Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

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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!!

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.

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!!

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
  • Cornstarch
  • 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) 

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!!

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. 

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!!

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! 

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!!

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. 

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!!

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!!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 4

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

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!!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

    1. Line a 3 to 6-quart slow cooker with a liner if using one. I prefer to use liners for easy cleanup.
    2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over bottom of the liner or slow cooker.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Pour mixture over the chicken, using a spoon to distribute the sauce as necessary, making sure all pieces are coated.
    6. 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).
    7. 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

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!!

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!

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!

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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!!

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!

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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!!

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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!!

Mandarin Chicken Stir Fry with veggies in white bowl

Originally posted February 15, 2016 and reposted January 10, 2020 with updated text.

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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. I hope they will like it.

    Rating: 5
  2. We like extra sauce… would you recommend to double it just for the sauce part of course not the chicken… either way I’m making it.. yum yum

    1. It’s pretty saucey as written. I don’t think you need to double it. I LOVE sauce, and there is enough for me for sure without doubling.

  3. Now it is holiday and I have a lot of time to cook whatever I want and your orange chicken recipe is always one of my favourite choice! Happy New Year!

    Rating: 5
  4. Omg, your dishes look so colorful and delicious!Btw, I dont have slow cooker, so can I use instant pot instead?

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks so much for the compliments! I am sure there’s a way to make this in the IP but I haven’t experimented so I can’t say for absolute sure the cooking instructions and the ingredients quantities if those would change or not.

  5. I made it exactly how it’s instructed and something tastes off. It leaves a very bitter/gross taste in my mouth, particularly on my tongue. Not sure what happened. 

    1. I would almost guess when you say bitterness, that your marmalade was on the bitter side rather than sweeter, and when it cooked for hours in the slow cooker, it condensed and concentrated and got even more bitter. Definitely go with something sweeter next time that when you taste it out of the jar you are happy with the flavor.

  6. I’m cooking a crockpot of orange chicken right now with pineapple slices….will post how it turned out

  7. I’m very confused about the RICE WINE VINEGAR?  What brand are you buying and where from. I am only seeing RICE VINEGAR in the stores? Please help I want to make this meal. 

    Rating: 5
  8. Great recipe! I prepared it according to your instructions and the taste is great! Everyone in the family likes it, it makes me happy. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  9. Absolutely DEE-licious !! I cut it back to about 1/3 of the recipe, using half a pound of chicken tenders in a 1.5 quart slow cooker. Poured it over bean thread (cellophane) noodles. I overcooked it some, but even though the chicken was a bit dry, I ate every bite and licked the bowl clean. 😋 Will be making again tomorrow, and at least once a month from now on.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this was a winner that you’re making tomorrow and monthly!

  10. Hi! Wondering if you can help me figure out where I went wrong. I made this exactly how you instructed by my sauce didn’t thicken up at all, it’s quite watery. I used low sodium soy sauce, could that be why?

    1. Wouldn’t be the soy sauce IMO. It could be the brand of orange marmalade you used. Could be not enough corn starch. Could be that the heat was high enough to cook the chicken but not really tighten the sauce.

      However, this isn’t a ‘thick’ really tight sauce. If you want that type of sauce, make this https://www.averiecooks.com/healthier-orange-chicken/

    1. You could but won’t have the same amount of sugar nor viscosity/thickness that a marmalade will have. Nor probably the intensity of flavor.

      But if you know going in that your results will differ, and that’s all you have, then I would try it.

  11. I love this recipe! The flavor is great. How did yours turn out more dark brown? I think the juices in the chicken diluted the color/flavor of the sauce to a more orangey.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love it!

      Not sure regarding the coloring, maybe just the lighting.

  12. Love your recipes….. This one calls for vegetable oil. Is there a more healthy substitute? Avocado or Olive Oil? How much will it change to taste or cooking?

    Rating: 5
  13. My husband is on a low Na diet. Why is this recipe over 1000 mg of sodium per serving? My low Na soy sauce is 450 mg for 1 T (equivalent to 1/4 of this recipe), the orange marmalade would add another 40 mg. I would eliminate the salt (only 1/8 t per serving). The other ingredients should not add sodium, so I am mystified.

    1. I added a disclaimer about the nutrition info underneath it which you can read over, my thoughts only but you’re not going to consume every drop of sauce which is where the higher values are coming into play. And all ingredients vary. You can always calculate by hand for a more accurate representation given your exact ingredients’ values.

  14. Hello I made this last night followed recipe exactly. cooked on high and checked in 90 min.
    liquid cook out and thick. How can I savage this dish to have more sauce. rated this is three due to the end results.
    had a good taste but the sauce on the chicken was like paste.

    1. It sounds like your slow cooker runs pretty hot. In that case you may want to try omitting or reducing the cornstarch, add more marmalade, add a splash of water or chicken stock, you will need to play around with things based on your slow cooker.

  15. I would like to make this for a friend recovering from surgery. Could I prep the chicken and sauce and freeze them so that they can just put it in the crockpot when they are ready to eat it? Thanks.

    1. If they are recovering from surgery, my suggestion would just be to make it for them, put it in portion-sized plastic containers and they can freeze them and take out from the freezer and zap in micro when they’re ready to consume. It’s a freezer friendly recipe.

      I haven’t tried your method so not sure how that will all work out.

  16. I made this last night for dinner. It was perfect. My husband could not find a Chinese restaurant in our area that has this on the menu, and he really loves it. I did add 2 small hot peppers to the mix to kick up the spice. Thanks Averie. Mine was not quite done after 2 hours on high, and everything else was ready to be served. I scooped the whole recipe into a nonstick frying pan and finished it on the stove for about 5 minutes. The sauce is to die for!

    Rating: 5
    1. I am glad you loved the recipe and that it was perfect! All slow cookers can vary in their heat output and intensity so great call to just quickly finish it up on the stovetop for 5 minutes!

  17. Easy and good. I tweaked the recipe by adding quartered mushrooms, and slices of red pepper and onion about 20 min before chicken was done.

  18. Do you think sugar free or like the calorie free orange marmalades would work, bring down the calories but still taste good?

  19. This was delicious and easy to make. I used chicken thighs in stead of chicken breasts and cooked for Ann hour and a half in the crockpot and it came out perfect!

    Rating: 5
  20. I am wondering if it changes the taste much if I do not add the sesame seeds – grandson has an allergy to sesame seeds.

  21. Decided to switch up dinner tonight and try this. So good! A new fave! I didn’t have orange marmalade on hand so I subbed in apricot preserves, which worked out great.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is a new fave and that it came out great with apricot preserves! I love apricot anything. May have to try it this way myself!