Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

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This delicious and tangy orange chicken is made right in your slow cooker and is better than takeout. It’s coated in an irresistible sauce that will keep your family asking for this at least once a week!

If you love delicious homemade food that actually tastes better than takeout. You should make this into a meal and add in some sides like this Easy Fried Rice, these delicious Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and these Air Fryer Cream Cheese Wontons!

The top view of a bowl of orange chicken on rice with some orange slices.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken Recipe

Orange chicken is one of my family’s all-time favorite foods. It has just the right blend of flavors that combine tangy and sweet. And if you want to really make this the best, then you cook it in the slow cooker! This gives the chicken a change to really absorb the flavors making it taste so delicious when you are ready to eat it at dinner time! It tastes like its from a restaurant!

This crockpot orange chicken recipe is so easy and delicious, and it only takes about 15 minutes of prep time. Then you can pop it in your slow cooker and let it cook all day, and you will have an insanely delicious meal to eat at the end of the day! We love eating it with some delicious fried rice or some chow mein! It’s a recipe that will become a staple, and you will definitely want it on your regular dinner rotation!

Ingredients in Orange Chicken

This slow cooker orange chicken is simple to make. You will love the flavor combination and the orange marmalade really brings out that citrusy flavor that we all know and love! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all of the exact measurements.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Cut these into cubes that are similar in size so that they cook evenly.  
  • Cornstarch: This helps to coat the chicken so that you end up with that deliciously crispy outside.
  • Vegetable Oil: The oil is what you will cook the chicken in before placing it in the crockpot.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: This adds a tangy flavor to the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: This adds a delicious salty flavor that goes well with the other ingredients.
  • Sesame Oil: Sesame oile brings in that traditional Asian flavor. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use olive oil instead. It will just have less flavor in the dish!
  • Sweet Orange Marmalade: In order to get that classic orange chicken flavor, this marmalade is a must!
  • Brown Sugar: This adds a sweetness to the dish and brings all of the flavors together.
  • Salt and Pepper: These will enhance all of the ingredients in the orange chicken!

How to Make Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

This recipe is a breeze to make, only uses a few simple ingredients, and is insanely delicious! I love how tender the chicken is on the inside. It’s cooked to perfection with a crispy outside edge that is drenched in the sauce!

  1. Make Sauce: In a small bowl, mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Coat and Brown the Chicken: In a ziplock bag, add the cornstarch and chicken. Shake to coat. Pour vegetable oil into the skillet and brown the sides of the covered chicken. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked. It will finish cooking in the slow cooker.
  3. Add Chicken and Sauce to Crockpot: After the chicken is done cooking, add it to the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with the sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.
  4. Cook: Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
Four pictures showing how to coat the chicken, brown it and make the sauce.

Pro Tips for Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

  • Extra Sauce: If you have extra sauce in your slow cooker, then you can dish that out and add it to any veggies or rice and really soak in that deliciously tangy flavor!
  • Easy Clean Up: To make clean-up a cinch, go ahead and use a slow cooker liner for cooking this in. Then, you can just remove it, and your cleanup is all done!
  • Garnish: Garnish your finished dish by adding some sesame seeds and chopped green onions. It gives it a professional look!
Cooked orange chicken in the crockpot.

How to Store Leftovers

This slow cooker orange chicken tastes great the next day for lunch or dinner! Heat it up and make yourself a rice bowl, add it to a stir fry or eat it plain!

  • In the Refrigerator: Once your chicken has cooled, then you can store any leftovers in an airtight container. Place it in your fridge, and it will last for 4-5 days.
  • To Reheat: You can reheat any leftover orange chicken on your stove or in the microwave!
Orange chicken in a bowl with some silver chopsticks taking out a piece.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

4 from 2 votes
This delicious and tangy orange chicken is made right in your slow cooker and is better than takeout. It's coated in an irresistible sauce that will keep your family asking for this at least once a week! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a ziplock bag, add the cornstarch and chicken. Shake to coat. Pour vegetable oil into the skillet and brown the sides of the covered chicken. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it is going in the crockpot.
  • After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crockpot. Then cover the chicken with the sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

Notes

Originally Posted on October 30, 2012
Updated on September 14, 2022

Nutrition

Serves: 4

Calories360kcal (18%)Carbohydrates55g (18%)Protein19g (38%)Fat8g (12%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat3gTrans Fat0.1gCholesterol54mg (18%)Sodium884mg (37%)Potassium240mg (7%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar45g (50%)Vitamin A108IU (2%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium42mg (4%)Iron1mg (6%)

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 American, Asian American, Chinese
Keyword baked orange chicken, slow cooker orange chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

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 made this recipe for the first time last night for dinner, changing things according to what I read in the comments. I doubled the sauce recipe, but instead of using twice the orange marmalade, I used 3/4 cup of orange marmalade and 3/4 cup of orange juice. I also went a little scant on the brown sugar when doubling recipe. I cooked on High for 2 1/2 hours. I noticed the sauce was thin because of the orange juice, so I mixed some cornstarch and water together and stirred into the sauce for about the last 1/2 hour of cooking. The sauce thickened and was nice to spoon over rice. Also, the chicken did not stay crusty, but that’s okay. All enjoyed it!

    Thank you for all of your delicious recipes!

  2. 3 stars
    I made the recipe exactly as written and cooked on Low for 4 hours, and it was way too dark and caramelized. It had an almost bitter taste to it. The chicken was tough and overcooked. This may be a good recipe, but make sure to keep an eye on it.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe several times and it’s delicious – always turns out perfectly. The only thing I do differently is add a little chicken broth to increase the amount of sauce and cut the sweetness a little.

  4. Your site is my go to for great recipes, so I was very excited to try this one. Unfortunately it was a complete bust. I followed the directions as is, placed on low and left home for 2 hours. Returned to find the chicken black and burned. My husband said it was the worst meal we have fixed in the 30 years we’ve been married. Not sure if it was my pot or the recipe. 🙁

  5. I cooked this exactly as it was written, and it was wonderful! Thank you for this staple recipe! I will add this to my list of dishes to have waiting for our family when we come home from church on Sunday. 🙂

  6. Alyssa, Is it possible to fry the chicken to completion and then boil the sauce and coat it to eat instead of putting it in the slow cooker? Have you tried this? I tried this one and it is the first time in all the years I’ve used a slow cooker where the food burned and the chicken tasted rubbery. The flavors were great, just wondering if anyone else had this experience and if the recipe could be modified?

  7. I just made this for dinner. I liked it a lot and my son liked it ok, yet he grabbed seconds. This is not a Chinese fast food style breaded orange chicken but what you would expect in a restaurant. Next time I would prob add garlic and Asian seasoning from PC. I believe her chicken looks thick crusted due to the browning process. I had a section of a couple of pieces that looked the same. I did double the recipe as I was afraid the sauce would dry up and burn. I added onion and bell pepper about half and hour before we ate. It cooked for about 3 hours total. This was my first everslow cooker Chinese dish. I will make it again. Thank you ?

    P.s. I had trouble giving a star rating but I switched browsers and it worked fine.

  8. Tried the Orange Chicken recipe. Excellent flavor. But next time I’ll be doubling the sauce. Not near enough to slow cook in my crock pot. We ended up extending the sauce with items on hand to save the dish. It almost burned in 1 1/2 hours.

    1. I apologize that it didn’t turn out perfectly. I am glad that you know what needs to be done for the next attempt. I hope that it is even better next time. Thank you for following along with me! XOXO

  9. Are you suppose to use orange concentrate in this recipe, because I didn’t see in listed in the above recipe. If so how much do I use. I really want to try this. Thanks for sharing

  10. this was really good. I used my instant pot as a slow cooker – that way i was able to brown the chicken in the same pot and save all of that flavorful fond that sticks to the bottom of the pan. It was a huge hit in our family. Thanks!

  11. The sauce was great. Orange marmalade worked really well. But the cornstarch didn’t thicken and my chicken didn’t look like yours. 🙁

  12. I didn’t have orange marmalade so I substituted no-sugar-added apricot jam. I left out the brown sugar and it was plenty sweet. I added some ginger too and way more than a “pinch” of pepper. I stir-fried some broccoli, red peppers and sugar snap peas and added them in at the end. The “breading” on the chicken all came off in my stainless steel pan so I missed out on the crispiness of the chicken. But the flavors were wonderful and my kids loved it, even the one who doesn’t like to eat chicken. Served with brown rice.

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