Slow Cooker Chinese Orange Chicken

We love Chinese food.  In fact, we eat at a local Chinese buffet just about every Sunday afternoon.  While they do have a few grilled items and fresh fruit, I can’t say it’s the healthiest place to eat.  Most of the food is fried in who knows what, and it’s no secret that most Chinese restaurants use MSG in their food.  I don’t even want to know what’s in that red sweet and sour sauce.

This recipe for orange chicken is just as good if not better than any take out.  The chicken is tender and the citrus sauce is sweet and tangy.  It’s made from natural ingredients and of course it’s gluten-free and allergy-friendly.

It takes a little while to brown the chicken before tossing it in the slow cooker, but the results are worth it.  If you skip this step, please let me know how it turns out.



Chinese Orange Chicken in the CrockPot

Update:  Some people feel the orange juice concentrate is too strong of an orange taste.  If you are looking for a more subtle orange taste, try regular old orange juice (pulp-free) instead of the concentrate.


  • 1 – 2 pounds Chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup allergy-friendly Biscuit or Pancake Mix (flour will work too if it’s all you have)
  • Palm Shortening
  • 6 oz Frozen Pulp-Free Orange Juice Concentrate, thawed
  • 4 Tbsp Sucanat or Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes (optional)


  1. Toss the chicken with the pancake mix in a large bowl or baggie.  Shake off excess flour.
  2. Heat the palm shortening in  a large skillet and lightly brown the chicken on all sides.  Don’t cook the chicken through, just seal in the juices.
  3. Toss the browned chicken in the crockpot.
  4. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  Taste and add more sugar if you wish.
  5. Pour sauce over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 6 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  6. Serve over rice.



You may also enjoy Asian Chicken MarinadeAsian Chicken SaladAsian Chicken Stir Fry, and Asian Chicken Noodle Soup.









Photo Credit: jeffreyw

This post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

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48 Responses to “Slow Cooker Chinese Orange Chicken”

  1. Amber says:

    This looks amazing. I LOVE orange chicken. Great job. How smart to use the crock pot – really good idea! You know what’s funny. I’m writing a post right now: sweet and sour chicken (with a very similar picture with the white rice and all). We must be on the same wavelength with the Asian cuisine tonight lady!

    Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Oh that looks goooooood! I was looking at your blog for milk free recipes but we’ll be giving this a go! For info, do you think cornflour would work? It’s also gluten free anyway. I’m not sure if cornflour is called something different in the US but it’s as it sounds, just a very fine flour made from Maize, good for thickening sauces with.

  3. That looks really yummy! I love Chinese orange chicken, so I’ll have to try this one.

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks Anne! It’s one of my favorite meals. Browning the chicken is a little more work than I like but I say it’s worth it.

  4. April says:

    This looks so yummy! I hardly ever use my crock, but would like to start. Dinner time would be so much more relaxing (and less dishes). I’ll definitely give this a try some time soon.

  5. I have fixed a fantastic recipe for orange chicken in the past but it is sooo involved. I love the ease of this recipe and of course, the allergy-friendliness. I had a sweet and sour chicken on our menu for this week, but I might just swap it out for this one instead. Thanks!

  6. Erin says:

    Trying this tonight looks amazing!

  7. Laura says:

    Great recipes! The colors look so vibrant. I am going to make this for my husband who loves Orange Chicken, but hasn’t eaten it since going GF. I think it will make his week!

  8. so trying this for the same reasons you list.

  9. Oh my goodness this looks amazing! I am gluten/dairy free so I will be trying this for SURE! Thanks for sharing this with Healthy 2day Wednesdays! Please check on Wednesday to see if you were selected!

  10. […] Chinese Orange chicken. But with a gluten-free/dairy-free diet it was a no-go. Until now! Check out Real Food, Allergy Free for more info! My girls are too little for most medication out there. This is a good time to […]

  11. […] Chinese Orange chicken. But with a gluten-free/dairy-free diet it was a no-go. Until now! Check out Real Food, Allergy Free for more info! My girls are too little for most medication out there. This is a good time to […]

  12. That looks amazing!! I am adding this to my must try recipes for next week. Yum!

  13. […] Slow Cooker Orange Chicken on Real Food, Allergy Free […]

  14. Erin J says:

    This looks so good and easy, but no one in my house is GF. I’m going to try it anyway and just use regular shortening/oil, etc.

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Erin, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, you can make this quite successfully with “regular” ingredients. That is how I used to make it before my littlest was diagnosed with food allergies. I hope you enjoy!

  15. […] Chinese Orange Chicken in Crock Pot w/ white rice […]

  16. Thanks so much for posting this recipe! It is currently cooking away in my crock pot! It smells so good, we all can’t wait for dinner tonight. I browned my chicken in coconut oil because I couldn’t find Palm Shortening…seemed to still do the job. Thanks again for the great recipe!

    • Nancy says:

      Ooh, I bet it’s really good browned in coconut oil! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Sierra says:

    I’m trying to stay away from anything fried and breaded…so I think I’ll just try this with plain chicken in the crock pot! Sounds delicious!

    • Nancy says:

      Sierra, Please let me know how that turns out! It would greatly cut down preparation time.

      • Sierra says:

        Hi Nancy! I made this tonight and it turned out well! I didn’t bread it but I still cut it into 2-bite pieces. I cooked it on high and it only took about 2 hours. I took most of the sauce out of the crockpot, strained it into a pot, and reduced it to thicken it up. I think next time I might add some water or something to dilute the orange juice, I think it’s a bit more orangy than I expected (ironic, I realize 🙂 but that also could’ve been the OJ I used. But yes, it does work without breading!

        • Nancy says:

          Hi Sierra, thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out! Someone else told me the orange taste was too strong. I have made it with regular old orange juice before, and the taste is more subtle. I think I’ll update the recipe with that option.

  18. Biddy says:

    Thanks for this recipe! My husband used to love the orange chicken from Panda Express but he feels it is too spicy now! Also, after reading an article on MSG I am a little paranoid….I’d rather cook it at home and have control of the ingredients being used. I’m planning on trying it this Saturday. Love that its a slow cooker recipe!!

    Thanks again!

  19. Biddy says:

    Hi There,

    Just made this. Waitin on the rice to finish up. I did it a little differently. I did not use a slow cooker. It was already time for dinner so I decided to bake the chicken.

    I coated the chicken bites in Bisquick, fryed them in veggie oil, set aside

    about 6 oz orange juice concentrate
    a heaping 1/2 tsp ginger
    3 tbs ketchup
    3 heaping tbs brown sugar
    about a tbs of Hoison sauce
    about 6 Tbs cold water.

    I used about 8 tbs of the sauce to coat the chicken, placed on a baking sheet and baked for 15 mins at 350

    Sprinkled sesame seeds and garnished with green onion.


    Hope hubby likes it!!!

  20. Sara says:

    I had some oranges on hand so I used about 4-5 of them,canola oil and a 1/4 tsp cayenne in place of red pepper flakes. Excited to try it tonight!

  21. Stephanie Smith says:

    This is my husband’s favorite meal. Thanks so much for figuring this one out! Can’t use sesame at the moment, but added some sunflower seeds and it’s a suitable substitute. You are a genius!

    • Nancy says:

      I’m so glad he likes it! It’s always such a blessing to find an allergy-free meal that the whole family loves.

  22. […] lunch so that I have minimal lunch prep when we get home from church. On this particular day, I put Orange Chicken in the […]

  23. Luz says:

    What type of chicken is the best to make this dish (breast,thigh?)

  24. […] Gluten Free Crockpot Orange Chicken – Real Food Allergy […]

  25. […] for dinner, but constant take-out is not in our budget, nor is it healthy.  I found a recipe for slow cooker Chinese Orange Chicken on Pinterest, and the picture alone made me hungry. I’m happy to share it here because it […]

  26. […] easy crockpot dish, this Orange Chicken recipe is one that I blogged about recently.  It’s worth mentioning in this line-up since it was so […]

  27. Tiffany says:

    Hi. I’m not familiar with cooking with shortening. Would vegetable oil do the same thing? Thanks for this recipe. We really miss Chinese food since having a child with allergies.