Slow Cooker Orange Chicken is an excellent way to enjoy a takeout-style meal made right at home! This easy recipe features tender chicken cooked in a simple sauce infused with bold citrus flavor. Serve over rice, noodles, or your favorite veggies to make a full meal!
Craving some delicious orange chicken but don't want to leave the house or wait long for a takeout order? Grab your slow cooker!
Slow cooking helps to bring out the maximum flavor of all ingredients without a lot of fuss. They are incredibly user-friendly; you just need to add all your ingredients, set the temperature and time, and forget about it until dinnertime!
Orange chicken is a popular takeout dish that is made by slow-cooking chicken pieces in an orange sauce. The slow cooking process allows the chicken to cook evenly and absorb all of the flavors of the orange sauce, resulting in a tender, juicy, and flavorful meal.
Once cooked, serve it in a variety of different ways, including over hot cooked rice, noodles, or even steamed vegetables. For an extra kick of flavor, try garnishing it with fresh oranges!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- No need to spend time or money at a takeout restaurant; slow cooker orange chicken is an easy and tasty way to enjoy a classic takeout meal from the comfort of your home.
- It's made with ten simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
- You can serve it in a variety of different ways that make it new each time.
- Orange chicken has a sweet and savory flavor that everyone in your family will love.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken Breast - Tender chicken breast is great when slow-cooked and absorbs the sweet and salty flavors of the homemade orange sauce.
- Cornstarch - Used to thicken the sauce, which helps it stick to each piece of chicken.
- Orange Marmalade - Adds the classic orange flavor to the dish along with sweetness.
- Water - Used to thin out the sauce to the proper consistency.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce - Gives the sauce its salty umami flavor without adding lots of sodium.
- Rice Vinegar - Adds a tangy acidic kick to the sauce to help balance all of the flavors.
- Sesame Oil - Gives the dish a touch of toasted sesame flavor.
- Fresh Ginger - Adds a kick of natural spice along with freshness.
- Salt & Pepper - Balances and enhances the natural flavors in the dish.
How To Make Orange Chicken In The Slow Cooker
Prepare the chicken breast: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut chicken into 1" chunks and add to a 1-gallon freezer bag. Add cornstarch and close the bag. Shake until completely coated. Then add to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Create the homemade orange sauce: Pour the orange marmalade, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top of the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 1½-2½ hours or LOW for 3½ to 4½ hours. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
Garnish and serve: Serve over rice, noodles, or steamed veggies, and garnish with fresh green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- When preparing the chicken breast, it's important to make sure it's all cut into 1-inch chunks for even cooking.
- If the sauce is too thin after slow cooking, remove the lid and turn up the heat to HIGH. Cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
- The safe internal temperature of chicken breasts is 165° F. Always check with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached this temperature before serving.
- For those who don't eat meat, you can make this slow cooker dish vegetarian by replacing the chicken with extra-firm tofu. Just make sure to season it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper before slow cooking.
- If you don't have orange marmalade on hand, you can replace it with orange juice concentrate instead.
- Add various vegetables to the dish, including bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and celery.
- Instead of chicken breasts, try using boneless, skinless chicken thighs for added flavor and extra juiciness.
- Spice it up! Add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a desired amount of sriracha for an extra kick of heat.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, portion out the slow-cooked orange chicken into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Freezing: Portion out slow-cooked orange chicken into a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or microwave.
Reheating: The best way to reheat orange chicken is to transfer it to a skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir until the sauce starts to bubble, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes or until hot.
Yes, you can make slow-cooker orange chicken gluten-free by using a gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free cornstarch.
Yes, but the dish's flavor will be slightly different as the marmalade has added spices and sweetness. The easiest way to do this is to replace the marmalade with an equal amount of freshly squeezed orange juice or orange juice concentrate.
Takeout orange chicken can be high in fat, sodium, and calories. However, when you make slow-cooker orange chicken at home with fresh ingredients, it can actually be a healthy dish! It's low in fat, high in protein, and packed with flavorful citrusy goodness.
More Slow Cooker Asian Inspired Meals
- Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef
- Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken
- Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
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Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Cut chicken into 1" chunks and add to a 1-gallon freezer bag. Add cornstarch and close the bag. Shake until completely coated. Then add to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add orange marmalade, orange juice, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 1½-2½ hours or low for 3½ to 4½ hours. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
- Serve over rice and garnish with fresh green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.