Slow cooker healthy orange chicken puts a guilt-free spin on a takeout favorite. Saucy, flavor-packed, and great for meal prep!

Close up overhead shot of a bowl of rice topped with orange chicken.

Not-so-guilty pleasures.

Chinese takeout is such a treat, and it’s become part of a few family traditions in this house. Lazy traditions. Like our glorious New Years Eve’s spent in, or settling back in at home after a long trip. I’m all about indulging in the battered and fried goodness the takeout menus have to offer, but! It’s really nice to have a healthy option once in a while. This Slow Cooker Healthy Orange Chicken is perfect for that. It’s quick, unfussy, and it allows you to be lazy. Also, nothing hits the frying pan! All of the flavor, none of the guilt.

Collage of process shots with sauce being mixed, chicken in slow cooker, etc.

Easy ingredients and no-fuss.

I created this recipe with the hustle and bustle in mind—whether you’re cooking for a busy family or you’re solo and always on the go. This recipe leaves you with enough to feed a family of four, but leftovers are delicious; meal prep is totally an option. Make a batch of this Instant Pot Coconut Ginger Rice to go along with it and you’ve got yourself a filling lunch or simple dinner for a few days. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to whip this together:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Chicken stock
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Honey
  • Rice vinegar
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Garlic
  • Chili sauce, like Sriracha or Sambal Oelek (omit if you don’t want any heat)
  • Fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Cornstarch
  • Scallions
  • Orange zest
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Overhead shot of bowl of rice topped with orange chicken, with chopsticks and fresh parsley beside the bowl.

How to make this Slow Cooker Healthy Orange Chicken.

Set it and forget it is the name of the game with this beauty. This isn’t the type of slow cooker meal you’ll leave for eight hours, however. You’ll want to slow cook this chicken on low for four hours, or on high for two hours if you don’t have the extra time. Here’s a step-by-step on what to do:

  1. Lightly grease the inside of your slow cooker with a bit of olive oil.
  2. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl until well combined; pour half of the sauce into the slow cooker.
  3. Place the chicken breasts into the slow cooker, then pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken.
  4. Secure the lid onto the slow cooker and cook on LOW for four hours or on HIGH for two hours.
  5. Once your cook time is up, carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside on a plate.
  6. Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce until it is completely dissolved.
  7. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and transfer it back into the slow cooker; stir it into the sauce.
  8. Stir in the scallions.
  9. Cover. If you cooked your chicken on LOW for four hours, change the setting to HIGH and cook for an hour; if you cooked your chicken on HIGH for two hours, continue to cook it on HIGH, but only for about 30 minutes.
  10. Stir in the orange zest.
  11. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds, extra scallions, and fresh parsley or cilantro if you’d like!

Side shot of bowl or rice topped with slow cooker orange chicken.

Overhead shot of orange chicken in a bowl over rice.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Slow cooker or crockpot
  • Whisk
  • Sharp knife
  • Zester (or grater; use the side with the smallest holes)
  • Large spoon or spatula, for stirring

Hope you enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

What to serve with this chicken:

Overhead shot of orange chicken in a bowl over rice.

Get the Recipe:

Slow Cooker Healthy Orange Chicken

Slow cooker healthy orange chicken puts a guilt-free spin on a takeout favorite. Saucy, flavor-packed, and great for meal prep!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBSP chili sauce (like Sriracha or sambal oelek)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • Scallions
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)

Equipment

  • Slow cooker
  • whisk
  • sharp knife
  • zester
  • large spatula

Instructions 

  • Lightly grease the inside of your slow cooker with a bit of olive oil.
  • Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl until well combined; pour half of the sauce into the slow cooker.
  • Place the chicken breasts into the slow cooker, then pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken.
  • Secure the lid onto the slow cooker and cook on LOW for four hours or on HIGH for two hours.Once your cook time is up, carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside on a plate.
  • Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce until it is completely dissolved.
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and transfer it back into the slow cooker; stir it into the sauce.
  • Stir in the scallions.
  • Cover. If you cooked your chicken on LOW for four hours, change the setting to HIGH and cook for an hour; if you cooked your chicken on HIGH for two hours, continue to cook it on HIGH, but only for about 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the orange zest. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds, extra scallions, and fresh parsley or cilantro if you'd like!