Orange chicken is probably the most ordered item in any Chinese restaurant, and for good reason. It’s sweet and tangy, with just a hint of spice and crunch that makes it a go-to item for anyone ordering take-out.

But sadly for the health-conscious consumers, orange chicken is far from healthy. Although unarguably delicious, it’s usually packed with sodium and sugar, making it a meal that sits heavy in your stomach for the rest of the day. However, for those with a tight schedule, this issue pales in comparison to hours of homework leaving stomachs grumbling and no time for shopping or cooking.

This recipe fixes all that. It’s a super healthy and easy version of orange chicken that requires very little time of actual work. It keeps the mouth watering tanginess of the orange chicken you know and love, balances it with the perfect kick of spice, and has just the right amount of sweetness without being overwhelming.

With this recipe, all you have to do is throw some chicken in a slow-cooker with the rest of the ingredients in the morning and forget about it until dinnertime. You’ll only be a few easy steps away from orange chicken that has all all the flavor you can get from any restaurant without making you feel glued to the couch after. Pair it with some rice for a meal you’ll love, but won’t regret.

Slow-Cooker Orange Chicken

  • Prep Time:10
  • Cook Time:4 hours and 20 minutes
  • Total Time:4.5 hours
  • Servings:6
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
Photo by Michael Habisohn
Photo by Michael Habisohn

Step 1

Trim as much fat as you can from the chicken thighs and place in a single layer in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
Photo by Alejandra Fernandez

Step 2

Mix all ingredients except the sesame seeds in a bowl, pour over the chicken thighs and cook on low for 4 hours.

Photo by Alejandra Fernandez
Photo by Alejandra Fernandez

Step 3

Remove chicken from the slow cooker and cut into cubes.

Photo by Michael Habisohn
Photo by Michael Habisohn

Step 4

Transfer the sauce from the slow cooker to a pan and let simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thick and shiny.

Photo by Michael Habisohn
Photo by Michael Habisohn

Step 5

Toss the chicken in the sauce and then pour onto a platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy.

Photo by Michael Habisohn
Photo by Michael Habisohn