This Crockpot Orange Chicken is simple, and tastes even better than takeout. With breaded chicken pieces covered in a phenomenal orange sauce and cooked to perfection in a slow cooker, it’s a recipe the whole family loves!
We love our original orange chicken recipe, but sometimes it’s nice to let things cook in the crockpot because it’s a little less hands on! Especially when we’re making a full Asian meal with egg rolls and fried rice, we can multitask while this chicken is in the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
I’ve blogged about my love for China and my special connection to the country, and you may have noticed that I share a lot of Asian recipes on the site. I especially like to share these recipes around the Chinese New Year, because our family LOVES to celebrate it!
We have a new recipe we’ll be making for our family festivities – this Crockpot Orange Chicken! I have always LOVED Orange Chicken and making it in the crock pot makes it even better!
You need to make sure the chicken has that yummy breaded taste first which requires some work before it hits the crock pot, but it’s fairly simple (and totally worth the effort!). The orange sauce in this recipe is amazing, and the ingredients are pretty basic!
Not quite a “Dump and Go” Recipe…
I know the appeal of a crock pot is to toss everything in and not worry about it until it’s time to eat. If you are crunched for time, you can skip the browning step. However, you’ll want to take a few extra minutes to complete this step because it adds such a nice crisp texture similar to what you find at many restaurants.
BREAD & BROWN CHICKEN. Mix egg and milk in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix your flour and panko. In 5-10 piece batches, soak chicken chunks in milk mixture then in flour mixture, Repeat this twice.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil on the stove and brown your chicken on all sides. You will not be fully cooking the chicken, just giving it a nice coat. Place the chicken pieces into your slow cooker
SAUCE. In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste. Pour sauce evenly over the chicken, and carefully toss to coat.
SLOW COOK. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve warm over the rice or noodles of your choice.
Can I use other cuts of chicken? Absolutely! Chicken wings or drumsticks are both great options. Since these both have bones and you will not be cutting them into smaller pieces you’ll want to use about 2 ½ lbs.
You’ll also have to adjust the cook time. Cook wings on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours. Cook the drumsticks on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5- 6 hours.
Tips, Tricks, and Storage
Here are some tips and tricks, and even some variations for your slow cooker orange chicken:
- Go ahead and double the sauce recipe if you like your chicken to be extra saucy. You can also use the extra sauce to mix with rice or steamed vegetables
- Add a little honey to sweeten it.
- Top with sliced green onions and or sesame seeds
- To make this meal even easier use a slow cooker plastic liner. Clean up is as simple as tossing the liner in the trash.
How to store crockpot orange chicken: Like most dishes this is best served right away. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer to eat later.
Fridge: Place leftovers, with any extra sauce, in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave, stove top, or oven.
Freezer: Place leftovers, with any extra sauce, in a freezer safe airtight container, label and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat: thaw overnight in the fridge and warm up in the oven, stove top or microwave. You can also place the frozen leftovers in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until heated all the way through
I’m seriously obsessed with Asian food, chicken, and crock pot recipes so you better believe this one is a new family favorite that I will be making often! And if they kids eat it too, then you know it’s FOR SURE a keeper. 😉
what to serve with orange chicken:
For more easy Asian meals, try:
- Honey Chicken
- Beef Lo Mein
- Crock Pot Cashew Chicken
- Moo Goo Gai Pan
- General Tso Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Pepper Steak
Crockpot Orange Chicken Recipe
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate no pulp, thawed
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- Mix egg and milk in a small bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix your flour and panko. In 5-10 piece batches, soak chicken chunks in milk mixture then in flour mixture, Repeat this twice.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil on the stove and brown your chicken on all sides. You will not be fully cooking the chicken, just giving it a nice coat. Place the chicken pieces into your slow cooker
- In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste. Pour sauce evenly over the chicken, and carefully toss to coat.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve warm over the rice or noodles of your choice.
Recipe adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking.
I love orange chicken. Especially if it can be made in a crockpot!
Thank you Kristyn.
Hi Kristyn, your Orange Chicken looks delicious. My family loves Orange Chicken, and I like finding new recipes. I like yours because of the balsamic and ketchup. Most recipes I’ve tried use orange marmalade, and I don’t usually have this in the pantry all the time, unlike ketchup and balsamic, they are staples in my pantry.
Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am confused on the crockpot orange chicken- so you soak chicken then flour and then put it BACK in the milk again? and back into flour again? or are you saying to repeat twice – in meaning that you do all ONCE but in two batches? love your recipes!
yes- milk, flour. milk-flour. it is building up a layer to make a thick breading on it.
My 10-year old made this sauce but used regular salt instead of kosher. Regular salt has twice the density as kosher salt and so the sauce was gross. Maybe you could alter the recipe and put “or 1/2 Tbps regular salt” so others don’t make this error.
All measurents in all recepies are ‘regular’ which i believe you mean is table salt. Unless otherwise specifised the assumtion should stay standardized. Perhaps teaching your son this easy rule instead of editing a recepie based on his mistake would make him a better cook overall!! Unless specefied table salt is what ‘salt’ refers to. If another kind is needed it will cleary state; kosher, hymalayan, sea salt etc..this is how all recepies are written and teaching him to read the ingredient list correctly is the real use of the lesson here! 🙂
Hi! Will be leaving home super early (5 am eek!) but wanted to leave dinner in the works on “Low”. Could I do the breading & frying the night before then throw the sauce & everything else together the morning of? Looks SOOO yummy! Thanks!
Hi Lourdes! I haven’t tried it that way before but I think it would be just fine. If you could let me know how it turns out I’d appreciate it so others could do the same thing if they needed to. 😉
Thankyou for this recipe!
You’re welcome! ;D
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Could this be made ahead and frozen? Or made to a certain point, frozen, then finished in the crock pot? I’m having surgery in 2 months and will be out for about 3 months. Looking for lots of freezer meals! Thanks
What is Panko?
Japanese breadcrumbs. They’re extra crispy. You can usually find them close to the fry mixes on the flour isle in most grocery stores.
Thank you Rachel! Hope you find them, Pat 🙂
what can be substituted for the milk in this recipes?
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Applebee’s restaurant used to have an Orange Chicken Bowl. Served on a bed of rice with almonds, it had just a mild to medium hot spicy coating. They no longer make this, at least not in Michigan. If you have had this and could provide a clone recipe, I would love to have it!
Sounds yummy!! I don’t think I’ve tried it, but I will have to see if our Applebee’s has it!
Is there anything I can substitute for the frozen OJ concentrate? There is something the concentrate that triggers my migraines. Could I use fresh squeezed and just increase the amount?
I personally haven’t tried, but it should be ok 🙂 I’d love to know how it comes out! Thank you!!
Omg! Gotta try this! Mmmmm! ????
I hope you do!!! I’d love to know what you think! Thank you!
I know it won’t taste as good but could this be tried with frozen chicken nuggets? Maybe you could fry them first to brown then put in crockpot…What do you think?
I haven’t tried. Not sure I would. They are very different and taste different. You could always try?! I’d love to know what you think!
I love to cook. I prepare 90% of the meals for my wife and I at our house. I ran across your site and was very impressed with the variety of different culture recipes and how tasty the pictures look.
That is so awesome, that you do 🙂 You are too nice..thank you so much!! Hopefully, you like the ones you try!
Try it with low pulp orange juice I thought was nice. I used it because that was all I had and was good.
Thank you so much for sharing that! Glad you liked it!
This is by far the best orange chicken I have ever made. I actually surprised myself!
LOL!! I am glad you did! It’s one of my favs!
Too sweet. It needs something tangy or sour to balance out all the sugar in the OJ. Basically tastes like an Orange Julius on chicken.
I’m sorry, but it was way too mushy and the breading separated from the chicken pieces. I won’t make it again. Thanks though for offering it. It was tasty, but way too mushy to eat comfortably.
Thank you for trying it. I am sorry it was mushy. I haven’t ever had that issue, but I appreciate you trying it.
sAME THING HAPPENED WITH MY MINE TOO. bREADING IS FLOATING AROUND THE CROCKPOT.
I MADE THIS TODAY AND FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS TO A TEE, BUT JUST CHECKED IN MY CROCKPOT AND ALL OF MY COATING FELL OFF! I LOVE ORANGE CHICKEN AND THOUGHT A CROCKPOT VERSION WOULD MAKE IT EVEN SIMPLIER BUT NOT IF MY COATING CAME OFF. ANY SUGGESTIONS? I USED EGG AND WHOLE MILK, PANKO AND FLOUR.
I wish I knew?? I haven’t had that happen before. Did you soak them really well, twice?