Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Orange Turkey

Pull out the slow cooker and make Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Orange Turkey for dinner. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to have this delicious dinner.

A favorite of mine! Can't wait to make it again. Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Orange Turkey Low Calorie Low Fat Healthy Dinner
As much as I love making up recipes of my own, I love to make recipes from magazines and TV.  I had been having withdrawals from making recipes from Cooking Light.  I always find their recipes to be consistent and delicious.  I had recently picked up a copy of their new Slow Cooker Recipe Book.  I had turned down pages of so many recipes and asked my hubby to pick one for dinner.  He picked Sweet & Spicy Satsuma Turkey.  It sounded fantastic to me I just wasn’t sure I could find all the ingredients.

A favorite of mine! Can't wait to make it again. Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Orange Turkey Low Calorie Low Fat Healthy Dinner

As it turned out, I could not find Satsuma oranges or tamarind paste at my local grocery store.  Time to substitute and bring my own spin to the dish.  I bought some clementines and had pomegranate molasses at home.  I was all set.  I had never cooked only the turkey thigh.  I had always cooked either a whole turkey or turkey breast.  Where have I been?  They are going to go into heavy rotation in our house.  They were so good.  I often find chicken gets to dry in the slow cooker but the turkey was moist and succulent.  In the words of my daughter who ate three helpings “Wowzer”.  This recipe is fantastic.  I can think of so many variations for this dish.  Hoisin sauce or oyster sauce would be great in place of the tamarind paste or pomegranate molasses.  Pears would work well instead of oranges.  The possibilities are endless with this recipe.

We actually ate this meal two nights in a row and I had a little leftover for lunch.  I had it because my husband forgot to take it for lunch.  What a lucky day that was.  It was one of the best lunches I had in a long time.  Just thinking about this dish again is making my mouth water.  Yes it really was that good.  I don’t always like slow cooker meals.  They are often lacking in flavor and watery.  This dish was perfect.  The consistency of the sauce was smooth and had some body to it.  The fresh green onions on top were a nice compliment to the slow cooked food.  You have to make this.  I bet it will go into heavy rotation at your house too.

A favorite of mine! Can't wait to make it again. Healthy Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Orange Turkey Low Calorie Low Fat Healthy Dinner
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Yields 8 servings

Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Orange Turkey

15 minPrep Time

4 hr, 15 Cook Time

4 hr, 30 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3 cups thinly sliced red or sweet onion
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 3 3/4 lbs. bone-in turkey thighs, skinless
  • 2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup white wine (I used a Viogner but CL recommended Riesling)
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup peach apricot marmalade (CL suggests orange marmalade)
  • 1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (CL suggests 2 tsp. tamarind paste but hoisin would be great too)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed dried chipotle pepper flakes (CL suggests red pepper flakes)
  • 2 cups fresh clementines segments (CL suggests Satsuma oranges but any orange would do.)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion


  1. Place onions in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of turkey with five spice, salt & pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with oil. Add turkey and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until turkey is browned.
  4. Place turkey in a single layer on top of the onion.
  5. Add wine, juice, marmalade and pomegranate molasses to the pan and stir taking off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the marmalade melt slightly.
  6. Pour over the turkey in slow cooker.
  7. Add in crushed pepper flakes and orange segments.
  8. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  9. Take turkey out of slow cooker and place on cutting board. Shred the turkey and put back into the slow cooker.
  10. Pour all but 1/4 cup of the liquid and oranges into a medium saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch with the 1/4 cup of liquid. Whisk the cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook and stir continuously for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the turkey and toss to combine. Serve with rice and green onions.

Happy Healthy Eating,



But wait, there’s more. Check out these deliciously, healthy slow cooker recipes:


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  1. YUM! This looks and sounds so delicious. I'll be honest, at first I was a little leary because I cannot do weird or tons of ingredients-I have to have simple with my crazy schedule. This totally sounds doable! Pinning and hoping I remember to make it lol!
  2. Mmmm...this sounds so good! My local grocery store used to sell turkey legs and thighs. I'll have to check and see if they are still available because I want to make this!
    • Fooddonelight says
      Thanks Janel. I was surprised at the great selection of turkey mine had. I will be doing more with the thighs now.
  3. Oh I love a good slow cooker meal! Thanks for sharing at Show Me Your Plaid Monday's!
  4. I love the idea of using turkey thighs they stay moist in a slow cooker and are different from using chicken. If you can bring this recipe by foodie friday today. I think everyone will enjoy it.
  5. One question.. can I substitute shallots for onions?
  6. Christie Daruwalla says
    Thanks so much for including the link for my recipe.


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