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A delicious Skinny Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken coated in a sweet, savory and spicy sauce that is even better than your local takeout restaurant! Best of all, you can make this in your crock-pot or Instant Pot pressure cooker and it's full of authentic flavors and super easy to make with just 15 minutes of prep time. Skip that takeout menu! This is so much better and healthier! With gluten free and paleo friendly options.

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken (+ Instant Pot) MEAL PREP + VIDEO

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken makes the perfect easy weeknight meal. Best of all, this popular takeout favorite is lightened up with keto and paleo options with the same amazing flavors as your local restaurant.


Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Asian chicken recipe, easy slow cooker chicken recipe, healthier dinner ideas, Instant Pot chicken recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 265 kcal
Author Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch use arrowroot powder for paleo-friendly
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 1-1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts (about 2-3 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Oil for browning about 3-4 tablespoons + more as needed
  • 4 - 5 dried red chili peppers to taste or leave out if desired; found in Asian supermarkets or the International section of a large chain grocery store
  • Toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

SAUCE:

  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce can substitute with gluten free tamari or coconut aminos for paleo
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or coconut sugar or low carb sweetener for keto
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce use gluten free hoisin sauce or leave out for paleo / keto
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes more or less, to taste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons red chili garlic paste for gluten free or paleo use 1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes instead - use more if you prefer it spicier

CORNSTARCH SLURRY:

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder (leave out for keto as needed)
  • 3 Tablespoons water

FOR MEAL PREP:

  • Rice cauliflower rice, zoodles or noodles
  • Roasted or Stir-fried zucchini broccoli and red bell peppers
  • Lunch containers

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or large zip-top bag, combine chicken, cornstarch, salt, and black pepper until well-coated. Set aside.

  2. Make the sauce In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, set aside.

SLOW COOKER VERSION:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.(You can skip this stove-top step if you prefer or are in a pinch. Just add chicken directly to slow cooker. The chicken will not have that crispy coating) Cook chicken (in batches) about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken into the slow cooker. Pour sauce over top.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 - 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 - 3 hours. (SEE NOTES)
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the corn starch and water in a small bowl and very gently stir into the slow cooker (This is to avoid breaking up the breading on the chicken). Toss in the dried red chili peppers or red pepper chili flakes. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up. (if your slow cooker is not hot enough to thicken the sauce - pour sauce into a pot and heat on the stovetop on high to thicken the sauce or you can just skip the cornstarch slurry instead)
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.

INSTANT POT VERSION:

  1. Turn Instant Pot to SAUTE (skip this step and just cook on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (high) for 5 minutes if you are in a pinch or prefer. The chicken won't have that crispy coating.) Allow pan to heat up for a few minutes then add oil. Cook chicken in batches (placing the browned chicken on a paper-towel lined plate) about 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Once all the chicken is browned, add back to the Instant Pot and pour sauce over top.
  2. Close and seal Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing.
  3. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (high) and set for 3 minutes. Once the 3 minutes is up and the Instant Pot beeps, allow to naturally release for 15-20 minutes. Open the lid and press the SAUTE button. Toss in the dried red chili peppers or red pepper chili flakes. Combine the cornstarch with water and stir into the Instant Pot. Cook and allow the sauce to bubble and thicken up.

  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired
  5. For meal prep: Prepare your favorite carb (rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, roasted potatoes, rice noodles) and add to containers. Divide chicken among containers and add your favorite roasted or stir-fried vegetables.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you want this dish saucier, feel free to double the amount of sauce and save the rest for another recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken (+ Instant Pot) MEAL PREP + VIDEO
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 265 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 699mg 29%
Potassium 445mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Sugars 8g
Protein 22g 44%
Vitamin A 2.1%
Vitamin C 2.2%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 5.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.