Slow Cooker Orange Chicken — The easiest orange chicken ever because your slow cooker does all the work!! Super juicy, tender, and coated with a sweet-yet-tangy orange glaze that’s irresistible!!
Easy Slow Cooker Orange Chicken Recipe
When I asked on Facebook what kind of recipes you want to see, I was overwhelmed with slow cooker responses. So slow cooker orange chicken it is today with more slow cooker recipes in the upcoming weeks. Make sure you’re following me on Facebook and chime in.
This is the easiest orange chicken recipe ever and there’s no breading, browning, or frying involved. Your slow cooker does all the work for you. The chicken is so tender, juicy, and layered with complementary flavors from the orange marmalade, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and green onions.
It reminds me of Panda Express Chinese Orange Chicken except with this copycat recipe, there’s no frying.
Along with rice and steamed broccoli and peapods, my family loved this meal and it couldn’t be any easier for me. I used a slow cooker liner and cleanup was as easy as tossing the liner.
There’s plenty of cooking sauce leftover in the bottom of the slow cooker, which I spoon generously over the chicken, rice, and veggies. I love the sweet-and-tangy, savory flavor and don’t let a drop go to waste.
What’s in Slow Cooker Orange Chicken?
To make this orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- Orange marmelade
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Ground ginger
- Garlic powder
- Sesame seeds
- Green onions
- Orange slices (optional)
How to Make Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Drizzle the bottom of your slow cooker with olive oil. Then, place the diced chicken, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a zip-top bag and shake to coat. Place chicken in slow cooker.
Next, add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and gently stir the chicken to coat it evenly in the sauce.
Cook covered on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 4 hours. If cooking on high, start checking at 90 minutes and if cooking on low, start checking at 3 hours. All slow cookers vary, so just cook until chicken is done (reaches 165F on an instant read thermometer).
I like serving my CrockPot orange chicken over rice garnished with chopped green onion and sesame seeds.
Can I Make Orange Chicken Without a Slow Cooker?
I haven’t made this recipe without a slow cooker, so I can’t give specifics about how to tweak it if you don’t own one. I have other chicken recipes listed in the Related Recipes below that you can try until you can make this with a slow cooker.
Can I Add Veggies to the Orange Chicken?
I’ve only made this recipe as written, but a few readers have reported success with adding chopped vegetables to the slow cooker in the last 30 or so minutes of cooking. Play around with it and see what works for you!
Tips for Making Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Some readers have asked if they can use sugar-free orange marmalade in this easy orange chicken recipe. I’ve only made this recipe using regular orange marmalade (i.e. full sugar), so I can’t speak to how the sugar-free kind will cook down in the sauce and if it will affect the overall flavor of the dish.
I’ve only made this orange marmalade chicken recipe using chicken breasts, but I’m sure you could get away with boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. Just be sure to dice them into even-sized pieces so the chicken cooks through evenly.
If you have a sesame allergy, you’re welcome to use additional olive oil in the orange chicken sauce instead of sesame oil. And skip the sesame seed garnish.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted if desired (add to a dry skillet and cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds or until fragrant)
- 2 tablespoons green onions, sliced thin for garnishing
- orange slices, optional for garnishing
- Line a 3 to 6-quart slow cooker with a liner if using one. I prefer to use liners for easy cleanup.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over bottom of the liner or slow cooker.
- To a large, gallon-sized ziptop plastic bag, add the chicken, cornstarch, salt, pepper, seal bag, and toss to coat chicken evenly. Add chicken to slow cooker, evenly distributed; set aside.
- To a 2-cup measuring cup or medium bowl, add the orange marmalade, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger (I prefer 1 teaspoon but some people are sensitive to ginger), garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture over the chicken, using a spoon to distribute the sauce as necessary, making sure all pieces are coated.
- Cook covered on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 4 hours. If cooking on high, start checking at 90 minutes and if cooking on low, start checking at 3 hours. All slow cookers vary so cook until chicken is done (reaches 165F on an instant read thermometer).
- Add chicken to a plate with as much extra cooking sauce spooned over the top as desired, garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, optional orange wedges, and serve immediately.
Chicken is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 722Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 1053mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 2gSugar: 49gProtein: 73g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate because it's computer-generated. In my opinion, the values are very elevated because you don't use every drop of sauce which includes marmalade (high sugar) and soy sauce (high sodium). There will be unconsumed sauce but the calculations take into account if you were consuming every drop.
More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes:
Healthier Orange Chicken – Stop calling for takeout or going to the mall food court and make this HEALTHIER orange chicken at home in less than 10 minutes!! EASY, authentic, and so INCREDIBLE that you’ll never miss the fat and calories!!
One-Skillet Orange Chicken with Vegetables — Easy, ready in 15 minutes, healthy (no breading, no frying), and the orange flavor just pops! Perfect for busy weeknights, a family favorite, and you’ll make this over and over!
Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad – Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!
Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetable Bowtie Pasta – Juicy chicken coated in teriyaki sauce with crisp, crunchy veggies! Healthy, easy, 20 minute meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights!
15-Minute Orange Chili Chicken and Broccoli – The orange chili sauce is spicy, tangy, and sweet all in one!! The PERFECT sauce to jazz up chicken and broccoli! A FAST and EASY dinner with great Asian FLAVOR!!
Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken — This sweet and sour chicken recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and tastes way better than takeout. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!
Sheet Pan Ginger Orange Chicken and Vegetables – Fast, EASY, HEALTHY, and loaded with great orange ginger flavor!! A DELISH one-pan meal with zero cleanup that’s perfect for busy weeknights!!
Mandarin Chicken Stir Fry — An EASY Asian stir fry with tender chicken, juicy oranges, and veggies!! Skip takeout and make this ONE skillet recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes and perfect for busy weeknights!!
Originally posted February 15, 2016 and reposted January 10, 2020 with updated text.