Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

Super Easy Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken. Cooked in a slightly sweet and tangy Chinese-inspired sauce. Way better (and healthier) than takeout! Serve with my Famous Fried Rice, Lo Mein, or Chicken Chow Mein to make it a meal!

If you are short on time and want to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes try my Easy 30-minute General Tso’s Chicken, with a side of Garlic Fried Rice!

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken, over white rice in a white bowl with chopsticks.

General Tso’s Chicken is my all-time favorite take-out dish. It’s my go-to whenever I order Chinese takeout. This General Tso Chicken recipe turns out incredibly tender and juicy way better than the takeout version. It is coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. It tastes just like the General Tso’s Chicken you get at a restaurant!

You can also feel better about eating this dish because it is healthier than the takeout version! There is no deep-frying in this recipe just a little oil is used to sauté the chicken. You can also control the sweetness, saltiness and spice level when you make this at home!

To add an extra depth of flavor to this dish I brown the coated chicken in a hot pan. This gives the chicken a nice caramelization on the outside and helps it stay tender and juicy while cooking in the slow cooker. The cornstarch also helps to thicken up the sauce.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts: Cut into bite-size pieces. You can substitute chicken thighs as well.
  • Cornstarch: This helps to thicken up the sauce.
  • Hoisin Sauce: Can be found in the International Isle in the grocery store. It is thick, sweet, and slightly salty. It makes the perfect addition to the sauce!
  • Rice wine vinegar: Can also be found in the International Isle in the grocery store. Resist the urge to substitute with another vinegar. I find that rice wine vinegar works the best in this recipe.
  • Light brown sugar: Adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the sauce. Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar if you do not like it as sweet.
  • Sesame oil: Also found in the International Isle in the grocery store or at Asian supermarkets. Sesame oil has a wonderful nutty flavor. A little goes a long way!
  • For serving: I sprinkle the chicken with black and white sesame seeds and green onions! For a kick add some crushed red pepper flakes or a drizzle of Sriracha or chili garlic sauce!

How to make Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

  • Coat in cornstarch: Add chicken and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag. Toss to coat the chicken with the cornstarch.

cubed chicken breast in ziplock bag

  • Brown chicken: Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Saute chicken until golden brown on both sides about 2 minutes on each side. (Note the chicken will not be fully cooked and that is ok)

sautéed cubed chicken in skillet

  • Slow cook: Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Add hoisin sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil to a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the sauce onto the chicken and stir to coat the chicken. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.

pouring sauce on top of sautéed chicken

  • Serve: With green onions and sesame seeds for serving, if desired.

General Tso Chicken in a crockpot with a wooden spoon.

What to serve with General Tso Chicken

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken, over white rice in a white bowl with chopsticks.

Reheating and Storage Instructions

  • Reheat: Leftovers (chicken and sauce) in a saute pan over medium-high heat until rewarmed. You can also rewarm in the slow cooker as well!
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating as above.

Tips for Success

  • You can use different meat! Try adding chicken thighs, pork, or beef instead, and increase the cooking time to 3-4 hours depending on the cut of meat.
  • Vegetarian? No Problem! Cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots are all delicious in this recipe! Use what you have on hand. You can dust the vegetables with cornstarch, or make a cornstarch slurry by adding it to water and then pouring it straight into the sauce.
  • Enjoy a little heat? Me too! Sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes in, or as a few dashes of sriracha for a little kick of spice.

What is Chinese General Tso Sauce made of?

It’s made of 4 simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. General Tso’s Chicken sauce includes hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, light brown sugar, and sesame oil. The meat is coated with cornstarch which thickens the sauce up beautifully.

How long do you cook boneless skinless chicken in the crockpot?

For this Slow Cooker General Tso Chicken recipe, I cooked the chicken along with the sauce for 2-3 hours in the crockpot. It turns out super tender and the chicken is absolutely bursting with flavor.

Is General Tso Chicken the same as Orange Chicken?

Not quite! Orange Chicken Sauce has marmalade, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper flakes. On the other hand, General Tso Chicken contains hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, light brown sugar, and sesame oil. They are very different flavor profiles! One is orange-tasting, and the other has hoisin sauce which is made from fermented soybeans.

Is General Tso Chicken Hot?

This recipe for Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken is not spicy at all, however, if you like a kick of heat I recommend adding in crushed red pepper flakes or a few dashes of sriracha. A little spice is delicious in this recipe!

General Tso Chicken in a slow cooker with a wooden spoon.

Here are more Chinese Takeout Recipes you can make at home!

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Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken

4.24 from 38 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Super Easy Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken. Way better (and healthier) than takeout!

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • green onions for serving if desired
  • sesame seeds for serving if desired

Instructions

Images:
  • Add chicken and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag. Toss to coat the chicken with the cornstarch.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Saute chicken until golden brown on both sides about 2 minutes on each side. (Note the chicken will not be fully cooked and that is ok) Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Add hoisin sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil to a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the sauce onto the chicken and stir to coat the chicken. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  • Serve with green onions and sesame seeds for serving, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 501 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 1311mg57%
Potassium 725mg21%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 51IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Asian Food Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Easy Dinner, General Tso Chicken, Slow Cooker

 

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Comments - page 1/10

  • Lesley

    I do a lot of cookin and have read countless recipes online and this is the first time I have truly been moved to comment. I made this and it was DELICIOUS and so easy I can’t wait to make it again!! The only thing is it took me about 1.5 hours in the slow cooker- which was perfect because I was soooo ready to eat it rather than wait another hour based on its smell 🙂

  • Kathie Siemer

    What are nutritional facts per serving for this dish?

    • Leigh-Anne Soules

      I would like to also know that as I am a weight watcher lifetime member and want to make this chicken recipe..

  • val cole

    HUH!!? Kelly says cook low 4 hrs. Lesley says cook 1.5hrs. How so?

    • Hi Val,

      I cooked my chicken for 3-4 hours but you can check it after 1-1/2 like Lesley. (It depends on how small you cut your chicken and if you cook it longer when you sauté it in the cornstarch.)

      Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

      Kelley

  • Mary

    I’d love to make the General Tso’s Chicken & Mongolian Beef recipes, but I’ve been living overseas and cannot use my slowcooker. Do you think I cook make the recipes on my stove top in a dutch oven (one of those very heavy Creuset pans)?

    • Hi Mary!

      You can definitely make the Mongolian beef recipe in a dutch oven. As for the general tso’s you can make that in a dutch oven as well. Most recipes coat the chicken in cornstarch and deep fry the chicken. Here is a good recipe for that: http://rasamalaysia.com/general-tsos-chicken/

      Thanks and Enjoy!

      Kelley

    • Melissa

      Am I able to do this in my instant pot?? Have you tried it? If so what is the recommended cooking time?

    • Hi Melissa,

      Yes it can definitely be made in the Instant Pot. I would use the saute option to brown the cornstarch coated chicken then add in the sauce ingredients and manual cook for 5 minutes. Serve with the green onions and sesame seeds!

      Thanks & Enjoy!

      Kelley

    • Carol

      Made this in my dutch oven today. I put on low on the stove covered ..it was outstanding

    • Libby

      Hey Carol! How long did you cook it for may I inquire? (:
      I’m excited to try this but I don’t use a Crock-Pot. C:

  • Ann Stradley

    I love the flavor of this dish but my chicken was really tough. Can you think of why that would be?

    • Hi Ann,

      I am very sorry that the chicken was tough for you. I have found that the chicken can be take out sooner. I will change the recipe cooking time to 2-3 hours. I appreciate your feedback!

      Thank you,

      Kelley

    • C.giles

      Probably need to check chicken at the 1&1/2 hour mark. Most likely it was over cooked.

  • Jean-Sebastien

    Hello,

    What size slow cooker this recipe is for? I have quite a big one so I must adjust quantity for it. I have one about 5 pints if I’m not mistaken (quite big, I bought a big one on purpose to make extra for lunch and freezer).

    • Hi!

      I used a 6 quart slow cooker for this recipe. It came about halfway up the slow cooker.

      Hope this helps! Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Josianne

    Hi!

    Your recipe looks awesome!

    What I like to do is prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them. Afterwards, I put them in the slow cooker when I want to use them.

    Is it possible to do so with this recipe?

    Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Hi Josianne,

      I wouldn’t cook the chicken for as long the first time. My worry would be it would be over cooked if you cook it and then reheat it again in the slow cooker. I would maybe cook just until it reaches 165 so maybe 1-1/2 hours. Then cool it and freeze it and reheat in the slow cooker.

      I hope this helps and you enjoy!!

      Kelley

    • Josianne

      Hi!

      Thanks for your qyick answer.

      However, I think I may have expressed myself in the wrong way 🙂

      What I am wondering is if I can NOT cook all the ingredients, put them all in a freezer bag and them cook them in the slow cooker when I want to?

      Hope I am clearer 🙂

      Thanks again!

      Josianne

    • Hi Josianne,

      I have never tried doing that before so it is hard for me to say yes or no that will work. Sorry I couldn’t help more!

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Chris

    Going to give this a go tonight, just one question though, how much is a cup?

    • Bret

      Hi Chris,

      I’m guessing by your question that you might be needing to Metricize (convert to Metric)

      If that’s the case, 1 cup is 250 ml

    • Hi Tammy,

      No this dish is not spicy. You can add sriracha or red pepper flakes to this dish to add some spice.

      Thanks!

      Kelley