Crockpot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Thighs

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4.63 from 40 votes
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The sweet and savory combo really hits home with this crockpot brown sugar garlic chicken recipe.

The best part is, only 5 ingredients (3 if you don’t count salt and pepper) stand in your way of making this delicious crockpot chicken thighs recipe!

For more slow cooker dinner recipes try our crockpot chili mac, Swedish meatballs, steak bites in the crockpot, and crockpot frito pie.

Crockpot brown sugar garlic chicken thigh served over rice with tomato salad

This is my go-to chicken thighs with bones in slow cooker recipe. It is easy to make and turns out perfect every time.

The tender, sweet, savory, juicy brown sugar chicken will literally melt in your mouth.

brown sugar garlic bone-in chicken thighs in slow cooker


Raid the pantry and your fridge and you might have the ingredients on hand for this slow cooker brown sugar garlic chicken.

Chicken Thighs – We used bone-in chicken thighs, as they lock in tons of flavor. But, you can change up the type of cut of chicken you use if you desire.

Brown Sugar – Light or dark work great for this recipe.

Garlic – You can use jarred minced garlic or mince your own garlic. Both work. If you are short on time, reach for the jar.

Salt & Pepper – Simply season with salt and pepper!

How To Make

Step 1 (optional): Sear chicken for about 4 minutes per side in a pan on the stovetop. While this step is optional, searing is recommended as it crisps the skin, creating texture and adding flavor to the chicken.

Step 2: Place chicken thighs in the bottom of the crockpot.

5 seared chicken thighs in bottom of crockpot

Step 3: Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover, and cook as directed in the recipe card below.

chicken with brown sugar and garlic topping in crockpot before cooking

Step 4: Once the chicken is done, remove and serve.

garlic brown sugar chicken thighs in slow cooker


Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Freezer: Place cooled chicken in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat.

Expert Tips and Variations

  • Searing the chicken in a skillet helps to keep the skin nice and crispy as it slow cookes. It also adds texure. You can skip this step and add the thighs directly to crockpot but the skin will be very soft once the chicken is done.
  • Try seasoning your chicken with any of your favorite spices. I love a simple salt and pepper. But you can get creative if you want.
  • Consider adding in some diced veggies and cooking the last few hours for a simple side dish. Try tossing in broccoli, green beans, or even carrots.
Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Thigh with rice and tomato salad

What to Serve With Chicken

Here are a few side dishes I love next to this crockpot brown sugar garlic chicken:

Recipe FAQs

How do you know when chicken is done?

Your chicken needs to reach 165°F internally to be fully cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken. When using bone-in chicken make sure to not touch the bone with the thermometer or it will give you an incorrect (higher) read.

Can you put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

Adding frozen chicken to the crockpot is not recommend as the meat sits too long at a temperature that can be unsafe and cause bacteria can to grow. That said, some people have put frozen meat in their crockpot for years and swear that they have never had issues. Personally, I always thaw my chicken in the fridge before adding it to my crockpot.

How long to cook chicken things in the crockpot?

You will cook around 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. The biggest thing is making sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.

More Tasty Chicken Dinner Ideas

Brown sugar garlic chicken thigh made in the crockpot served over rice with tomato salad
4.63 from 40 votes

Crockpot Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
An easy, 5-ingredient crockpot brown sugar garlic chicken recipe with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors.


  • 5 chicken thighs bone-in and skin on
  • cup brown sugar packed
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste


  • Optional, but recommend: You can add the chicken thighs directly to the Crockpot, or you can sear them first to seal in the juices and make the skin crisper. To sear, heat 2 Tablespoons of butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for about 4 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of your crockpot in an even layer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle over the chicken and place the lid of the Crockpot on.
  • Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 6-8 hours, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 328kcal
Brown sugar garlic chicken thigh made in the crockpot served over rice with tomato salad

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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken, Only 5 Ingredients

4.63 from 40 votes (40 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. wonder if this can be done on the stove top-don’t have a crockpot as for me things never turned out very well using one.

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