This Crockpot Orange Chicken is a healthier, homemade version of one of our favorite takeout meals! It has the most flavorful sauce!
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We are in that loooooong stretch of winter before spring comes, and I’m readying myself with all the easy, cozy crockpot meals.
Easy crockpot meals are what are going to get me through the next 3 months, so I wanted to boost up my inventory here on The Recipe Rebel so that we all have plenty of options 😉
Since we live essentially in the middle of nowhere (we’re a few miles out of a town of about 500 people), we don’t have a lot of access to restaurants.
Granted, there is a Subway across the highway from us, and a Chinese restaurant in the next town over about 10 minutes away, but when you grow up in the country (as a child, we lived even further from any small town than we do now), you just get used to not eating out.
That being said, we do love our Asian food.
And even though I am (obviously) not Asian, and I don’t really know what authentic Asian cuisine really is, this here is my interpretation. Because around here? This is what our Asian restaurants serve, and we love it!
(Now that I’ve added that in we can just skip all of the hate mail, right??)
This Crockpot Orange Chicken is sticky, sweet, and tangy and perfect over rice with a side salad or veggies! I’ve included freezer directions and tips below — it’s a great recipe for stashing away for a crazy day!
What I love about this Crockpot Orange Chicken:
- It’s pretty simple to make — the most labor intensive part is browning the chicken and you can skip that part if you need to!
- It’s packed with flavor.
- It’s great for making ahead.
- It’s pretty healthy, and definitely much healthier than what you would get at your favorite takeout joint!
- Crockpot meals make me feel like a champ when I’m not rushing around at 5:00pm to get dinner on the table.
Tips for making this Slow Cooker Orange Chicken:
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but be sure to double check all of your ingredients (especially the soy sauce!).
- This recipe is naturally dairy-free, but again, you’ll want to read your labels carefully.
- If you run out of time or are just plain lazy, you can skip the browning. The corn starch and browning just adds a bit of a crust like you would get at your usual “Asian” restaurants, without allllllll of that heavy breading. It’s the perfect compromise if you ask me!
- If you are browning your chicken, be sure to cut your chicken in equal sized pieces and not to overcook them in the pan so they don’t dry out.
How to freeze this Crockpot Orange Chicken — two ways!
How to freeze Orange Chicken before cooking:
This recipe makes a great freezer meal! To prepare ahead of time to cook in the slow cooker later, simply brown the chicken and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Whisk together your sauce ingredients and pour into a large freezer bag or container with your chicken.
Freeze up to 3 months.
To cook, thaw and continue with the cooking process as listed.
How to freeze Orange Chicken after cooking:
You can make a big batch for dinner and freeze half for another time if you prefer!
Simple place the chicken with the sauce into a large freezer bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
To serve, simply thaw and reheat — stove top, crockpot and microwave all work fine 🙂
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Crockpot Orange Chicken
- 1/2 cup corn starch divided
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 cup orange marmalade
- 1 cup unsweetened orange juice
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup liquid honey
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- In a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup corn starch, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken in a single layer (do two batches if necessary) and brown lightly on each side (don’t overcook or it will be dry)
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together marmalade, juice, soy sauce, broth, honey, remaining ¼ cup corn starch, vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
- When chicken is browned, add it to a 2.5-4 quart slow cooker and pour the sauce over top.
- Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, just until chicken is done and sauce has thickened. If sauce is too thin for your liking, combine an addition tablespoon of corn starch and water and add to the sauce before serving.
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