This recipe for Homemade Orange Chicken is a copycat of a take-out favorite made with tender chunks of chicken in a sweet and savory citrus sauce.
Looking for an Instant Pot Version? Check out my recipe for Instant Pot Orange Chicken or use your instant pot to make Instant Pot Jasmine Rice or Instant Pot Brown Rice to soak up the delicious sauce in this orange chicken.
From dishes like Hunan Beef to Moo Goo Gai Pan to this simple recipe for Copycat Orange Chicken, I love recreating restaurant favorites to enjoy at home.
Not only does preparing these recipes at home save my family money, but I also get to be in charge of the quality of ingredients. Meaning I can serve my family a lower fat, lower sodium, wholesome, YET easy, meal while keeping money in my wallet. That is what I call success!
This recipe for Orange Chicken is a favorite copycat take-out recipe. It is sweet enough that the kids love it, yet complex enough in flavors, that it still pleases the more sophisticated palates--AKA the adults!
Made with garlic, ginger, soy, and orange juice, the orange sauce is bright and refreshing yet balanced with earthy, bold flavors and a bit of spice. And the chicken becomes tender as it is coated in the ridiculously delicious orange sauce.
The best part? Homemade Orange Chicken is ready in just over 20 minutes using just a handful of simple ingredients, making this quick and easy flavor-packed recipe one of my all-time favorite healthy 30-minute meals.
Notes on Ingredients for Orange Chicken
- Chicken: You can use cubed boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or chicken tenders.
- Fresh Oranges: This recipe calls for both orange zest and orange juice. Instead of using bottled or prepared orange juice, it is best to juice the zested orange to use for the sauce.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: If you don't happen to have rice vinegar on hand, you can use rice vinegar or mirin. Even distilled vinegar will work. Just don't replace it with strong vinegar such as balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
- Fresh Ginger: For the best flavor, use peeled grated gingerroot, not ground ginger. Pro Tip: You can store leftover peeled ginger in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Grate the ginger directly from the freezer for future recipes.
- Oil: Use an oil with a high smoking point such as canola, avocado, peanut, or coconut oil.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce and help it coat the chicken. If needed or desired, use tapioca starch in place of cornstarch.
How to Make Orange Chicken
- Cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces, removing any fat if needed.
- 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. Set aside to add to the chicken later.
- Heat the 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. This will only take a couple of minutes.
- Once the chicken is golden, remove it from the skillet and place the chicken on a plate. We will finish cooking the chicken in the sauce once the sauce has thickened.
- Add the prepared orange sauce to the same skillet that you browned the chicken, 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, stirring occasionally.
Copycat Orange Chicken is fabulous when paired with Instant Pot White Rice or Instant Pot Brown Rice. To keep the carbs on the lower end, you may opt to pair this chicken over cauliflower rice or in lettuce cups.
For a fun spin on take-out at home, pair this Orange Chicken with Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls and a side of Stir-Fried Bok Choy.
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 it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and then warm it in a skillet over medium-low heat.
More Easy Copycat Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Vegetable Potstickers
- Hunan Chicken
- Easy Fried Rice
- Thai Noodles
- Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy
- Homemade Ramen
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
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.
Looks like a tasty meal and love how easy it is.
I've heard so many positive things about the instant pot, your orange chicken sounds delicious.
Jersey Girl Cooks
I think I need to get an Instant pot! Great dish!
I think you do too GIRL!
Orange chicken is going on our menu! It looks DELISH!
My daughter loves loves loves orange chicken. I'm going to share this recipe with her for sure. She needs quick and easy with her busy schedule. I might have to get her an instant pot, but thank you for sharing the non instant pot way of cooking too!
YAY!! I hope your daughter LOVES this Marion! I bought my mom an Instant Pot awhile back as well--she had been comlaining she got home from work too late too cook--NOT anymore 🙂
I am loving my instant pot and always looking for new recipes to make in it. This is going on the list! Yum!
You won't be disappointed Christie!
Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats
This is my kind of meal girl! We love Asian at our house!
You will love this!
Melanie | Melanie Makes
This looks like such a flavorful main dish - love that it freezes well, too!
I really want to try this! I've made sweet and sour chicken but never orange. Can't wait to try it! Thank you for all the great tips and recipes!
This looks tasty! Orange chicken is one of my favorite things to get when we go out to one of our Chinese buffets.
I sure hope you like it. And there is no guilt after this meal!!