This slow cooker orange chicken is breaded chunks of chicken tossed in a sweet and savory Asian sauce and cooked in the crock pot. A take out copycat that’s perfect for a busy weeknight!
Love Panda Express? You can make Panda Express style orange chicken at home right in your slow cooker.
Orange chicken is one of those dishes that is universally loved, there’s just something about that breaded chicken coated in orange sauce! This slow cooker orange chicken tastes a lot like the fast food favorite, but it’s made at home in your slow cooker with less oil. It’s sure to become a family favorite!
How to make orange chicken
I know that the premise of most slow cooker recipes is to toss everything in and go, but in this case, we’re going to start by breading and browning the chicken. It’s an extra step, but it’s the best way to replicate the coating you get on restaurant style orange chicken. If you’re really pressed for time, you can absolutely skip this step and instead just put cut up raw chicken in the crock pot with the sauce. It will still be delicious, although not as close of a match to the Panda Express version.
After your chicken chunks are in the slow cooker, it’s time to make the sauce out of orange marmalade, soy sauce and sesame oil. The sauce gets tossed with the chicken and the whole thing cooks for a few hours on low.
The cornstarch in the chicken coating means that this sauce will thicken as it cooks. If you prefer a lot of extra sauce to serve with your orange chicken, you can double the sauce ingredient amounts before you place them in the slow cooker.
The end result is an amazing dinner that tastes a lot like the Chinese restaurant classic! Slow cooker orange chicken is best served over a bowl of steamed rice.
My kids request this meal all the time and I’m happy to oblige. Yes, it’s an extra step to pre-cook the chicken in its coating, but I really think this is totally worth the extra effort!
More Asian food favorites
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
- Place the chicken pieces in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and salt and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken in the cornstarch mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. You may need to work in batches.
- Coat a slow cooker with cooking spray and add the chicken to the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange marmalade, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and garlic.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and gently stir to coat.
- Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, then serve.