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!

Need more quick & easy recipes in your life? Follow me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest for all the daily updates.

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know! Leave a star rating below, and don’t forget to take pictures and tag me on Facebook and Instagram!

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

Originally published May 17, 2016

SLOW COOKER SECRETS

Master Your Slow Cooker

Tips, tricks and recipes!

5-DAY FREE EMAIL SERIES