Skip the take-out and in less than 30 minutes you can have Orange Chicken that is better for you and better tasting than any take out! This recipe for Homemade Orange Chicken is made with tender chicken breasts and sweet and spicy citrus sauce that can’t be beat!
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. Plus being that this Orange Chicken is ready in less than 30 minutes, it makes a great meal for even the busiest of nights! I love 30 Minute Meals I can count on for busy nights!
This recipe for Homemade Orange Chicken is made with basic pantry ingredients, yet it is 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.
Ingredients for Orange Chicken
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or Thighs)
- Orange Zest–use a microplane to grate just the orange part of the orange peel. It is best to zest the orange prior to slicing open
- Orange Juice–fresh orange juice from the oranges you zested can be used, or use prepared orange juice.
- Soy Sauce–low sodium is best and use Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce to keep this Orange Chicken gluten-free.
- Brown Sugar–brown sugar is the best sweetener for this Orange Chicken, as it pairs beautifully with both the orange juice and soy sauce flavors.
- Garlic–freshly minced or jarred mince garlic both work well
- Rice Wine Vinegar–or white distilled vinegar
- Fresh Ginger–grate peeled, fresh ginger root using a microplane. You can store leftover ginger root peeled in the freezer in a freezer bag and grate directly from the freezer for future recipes. This is not the time to use dried ginger powder.
- Cornstarch–if you need this Orange Chicken to be free from corn, use tapioca starch in equal parts
- Oil–Canola, avocado, peanut or coconut oil all a be used for this recipe. I don’t recommend using olive oil, as the flavor is too strong.
How to Make Orange Chicken at Home
Step One: Prepare the Orange Sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the juice, zest, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, ginger, and cornstarch together. Whisk well until the sugar is dissolved.
Step Two: Prepare the Chicken
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.
- Heat oil in large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
- Once a drop of water sizzles in the oil, add the chicken to the boil, stirring constantly.
- After the chicken has been browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes, remove chicken to a large plate.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil.
- Turn to a simmer and return chicken to pan to finish cooking in the sauce, about 5 minutes.
Step Three: Serve
- Serve this Healthy Orange Chicken over Instant Pot Brown Rice, cauli-rice, or Instant Pot Quinoa.
- Top with chopped green onions, if desired.
How to Store Orange Chicken
- Store leftover orange chicken in a sealed container for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
- It is a great idea to freeze leftovers in individual size portions for a quick grab and go lunch!
Easy Asian Recipes
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce Tamari for gluten free
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tbs canola oil
- 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 sugar dissolved.
- Heat oil in large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once a drop of water sizzles in the oil, add the chicken to the oil, stirring constantly. After the chicken has been browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes, remove chicken to a large plate.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil. Turn to a simmer and return chicken to pan to finish cooking in the sauce, about 5 minutes.
- Serve over steamed rice or quinoa and garnish with green onion slices.
- Use white distilled vinegar in place of rice wine vinegar if desired.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be substituted for chicken breasts.
- Use freshly squeezed or prepared orange juice for this recipe.
- Be sure to zest the orange before cutting.