Slow cooker mandarin orange chicken is an incredible and easy dish. Tender chicken pieces and green beans cooked together in a sauce that is just the right balance of savory and sweet.
Looking for an easy dinner recipe that appears as if you worked harder than you did? You have come to the right place! This mandarin orange chicken recipe is easy to dress up and serve. Your diners will never guess how simple it is to make.
The savory flavors of this popular recipe meld perfectly with the sweet orange juices. This one is sure to become a family favorite.
📝Shopping listJump to recipe card for exact quantities
To make this great recipe you will need:
- Chicken - boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and chicken tenders would all work here. I use breasts.
- Green beans - fresh green beans cut into 2" pieces
- Chicken broth - I mix my own using a bouillon or soup base
- Orange juice
- Soy sauce - low sodium is always my preference
- Brown sugar - or substitute
- Garlic - minced
- Ginger - ground
- Sesame oil - toasted sesame oil is always so tasty if you can find it!
- Mandarin Oranges and juice - The kind in a can
🥣How to assemble
Start by cutting your chicken and green beans into bite-size pieces. Add to slow cooker.
Add in orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and the mandarin orange liquid (strained from the can).
Stir, cover, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Your dish is ready for the next step once the chicken pieces reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. In my slow cooker, this takes about 3.5 hours.
At least 30-45 minutes before serving, mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water together in a small bowl. Stir mixture into your slow cooker. Next, stir in the mandarin orange slices left from the drained can. Be sure to mix gently so your oranges don't break fully apart.
Cover and cook until thickened (about half an hour or so)
This crock pot dish produces a lot of delicious sauce! This makes it a perfect recipe to serve over white rice, jasmine rice, rice noodles, or cauliflower rice. I also love serving the sauce mixture over mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
To give this dish a more "gourmet" look, serve it over a bed of rice. Next top with whole mandarin orange segments, freshly sliced green onions, and sesame seeds. Using both white and black sesame seeds adds more visual interest as well as extra flavor.
Chow mein noodles make for a wonderful, crunchy topping or side as well.
Slow cooker orange chicken is not only delicious, but leftovers also store really well. Freeze leftovers in airtight containers or bags. They will last 3 - 4 days in the refrigerator and several months in the freezer.
I like to freeze mine in individual meal-size portions. This is a great way to ensure I have easy reheat-and-eat dinners for busy weeknights.
😉Hints & hacks
- Sometimes I can find chicken already cut into bite-sized pieces (stir fry chicken). However, it is less expensive to cut it on your own.
- A slow cooker with a built-in meat thermometer is really helpful with this recipe. Chicken is considered safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- If your slow cooker doesn't come with one, a seperate meat thermometer works for this too.
- I am a big fan of slow cooker liners for easy clean-up.
- To make the sauce a little bit thicker, you can cook this dish with the lid off for the last 30 minutes. This extra step is fully optional..
Slow Cooker Mandarin Orange Chicken
- 3.5 quart slow cooker or larger
- cutting board and knife
- 1½-2 lbs chicken breast or thighs cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 -1½ cups fresh green beans cut into 1" - 2" pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar or sugar free replacement
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 11 oz. can, mandarin oranges with all juice
- 3 tablespoon corn starch
- Place bite sized pieces of chicken into slow cooker1½-2 lbs chicken breast or thighs
- Add in green beans, orange juice, mandarin orange juice (reserving mandarins for later), broth, and all spices.1 -1½ cups fresh green beans, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup orange juice, 3 tablespoon Soy Sauce, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 11 oz. can, mandarin oranges with all juice, 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- stir to fully combine. cover slow cooker and cook on low 3-5 hours
- confirm when chicken is ready by using a meat thermometer. Chicken is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- 30-45 minutes prior to serving, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water in a separate bowl.3 tablespoon corn starch
- stir cornstarch mixture into slow cooker and allow for your dish to cook for another 30 minutes.
- Add mandarin orange sliced into slow cooker and gently stir to combine. Be carefully not to mash up the mandarin pieces when stiring.
- Adding cornstarch is meant to help thicken your sauce a bit. If you are in a rush or prefer a thinner sauce, you can skip this step.
- Calories and other nutritional calculations are based on using chicken breast.
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Lee Thayer says
Hi Susan, thank you for an excellent recipe! I made this on 16 Jan 2022, used fresh long beans in place of green beans, and out canned mandarin oranges are slightly larger cans. Everything followed as stated. I did put some of the sauce in gravy boats as well. My family and I loved this dish! This will be a regular one now. I also served with coconut rice on the side. Thanks again, worthy of 10 stars.
The Lazy Slow Cooker says
Thank you for sharing! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe as much as we do. 😋