Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks
Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks are easy, 5-ingredient crockpot chicken drumsticks cooked in a spicy sweet chili sauce!
I own two slow cookers and am not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I had to loan one out for a basketball team function and told the person in charge that there was no rush getting it back to me.
Some time later, I was using my other slow cooker to make steel cut oats, and I went to grab the other one to start dinner and realized it was still on loan. I threw a mini fit and had to make dinner the old fashioned way.
I got my other slow cooker back this week, so life is good again. 🙂
I’m being a little dramatic here, but my slow cookers are something that I rely on more and more.
These slow cooker chicken drumsticks are a dish that’s so easy it will amaze you, and they’re also amazingly delicious! They’re tender, sticky, sweet, and spicy, and I’ll bet you can’t eat just one.
I can’t take the credit for this sticky-spicy-sweet recipe, however — it’s straight from my friend Kelly Kwok’s new cookbook The Asian Slow Cooker.
You may have visited Kelly’s blog Life Made Sweeter, where she shares family friendly meals and desserts, and many of her recipes involve her slow cooker.
Kelly and I “met” through our blogs years ago, then I had the privilege of meeting her in person at a food conference this year. She’s even better in person, and I’m so excited that she’s become a cookbook author. Congrats, Kelly!
The Asian Slow Cooker is quite a special cookbook — I’ve never seen anything like it. Kelly’s recipes are healthier, tastier versions of takeout that you can make with the press of a button.
Some recipes have 5 ingredients or less like these crockpot chicken drumsticks, and some are 30 minute one pot/skillet recipes that are perfect to whip up after a long day. Basically, there’s a recipe you’re going to love for every day of the week.
It was hard for me to choose which recipe to create, but I chose this slow cooker chicken drumstick recipe because I was dying to try cooking drumsticks in the slow cooker. I also loved how easy the recipe sounded, as well as the sweet and spicy flavors.
This recipe really delivered! The drumsticks are sticky, sweet, spicy and tender. Basically, they’re finger-licking good. 🙂
Just in case you’re wondering, this meal is kid friendly even though there’s a large amount of chili sauce in the recipe. If you frequent my blog, you’ve probably heard me whine about not getting to make myself spicy food because my family can’t hack it very well. I knew they could handle this sauce because it has a very mild chili flavor and it’s nice and sweet too.
Nobody can resist heat when it’s sweet. 🙂
How to make crockpot drumsticks
This recipe is beyond easy, and only requires the following 5 ingredients.
- Chicken legs
- Thai sweet chili sauce
- fish sauce
- low sodium soy sauce
- fresh ginger
- optional garnishes include cilantro, sesame seeds and lime
It took all of about 5 minutes to whip up the sauce, and I marinated the chicken overnight. I popped everything into the slow cooker the next day and cranked it up to high.
3 hours later, the chicken was falling off the bone tender….it was like magic.
Kelly’s trick to get the chicken skin crispy is to place it under a broiler for about 3 minutes per side, and it worked like a charm.
This dish was so easy and beyond flavorful — I was incredibly happy with it and can’t wait to make it again.
Recipe tips and substitutions
- I always have fresh ginger root in my freezer because when it’s frozen you can grate it right into your dishes without peeling it. This hack is perfect for this recipe!
- Leftover drumsticks may be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
See my slow cooker recipes for even more easy dishes!
Slow cooker chicken recipes you’ll love:
- Greek lemon chicken soup
- Slow cooker bbq chicken
- Slow cooker bbq chicken drumsticks by A Mind Full Mom
- Slow cooker chicken stock
- Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup
- Slow cooker lemon chicken artichoke soup
Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks
- 2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger minced*
- 5 lbs. chicken drumsticks
- Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Lime wedges for serving (optional)
- Sesame seeds for serving (optional)
- Place the chicken in a large baking dish or resealable bag.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, chili sauce, fish sauce, and minced ginger until combined. Pour over the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or seal the bag and marinate for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
- When you're ready to cook the chicken, place it in a 6-quart slow cooker with the marinade and cook it on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Preheat the broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the drumsticks on the baking sheet and brush well with the marinade. Broil for 3 minutes per side, flipping once and coating with more sauce. Remove from the oven and place on a serving dish with cilantro, lime, and sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy!
- *I store my ginger in the freezer and grate it peel and all with a Microplane grater.
- I cooked my drumsticks on high and they were done in 3 hours flat.
- Broiling helps to add crispiness to the drumsticks and seal in the flavors, but you can skip this step if desired.
- Recipe adapted from The Asian Slow Cooker cookbook by Kelly Kwok.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
20 Comments on “Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken Drumsticks”
I am allllll about tender, flavorful meat and am loving the idea of making drumsticks in the slow cooker! I bet this is such a fabulous dish to serve friends and family (or co-workers) for every potluck ever!! I’m digging the Asian flair and definitely need to get my hands on that cookbook!!
Yes, these would be perfect for a potluck or serving for game day! The cookbook is a must! 🙂
Love sweet chilli wings so I’m sure I’ll love these drumsticks! They look perfect! Can’t wait to cook something from Kelly’s book 🙂
You’ll love the book, Mira — thank you! 🙂
These look so tender and finger lickn’ good, Marcie! I’m so glad to hear that they weren’t too spicy and that you enjoyed them! Thank you SO much for sharing them and the book! 🙂 And it was SO awesome to finally meet my foodie twin after all these years, you are amazing!! <3
We really enjoyed them, Kelly, and there are so many recipes I can’t wait to try in your book! You’re so welcome but really the pleasure was all mine — I got to eat these delicious drumsticks and promote my foodie twin’s new book! 🙂
I can’t wait to get my hand’s on Kelly’s cookbook…everything sounds AMAZING, especially these drumsticks. Such a great idea to make them in the slow cooker! Looks so good, Marcie! I think I need these to help celebrate the Cubs WIN! 🙂
YES — those Cubs! They beat out my Dodgers to get there but obviously there was no stopping them — I was still pulling for them! These drumsticks would be THE best way to celebrate the big win!
These chicken drumsticks look so tender and mouth-watering good. Love how full of flavors they are. Thank you SO much for sharing them. I love Kelly’s recipes and this book sounds wonderful!
You’ll love her book and these drumsticks Anu! 🙂
haha I used to own two … and then one broke 🙁 I so need to replace it!!
And these drumsticks sound FANTASTIC! Huge congrats to Kelly on her book!! 🙂
One of the pots broke in mine and I ordered a replacement — crazy! These were so easy and SO good! ?
I GOT A SLOW COOKER!!!! SO I CAN MAKE THESE BEAUTIFULLY SUCCULENT sticks of love!!!
You just made me laugh out loud! Hah. Thanks, Gigi! ?
I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on Kelly’s new cookbook! She did an absolutely amazing job. I seriously just want to snatch every single one of those pretty little drumsticks straight outta my screen! Drooling like crazy right now, Marcie!
I’ve only seen excerpts from Kelly’s book and I can’t wait to get the real thing! She did a beautiful job, and these drumsticks were so flipping incredible. Thanks, Sarah, and have a great weekend! 🙂
I can’t wait to get my hands on Kelly’s cookbook, it sounds amazing!!
It really is — thanks, Manali!
I am a vegetarian, so I will not be able to enjoy the tastes of this recipe but I liked the photography and the presentation of your recipe Marcie!!!
I totally understand and thank you for your lovely comment Puja!