This easy Slow Cooker Spicy Hoisin Chicken is made with just seven simple ingredients and is full of flavor! This versatile crockpot meal can be served with rice, lettuce wraps, or salads for a delicious dinner.
A few weeks back I posted a recipe for Spicy Skillet Hoisin Chicken that has quickly become a family favorite and although it comes together in about 20 minutes, for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about making this in the slow cooker with chicken thighs.
My main motivation for wanting to figure out a slow cooker version of this recipe was to prep lunches for an especially busy week. This Hoisin chicken makes the best leftovers and can be used in a million ways.
My plan after throwing this slow cooker on Sunday was to pack a bunch of easy and different lunches for the week. Here is what I was thinking:
- Meal 1: Make a big Asian inspired salad with pineapple, mandarin oranges, and wonton chips
- Meal 2: Asian inspired tacos with a crunchy slaw
- Meal 3: Asian chicken wrap in a low carb wrap with cucumbers, edamame, and greens
- Meal 4: Chicken lettuce wraps with fresh veggies and cashews
- Meal 5: Grain bowls with steamed brown rice, chicken, and whatever veggies or slaw left in the fridge
There are just so many different ways to use this easy Hoisin chicken whether it's for an easy dinner, meal prepped lunches, or even as a party dish.
Main Ingredients and Pantry Swaps
All you need is a few ingredients to make this tasty meal, plus it is very adaptable. Swap in different proteins, veggies, and more.
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken thighs are affordable, full of flavor, and stay nice and moist in the slow cooker. However, this would also work with chicken breast or pork. Just watch the cooking time so it doesn't dry out.
- Hoisin sauce: This is where a lot of the flavor in this dish comes from. Hoisin sauce is kind of like Chinese barbecue sauce. It is sweet, savory, and slightly smoky. Oyster sauce could be swapped in but the flavor will be slightly less sweet. The sauce will also be thinner since the oyster sauce has a thinner texture.
- Ginger and garlic: To boost the flavor of the sauce, add fresh minced garlic and ginger. The refrigerated tubes of garlic or ginger work great as well. Try to avoid using the powdered options if possible since they aren't as flavorful.
- Asian chili paste: Sambal olek or Siracha work great for adding spice to this dish. If you prefer a less spicy dish, just leave it out or serve it on the side. Adjust the amount to your preferences.
- Vegetables: During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add some vegetables right to the slow cooker so you don't have to worry about making a veggie side dish. Green beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, or zucchini would all be delicious.
What is hoisin sauce?
Hoisin sauce is a Chinese sauce frequently used in Cantonese cooking for meat, stir-fries, vegetables, and as a dipping sauce. It is thick and usually dark brown or black in color.
In terms of taste, Hoisin sauce is sweet and savory with a slightly smoky flavor. Some people compare it to barbecue sauce, but it is more salty than sweet.
Hoisin sauce is made with sugar, fermented soybeans, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Chinese five-spice powder, garlic, and chili paste.
Side Dish Ideas
There are lots of different ways to serve this slow cooker hoisin. From rice bowls to salads, this recipe is versatile. Here are some side dishes to consider:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about making this hoisin chicken recipe.
This recipe works great with boneless, skinless chicken breast. Just make sure to cook it on low and check the chicken so it doesn't overcook and become tough. Then shred or slice the chicken in the sauce.
If you do not have hoisin sauce, this dish could be made with oyster sauce. Just note that the sauce will be thinner and the dish will be slightly less sweet.
Absolutely! This hoisin chicken is delicious with or without the chili paste. It can always be served on the side for anyone who wants it spicy.
Slow Cooker Spicy Hoisin Chicken Thighs
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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