Get a flavor-packed dinner on the table FAST with this recipe for Orange Chicken. This Copycat Orange Chicken with tender chunks of chicken in a slightly sweet and savory sauce comes together in less than 30 minutes!
You will be so happy you opted to skip the take-out and make Homemade Orange Chicken instead. This dish comes together with a few simple ingredients, a little bit of time, and is so much better tasting, and better for you than any take-out! Serve over Instant Pot Rice or Instant Pot Quinoa to soak up the delicious sauce and dinner is done!
Orange Chicken happens to be one of my family's favorite meals. It is sweet enough the kids love it, yet complex enough in flavors, that it still pleases the more sophisticated palates.
This recipe for Homemade Orange Chicken is made with basic pantry ingredients, yet it is the perfect balance of sweet and salty in every bite. The tang brightness of the orange juice and is a perfect contrast to the salty, earthy flavor from the soy sauce. It is not a complicated dish at all to make and is very affordable, yet still impressive in flavors and presentation.
Plus being that this Orange Chicken is ready in less than 30 minutes, it makes a great meal for even the busiest of nights!
Ingredients for Orange Chicken
- Chicken: For this recipe, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or chicken tenders.
- Oranges: This recipe calls for both the zest and juice of fresh oranges for the best flavor.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: If you don't happen to have rice vinegar on hand, substitute it with white distilled vinegar.
- Fresh Ginger: This is not the time to use dried ginger powder, freshly grated peeled, ginger root is a must for this recipe. Pro Tip: You can store leftover ginger root peeled in the freezer in a freezer bag and grate directly from the freezer for future recipes.
- Oil: Canola, avocado, peanut, or coconut oil all be used to saute the chicken. I don't recommend using olive oil, as the flavor is too strong.
- In a small bowl, combine the juice, zest, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, ginger, and cornstarch together. Whisk well until the sugar and cornstarch have dissolved.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
- Once a drop of water sizzles in the oil, add the cubed chicken to the pan and saute the chicken until golden on all sides.
- After the chicken has been browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes, remove the chicken to a large plate.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Once the sauce is bubbling, turn the heat to medium-low, return the chicken to the pan, and finish cooking the chicken in the sauce for 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with chopped green onions over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. This Orange Chicken is also delicious served in lettuce wraps.
How to Store Orange Chicken
Allow leftover orange chicken to cool slightly and then store in a sealed container for 3-4 days in the fridge. You can also freeze the leftover for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. To reheat the frozen orange chicken, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then warm in a skillet over medium-low heat.
Wash and dry the orange before using it. Then use a Microplane to grate just the orange part of the orange peel. Cut the orange in half and use your hands or juicer to squeeze out the fresh orange juice into a measuring cup.
No. You can certainly use refrigerated orange juice in place of the fresh juice, but not only does the fresh juice taste better, but because you need the zest from fresh oranges, it makes the most sense to use the juice from the fresh oranges as well.
Most brands of soy sauce are not gluten-free. To keep this dish free from gluten, use Tamari sauce in place of the soy sauce.
If you need this Orange Chicken to be free from corn, use tapioca starch in place of the corn starch.
Not really. There is a bit of mild spice from the fresh ginger, but this dish is extremely mild making it perfect for those sensitive to spice. Feel free to add up to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to the orange sauce to add some kick to the final dish.
More Easy Copycat Recipes
- Vegetable Potstickers
- Hunan Beef
- Moo Goo Gai Pan
- Easy Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- Thai Noodles
- Asian Noodle Salad
- Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy
- Easy Homemade Ramen
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If you enjoyed this Copycat Orange Chicken, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup orange juice from about 1 large orange
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bunch of green onions chopped (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the juice, zest, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, ginger, and cornstarch together and whisk until the sugar and cornstarch are fully dissolved.
- In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once a drop of water sizzles in the oil, add the chicken to the pan. Allow the chicken to saute until browned on each side for about 3-4 minutes, and then remove the chicken from the skillet and place it onto a large plate.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once bubbling, turn the heat to medium-low and return the chicken back to the pan. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for about 3-5 minutes.
- Serve the chicken with the sauce over steamed rice or quinoa and garnish with green onion slices if desired.