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!!

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.

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

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!!

Yield: 4
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: 722 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 193mg Sodium: 1053mg Carbohydrates: 67g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 49g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 73g

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96 comments on “Slow Cooker Orange Chicken”

  1. I made this for dinner last night (I followed the directions exactly) and it was delicious!!! The only problem we had was that we needed more rice to soak up all the fabulous sauce, but that’s my fault, not yours! This recipe tastes almost exactly like the orange chicken from The Cheesecake Factory which is one of my favorite dishes! Thanks so much for such a fantastic recipe!

  2. This looks delicious! I was wondering if you had any calorie information on the servings? I don’t see it, but maybe I’m missing it. Thanks!

  3. This turned out really well! I threw in some green beans once this was done and set the slow cooker to warm, and started the rice. It all went really well together! Totally forgot the green onions and sesame seeds because of how tired I was, though, oops.

  4. This was excellent! I made it with pork loin and doubled the recipe. It was done in about four hours on low. Everyone loved it, a keeper for sure!

  5. How important is the rice wine vinegar? I don’t have it on hand and was wondering how much it will affect the recipe without it?

  6. Would it be okay if I used rice vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar? Are they the same thing? I was not able to find rice wine vinegar.

  7. Thanks Averie, I just wanted to make sure. I’m making it for my mom tonight for Mother’s Day because she likes orange chicken. Thanks for posting this great recipe!

  8. Hello. I tried making this today in the slow cooker. I followed recipe almost exactly except I halved the recipe for soy sauce and no ginger. However, the end result wasn’t as saucy as your picture and came out quite gooey. I’m thinking cornstarch? But I added only 1/3 cup as directed. Any suggestions or recommendations? Thank you.

    • If you halved the soy sauce, that would have dramatically reduced the sodium level which overall causes chicken to release its juices/moisture, and in your case therefore not as much sauce was produced. Also some slow cooker run hotter than others and possibly yours is hotter than mine and cooks at a higher temp which would keep things dryer.

  9. I made this tonight and I decided to double the recipe because I bought extra chicken and it’s so didn’t turn out that great. The sauce was so thick and I think there was too much soy sauce. I’m sad!! I’ll have to try it again.

    • Sometimes when you double recipes there are times when doubling an amount of a certain ingredient can be overpowering and I am thinking that was the case with the soy sauce. Also if the sauce was too thick you could add more marmalade, add a splash of water, reduce the amount of the cornstarch a bit. I have not ever doubled this recipe. Thanks for giving it a try.

  10. This recipe was DELICIOUS and so easy to make. The kids and husband all loved it. I used peas & carrots in ours. Yummy!

    Rating: 5
  11. This dish is amazing!! I used to love Chinese food but am gluten intolerant and haven’t been able to eat it for years. I replaced the soy sauce with tamari and it tastes just like I remember! I split it into six servings and added steamed broccoli to cut down on the calories per meal. So delicious and easy!

    Rating: 5
  12. Can you make the slow cooker orange or peanut chicken recipes w chicken thighs? They are very flavorful but not sure w the sauces. Thanks! Plan to make for grad party this weekend!

    • I’ve only made it with breasts although you probably could use thighs. For a party because I would recommend this recipe over the peanut chicken since you will need to sort of keep this simmering for many hours and this recipe will be better for that than the other.

  13. Hi,Great tasting dish and is now a firm family favorite.Regards David

    Rating: 4
  14. I made with orange ginger marmalade and it was fantastic! Did not need 2 hours in a 3 qt slow cooker. Served with wild rice and garlic peas. Not a crumb to be had 😋

    Rating: 5
  15. making this now and i’m a little worried. the sauce looks a lot lighter and has a lot of white in it because of all the corn starch! it basically washed off the chicken when I poured the sauce in! I’m tempted to add more marmalade to thicken it up/darken it. Advice???

  16. 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
  17. I am wondering if it changes the taste much if I do not add the sesame seeds – grandson has an allergy to sesame seeds.

  18. 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
  19. Amazing! All my kids actually ate it! Thanks for the recipe.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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
  23. 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.

    • 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.

  24. 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.

    • 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.

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