Crockpot Orange Chicken Recipe

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Make your favorite chicken and rice dinner at home in the crockpot!  This delicious Crockpot Orange Chicken and Rice recipe is served as a stir-fry with zucchini and peppers.

orange chicken and rice recipe delicious

Is orange chicken Chinese food?

Many Chinese restaurants in North America serve a dish they call, “Orange Chicken.” While this dish has become very popular in the western world, it’s not common to eat orange chicken in China.  The Americanized orange chicken is battered and breaded bite-sized chicken, with a sweet caramelized orange flavored sauce.

My kids love the orange chicken they’ve tried at various Chinese restaurants, so we attempted to make our own at home!  As long as we had the breaded chicken and orange sauce, we could get creative from there for the perfect veggies to add to it.

How to make orange chicken in the crockpot

The tricky part about doing orange chicken in the slow cooker is getting that crispy texture.  So instead, we lightly cooked the chicken first, to get the outside of the chicken crispy. We did this by tossing the chicken with a bit of corn starch.  Then, we pan fried the chicken in a little oil to lock in the moisture.  Finally, we finished the cooking process in the slow cooker. This allows the sauce to develop and thicken, and still gives the chicken flavor from the orange sauce.

kid friendly crockpot orange chicken

What’s in the sauce for Orange Chicken?

Most people don’t know what’s in the traditional orange sauce you get when you purchase orange chicken from a restaurant.  But many copycat recipes have a lot of things in common. Generally, they include:

  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • an orange flavor (orange juice, marmalade, or oranges)
  • a variety of spices

To sweeten our chicken, we decided to go with orange marmalade.  We love how thick it is, making it easy to get a nice thick sauce. We also used chicken thighs because they stay moist and work well in a crockpot, without getting over-cooked.

orange chicken made in the slow cooker

The best stir-fry vegetables

Common stir-fry vegetables include:

  • broccoli
  • onions
  • peppers
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • green onions
  • carrots

We chose zucchini and peppers for this stir-fry because they are in season right now, and they add a nice fresh taste.

You can also include rice or noodles with your stir-fry, and we’ve tried both!

crockpot orange chicken with rice pepers and zucchini

So, there it is! Our favorite crockpot orange chicken and rice. It’s such a great healthy dinner that we know your family will love.

For more of our popular stir-fry or Asian dinners, check out these!

Crockpot Orange Chicken & Rice

Make your favorite chicken and rice dinner at home in the crockpot!  This delicious Crockpot Orange Chicken and Rice recipe is served as a stir-fry with zucchini and peppers.

4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crockpot Orange Chicken & Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar, rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce, low sodium
  • 3/4 cup Marmalade, orange
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 pound chicken thigh, boneless, skinless
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice, raw

Serve With

  • 1 medium bell pepper, red
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 4 medium orange

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 zip-lock 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 toss into slow cooker. Pour the vinegar mixture over the chicken; stir, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  • Cook rice as directed on package. Cover and set aside.
  • Dice pepper and zucchini and sauté in a large skillet over medium-low heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve chicken over rice, with veggies and orange wedges on the side.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!

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13 Comments


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.


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


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


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. 🙁


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!