Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken is the easiest recipe for a favorite Chinese dish! Tender chicken pieces in a spicy, sweet and tangy sauce!

From main dishes made easier like this crockpot chicken to fast, classic sides like Chow Mein, you can recreate all the flavors of your favorite Chinese Dishes at home. This easy recipe for General Tso’s Chicken has all the delicious flavor but is made in the slow cooker for a convenient dinner without having to order it or turn on the stove.

Sabrina’s Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

When it comes to easy meals, you can’t beat a good Slow Cooker dinner that has little prep work and doesn’t take all day to cook. This slow cooker version of a Chinese takeout favorite is sure to be on your go-to list of crockpot dinners! The juicy, flavorful chicken is smothered in a sticky, sweet sauce that makes General Tso’s Chicken so tasty but there is almost no hands on time. You just combine everything in the slow cooker and let it cook while you go about your afternoon until dinner time.

Not only is making General Tso’s Chicken in the slow cooker so much easier, it is a little bit healthier and you get tender chicken every time. Cooking the traditional recipe in a wok can be a bit tricky at first because food cooks very quickly at a high heat. I love this slow cooker version because you don’t have to worry about burning anything plus it frees up your stove and oven (and time!) to make your side dishes.

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken ingredients laid out in separate prep bowls
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  • Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are great for slow cooking because they are dark meat with a higher fat content. They don’t dry out easily and are more flavorful than chicken breast. You can also use bone-in thighs but you’ll need to increase the cooking time.
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is slightly sweeter than regular vinegar and it is also has salty notes. The closest substitute would be apple cider vinegar.
  • Soy Sauce: There is added salt from the hoisin sauce and rice vinegar so it’s best to use soy sauce with low sodium.
  • Hoisin: Hoisin sauce tastes almost like a cross between soy sauce and garlicky BBQ sauce. It’s got a deep savory flavor and just 2 tablespoons will add a lot of depth and flavor to the sauce.
  • Sugar: The sugar balances out the heat from the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes, and the salty umami flavors of the soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: This is normally a spicy dish, so you’ll need ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. It might not seem like a lot, but a little goes a long way. Taste the sauce before adding more.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a signature seasoning in most Asian dishes. The fresh garlic works great  for slow cooking because it will release its flavor slowly for a more deeply flavored dish.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger packs a big punch of bright flavor and a slightly spicy zing without needing too much. For a quick peeling hack – use the sides of a regular spoon to scrape away the root covering.
  • Green Onions: For a little pop of freshness and to add some more Asian flavor, you add sliced green onions at the end with the cornstarch slurry.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: You combine 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a cornstarch slurry that helps thicken your sauce at the end. 
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

Slow Cooker: You’ll need a standard 5-6 quart slow cooker for this recipe to easily fit the chicken thighs and sauce. It’s okay for the chicken to overlap a bit. You don’t want to use a small slow cooker because it won’t cook as evenly.

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How to Make

Time needed: 4 hours and 35 minutes.

  1. Mix the Sauce

    Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, Hoisin sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger to the slow cooker. Whisk together until combined.Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken whisking sauce ingredients in slow cooker insert

  2. Cook the Chicken

    Add the chicken thigh pieces to the sauce and stir to coat the chicken and distribute it evenly. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours, or on high for 2- 2 ½ hours.Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken sauce and raw chicken in slow cooker before cooking

  3. Thicken the Sauce

    In a small bowl, add the corn starch and water and whisk until combined. Stir the cornstarch mixture and green onions into the sauce. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken cooked in slow cooker, stirring in green onions

Can this be made ahead of time?

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken is a great meal prep dish that you can make right from the freezer, no need to defrost first. See below for freezing instructions. You can also prep the sauce and chicken pieces and refrigerate them in a sealed bag overnight then dump everything in the slow cooker the next day.

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 247 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 609mg26%
Potassium 450mg13%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 169IU3%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Tips for Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

Make it a Freezer Meal

To make this a freezer meal, add the chicken pieces to a large freezer safe bag. Whisk all sauce ingredients, except cornstarch and water, in a bowl and pour in the bag to coat the chicken. Freeze bag flat on a baking sheet until solid so easier to store. Cook from frozen in slow cooker for 5-6 hours on low, breaking in half if needed to fit in crock pot.

Use Bone-In Chicken

You can use this sauce to make bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, or even chicken wings, in the slow cooker too! Bone in chicken takes a little longer to cook, so add 1-2 hours, using a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.

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What to Serve With General Tso’s Chicken

Make a healthier takeout-inspired dinner by serving this General Tso’s Chicken with Baked Brown Rice or Steamed Rice and veggies. Panda Express Steamed Veggies or Roasted Broccoli are easy and tasty kid-friendly veggies. If you want even more spicy heat, try these Spicy Sichuan Green Beans.

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How to Store

Store: You can keep General Tso’s Chicken in the slow cooker on warm for up to 4 hours, or at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Once cooled, store Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken with sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Reheat: Reheat in a skillet over low medium heat until hot.

Freeze: Cool completely and transfer cooked chicken and sauce to a sealed container. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top.

Ideas to Serve Crockpot General Tso’s Chicken

Tacos: Use a pork shoulder, whole chicken breasts, or beef roast to make shredded General Tso’s taco meat. Top your tacos in flour tortillas or lettuce wraps with toppings like shredded cabbage, kimchi, radishes, sesame seeds, and green onions.

Vegetables: Add stir fry vegetable favorites like green and red bell peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, and carrots, cut in 1 inch pieces, to the crockpot for a more complete meal.

Bowls: Serve the chicken and sauce over steamed rice and pile on some cooked vegetables for an easy lunch bowl. You could also swap the rice for Asian noodles like Stir Fry Garlic Noodles

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Frequent Questions

What is a substitute for hoisin sauce?

No hoisin sauce? You can mix ¼ cup molasses (or honey) and 2 tablespoons each soy sauce, creamy peanut butter, rice vinegar. Season with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon sriracha, and 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch and mix until combined.

Is General Tso’s Chicken spicy?

Yes, normally General Tso’s Chicken is a pretty spicy dish. This recipe is a bit more family friendly, but there is still some heat. The nice thing about making this dish at home is that you can make it as spicy or mild as you want.

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Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken is the easiest recipe for a favorite Chinese dish! Tender chicken pieces in a spicy, sweet and tangy sauce!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger , minced
  • 2 pounds skinless chicken thighs , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup green onions , thinly sliced


  • To your slow cooker add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger.
  • Add in chicken chunks and mix well.
  • Cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Mix water and cornstarch and add to slow cooker with green onions, stirring in gently.
  • Cook on high for 30 minutes.


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 609mg | Potassium: 450mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 169IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
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Chicken: You can use any kind of chicken pieces, including chicken breasts or bone-in chicken. If you use bone-in skin-on chicken, brown chicken before adding to the crockpot. Instead of chicken, try boneless pork loin or chuck roast cut into pieces.

Sauce Seasonings: Sauce swaps and additions you can use are brown sugar, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, chili paste, or oyster sauce. For an extra Chinese sweet barbecue flavor, use a ½ cup hoisin sauce or use regular Barbecue Sauce.

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More Asian-Inspired Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken plated on bed of rice, recipe name across bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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