★★★★★

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken is easy to make and insanely delicious! You’ll love the sticky sweet sauce with juicy chicken and just the right amount of spice. Better than takeout!

You don’t have to order take out to enjoy your favorite Chinese restaurant dishes at home. Try this Chicken Fried Rice recipe or these homemade Lettuce Wraps and have a “fake out take out” night!

Orange chicken served over rice on a white plate.

Why Use the Crockpot

Today’s recipe is a slow cooker version of long time family favorite. Orange chicken!

Orange chicken tastes delicious pretty much no matter what cooking method you choose. I’ve been making this Panda Express orange chicken for years. This Instant Pot orange chicken method is another favorite.

Using the slow cooker to make orange chicken has a few advantages over other versions.

  • The Crockpot makes it easier! You just put the chicken and sauce ingredients in the pot and let it cook.
  • Slow cooking makes the chicken more flavorful. Cooking it long and slow allows the chicken to absorb all the tangy sweet flavor of the orange glaze.
  • No need to heat up the stove. Crockpot orange chicken is the perfect solution for a busy day or summertime, when you don’t want to raise the temperature of your kitchen.
Ingredients needed to make slow cooker orange chicken.

Ingredient Notes

We love that this easy dinner recipe has regular ingredients that you probably already have in your home!

  • Chicken – We used chicken breasts for this orange chicken. Boneless skinless chicken thighs can also be used.
  • Orange juice concentrate – This gives the sauce its orange flavor without watering it down.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – A little bit of heat balances out the sweetness of the orange sauce. You can reduce or omit the red pepper if you don’t want any spice.
  • Cornstarch – This is mixed with water to form a “slurry” and stirred into the slow cooker orange chicken in the last 15 minutes of cooking. It thickens the sauce, making it look and taste just like your favorite take out version.

Tips and Tricks

  • Enjoy the orange chicken over a bed of jasmine rice garnished with fresh green onions.
  • For a lower calorie option, serve the chicken over cauliflower rice or in lettuce wraps!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top and enjoy within 3-5 days.
Orange chicken spooned out of the slow cooker.

Recipe FAQs

Is this orange chicken breaded?

No, this slow cooker orange chicken recipe does not use breaded chicken. Instead, fresh chicken breasts are slow cooked right in sauce making them juicy and tender.

Can I use fresh squeezed orange juice instead of concentrate?

I don’t recommend using fresh squeezed juice. The concentrated juice is diluted by the soy sauce, vinegar and water to give this sauce a perfect orange-y taste.
Fresh squeezed juice would make the sauce watery with a weaker flavor.

How can I make this recipe on the stovetop?

For a stove top version, try this Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe. It’s made on the stove and always a big hit.

Orange chicken served on plates of rice.

More Easy Slow Cooker Dinners

Yield: 8 servings

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken is easy to make and insanely delicious! You'll love the sticky sweet sauce with juicy chicken and just the right amount of spice. Better than takeout!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut bite size
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

To Thicken:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • green onion, sesame seeds, and jasmine rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large slow cooker, combine chicken with soy sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, water, red pepper, garlic, and salt.
  2. Heat on low, covered, for 6 hours.
  3. Fifteen minutes before serving, combine water with cornstarch (whisking them together).
  4. Pour into slow cooker, mix and allow to thicken (15 minutes to an hour).
  5. Serve over cooked rice and add green onions and sesame seeds for garnish. ENJOY!

Notes

  • Enjoy the orange chicken over a bed of jasmine rice garnished with fresh green onions.
  • For a lower calorie option, serve the chicken over cauliflower rice or in lettuce wraps!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top and enjoy within 3-5 days.
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 607mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 37g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Making Slow Cooker Orange Chicken is just as easy as takeout! Treat yourself (and your budget) to this easy homemade version of the popular American Chinese restaurant dish.

    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on March 16, 2022

    Comments & Reviews

    1. I made this Orange Chicken tonight for dinner. The sauce was very good with a nice orange flavor but too sweet for my family. Also, the chicken was dry. I would recommend cutting the Brown Sugar to 1/3 Cup and use Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into bite size pieces, and only cook for 3-4 hours. I would definitely make this again with these adjustments.

    2. What a fun tradition to carry on every year!!! Happy Anniversary to you and your man!!! We do love Chinese food here too and I’m loving that this version can be made in the slow cooker!

    3. I love that you have this tradition that is so sweet! I’ve been with my husband longer then I’ve been without him too. We got together when I was 15 (31 now 🙂 ) Our tradition is Mongolian BBQ because it is where we had our first date. There isn’t a good one in Seattle so now we just do our best to recreate it at home. One of my favorite meals to make!

    4. I cannot believe you have been married for 20 years. I thought you were still in your 20s for reals! Well this is a happening dish. I love that it can be made in the slow cooker. Must try!

    5. Aimee, that is awesome! 20 years!! I love that you guys still have the same tradition! My hubby and I have been married 13 years this coming march and we never do much for our anniversary either. We need to come up with something cute like this. 🙂 This orange chicken looks so yummy and easy to throw in the crock pot. I need to try this asap! Pinned!

    6. Happy Anniversary!! This dish looks fantastic! I adore oranges in savory dishes so this needs to happen soon!

    7. Congratulations on 20 years! That is definitely something to celebrate! I love your tradition of ordering Chinese food and now I’m craving orange chicken.

    8. When I read “slow cooker”, I knew you made this recipe just for me! 😉 I don’t think I’d survive without that thing. Orange chicken is now on the menu!
      20 years is a huge milestone. Congrats!

      1. I use my slow cooker several times a week. I rely on it to get dinner on the table all too often!! 🙂

    9. This looks so easy and delicious! I’m always looking for delicious weeknight slow cooker meals…yum!

    10. We order chinese food for our first year anniversary!
      Unfortunately, we ordered bad chinese, so the rest of the night was spent laying around on the couch with stomach aches. Not romantic.
      BUT, this slow cooker version sounds SO good, and definitely MUCH better than that experience. Love it! Pinned 🙂

    11. 20 years??!! Congratulations! Chinese take out is one of our favorites! I’m definitely making this next week-love that it is in the slow cooker! Pinned.

    12. This looks great! I’m coming on my ten year anniversary and it feels like it went by in a flash. congrats on 20 years!

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