Slow-Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken | Make Ahead Mondays

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken |

That is a sandwich you need in your life right now. Luckily, it takes little time to accomplish such a sandwich even though the Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken is made in the slow-cooker. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen for her original recipe that inspired my version you’re seeing here today.

Now, let’s get into what makes this chicken so very good. I am a chicken breast lover in a dark meat chicken loving household. Most often, I use chicken thighs because it seems to be a happy medium and it’s usually far less expensive per pound. This chicken, however, starts with boneless, skinless chicken breast. Mrawrrrrrrrr.

Although all by itself, boneless, skinless chicken breast tends to cook more quickly than dark meat chicken, it gets a boost here by being trimmed, cut in thirds lengthwise and then in half crosswise. What this does for us to reduce the cooking time even further. You start it cooking on HIGH for an hour then drop it to low for the remaining two hours. That’s right. Three hours to slow-cooked perfection. That means that you might even be able to squeeze this in on a week night.

Cutting the chicken thusly serves another purpose, too, though. It sets it up for shredding more quickly and into more manageable bite sized pieces. See? This is the chicken straight from the slow-cooker.

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken |

And two forks and five minutes later…

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken |

As for the sauce, there’s nothing complicated to it. I drop all the ingredients in the blender (including the onion and garlic) and whizz ’til smooth. If you’re blender-averse (or blender-less) you can chop the onions and garlic separately then whisk it into the liquid ingredients before adding to the slow-cooker. When you take the chicken out of the slow-cooker, simply pour the sauce into a saucepan and reduce it over high heat until it’s thick. You return the chicken to the slow-cooker while it’s reducing, then pour the thickened, reduced sauce over the chicken and toss. Fast and fabulous is hard to beat.

This recipe also holds the distinction of being something every one of our family members loved. My kids like spicy foods, so we went with the high end of the Sriracha. If you have more delicate taste buds in your crew, reduce that down, but don’t omit it; it delivers such flavour, the chicken would be lost without it.

So why is this a Make Ahead Monday recipe? Because this recipe feeds my hungry horde two full meals! It’s hard to believe that six little boneless, skinless chicken breasts could stretch like that, but it does. And you could easily increase it to the point where you’ve filled your slow-cooker. In that case, it might take just a wee bit longer to cook, but the end game remains the same: tasty honey tinged gently spicy barbecue shredded chicken for topping salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and more.

Speaking of sandwiches, I chose to serve the chicken on toasted whole wheat buns with a simple salad of cucumber ribbons (just cut a cucumber in quarters lengthwise and use a vegetable peeler to cut the ribbons) and fresh cilantro leaves. That was topped -in turn- with a runny-yolked fried egg.


Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken |

It’s eye-roll-into-the-back-of-your-head good. Really. Just look at that. I can’t help myself around runny yolked eggs. I get weak in the knees with joy. I lose control of my better senses; I lick the plate in front of my children.

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken |

So today, YES, please today, make yourself a batch of this chicken and divide it into meal sized portions. You’ll be so glad you did!



5 from 1 reviews
Slow-Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken | Make Ahead Mondays
Prep time
Total time
Gentle sweetness from honey brings out the best of the tasty heat from Sriracha in this great Slow-Cooker Honey Sriracha Barbecue Chicken. Pile the chicken high on sandwiches topped with a cucumber, cilantro salad, and a fried egg ~or~ on a tossed salad, in tacos or on a chicken fajita or barbecue pizza. Leftovers store beautifully in individual portions in the freezer. Adapted from and with thanks to Kalyn's Kitchen
For the Sauce:
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped (*See Notes)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (*See Notes)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1-3 tablespoons of Sriracha, depending on your heat tolerance
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
For the Chicken:
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed of visible fat
  • salt and pepper to taste, but don't add until the sauce has been reduced.
For the Sandwiches:
  • 1 English cucumber, cut in quarters lengthwise then into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
  • 1 fried egg per sandwich
  • 1 whole wheat sandwich bun per sandwich
  1. Cut the chicken breast into three strips lengthwise, then cut once crosswise. This will reduce each chicken breast into 6 pieces for faster cooking and shredding when it is done. Lay all of these in the bottom of a slow-cooker crock.
  2. Place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender, fix the lid in place, and blend on HIGH until smooth. Pour this over the chicken in the slow-cooker. Put the slow-cooker lid in place and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. At that time, reduce the heat to LOW and cook for another 2 hours or until you can pick up a large piece of chicken with the tongs and break it in half easily by pressing it against the side of the slow-cooker crock.
  3. Use tongs to transfer all of the chicken to a cutting board. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and place it over medium high heat to reduce, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. While it reduces, use two forks to shred the chicken and return the shredded chicken to the slow-cooker on the Keep Warm setting or off, but either way, put the lid on to keep the chicken warm and prevent it from drying out.
  4. When the sauce is reduced, pour it over the chicken and use the tongs to toss to coat it with sauce. Taste the chicken and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve hot on a toasted whole wheat sandwich bun topped with cucumber ribbons, cilantro leaves and a fried egg, cold on salads, tucked into tacos or baked on pizzas.
  6. Leftovers can be frozen in individual meal-sized portions in airtight containers.
*If you do not have a blender, finely chop the onions and garlic and whisk them into the liquid sauce ingredients before pouring over the chicken in the slow-cooker.


  1. says

    Holy smokes, this looked so amazing I blasted home at lunch and whipped this into the crock pot. This chicken tastes incredible! Can’t wait to assemble a sandwich, fried egg and all. Drooling!!

  2. says

    Hi, Rebecca – I’m making these for supper tonight and are trying to figure out how many servings it makes. We’re on Weight Watchers and are trying to figure out the points plus for it. What would you estimate as far as servings go? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi there! Actually, you cook the chicken IN the sauce, then when you remove the chicken from the crock, you pour the cooking juices (sauce) into a saucepan, reduce, them pour back over the now shredded chicken in the crock. Does that help?

  3. Candace says

    I have this in my crockpot right now and it smells divine in my house! I’ve had it pinned on pintrest for a week or so and I’ve been dying to try it! I’m sad I misread and added one tablespoon of sesame oil (whoops)! But the sauce still tastes fine and I’m sure it’ll be alright in the end!

  4. Terri says

    Made this for dinner tonight. Slam dunk with my crew. Kids ate it on rolls. I ate mine with leftover mashed potatoes. Yum!
    You’re a jewel. Love the blog!

  5. says

    I made this for my lunch group today. I didn’t have time or the tools to reduce the sauce, but if we dunked the rolls in it, that made the difference. Everyone loved it! Yummy!!!

  6. Karen says

    I made this on Friday. We ended up having it with a large side salad and our two boys ate sandwiches. The three year old loved it. The eight year old is not sold. It has shown up on sandwiches, on a big bed of leafy greens, tacos and stuffed baked potatoes. The eight year old is still not sold, but the rest of us are.

  7. says

    Can you use frozen chicken breasts, and if so, would you cook it for 8 hours? I work all day so frozen is more convenient since I don’t have a timer on my slow cooker.

  8. Jenna says

    I am cooking for a party of 10 on Thursday and I am definately making this!! Will this make 10 sandwiches??

    • says

      I don’t think it would yield quite that much if you’re filling them generously. I would probably double it because leftovers store so nicely!

      • Jenna says

        If I double the recipe, will it all fit in one crock pot? How much would I increase the cook time?? Sorry, I’m new at this :(

        • says

          I would also say that unless you have the tiniest crockpot ever, it’s quite likely that it would all fit in one crockpot. As for how long to increase the time, that’s a little up in the air. I’d say increase the time until the chicken is fork tender (comes apart easily when flaked with two forks). It could be an hour or so. I’d do it up ahead of time then reheat it if you’re very concerned. 😀

  9. Kelly says

    I made this last night for dinner and it was deliscious! The directions were easy to follow and my dish looked exacly like the one in the post! (proud moment)
    I absolutely loved the sweet spicy flavor of the chicken paired with the cool cumber and fried egg. Yum! My only complaint was that it was messy. Have lots of napkins ready! =)

  10. Adrian says

    I made this and it turned out pretty good… but then I decided to I add something. Since it already has an Asian thing going for it, I decided to add a few splashes of fish sauce to the sauce in the reduction phase, and put it in a Vietnamese sandwich baguette instead of hamburger buns.

    The result? OMG.. Umami has been reached..

  11. Sandi says

    Holy Wow! This was delicious. Earlier yesterday, I had poached some chicken in an effort to entice my dog to eat his new food. I had a ton of shredded chicken and wanted something new and I found you! I made this magical sauce on the stovetop. I followed the ingredients exactly (using 1 Tbsp sriracha). I also added 1 cup of water and brought the smooth mixture to a boil and then turned to a very slow simmer for about 45 min stirring. I warmed the chicken in the magical sauce and served on slider buns with coleslaw and homemade herbed oven fries. For leftovers tonight, I fried and egg over medium. The winner: The Egg. Thank you!

  12. Elizabeth J says

    Just wanted to tell you that I made this yesterday and it was a big hit! I loved the chicken so much I just wanted to fork it straight into my mouth…. Even my 4 year old ate it! (I didn’t use the full amount of sriracha sauce because she was eating with us though.) I can’t wait to try the leftovers on a salad or tacos later this week.

  13. Jeannette says

    This was very very good. I used 6 boneless, mostly skinless pork chops instead of the chicken and served it over rice. Thank you very very much.

  14. Kenneth Clark says

    I made this for the Big game day a few weeks ago…The wife was worried about the heat from sriracha..she loved it! I did 2 T sriracha I took the rest to work and fed it to a few co- workers. The first one said she expected hotter.. so I handed her the sriracha bottle. The second was a top Chili’s manager here in Florida… when he took the first bite he looked at me and said this would be on my menu, give me this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! Ken


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