Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

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Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken is a super easy meal with an amazing sweet and savory sauce with a little bit of heat! This is way better than takeout!
Asian food and slow cooker just go together, it gives time for the meat to soak up all those intense flavors. For instance in this slow cooker Chicken, Beef and Kung Pao Chicken, the flavors just explode because of the long slow simmer.
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken in a white bowl.

General Tso Chicken

I made this recipe four years ago and the pictures weren’t doing it justice. We love asian inspired meals here at our family so of course this was one of the first recipes to make its debut on the blog. We have it quite often at our house and it is incredible. I love being able to make better than takeout right at home!  It was time to update the pictures on here and my family was reminded about how much we love it. Everyone devoured it including my youngest two year old.

The rich and dark sauce in this meal is incredible. It is sweet and savory with just a little bit of heat. I always have to hold out the red pepper flakes until the end just for my kiddos, but it has such incredible flavor. The sauce is thick on the chicken and it is perfect served over rice with some vegetables.  I know this is a meal that your family is going to love! You will make it again and again.

Ingredients For Slow Cooker Chicken

Simple ingredients that combine to create magic in the slow cooker. You are going to love this easy way of getting better than take out at home.

  • Chicken Breasts: Skinless, boneless and cut into one inch cubes.
  • Cornstarch: This will create that crispy outside.
  • Vegetable Oil: To fry the chicken in before slow cooking.
  • Hoisin Sauce: This sweet and salty sauce can be found in the asian aisle with the soy sauce, and other asian sauces.
  • Soy Sauce: Can use regular or low sodium with great results.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a bit of sweet to combat the heat.
  • Garlic: A necessary ingredient for this incredible chicken.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: Adds that bit of zing that’s awesome.
  • Sesame oil: Adds intense flavor.
  • Dry Ginger: Blends easy and has just the right amount of flavor and heat.
  • Crushed Red Pepper: This brings the heat.
  • Green Onions, Sesame Seeds, Additional Red Pepper Flakes: These are all optional but all worth the extra effort to have them ready to go.

Making Incredible Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken

Start by adding a simple breading to the outside, then pan fry the edges for just a few minutes. This is an extra step, but you will love the crispy edges. The chicken has a tender and juicy center by doing this extra step. If you want to just dump the chicken in with the sauce and let it do its thing you can as well.

  1. Mix: In a mixing bowl add the chicken and cornstarch. Toss until the chicken is completely coated in the cornstarch.
  2. Brown: In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat add oil and cook the chicken until the chicken is slightly brown but not cooked throughout. Put in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  3. Whisk: In a small mixing bowl whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and crushed red pepper. Pour on top of chicken in the slow cooker.
  4. Cook: Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked throughout.
  5. Serve: Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes if desired.
  6. Note:  If you are cooking the chicken without browning in the skillet first, when chicken is finished cooking, remove the chicken and add 1 Tablespoon cornstarch to the sauce. Add the chicken back to the crockpot and cook for an additional 15 minutes until the sauce thickens up. Chicken could also take longer to cook, closer to 4 hours.

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken in a slow cooker.

Tips for Tender and Juicy Chicken

This is truly one of my all time favorites along with Crispy Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken or Baked Honey Sesame Chicken. I can’t decide, but either way they are all super easy, and super delicious.

  • Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Be sure to cut them all the same side so they’ll cook evenly.
  • Coating: It’s true you don’t have to pre brown them in the oil with the cornstarch, but the extra crispiness and coating make it more like a restaurants. Plus it just tastes so much better. If you choose not to do this step. Be sure to check the notes for how to thicken the sauce.
  • Serve: Our favorite way to eat this is over rice. But this is also great over brown rice, cauliflower rice and quinoa.  It would also be amazing over a salad or roasted vegetables.
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken with a wooden spoon.

How to Store Easy General Tso Chicken

America loves its Asian food. You know you are getting great quality ingredients with incredible flavor in the comfort of your own home. You have to try these tried and true recipes! You are going to love them.

  • Store: Keep for up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Freeze:  In an airtight freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight and rewarm on the stove in a skillet or microwave.
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken over white rice.

More Asian Inspired “Better than Takeout” Recipes

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken

4.77 from 42 votes
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken is a super easy meal with an amazing sweet and savory sauce with a little bit of heat! This is way better than takeout!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 5

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into one inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper more or less to liking
  • Optional garnish green onions, sesame seeds, additional red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

  • In a mixing bowl add the chicken and cornstarch. Toss until the chicken is completely coated in the cornstarch. In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat add oil and cook the chicken until the chicken is lightly brown but not cooked throughout. Put in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and crushed red pepper. Pour on top of chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked throughout. *see note
  • Serve over rice and garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes if desired.

Video

Notes

If you are cooking the chicken without browning in the skillet first, when chicken is finished cooking, remove the chicken and add 1 Tablespoon cornstarch to the sauce. Add the chicken back to the crockpot and cook for an additional 15 minutes until the sauce thickens up. Chicken could also take longer to cook, closer to 4 hours.
Updated on February 19, 2021
Originally Posted on September 29, 2018

Nutrition

Serves: 5

Calories312kcal (16%)Carbohydrates41g (14%)Protein21g (42%)Fat7g (11%)Saturated Fat3g (15%)Cholesterol59mg (20%)Sodium962mg (40%)Potassium419mg (12%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar29g (32%)Vitamin A85IU (2%)Vitamin C1.7mg (2%)Calcium35mg (4%)Iron0.9mg (5%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword general tso chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic
 This was the old picture. Wasn’t too awful compared to some but I didn’t even spell Tso’s right! haha

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this today for the first time! It was amazing! I used thighs instead of breasts and crisped them in the pan first with the oil and cornstarch. So great! Thank you!

      1. This was a very easy and tasty recipe. The only thing I will change next time is to use less sugar. Too sweet for me, otherwise a delicious dish. Thank you!

  2. I made your beef and broccoli in the crock pot yesterday. We loved it and would make it again. The directions we clear and easy and it tasted great.

  3. Would I be able to increase the general tso chicken to serve 20 which would increasing it by 4 or would it be too much liquid? Thank you

  4. This sounds wonderful! I’m adding is to my weekend menu. Only change, I have a thing go pineapple in my spicy Chinese dishes. Think I’ll add a can of minced or diced to the pot at the end. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. 4 stars
    This was good but the hour i spent sauteing the chicken in batches for crispness was a wasted effort. Any crockpot I have ever used tends to steam as it cooks. That does not result in anything being crisp. If I were to make again I would do stovetop If I wanted crisp. Flavor was great though.

    1. Coating the chicken in corn starch and then sautéing it before finishing it in the crockpot is intended to flavor and thicken the sauce. The chicken is not meant to be served crispy. That is why the author noted to remove some sauce, thicken with cornstarch and return to crockpot if you not choose not to sauté the chicken.

  6. Holy cow this is so good!! Easy to make!! I am so excited to feed my family dinner! I couldn’t find this on your Instagram to make a post.

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve made this dish several times – my husband keeps requesting it! Very easy. I sautee a green veggie and put this over cauliflower rice to make it a little lighter. I also have reduced the amount of brown sugar to 1/4 cup and it still turns out great.

  8. 5 stars
    Excellent, I deep fried the starched chicken cubes for 3 minutes at 375f good and crisp. 2.5 hrs at low slow cooker , as good as my favorite take out.

  9. 2 T means two tablespoons. T does not stand for cup, people. 2 cups of soy sauce is about three days worth of sodium. Please be careful.

  10. The first time I made this, I halved the sugar and still found it too sweet. When I made it again, I omitted the sugar altogether and strongly preferred the result. Excellent dish, but cut the sugar.

  11. Tried this recipe last night, it’s absolutely delicious and will certainly be making it again.
    I forgot to add the crushed red pepper but it tasted really good without it, however the next time I do make it will try and remember to add the red pepper and just compare the flavours.

  12. Made this with a few tweaks. Not enough time for crockpot so did on stove top. Sautéed the corn starched chicken in a combination of sesame oil and hot chili oil (we like spicy). Omitted the brown sugar since hoisin is sweet enough. Upped the rice vinegar by a few tablespoons. Used black sesame seeds since that was on hand. HUGE success!

  13. A definite hit with my family !!!! Everyone was so impressed how flavourful this dish was. I was impressed how simple it was to make … thanks!!!!

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