Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

This orange chicken is cooked in the slow cooker for an easy weeknight dinner! It’s a healthier version of take-out orange chicken and all you have to do is toss the ingredients in your crockpot and let it do all the work.

I’ve made a lot of versions of orange chicken over the years as it’s one of Mr. K’s favorite dishes. I’ve done classic orange chickenbaked orange chickenorange chicken pasta, and even orange cauliflower. But this slow cooker orange chicken is by far the easiest one.

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How to Make Orange Chicken in the Slow Cooker

  • I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders for this recipe. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and toss them in the slow cooker with two tablespoons of cornstarch. The cornstarch will help thicken the sauce.

process photo showing the chicken in the slow cooker

  • Combine chicken stock, orange juice, orange zest, minced garlic and ginger, honey, light soy sauce, and sriracha in a bowl. Pour it over the chicken in the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker for two hours.

overhead photo of a bowl of sauce for the chicken

Once you add your chicken and your sauce let the slow cooker do the rest, giving you more time to work on other things. Like, organize your kitchen drawer, clean out the fridge or binge-watch the new episodes of Gilmore Girls. I have to confess I watched them out of order. I started with the last one because I wanted to be prepared for the ending.overhead photo of the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker

After two hours the orange chicken is ready to go. For an even thicker sauce I like to combine two more tablespoons of cornstarch with water and stir it into the chicken and sauce.

I paired this orange chicken with steamed broccoli, scallions, brown rice and orange slices.

We ate this for dinner the other night and nearly ate the whole pot. We did manage to save some leftovers for lunch the next day and it was equally delicious.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 6
An easy weeknight meal and a healthier version of the popular Chinese takeout dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or tenders cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp ginger minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • tsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Add chicken to crockpot. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp cornstarch and toss chicken to evenly coat in cornstarch.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, orange juice, zest, garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce. Pour sauce over chicken.
  3. Seal your crock pot and set it to cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, your chicken should be tender and sauce should be thickened. To thicken sauce even more, dissolve 2 tbsp cornstarch into 2 tbsp water, then stir completely into the sauce. Seal crock pot and cook on high for 30 minutes and sauce should be much thicker. Serve over rice and with vegetables of your choice. Garnish with chopped scallions if desired.

Notes:

  • To save time, you can add the raw chicken directly into the pot. However, when the chicken cooks, little pieces of the chicken will break off, so you will find small chicken piece floating in the sauce. If you wish for a more cleaner appearance, quickly pan sear the exterior of the chicken cubes first before adding them to the pot. This will reduce the amount of little pieces of chicken from breaking off during the cooking.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Amount Per Serving (0.17 of recipe)
Calories 243 Calories from Fat 31
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 4%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.9g
Cholesterol 83.3mg 28%
Sodium 424.7mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 25.4g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Sugars 20.2g
Protein 27.3g 55%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 39%
Calcium 2%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

16 comments on “Slow Cooker Orange Chicken”

  1. Yum! My kids can’t get enough orange chicken, will try this soon

  2. I love these types of recipes! So easy and convenient. Another one for TC to make, haha.

    • hope you like it =)

      • We did like it. I didn’t have as much Sriracha as I thought I did (the bottle was almost empty) but it was still good. Definitely plan to do this again. So simple and delicious.

      • yay!! so glad you liked it. I usually add extra sriracha but if I’m making it just for the husband I’ll add some ketchup instead to get the orange color since he can’t eat that spicy

  3. I have been looking to a new recipe to try with my slightly new slow cooker. I’m a vegetarian, but my boyfriend would die eating chicken happily, so I decided to try this one. I spent all of Sunday night making it because I was busy on the weekend, but I’m sooo glad I did. It was supposed to be his lunch for the whole week, but he tried it Sunday night right after I finished cooking, and he LOVED it! He wanted to eat a big plate of it too, but I only had enough for his lunches, haha! Will definitely make another round of this in the future! Thank you so much for this healthy alternative!

  4. Would this work using tofu or some other meat substitute?

    • tofu may break down too much when cooked for so long. it might work with cauliflower? I haven’t tried yet though with any meat substitutes

  5. I don’t know what but it as very corn starchy even with the first two tbsp. I am eating but my kids (5 and 9) won’t.

    • Sorry to hear that. the cornstarch acts as a thickener and should not be tasted at all. A couple of things. Did you change any of the other liquid ingredients? If you have less liquid the recipe would require less cornstarch. The second thing is, you need to make sure the cornstarch is first completely dissolved into the water. Then you pour it into your sauce. And then you need to stir again to make sure it’s completely dissolved into the sauce before you seal to cook again. if cornstarch is not completely dissolved, it clumps up during cooking. but if it’s completely dissolved, all it should do is thicken your sauce. i hope that helps

  6. Hi Kirbie,

    This recipe was tasty but my orange chicken didn’t look nearly as orange as yours! Mine retained the dark colour it had when it went into the slow cooker. I used mushroom soy sauce (the only thing I had on hand) and omitted the cornstarch. Could either of these things affected the colour? 

    • I haven’t worked with mushroom soy sauce before but it could definitely affect the final color outcome. When I use a dark soy sauce, the chicken sauce isn’t as orange. Also the cornstarch thickens the sauce and also lightens up the color a lot. My sauce looked dark until after I stirred in the cornstarch at the end. The sriracha also helps make the sauce more orange too.

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