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

4.74 from 38 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. 3 stars
    I think this recipe is too sweet. I am going to cut the hoison sauce and brown sugar down to a 1/4 each and see if we like it better. Fingers crossed!

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t had takeout in years (allergies) but my husband can vouch it’s a great knockoff. It’s definitely not a set it and forget it slow cooker recipe but it was so incredibly easy. I used the same ingredient ratios but only 3 breasts and stirred every 45 minutes. Mine was done in 2 hours (new crock kicks!) with plenty of sauce leftover.

  3. I posted the last comment but forgot to rate it, I noticed it when I hit Post comment! 🙁 So I tried to hit the stars before it posted but think I missed it! But definitely a 5 star recipe! 🙂

  4. I made this for dinner yesterday for my family, absolutely delicious! Better than the Chinese restaurant, everyone LOVED it! But, I made it on the stovetop instead as I didn’t have time to use the crock pot. I cooked the chicken in batches not crowding the pan, let drain while I boiled the sauce in another pot, then added the chicken back into the pan that I fried in, poured some juice over it & added some steamed broccoli & let boil for 2 -3 mins. Served over rice with scallions & extra sauce on the side. YUM! 🙂 Great Recipe, thanks for sharing!!!

  5. 4 stars
    This was generally tasty (no pun intended!). I used the stovetop method and think that’s a far better way to do it…the chicken would be dead twice over if you cooked it for 4 hours in a slow cooker! I did attempt to brown the chicken before adding the sauce, but it didn’t really work out so well…and I didn’t want to overcook it. Next time, I might try using butter with the oil to get more of a browning effect. The sauce was a little sweet for me, so I will reduce the brown sugar next time. I stir fried some veggies on the side, did all the sauce and two chicken breasts, and it was fantastic for two people (plus a lunch the next day).

  6. This was a hit with my picky eaters. I did doubled the sauce but only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar however still came out too sweet for me so next time I will use less oh and also cooked it on the stove top. This will for sure go into the rotation. Thank you so much.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this today. It is sooooo good! It’s definitely going into rotation. This is the closest I’ve ever had to the Chinese takeaway and it’s not deep fried. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  8. 4 stars
    This recipe was delicious! The sauce was very sweet so next time I will probably reduce the amount of brown sugar in the recipe. Aside from that, everything went well and tasted great.

  9. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I made it after looking at all reviews and reduced brown sugar to half of what it called for to make. My husband loved it and I took it to some friends who were recovering from Covid and they loved it too. I made my own fried rice recipe to go along with it and Asian cole slaw. Leftovers tonight! Yummy! Thank you for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    OMG this is soooooo good. The sauce was so good, I’m happy I doubled it. I cut the sugar in half and it was plenty sweet. I will be making this again and again!

  11. 5 stars
    Sorry no picture, but I just want to say that I make many recipes that I get on the internet, but yours is the very first that I’m actually posting a comment on. I’ve looked at other recipes for General Tso’s chicken, but they had so many steps that I said forget thi Your recipe is absolutely so easy and simple and so amazingly delicious.. I only had chicken wings in my freezer, so I decided to make it with the wings. They turn out so very delicious. And the smell while they were cooking was heavenly. I allowed myself six wings, but It was much too good and I had to go back for two more. I served rice with it on the side as you suggested and made myself some coleslaw. Oh my. It doesn’t get any better than that. I have just subscribed for your recipes and I hope they are all as amazing and easy. Many many thanks.

  12. Oh, my goodness! It was absolutely delicious! Followed recipe exactly (although it was done in about 2.5 hours…I browned the chicken just a little bit longer in the skillet) and it was heavenly! Making again this Sunday!

  13. How long should it cook in the crockpot if I am using 16 pieces of chicken instead of 4 pieces of chicken. I need to feed 20 people for a function.

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out great! We loved it. I did one thing different. I added 7 dried Japones red chili peppers to the sauce before pouring the sauce over the chicken. We liked it so much that we will definitely be make it again, but we will be doubling the sauce volume. This recipe is EXCELLENT!! Thank you sooooooo much for sharing it!

  15. If not browning first do you still coat the chicken in cornstarch or just add it at the end to thicken the sauce?

  16. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was awesome! Sweet and spicy! Will definitely be making again maybe with just a little more heat.

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