Confession: I’m not generally the biggest fan of slow cooker recipes. I know, I know…weirdo. While I love the idea of having dinner simmer away all day long, I rarely use a slow cooker to do so. I totally get all of the points of slow cookers – dump all of your ingredients in in the morning and return home to a prepared meal that evening…seems like a no brainer. My problem with slow cooker meals, particularly with those involving chicken, is that I often end up with a soupy mess of chicken that is pretty dry and often isn’t very flavorful. But after finding some tips from people who claim to have once felt the same way, I started using my slow cooker a bit differently, and I’m happy to report that we’ve become much better friends.
Some great ways to go about upping the flavor and texture of slow cooker meals is by using fattier cuts of meat (chicken thighs work better than chicken breasts for a lot of recipes), searing large pieces of meat (such as pork shoulder) before adding to the slow cooker, and throwing shredded cooked meat under the broiler for a few minutes to give it some diversity in the texture department. I’m also much more into using slow cooker recipes as fillers for bigger dishes, such as with these Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Quesadillas.
No need to fear, this recipe is still quick and easy, even with the post-slow cooker steps! Simply remove the chicken from the slow cooker once cooked, shred, simmer the sauce from the slow cooker until thickened (3ish minutes), toss together the chicken and some sauce, fill quesadillas, throw quesadillas in a skillet for a minute or two, and done! The whole process takes about 15 minutes and it’s well worth it. Much more fun than just eating the shredded chicken plain (even though it is delicious)!
Now, even though I just said that I prefer using chicken thighs to chicken breasts for slow cooker recipes, this recipe is one of the exceptions. I’ve made this recipe both ways and find that you can’t really tell as much of a difference when the chicken is inside the quesadilla. If I were to make this recipe to eat the chicken by itself, I would probably choose the thighs, but if you’re making quesadillas and you only have chicken breasts on hand (or if you just prefer them), they will turn out amazingly as well!
I love how this dish is a fusion of Asian and Mexican flavors! It makes for a fun twist on an easy weeknight dinner.
Hope you enjoy this one as much as we did!
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (see note)
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup hoisin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 6 tortillas
- 1½ cups shredded cheese (I used Sargento’s 4 State Cheddar)
- Optional: sliced green onions and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for topping
- Place the chicken thighs or breasts in a single layer on the bottom of a slow cooker.
- In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, hoisin, and minced garlic. Mix well. Pour the mixture over the chicken.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with 2 forks.
- Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the saucepan and cook until the mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the slow cooker or mixing bowl. Pour half of the sauce mixture over the chicken and stir until the chicken is coated. Reserve the other half of the sauce to drizzle over top of quesadillas or use for dipping.
- Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, on each tortilla half, spread one heaping ½ cup of the chicken mixture. Top chicken with ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Fold the quesadillas and spray each side with nonstick spray.
- Place quesadillas in hot skillet one at a time and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes until crispy and cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Slice into two or three sections. Serve immediately, topped with sliced green onions and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, if desired.
*I generally prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs for slow cooker recipes, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts will work well here, too!