the flavor, you can add this to the sauce. Use fresh ginger for the best flavor.
Sesame Seeds (Optional): These can be sprinkled on the finished dish for a nice crunch.
Making The Crockpot Sesame Chicken
Preparing the Chicken:
Dice the chicken into one to one-and-a-half-inch pieces. Toss the diced chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and cornstarch in a plastic bag to coat them evenly. This helps to give the chicken a nice flavor and helps it crisp up during cooking.
Cooking the Chicken:
Heat a cast iron skillet until it is piping hot. Spray some avocado oil and add half of the chicken. Cook the chicken until it gets a nice golden brown color. Remember, the goal at this stage is not to cook the chicken all through but to give it some color and flavor. Repeat the process with the second batch of chicken.
Preparing the Sauce:
Preparing the sauce in the crockpot while the second batch of chicken is cooking. Add all the sauce ingredients: garlic, ketchup, honey, rice wine vinegar, sesame seed oil, ginger (optional), water, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.
Combining Chicken and Sauce:
Once the sauce is prepared and the second batch of chicken is cooked, add the chicken to the sauce in the crockpot. Stir the chicken and sauce together to ensure the chicken is well coated.
Cover the crockpot and cook the chicken and sauce on low for three hours. The sauce will thicken during this time, and the flavors will meld together.
After three hours, the sesame chicken is ready to be served. Serve it with sides of your choice, such as basmati white rice and steamed broccoli. For an added touch, sprinkle the sesame chicken with sesame seeds and cilantro. Enjoy your delicious crockpot sesame chicken!
Tips and Variations
- Chicken Variation: You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts for a juicier result. You could also use tofu or shrimp as a substitute for chicken if you prefer.
- Veggies: Feel free to add vegetables to the crockpot, like bell peppers, snow peas, or baby corn, for added nutrition and flavor.
- Spice it Up: Add crushed red pepper flakes or sriracha to the sauce if you like spicy food.
- Sweetness: Adjust the amount of honey according to your preference for sweetness. You can also substitute honey with brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Garnish: Apart from sesame seeds and cilantro, you can garnish with sliced green onions or chopped peanuts for added crunch.
- Cooking Time: Be careful not to overcook the chicken in the crockpot as it can become dry. Check the chicken at around 2.5 hours to see if it’s done.
- Sauce Thickness: If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can remove the chicken once it’s cooked and simmer the sauce on the stovetop for a few minutes until it thickens to your liking. Then, pour it back over the chicken.
- Serving: This dish goes well with steamed rice, but you can also serve it with noodles or quinoa.
- Leftovers: Leftover sesame chicken makes a great filling for wraps or sandwiches the next day.
- Marinating: For an even deeper flavor, consider marinating the chicken in the sauce overnight before cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe?
Can I make this recipe on the stovetop instead of a crockpot?
Can I use frozen chicken for this recipe?
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
How should I store leftovers?
Can I freeze the cooked sesame chicken?
Can I add vegetables to this dish?
Can I use a different type of vinegar?
Can I make this dish spicier?
Is sesame oil necessary for this recipe?
- Chicken: 1.5 to 2 pounds, diced into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces
- Salt and Pepper: To taste
- Cornstarch: 1/4 cup, for coating the chicken
- Avocado Oil: 2 tablespoons, for cooking
For the Sauce:
- Honey: 1/2 cup
- Ketchup: 1/2 cup
- Rice Wine Vinegar: 1/4 cup
- Chopped Garlic: 2 cloves, or to taste
- Sesame Seed Oil: 2 tablespoons
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Regular Soy Sauce: 1/2 cup
- Water: 1/4 cup
- Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons
- Ginger (Optional): 1 teaspoon, freshly grated
- Sesame Seeds (Optional): 1 tablespoon, for garnish
- Prepare the Chicken: Dice the chicken into one to a half-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper and coat evenly with cornstarch.
- Cook the Chicken: Heat a skillet with avocado oil and brown it in two batches until it becomes golden. Remember, the chicken does not need to be cooked through at this stage.
- Prepare the Sauce: While the second batch of chicken is cooking, combine honey, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, chopped garlic, sesame seed oil, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, and optional ginger in the crockpot to prepare the sauce.
- Combine the Chicken and Sauce: Add the browned chicken to the sauce in the crockpot, ensuring all pieces are well coated.
- Cook the Dish: Cover the crockpot and cook the mixture on low for 3 hours until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked.
- Serve: Serve the sesame chicken with your choice of sides, such as rice and broccoli, and garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro. Enjoy your delicious crockpot sesame chicken!
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: per serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350 kcalTotal Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 700mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 25g