Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe

5 / 5 (1 review)

My favorite honey sesame chicken recipe – pressure cooker or slow cooker!

I LOVE this chicken recipe! Most everyone in my family loves it, so I keep the simple ingredients on hand and make it often. It is super easy to make in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. Plus, you can prep or cook it in advance for an easy freezer meal!

The sauce is simple and sweetened with honey. And yes, the sauce is pretty sweet, but it is also very delicious to those that enjoy sweet meat recipes. I sure do love a good honey, soy sauce, and garlic combo! Note that the amount of red pepper flakes in this recipe doesn’t make it spicy, but it does add a little more flavor.

I used to make this recipe all the time in my slow cooker, but it is definitely faster in the Instant Pot! Pressure cooker adaptation is pretty easy for this recipe, just add some water. The sauce comes out too thick and too sweet if you don’t. Perfect option for those of us that don’t plan ahead for meals very well sometimes.

Even more helpful, is making extra and freezing the rest. Then when I don’t know what to serve for dinner, I can just go to my freezer, reheat the chicken, cook some rice, and viola! 😉

Make this recipe a freezer meal by placing the sauce and the raw chicken in a labeled freezer bag, lay flat, and freeze. (The sauce doesn’t really freeze all the way, but it still works.) Then thaw in the refrigerator and cook as instructed. Or cook it up with sauce as directed in the recipe and freeze the cooked chicken. It reheats nicely and quickly in a skillet on the stove top.

(Gluten-free if you use a gluten-free soy sauce option.)

You might also like this Honey Teriyaki Chicken recipe.

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Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 6


  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tbsp water
  • sesame seeds


  1. Lightly season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes.
  2. Preparing For the Freezer:

  3. Put the seasoned chicken and sauce into a large resealable bag. Freeze. (The fully prepared and cooked chicken also freezes well.)
  4. Prepare after Freezing:

  5. Let thaw in fridge for 24 hours. In a slow cooker, cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours. (Or you can cook from frozen for about 5-6 hours.) Remove chicken from slow cooker, but leave the sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of cold water and pour into the sauce; stir to combine. Leave lid off and cook sauce on high for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, cut or shred chicken into bite-size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Instant Pot: Spray inside of pot with nonstick cooking spray. Place seasoned chicken inside. Add 1/2 cup water to the sauce and pour it in the pot. Cook for 15 minutes (about 18 minutes for larger chicken breasts), until chicken is done. Remove chicken and shred. Use saute setting and stir cornstarch into the sauce. Let cook until slightly thickened. Then return shredded chicken to pot, toss with sauce, and serve.


Freezing is not necessary.

Recipe Adapted From: Six Sisters' Stuff and Baby Center

Comments & Reviews

  • sharon

    I was wondering if you or anyone has made this without ketchup? If so did it still taste good? Thank you

    • Melanie

      I haven’t tried it. But you could try this substitute for ketchup: 1 cup ketchup = 1 cup tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp vinegar. Or you could try using some BBQ sauce or maybe salsa in place of the ketchup.

  • Kristi Medley

    Did you freeze the chicken breasts in the sauce?

  • Rebecca

    I see you call for 4 chicken breasts, but what size? How many pounds? When I buy at my local grocery store, they’re usually about a half pound each, but when I buy from Zaycon, they’re more like a full pound each. Since these are going to be shredded and not turned into their own entree, it seems like it would just be easier to give a weight so you end up with a good sauce to chicken ratio. Thanks!

  • Ash

    Hi, I have tried to make this twice now but both times the honey did not seem to freeze? Will it still be safe to use? the chicken etc are frozen solid there is just some unfrozen liquid in the bag too


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