Orange chicken is an Americanized Chinese fast food classic that consists of cubed pieces of chicken breasts that are breaded and deep fried, then coated in a sweet, sticky orange sauce. While it may be delicious, traditional orange chicken can have a boatload of extra sugar, and certainly isn’t winning any nutritional awards.
My healthy version of orange chicken is made in the crockpot with simple ingredients like orange juice and honey. Not to mention, this gluten free and dairy free dish will keep you on track with achieving your healthy eating aspirations.
Crockpot Orange Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (roughly 4-5 breasts), cubed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2-1 tsp sea salt (my favorite sea salt)
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (~3 oranges)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (my favorite)
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger (roughly 2/3 inch)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder or tapioca starch (to thicken the sauce)
- 1 lb frozen broccoli florets (prepare per the stovetop directions)
- Sliced green onions (optional, for serving)
- Spray the bottom of your crockpot insert (4 QT or larger) with nonstick spray. Place the cubed chicken in the bottom and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, honey, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken.
- Cover and cook for 2 hours on high or 5 hours on low, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the crockpot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Strain the sauce in the crockpot with a mesh sieve to remove the solids, and then return the liquid to the crockpot on high heat.
- Mix your arrowroot or tapioca starch with 3 Tbsp of water to create a slurry, then stir it into the slow cooker sauce. Cover and cook on high until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir to coat the chicken thoroughly.
- Serve with your prepared broccoli and green onions.