Slow cooker honey orange chicken gives you the taste and flavor of Chinese takeout without all the breading and oil!
I’m pretty sure the first time I had Chinese takeout I was in college— my family never ordered it growing up! Our weekly food tradition was Friday night pizza night and my Mom cooked most other nights. But Ted’s family had [and still has] an affinity for Chinese takeout. And since I’m no longer in college and married to man that loves good Chinese food, its can be found on our menu every now and then. Want to know what I think about this new tradition? Why the heck didn’t my parents jump on the Chinese takeout bandwagon when I was a little girl!!!
Seriously though, what’s not to love about it? Plenty of sauce, lots of oil, and breaded and fried chicken can be found on most Chinese food menus. While I love someone doing all the cooking for me, my waistline thinks otherwise. Instead of nixing Chinese food all together, Ted and I made some compromises. And that compromise involved me making one of his favorites at home: orange chicken. But as the title of this recipe tells you, I’ve changed up the recipe and made a slow cooker honey orange chicken. Less oil. Less fat. And a lot of flavor! And it’s made in the slow cooker… cha-ching!
While it seems strange to cook meat in the slow cooker with variable temps and times, I assure you cubed chicken cooks quickly— not matter what the slow cooker temp. This adjustment in heat from high to low also helped my sauce thicken and prevent the chicken from overcooking. And if you opt for a higher temperature the entire cooking time OR need more than 4 hours for cooking, keep the chicken breasts whole! And one more thing: for those of you that live in the metro Detroit area, I’d love to hear your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant. We have yet to find one we like other than a chain!
Skip the takeout and make your own honey orange chicken in the slow cooker! Click To Tweet
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2-inch cubes
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup honey BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- For Serving:
- Brown rice, green onions and sesame seeds
- Optional: Stir orange zest in at the end for extra flavor!
- Spray the insert of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Add all of the ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for four hours, stirring halfway through. Then reduce slow cooker to warm and let rest for an additional hour, to let sauce thicken.
- Serve immediately with brown rice, and top with green onions and sesame seeds.
I really love your blog! The recipes I’ve tried so far are huge hits with my toddler, and I have really appreciated when you share your own vulnerabilities – it’s very relatable (especially your picture of the difference between the 1st and 2nd pregnancy at 3 months! I’m experiencing that now. Wow.) Plus, I went to high school with Ted, so it’s fun to catch up. Thank you!
Thank you so much Kathryn!! What a small world. Ted saw your comment too and laughed! I hope I continue to share recipes you love… Your toddler too ? stay in touch!
Shann Eva says
Yum! This sounds fantastic, and I love that it doesn’t have all that extra stuff in it. Perfect for my whole family. Pinning!
I have never been so excited for a recipe! I love Orange Chicken but hate the options at local restaurants. This gives me the ability to make it at home and enjoy whenever we’d like, without the hassle of ordering out.
Stefanie / The Monarch Mommy says
Oh this looks great! I’m always looking for slow cooker recipes. Pinning!
This sounds and looks amazing! I love a new crockpot meal. I can’t wait to try this out!!
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says
My husband will love me more than ever if I make this for him! The only thing is I don’t have a slow cooker (I know, head bowed in shame!). I just got a free pressure cooker – not sure the difference – can I make it in that? Or if I make it in regular pan how would you adjust?
Sean Haynes says
Thanks what an awesome dish
added the juice of half a stick of celery ,
1 more garlic clove
Fresh ginger juice about 15 ml
quarter large onion finely chopped
found this dish at its peak 2hours of cooking..4 hours chicken dries out dries out
Balance of the sauce reduce and use as an awesome rib basting
Smelt really nice cooking. Had to slightly thicken the sauce. Only problem was couldn’t taste the orange marmalade or the bbq honey sauce. Got one portion left so will have that for lunch.
Has anyone tried to make this with gluten free flour?
Not sure what happened? I stirred all the ingredients together then added chicken. The sauce was so thick I added about 1/4 cup of water to thin it. I was worried adding more would affect the flavour. It didn’t help at all. It was edible but not attractive. I wouldn’t make it again. Was the flour maybe to coat the chicken prior to placing in crock pot and not to just throw in with the sauce??
Hi Tammy– thanks so much for your message! I added my flour to the sauce vs. coating the chicken. Did it taste ok? Did the sauce stick to the pan? Slow cookers are so finicky… Hence why mine was cooked on low. Sorry it didn’t turn out like mine!!
Me again 🙂 So I tried the recipe again and ended up doing something different— I cooked it on high for a few hours, then put it on warm for AT LEAST one hour. That really helped to speed up the thickening process!
plasterer bristol says
i bet this tastes lovely. Thanks for sharing this, gonna give this a go later. Simon
How can i make a whole chicken in the crockpot for this recipe pls.
Made this last night! It was absolutely delicious. I placed it in my cook book. I used sweet baby rays honey BBQ and orange marmalade with the peels. I also added some honey for extra sweetness! Thanks much
I want to make this weekend! Could you use almond flour instead of all purpose flour?
Sorry for the delay. I think you definitely could! Did you try the swap?
Del Vill says
I found that it was ready at the half time stir point.
Donna Duncan says
I followed the recipe but at the half time stir, it was burning so I turned it down to low. Hopefully it’s good. It’s still an hour until dinner time.
Hope it turned out well too Donna!!!
I’m from the Detroit area! My absolute favorite Chinese restaurant is Chinese Kitchen, it’s in the Clinton Township area, my grandparents, and parents have been going there since long before I was born (I’m 20) and I’ve been going my whole life. By far the best I’ve had!
What brand of honey bbq and orange marmalade do you normally use? In the crockpot now & smells great but the sauce looks a bit different than yours.
Can you cook this on low and just increase the time?
What is orange zest?