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

4.75 from 39 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. I’ve made this several time and keep meaning to leave a review. This is the best General Tso chicken recipe. It smells and tastes just like Chinese take away. I always double the sauce. I’ve made it twice on stove top, wicked easy- one pan. Today, I used the slow cooker to make ahead and it keeps it warm. I highly recommend this recipe!! It also freezes well, that is, if you happen to have any left =) I cook broccoli and other veggies separately, then add them while serving. Yumm!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Very delicious. It’s a little time consuming but definitely worth it. Just make sure you plan ahead for the searing of the chicken in batches. Family favorite at our house!

  3. I currently am making this and although it tastes AMAZING, I have added 3 tablespoons of corn starch and the sauce is still very runny! I put the chicken in raw and did not sauté the chicken. But I did take out the chicken once it was done and added cornstarch and it is still very runny. Any suggestions?

    1. You will want 1/4 cup cornstarch. I am sorry, I am not sure where you got 3 tablespoons but the recipe calls for 1/4 cup cornstarch. That will help it not be runny.

  4. I breaded this and it is cooking in my oven right now. I realize that I prepared way too much chicken for two. Do you know if it freezes well?

    1. Elaine!
      Thanks for the question! Yes, this will taste just great on another day if you need to freeze it. I hope you love it! Thanks for following along with me!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this but I air fried the chicken. SO CRISPY and amazing and the best part is the chicken only took 4 minutes to cook. Then it was right into the pan to caramelize it into the sauce.

  6. It would be nice to know the Nutritional facts. This looks amazing, but my husband is on a very low cholesterol diet, so not sure he could have this.

  7. Hello…. This might be a silly question but how much do 4 chicken breast fillets weigh?? I have a tray of them at the moment and they weigh 2kg (4lbs)…. Seems a bit more than I anticipated?

  8. 5 stars
    Thank YOU for sharing…I LOVE everything…about THE RECIPE CRITIC….Recipes, weekly meal plans,photos, tips and the comments. BUT I love the community of people which you use to share with us…
    Could I please ask …..Is the Crockpot General Taos recipe…freezable???

    1. AWE! You are SO sweet! Thank you so much for all of your love and support! Yes, this does freeze well. I actually like to freeze the chicken individually on a sheet pan tray in the freezer. Then when it is frozen after an hour or so I will stick them in freezer bags or use my sealer and placed back in the freezer. Hope that helps! Thanks for following along with me!

      1. 5 stars
        I made this and I thought it was really good (Unfortunately a little too spicy for my husband). I want to make it ahead of time for a party. Are you freezing it with the sauce in the same freezer bag as the chicken? How do you recommend reheating? thank you.

      2. I would recommend freezing it before the sauce is added to it. Then after being baked you can add the sauce while they are warm. To reheat, stick in the oven and let them bake. Hope that helps!

  9. This was really yummy and toddlers loved it too. I wasn’t sure what crushed chilli was so used ground chilli (I’m Australian). Served with coconut rice and Asian broccoli.
    I only used one chicken breast and half the sauce as wasn’t sure i would like it but definitely making more next time and freezing it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    I made a quick and easy variation of this using the pressure cooker setting and no browning step, and it was awesome and tender. Lay boneless/skinless chicken legs (chopped into 2-3 pieces, no corn starch coating) on bottom of IP. Cover in the sauce. Cook on Hi pressure for 10-12mins (Breast would probably be 12mins?), with natural release. At end the sauce in the pot is quite runny so remove the chicken, put IP on saute to take the sauce to boil, remove 1/4 cup of the sauce and mix with 2Tbs corn starch and then whisk the slurry back into the sauce in the IP for a minute or two. Stir back in the chicken. Was great with cauliflower rice cooked with onion, garlic and a bell pepper.

  11. 5 stars
    I added fresh ginger root, peeled, and mashed fine, then put into sauce about 1/2 way thru. To the pot I added the ginger about 1 tablespoon, and some molasses, ( about 1/4 cup), to make it a bit tangy.

    1. I made it on the stovetop. I just fried the chicken all the way and then added the sauce for about 7 minutes on low- medium heat and it all came together nicely and tasted great. Took an hour from start to finish.

    2. 4 stars
      Cook the chicken in the pan completely and then mix it in once sauce has had time to simmer for at least 20 minutes.

  12. 3 stars
    I had the same experience with this recipe as Renee. I cooked it for 4 hours and it was way too done and dry with no sauce left. I think next time I’ll either cook it on the stove or cook it for way less time and double the sauce.

    1. You are welcome to try adding vegetables. It will be soaking in all the sauce from the recipe if you like the flavor and texture on your vegetables. If you are going to do that I would recommend adding more sauce to the meat and vegetables so it still has enough to cover both. I would recommend cooking the vegetables away from the chicken and serving together at the end. Enjoy! XOXO

  13. I did not have good results with this recipe. Flavors were excellent, but I put is on low ad went to the gym. It was really black when I returned, with no sauce! Needs more liquid to sustain it for 3 hours in slow cooker. I should have realized it but I just went on my merry way and spaced it!

  14. 5 stars
    Wow! I’m (also) usually not the type to leave a comment, but I had to thank you for this wonderful recipe! I did not have enough time to place it in the slow cooker, so I instead made it on the stove. I first browned the chicken and then added all the sauce and some water. It cooked for about an hour on low with lid on (really until the sauce became thick and water evaporated). It was amazing! Definitely better than take out. We served it with fried cauliflower rice and green beans! Making again today!

    1. 5 stars
      I also made this on the stove top. I spent longer browning the chicken to get it more crispy. When the chicken was browned on both sides I simply added the sauce mixture, covered the pot and turned the heat down. I did not add water. I heated the sauce, stirring frequently. I made the rice and 10 minutes later had a delicious meal.

  15. Color me amazed. This recipe is amazing. It satisfied my guys whose favorite food in the whole world is General’s Chicken. Especially my son who was requiring “comfort” food. It passed every litmus test known to *this* family. My least favorite thing about making Chinese is having to whip everything together last minute. Not so with this! This recipe is a keeper. Exactly as is. I *never* do that.

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