Orange Chicken is a popular menu item at Chinese restaurants, and for good reason.
It is absolutely heavenly.
If you’ve never tried this amazing dish, you are missing out on a wonderful taste experience.
In an age where people are more cautious about what they eat, many people avoid takeaway foods containing sweet sauces to avoid excess sugar and carbohydrates.
This healthy orange chicken recipe takes just 30 minutes to make and tastes just like the food you get from your local Asian restaurant.
Do you love takeout meals, but hate all the extra calories and fat associated with them? By adapting a healthier version of this restaurant favorite, you’ll get all the flavor with less fat and sodium.
Pair it with your favorite sides like homemade chow mein, steamed vegetables, and rice for a healthy, hearty meal that will fill you up and keep you full for hours.
Make this healthy version of Orange Chicken at home for less than the price of a restaurant meal.
Brew some lovely green tea, add your favorite sides, and make some delicious almond cookies, and you would swear you just ordered a takeout meal.
You can recreate many of your favorite restaurant meals at home for a fraction of the cost, and much less sodium, fat, and sugars.
What Vegetables Go Well With Orange Chicken?
Steamed broccoli, carrots, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potato, and cauliflower are a few veggies that go great with orange chicken.
You could also add some pasta, steamed or fried rice, egg rolls, or pot-stickers to make a meal resembling something you would get if your ordered takeout.
What You’ll Need for this Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe
To get started making this delicious orange chicken recipe, you will need a few ingredients and a few steps in preparing the meat before cooking.
You will need the following ingredients to marinate the chicken:
- Chicken breast – enough for your family, cut into bite-size pieces.
- Fresh orange juice – this can be any brand and style that you have in your fridge
- Soy Sauce – The soy sauce is mixed with orange juice to create an acidic mix that tenderizes the meat and infuses flavor.
- Chili Garlic Sauce – The chili garlic sauce gives it a little added tang of spiciness, without being overpowering.
- Brown Sugar – Gives your sauce a touch of sweetness and blends well with the orange juice and soy sauce.
- Red Chili Flakes – If you like your food to have a little kick to it, you will want to add some red chili flakes to spice up the sauce.
- Sesame Seeds – Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top of the chicken after coating it with the sauce.
You will need a few more ingredients like salt, black pepper, garlic, ginger, orange zest, cornstarch, baking soda, and oil.
You will also need some cooked rice, steamed broccoli, or other vegetables to complete the full meal.
How to Make Healthy Orange Chicken
To get started making this easy orange chicken recipe, cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl or Ziploc bag.
Add in all the marinade ingredients and mix well.
You will need to let the chicken sit in this marinade mixture for a minimum of 10 minutes, longer if possible to give it a more pronounced flavor.
You could also make this the night before and let it marinade in the fridge overnight.
While the chicken is marinating, prepare the orange sauce by combining the remaining orange juice, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, orange zest, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and red chili flakes in a bowl and which until well blended.
Set this aside for last.
Heat a cast-iron skillet or another non-stick pan on the stove over medium heat with a little bit of oil.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the skillet, making sure not to crowd the pieces too close together.
Cook the chicken for about five minutes on each side, making sure it is cooked completely. Test a piece to make sure it is done.
Add the orange sauce to the chicken in the skillet and mix well. Let it cook for an additional 5 minutes to thicken the sauce and heat it through.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit while you prepare the other sides and plate everything.
When serving the chicken, place a helping on the plate and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
Now, dig into the best tasting orange chicken you’ve ever tasted, made completely from scratch.
How to Store Leftovers
Any leftover orange chicken can be placed in food storage containers with a lid and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze it if you want it to last longer. This means you can make a big batch and freeze it for up to 6 months. You can have this dish again anytime you like.
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
To make Orange Sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cooked rice, to serve
- 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, to serve
- Combine all the marinade ingredients and add to a bowl with the cut-up chicken pieces. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Combine orange juice, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, orange zest, vinegar, garlic, ginger, red chili flakes, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and set the mixture aside.
- Heat a heavy skillet on the stove; add oil and once it is heated, add the marinated chicken pieces to it. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, and then flip the chicken pieces over and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked perfectly.
- Stir in the orange sauce mixture and cook the chicken and sauce, uncovered for 5 minutes.
- The sauce will begin to thicken, which pulls the whole dish together. When serving, add the sesame seeds and green onions as a garnish. Serve the orange chicken along with rice and veggies, and anything else you like to eat with it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 703Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 2399mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 77g