Healthy Mandarin Orange Chicken for a New Year, New You!

Wow, we’re officially 15 days strong into the New Year and halfway through the first month of 2018! What is your New Year resolution? Or perhaps, you chose a word for the year like intention? Whatever your desires are to create a better you, we all need inspiration! I’ve partnered with Dole, because now is the perfect time to check in on our goals and stay inspired! Most of us want to get healthier this year, and what better way than a new recipe like this Healthy Mandarin Orange Chicken with Zucchini Noodles that will help us stay on track for a New Year, New You!Crockpot or Pressure Cooker Healthy Mandarin Orange ChickenOne of my resolutions is to eat more fruits and vegetables and get better at weekly meal prep. My diet typically consists of high protein and low carb, but it’s so important to get the health benefits that fruits and veggies provide. I eat a lot of salads, but when I reach for a snack it’s not always the mandarin oranges or red bell pepper that I would be better off choosing! 

This recipe incorporates a delicious sweet fruit, a vegetable low in calories and a protein to create a well balanced meal full of flavor and health benefits! I used convenient all natural pre-packaged Dole® Mandarin Oranges in 100% fruit juice, as one of the main ingredients that helps flavor the chicken and zoodles with a sweet and zesty sauce.Crockpot or Pressure Cooker Healthy Mandarin Orange Chicken Crockpot or Pressure Cooker Healthy Mandarin Orange Chicken Crockpot or Pressure Cooker Healthy Mandarin Orange ChickenMandarin Oranges are also a great staple to have in the pantry for snacking and for the kiddos lunch box! I also like to dip them halfway in melted dark chocolate, place on parchment paper, sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the chocolate hardens for the perfect healthy sweet treat! I got inspired by Dole® Dippers™! You can also add thse Banana Muffins that are loaded with protein to your recipe arsenal to reach your fitness goals this year or try any of our healthy recipes on the blog like this Crockpot Cuban Chicken!Healthy Crockpot or Pressure Cooker Mandarin Orange ChickenThis Mandarin Orange Chicken is so easy and can be cooked in either the crockpot or pressure cooker. If you are trying to be better at meal prepping this year like I am, go ahead and double the recipe and portion out the chicken and noodles in separate storage containers and refrigerate for the week!Crockpot or Pressure Cooker Healthy Mandarin Orange ChickenGive yourself a huge pat on the back for working hard this year to reach your personal goals, and cheers to a New Year, New You!

A huge thank you to Dole Packaged Foods for sponsoring this post and for their healthy convenient snacks, frozen fruit, and committed social responsibility to #SharetheSunshine.

Kimberly Bishop Crockpot Empire Signature

Crockpot Mandarin Orange Chicken
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1-2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
  2. 1 DOLE prepackaged mandarin oranges, juice included (1/2 cup)
  3. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  4. 1/4 cup reduced-sugar orange juice
  5. 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  6. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  7. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  9. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  11. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
To thicken sauce (optional)
  1. 3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
Optional Toppings
  1. Cilantro
  2. Sesame seeds
For Crockpot
  1. Grease your crockpot with cooking spray or insert liner.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the mandarin oranges with juice, chicken broth, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground ginger and black pepper.
  3. Place chicken in the pot and season with salt.
  4. Pour sauce into crockpot covering chicken.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours (chicken should reach 165 degrees in middle).
  6. Remove chicken from the crockpot with a slotted spoon, cut into chunks, cover and set aside.
  7. For a thicker sauce, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water and stir into crockpot.
  8. Cover and cook on high and stirring often for approximately 15 minutes, until thickened and well combined.
  9. Add chicken back into crockpot and stir until coated.
For Crockpot Express or Instant Pot
  1. Grease pot with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the mandarin oranges with juice, chicken broth, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground ginger and black pepper.
  3. Pour half the sauce into pressure cooker.
  4. Salt chicken and place in pot.
  5. Pour remaining sauce over chicken.
  6. Place lid on lock and make sure steam valve is closed.
  7. Place the lid on, press poultry and increase cooking time to 20 minutes.
  8. After cooking time allow a natural release for 10 minutes (chicken should reach 165 degrees in middle to be done).
  9. Remove chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon, cut into chunks, cover and set aside or serve if not making thicker sauce.
Optional step
  1. For a thicker sauce, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water and stir into pot.
  2. Press Slow Cook High and cook on high stirring often for approximately 15 minutes, until thickened and well combined.
  3. Add chicken back into pot and stir until coated.
Notes
  1. The cornstarch to thicken the sauce is optional. I have had this meal both ways and love them both. Serve with zoodles, rice, cauliflower rice or over a bed of lettuce.
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