Slow Cooker Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

Mike tried this recipe on August 6, 2023

I was looking for more summertime dishes to explore, and came across several that called for chicken in a slow cooker… well, sort of. While most of the cooking for them does take place in a slow cooker, there is usually a step where they are first seared in a hot skillet to give the chicken a light golden color and a little extra flavor than if it was placed raw into the slow cooker. This is one of them.

I also was thinking about something more Oriental style, and having never tried Orange Chicken before the thought intrigued me enough to give this one a go. It turned out quite good; my reviewers said it tasted better than what they’ve had when going to “that restaurant” this recipe is copied from, so I’ll call that a win.

Adapted from Persnickety Plates

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 195 mins Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A copycat version of Panda Express' Orange Chicken, prepared in a slow cooker (with a little skillet searing first to add flavor).

Adapted from Persnickety Plates



  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine cut chicken and corn starch in a zippered plastic bag, shaking to coat each piece evenly. Remove chicken and discard bag along with any remaining corn starch.

  2. Place coated chicken into the skillet and sear on all sides until slightly browned; chicken should not be fully cooked. Remove from skillet and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the bell pepper to the slow cooker.

  3. In a medium bowl combine marmalade, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the chicken and bell pepper in the slow cooker, then gently stir to coat evenly.

  4. Cook on Low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional sesame seeds and/or chopped green onion if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size approx. 6 ounces

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 636kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21.7g34%
Saturated Fat 4.6g23%
Cholesterol 135mg45%
Sodium 885mg37%
Potassium 488mg14%
Total Carbohydrate 67g23%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g6%
Sugars 49.4g
Protein 45.6g92%

Calcium 67 mg
Iron 3 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • Serving suggestion: serve over brown or fried rice with steamed broccoli (as pictured on the recipe card)
  • Chicken breasts, thighs, or tenders can be used depending on preference.
  • For a hotter sauce, increase red pepper flakes to 3/4 teaspoon.
  • The red bell pepper can be omitted if not desired.
Keywords: Orange Chicken, oriental, slow cooker, Panda Express, copycat
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