I am all for easy, delicious crockpot recipes! They are convenient for when I am working, make my house smell great, and are easy to clean up. So, when I saw this 3 Ingredient Orange Chicken crockpot recipe on Pinterest from Listotic, I had to try it! Not only was it a crockpot meal, but I am a sucker from some good orange chicken – brings me back to my teenage days when we would go shopping at the mall and get Panda Express at the food court.
- 4 chicken breasts ($1.99-2.99/lb)
- 3/4 cup orange marmalade (~$2/jar for generic)
- 3/4 cup bbq sauce ($2.89/bottle)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($2.50/bottle)
I know, you may be saying, “But that is 4 ingredients!” Well, I omitted the soy sauce because I try not to overdo the sodium since I tend to feel puffy and bloated the next day, and no one wants that. I figured if it was really lacking, I could add a little bit after.
I already had chicken on hand, but it was the breast tenderloins (I like them because they grill up super quickly and have less fat to cut off than the breasts at my Kroger). My package was a little over 1.5lb, so I struggled with how to modify the recipe. While she mentions 4 chicken breasts, she doesn’t specify the approximate weight and breasts can vary a lot or you might buy tenderloins like me. So, I decided to cut the sauce back to 1/2 cup to estimate conservatively.
My experience preparing 3 Ingredient Orange Chicken:
So, the recipe is super easy. Basically, you cut your chicken into bite-sized chunks, cook on medium for 1.5 hours, then drain the chicken. Next, you add your orange marmalade and bbq sauce (already mixed together) and cook for another 2 hours. For detailed instructions and a printable copy, check out the original recipe.
But wait…my crockpot only has low and high cooking settings. I know, this probably is a sign that it is super outdated and I need a new one, but it works perfectly fine so I feel silly replacing it. Luckily, I found another recipe from The Frugal Girls that was pretty much identical and had instructions for cooking on low (6.5 hours) or high (3.5 hours).
So, I cut up my chicken into bite-sized chunks and threw it in the crockpot. I cooked it on high, so it was supposed to be a total of 3.5 hours. I had less chicken, so I already planned to shorten that by at least 45 minutes or so. So, after 1.5 hours, I checked on the chicken and it was already looking quite cooked. I drained it per the instructions and added the orange marmalade and bbq sauce.
Then, I checked on it an hour later and it was definitely done, so I stopped it early at about 2.5 hours on high.
How did the 3 Ingredient Orange Chicken turn out?
The sauce looked super yummy and thickened even more as it cooled to a nice consistency, so I was excited to try it. I cooked up my cauliflower fried rice (recipe review coming soon!) and served it right on top. My first bite and…too sweet!
Plus, I didn’t think that it tasted like orange chicken much at all. It didn’t taste bad, just not what I was expecting and too sweet for my liking. I think the BBQ sauce was a little too bold, and I certainly did not think the soy sauce was missed with such strong flavor already. I had my husband taste it when he got home because he has a real sweet tooth. He thought the same thing: too sweet!
Also, the chicken was a bit overcooked even though I cut the cooking time down by a ton. I cannot imagine cooking it as long as these two recipes state and not have it be super dry, but maybe that varies a lot based on your crockpot. So, if you try it, make sure you monitor the chicken to avoid overcooking. I would recommend closer to the 1.5-2 hour range on high unless you have a ton of chicken.
- Budget: $
- Difficulty: Very easy
- Taste: this 3 ingredient orange chicken was too sweet for my tastes and I would recommend reducing cooking time to avoid overdrying. Or, at least monitor more frequently.
So, we weren’t huge fans of this 3 Ingredient Orange Chicken crockpot recipe, but that’s ok! Not every recipe you try can be a new favorite. I still enjoyed testing it out. Also, (spoiler alert!) I loved the cauliflower fried rice I made so stay tuned for that recipe on the blog soon!