In this post, we’ll show you how to make delicious Orange Chicken made in the slow cooker. This recipe makes tender, flavorful, morsels of chicken that have a lightly textured coating. It pairs nicely with white rice, French fries, mashed potatoes, or with oven-baked crab rangoons or cream cheese wontons.
We love this rather quick slow cooker meal because the sauce is made with orange marmalade, ginger, and fresh garlic among other easy to find ingredients. While this chicken is not fried or crispy, the cornstarch thickens the glaze which sticks to the morsels perfectly. Our family enjoys this meal because the sauce is not overly sweet, and tastes similar to a local takeout place sans the deep frying.
Before starting this recipe, you’ll want to verify that you have the following ingredients:
- Olive Oil – Used to coat the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Chicken – Boneless, white meat variety is the type to use for this dish.
- Orange marmalade – Typically Smucker’s brand is the best type to use for flavor. You can use the naturals or regular line. However, do not use sugar-free because you will get a terrible aftertaste–been there, done that!
- Cornstarch – This is used to lightly coat the chicken in. Do not use too much or it will make your dish pasty and gummy–especially if you overcook it.
- Soy Sauce – Must be low sodium variety or this dish will be too salty–trust me, I made the mistake of using full sodium soy sauce and it was way too overwhelming.
- Rice wine vinegar – To cut some of the sweetness and add flavor. You can use white vinegar if you do not have rice wine vinegar.
- Spices – Red pepper flakes, and sea salt can be used to enhance the flavor. I would go light on the salt and keep it to around 1/2 teaspoon max.
- Sesame Oil – This is a staple in Asian cooking and enhances the flavor of the dish.
- Ginger – Ground ginger provides a nice flavor to this dish.
- Garlic Cloves – Freshly pressed garlic adds a beautiful flavor to this dish. You can use garlic powder if you do not have fresh garlic.
- Green Onion – For garnishing. Additionally, you can add toasted sesame seeds as well. My kids do not like these so I skipped them.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds– Optional for garnishing.
Equipment and Supplies Needed
We used the following equipment and supplies to make this recipe:
- Slow Cooker – You will need a 6-quart slow cooker for 2+ pounds of chicken.
- Zippered Bag – To coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch.
- Cutting board & knife – To cut the chicken. *Always practice safe food handling when cooking chicken.
- Whisk – To mix the sauce ingredients.
- Bowl – To mix the sauce ingredients in.
This recipe is easy to make if you know the right tips and tricks! Here are my tips for ensuring your Orange Chicken comes out perfectly.
This better than takeout orange chicken is not a slow cooker meal where you can set it and forget it. In fact, it cooks up rather quickly. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit it is done. My chicken cooked for 2 hours on high, but you will want to start checking yours at the 90-minute mark. If the sauce is starting to dry out and get clumpy shut it off.
Every slow cooker varies so checking your dish at the 90 minute mark will ensure it turns out perfectly. My Hamilton Beach model is a cheaper model that runs VERY hot. In fact, I need a new slow cooker because this one cooks my food way too fast!
If you choose to cook your meal on low, I recommend checking it at the 3 hour mark. For best taste and texture, do not cook it over 4 hours unless the internal temperature of the chicken has not yet reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This dish can dry out quickly and should not be made during a full work day. Unfortunately, this is not an 8-hour slow cooker meal.
If you want to store your Slow Cooker Orange Chicken just follow these easy steps.
- Store any cooled leftovers in the refrigerator (in an airtight container) for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated throughout.
Follow the recipe below to make Slow Cooked Orange Chicken! This recipe makes 5 SERVINGS, but you can adjust the recipe card for other serving sizes. This recipe is inspired by Averie Cooks which produced the best results and texture when we were taste-testing recipes.
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- 6-quart slow cooker
- cutting board
- zippered storage bag
- Measuring Cups & spoons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless white meat chicken cut into cubes
- 1 cup orange marmalade
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 whole garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tablespoons green onion sliced
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of a 6-qaurt slow cooker.
- Add salt, pepper flakes, cornstarch, and cubed chicken to a zippered bag. Shake to coat with cornstarch. You do not want to over coat the pieces because it will thicken the sauce too much. Add coated chicken into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add marmalade, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour sauce over cubed chicken, and stir to combine.
- Cover slow cooker with the lid and cook on high for 2 hours. Check the chicken with a thermometer at the 90 minute mark to ensure the internal temperature has reached 165°F. Additionally, this can be cooked on low for 4 hours checking the chicken at the 3-hour mark.
- Serve chicken with green onion, and toasted sesame seeds over the rice of your choice.