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.

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

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
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!

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!

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!!

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!

easy sweet and sour chicken on a white plate with white rice

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!!

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!!

Mandarin Chicken Stir Fry with veggies in white bowl

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

101 comments on “Slow Cooker Orange Chicken”

  1. I must try this!! I’ve done a similar method for raspberry chicken in the crockpot but didn’t use cornstarch so the sauce was fairly runny once the chicken cooked. I foresee a couple of busy days this coming weekend so the crockpot will come in handy.

    • Oh wow, raspberry chicken sounds like an interesting flavor combo! I’ve never even heard of that one! And yes the cornstarch helps the sauce tighten up and I think just naturally as the marmalade reduces over hours in the slow cooker, it also helped keep it thicker.

    • This was the first thing I made in the new 7 qt slow cooker I bought today. I doubled the recipe so there are plenty of leftovers in the freezer. This was delicious and easy! We both loved the sauce and I might try a raspberry version sometime.

      • So glad you got a new slow cooker! Always fun to get a new appliance and glad you doubled the recipe so you have a freezer stash now! The raspberry version sounds awesome! LMK if you try it!

  2. I am all over this! Slow cooker and everything about this just has me in a huge smile!!! Such an easy meal that looks like that, sign me up! It looks mouthwatering to say the very least! LOVE IT GIRL!

  3. Finalllly the slow cooker made an appearance on our counter yesterday, for the first time this winter (shameful, I know!).  But now that it is out I have reconnected. :)  Slow cooker meals are the best, and this one looks so yummy!  Pinning!

  4. I’m making this tomorrow..I have all the ingredients and it looks so good.  It was 40 below this weekend with the wind chill and we could use some bright citrus flavors.

    • I am so spoiled because it’s in the 70s/80s in SoCal and just about the time I thought no one is going to want this type of food because it’s too hot out…I forget the rest of the country is frozen! Enjoy and LMK how it goes!

  5. Slow cookers are already turning into classics. Here’s yet another great choice of what to fill it on a cold winter day!

  6. Sounds yummy!  I don’t really like orange marmalade by itself, but this would be a genius way to make orange chicken.

  7. I need to dust my slow cooker off and make this!!  Really great recipe!!!  I love orange chicken and this one looks incredible!!

  8. Looks great Averie!  I’m thinking I would definitely drizzle that extra sauce over rice.  I love doing that with saucy Thai curries too :)

  9. Orange and ginger?? Sound a perfect combination :) I’ll definitely try this :)

  10. This is totally happening! I love slow cooker chicken, and my daughter loves orange chicken. Win win!

  11. Orange chicken reminds me of Chinese buffets, but they were always WAY too sweet.  This seems much more mild.  I was planning on making some marmalade with the cheap mandarins at the store right now, so I’m pinning this for later!   But with BROCCOLI becuase those trees will saok up the saucy deliciousness!

    • Skylar is addicted to those mini mandarins, i.e. ‘Cuties’ and I buy a 5 lb bag every week! Not sure if those are one in the same as what you’re referring to but I would have never thought to make my own marmalade! Only you :)

      And this didn’t turn out too sweet at all because the rice wine vinegar, soy, ginger, etc. cuts through it. And yes the sauce is heavenly drizzled over broccoli!

  12. This chicken looks wonderful Averie!!!

  13. Hi Averie
    This looks amazing, but I don’t have a slow cooker.  I would love it if you could just give me instructions on how to prepare this without using a slow cooker..thanks! 

    • I really haven’t tried making it without a slow cooker so can’t say for sure what you’d do. You could try in a skillet on the stovetop but I don’t know if it will develop the same kind of flavor as it does in the slow cooker or if the sauce will turn out to be the appropriate consistency.

  14. I’m totally in love with this recipe!!!! I love slow cooker chicken and your recipe sounds delicious.

  15. oh yummy! this looks so good!

  16. Yay for slow cooker recipes!! And I lovvvee orange chicken <3

  17. Averie, would be OK to do the cooking in this recipe, in a Dutch oven? I do not have the slow cooker you recommend… but I love chicken, and reading about it makes me want it for our dinner tonight: -)

    Thank you!

  18. This turned out lovely….really reminiscent of the Cheesecake Factory’s Orange Chicken except not breaded.  For those asking, I made it in a skillet, sautéing the cornstarch dredged chicken until lightly browned and halfway cooked, then added the rest of ingredients.  It thickened up beautifully after 5 minutes of simmering, after which the chicken was fully cooked. I added the green onions at the end, along with some cashews.  Will be serving with broccoli and brown rice and it is FAB!  Thanks for the idea, Averie!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and glad it came out great for you – in a skillet! Glad the sauce thickened up beautifully and that the dish reminds you of the Cheesecake Factory orange chicken, minus the breading. Cashews would be great with this I’m sure!

  19. Have this in the slow cooker right now with pheasant instead of chicken.  Looking forward to eating it!  Surprised by the bubbling right away…did yours get almost fizzy?  Smells great!

    • I really wasn’t ‘monitoring’ it while it was slow cooking because I was out so can’t say for sure if it was fizzy. Maybe the pheasant reacts a bit differently than chicken? Hope you enjoyed it!

  20. This looks great! I love that there’s no breading or frying–Chinese food at home is great, but deep frying stuff really puts me off my meal. Can’t wait to try this out! 
    -Claire 
    tallgirlbigworld.com

  21. I have a question about the orange marmalade. I found Smuckers Sweet Orange Marmalade (like jelly) and then there was Orange Sauce by Kikkoman. Which one do I use?

    Amy

  22. I have a really long work day and my slow cooker can only be programmed for 4 or 6 hours on high or 8 or 10 hours on low. Any suggestions for the cook time? Do I need to alter the recipe at all?

    • I think that even on low, 8 to 10 hours is just too long for this recipe. I would opt with the 4-6 hour range BUT if that’s on high, I also worry about that because that seems too long to be cooked on high. Not sure what to tell you as the only way I’ve made this is how I’ve written it.

  23. Hi! I am so excited to try this recipe! I got seville orange marmalade from trader joes, will this work ok?
    Thanks so much!

    • Haven’t tried with that exact marmalade but as long as it tastes similar to your average marmalade, I’m sure it will be fine!

    • Hi Bre,

      I used that same exact marmalade you described…don’t do it. It turned out burnt. Overall, it would have been delicious, but this type of marmalade has a distinct flavor that does not compliment this dish. I would definitely make this again, but use a different brand. I also skipped the corn starch, I am not a fan of thickeners unless it’s natural.

      Thank you to Averie for posting this recipe.

  24. i bet this tastes lovely. Thanks for sharing this, gonna give this a go later. Simon

  25. Just made this tonight… used gluten free soy sauce and love the rest is naturally gluten free! Was worried because confession…I HATE orange. Citrus grosses me out. However I’m eating it right now and it’s to DIE FOR!

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