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Crockpot Orange Chicken

14 Comments

This delicious Crockpot Orange Chicken tastes just as good as your favorite take-out.. but healthier! Tender chicken is coated in a yummy orange sauce and served with broccoli and peppers for a delicious and easy dinner that is bound to become a weeknight favorite.

orange chicken with broccoli and peppers served over white rice

Why You’re Going to Love This Crockpot Orange Chicken Recipe

Whenever we go out for Chinese, my kids order orange chicken. The crispy chicken and perfectly sweetened orange sauce makes it a solid kid-favorite, every time. We finally decided it was time to attempt our own version at home. I wanted something that mimicked the flavor and texture of the dish they loved, but a little healthier. After a bit of trial and error, we finally found a winning combination! I knew I wanted to try and adapt it for my crockpot, so that’s what I did here. A quick pan-fry gives you the texture you want for the chicken, but if you want a more hands-off meal, you can skip this step. The final result is a tender, lightly sweetened Orange Chicken that will definitely satisfy any take-out craving.

overhead shot of orange chicken topped with sesame seeds with chopsticks

Ingredients for Crockpot Orange Chicken:

  • Rice Wine Vinegar– regular or seasoned rice wine vinegar will work here.
  • Soy Sauce– we used low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Sesame Oil– sesame oil has a strong, distinctive Asian flavor. A little bit goes a long way! It is purely for flavor here so you can leave it out if desired.
  • Orange Marmalade– you can use any store-bought brand you like here. It helps thicken the sauce and adds the perfect orange flavor.
  • Brown Sugar– adds a caramely flavor to the orange sauce.
  • Salt & Pepper– for seasoning. We used kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  • Cornstarch– creates a crisp exterior on the chicken and helps thicken the sauce.
  • Chicken– we used boneless, skinless chicken breast, but chicken thigh works great here too.
  • Broccoli Florets– very traditional veggie for stir fry. Zucchini works great as a substitute.
  • Red Bell Pepper– any color will work, but liked the red for color.
ingredients for crockpot orange chicken

How to Make Orange Crockpot Chicken:

  1. Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  2. Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with cornstarch.
  3. Brown the chicken in a hot skillet with avocado oil. Transfer chicken to the crockpot.
  4. Pour marmalade mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  5. Add the chopped veggies to the crockpot during the last 30 minutes of cooking; stir to coat.
  6. Make a slurry if desired by removing 1/2 cup of the cooking sauce from the crockpot into a small bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until smooth. Stir back into the crockpot and allow sauce to thicken.
  7. Serve over rice and enjoy!
process shots for how to make crockpot orange chicken

Tips & Suggestions:

What are the best vegetables for stir fry?

We love the broccoli and pepper combination, but you can use whatever veggies you like! Some other great options are onions, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage and carrots.

How can I thicken the sauce?

If your sauce didn’t get as thick as you like during the cook time, make a simple slurry using some of the sauce from the crockpot (about 1/2 cup) and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Whisk together and stir back into the crockpot and allow to thicken.

What kind of chicken should I use for Crockpot Orange Chicken?

We used boneless, skinless chicken breast. But chicken thigh is a good option also! It requires a bit of trimming, but it cooks up nice and tender in the crockpot and is harder to overcook.

What should I serve with Orange Chicken?

We served our Crockpot Orange Chicken over a bed of white rice. Other good options are brown rice, rice noodles, or even quinoa!

Can I cook Orange Chicken on the stove?

Yes! You can adapt this recipe to work on the stovetop. After browning your chicken, add the veggies to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes. Next, add the sauce to the skillet. Allow the sauce to cook down and thicken while the chicken finishes cooking.

crockpot orange chicken served over rice and topped with sesame seeds in a blue bowl

More Asian-Inspire Recipes You’ll Love:

Crockpot Orange Chicken

This delicious Crockpot Orange Chicken tastes just as good as your favorite take-out.. but healthier! Tender chicken is coated in a yummy orange sauce and served with broccoli and peppers for a delicious and easy dinner that is bound to become a weeknight favorite.
3.60 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crockpot Orange Chicken & Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 309kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thigh, boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

Instructions

  • Whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Cut chicken into small pieces, and toss into a large ziplock bag along with the corn starch; shake to coat.
  • Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once hot (oil will shimmer) add chicken. Brown on all sides and then place into the crockpot evenly on the bottom. Pour the vinegar mixture over the chicken making sure all the pieces are covered, put the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for about 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Check your chicken about half way through and adjust time and temp as necessary – every crockpot cooks a bit differently.
  • When there is 30 minutes left of cooking, chop the red bell pepper and trim broccoli florets as needed. Add to the crock pot and stir to coat with sauce.
  • If your sauce is still too thin after cooking, you can remove about 1/2 cup of the sauce from the crockpot and put in a small bowl. Whisk in about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir this slurry back into the crockpot and allow to thicken.
  • Serve over rice and spoon extra sauce over everything once plated. Garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 712mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 862IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

4 stars
Pretty tasty. Quite sweet, which makes it more palatable for children. I set my crock pot for 5 hrs and it was partially overcooked. Will prepare it again and set for 4 hrs.

5 stars
I adapted the instructions for the Instant Pot to reduce the cooking time. Instructions In a bowl, mix the water, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vin Place chicken in the instant pot. Add sauce and mix together with a spoon Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes Release the pressure and press the saute button To thicken sauce In a small bowl mix water and cornstarch together Add to the chicken Cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce thickens Remove from pot and serve

4 stars
I cut to small chicken pieces for kids so 4 hours was too long. Great flavor and family enjoyed it!

4 stars
I kept the 2 pieces whole and didn’t overcook it then cut the pieces and thickened the sauce on the stove. I had a bitter Orange Marmelade so it was a nice tart flavor that the parents liked! Kids ate some but not much

2 stars
I was so excited to make this. I set my crock pot for 4 hours and left to run errands. I came home after 3 hours and it is burnt. The chicken is black and tastes burnt. I am so sad and now have to spend money on fast food. 🙁

5 stars
I ended up using Panko bread crumbs and baking the chicken in the oven for 15 mins instead of using the crockpot. Just poured the sauce over afterwards. Delicious!

Hi Chris, thanks for your feedback. Yes, there are added sweeteners in this recipe. 🙂 We think it’s OK to “spend” some sugar on a meal if it inspires kids to eat and enjoy nutritious foods they might not normally like. If the amount of sugar feels like too much to you, you can try cutting back on the marmalade. If you do, please let us know how it turns out!

5 stars
Thank you for sharing this recipe, my family loved it! Thank you to Dustin for providing the instructions to make this in the instant pot.