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This Healthy Orange Chicken recipe delivers all that we all love about Asian takeout. Ready in 30 minutes, it’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick, nutritious meal the whole family will love!

Cooked Orange Chicken served with white rice in a bowl garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
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Why You’ll Love This Healthy Orange Chicken

Craving that classic Chinese Orange Chicken taste but want something healthier and family-friendly? You’re in the right place. Trust me, you’ll want to keep this one handy in your recipe collection!

Making this Orange Chicken at home is great because you know exactly what’s in it. No mysterious additives or preservatives here—just wholesome ingredients you can feel good about feeding to your family.

I love the fact that you can create restaurant-quality Orange Chicken at home for way less than takeout! This recipe lets you enjoy all that delicious flavor without breaking the bank

For more healthier versions of your favorite Asian takeout meals, you don’t want to miss this Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken or this Low-Sodium Moo Goo Gai Pan.

Ingredients

All ingredients for Orange Chicken portioned out in small bowls on a white countertop.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Chicken – Whether you choose boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, they’re the protein-packed base that gives our dish its hearty goodness.
  • Cornstarch – Coats the chicken pieces to create a crispy exterior when cooked, and it also serves as a thickening agent for the sauce.
  • Orange Juice – brings a burst of fresh, tangy flavor to our sauce, giving it that unmistakable orange chicken taste we all love.
  • Chicken Broth – Adds depth and richness to the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce – Adds that special umami kick and depth to the sauce.
  • Rice Vinegar – Balances out the sweetness with a subtle tang, adds a touch of acidity that brightens up the sauce and keeps it from tasting too heavy.
  • Ginger – Adds so much flavor and complements the orange juice and zest.
  • Orange Zest – Don’t leave this out!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Cubed chicken in a large ziploc bag mixed with the marinade.

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp water, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth. In a large bowl or ziploc bag, add the chicken and pour in the cornstarch mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature, or up to an hour in the refrigerator if you have time.

All ingredients of the sauce mixed together in a clear glass liquid mixing cup.

Step 2: Make the sauce: In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all the ingredients minus the cornstarch.

Cubed chicken sautéed in a white skillet.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet or wok, heat a tablespoon of avocado oil or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces, spreading them out into a single layer. Let them sear without moving them for about 4-5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Cooked chicken with the orange chicken sauce in a skillet.

Step 4: Add sauce to the same pan and bring to a simmer (NOT boil). Pour in the cornstarch slurry and stir constantly as the sauce thickens and becomes glossy. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken back in and stir to coat all the pieces in the sauce.

Recipe Tips

  • Adding cornstarch to chicken marinade tenderizes the chicken while helping to create a crispy, golden exterior on the chicken when cooked.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking chicken to ensure each piece cooks evenly and gets a good sear.
  • If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little more chicken broth or water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer a few more minutes until reduced to your liking.

Serving Suggestions

A blue plate for a toddler with portions of cooked orange chicken, a serving of white rice, sliced halves of cucumber and sliced carrots.

Wondering how to serve up this mouthwatering Healthy Orange Chicken? Here are some tasty suggestions to make it a complete meal:

  • With Rice or Noodles – Whether you prefer classic white rice, hearty brown rice, or flavorful lo mein noodles (check out this vegetable stir fry noodles), they all make a perfect base for your Orange Chicken. 
  • Cauliflower Rice — If you’re looking for a lighter option, try serving your Orange Chicken over a bed of cauliflower rice. It’s a tasty and nutritious alternative that pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the dish.
  • Side of VeggiesBroccoli, bell peppers, snap peas, and carrots are all great options that complement the flavors of the dish.
  • Garnishes – Sprinkle with chopped green onions and sesame seeds for a pop of color and texture.

Storage

Cooked chicken with the orange chicken sauce in a skillet.

Transfer it to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. It’ll stay fresh for up to 3-4 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, just reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Once cooled, transfer your leftover orange chicken to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw it overnight in the fridge and then reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use bottled orange juice instead of fresh?

Absolutely! While fresh orange juice adds a vibrant flavor, bottled orange juice works just fine if that’s what you have available. Just make sure it’s 100% pure juice without any added sugars or flavors.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Simply swap out the low sodium soy sauce for tamari, liquid aminos, or gluten-free soy sauce to make this recipe gluten-free. Check the labels to ensure they’re certified gluten-free if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.

Can I adjust the spiciness of the sauce?

If you prefer a spicier sauce, feel free to add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of your favorite hot sauce to amp up the heat. Adjust to your taste preferences!

Can I use other meats instead of chicken?

While chicken is traditional for Orange Chicken, you can experiment with other proteins like tofu, shrimp, or even pork if you’d like. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the protein you choose.

More Asian Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

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Healthy Orange Chicken

This Healthy Orange Chicken recipe delivers all that we all love about Asian takeout. Ready in under 30 minutes, it’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick, nutritious meal the whole family will love!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (optional)

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (fully dissolved in 1 tablespoon water)

To serve

  • chopped green onions, sesame seeds
  • Rice or noodles

Instructions 

  • Prepare the Marinade: In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp water, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth. In a large bowl or ziploc bag, add the chicken and pour in the cornstarch mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature, or up to an hour in the refrigerator if you have time.
  • Make the sauce: In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all the ingredients minus the cornstarch.
  • Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet or wok, heat a tablespoon of avocado oil or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken pieces, spreading them out into a single layer. Let them sear without moving them for about 4-5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  • Cook the sauce: add sauce to the same pan and bring to a simmer (NOT boil). Pour in the cornstarch slurry and stir constantly as the sauce thickens and becomes glossy. This should take about 1-2 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little more chicken broth or water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer a few more minutes until reduced to your liking.
  • Coat with chicken: add chicken back into the pot and stir until all the pieces are nicely coated in the sauce.
  • Garnish with sesame oil and green onions and serve with rice or noodles.

Notes

  • Adding cornstarch to chicken marinade tenderizes the chicken while helping to create a crispy, golden exterior on the chicken when cooked.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking chicken to ensure each piece cooks evenly and gets a good sear.
  • If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little more chicken broth or water.
  • If it’s too thin, let it simmer a few more minutes until reduced to your liking.

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 766mg | Potassium: 529mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

12 Comments

  1. Made this salad the other night, it is so decadant it’s hard to believe food this tasty could be healthy, first time trying fennel too , the combination of crunchy nuts, crisp fennel and creamy cheese with the sweet beetroot is just delicious!

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking the time to let me know how much you enjoyed this salad! It is one of my favs too ;).

  2. Thanks for viewing our blog dear Min…yes absolutely its real good to meet husband & wife duo cooking blogs :-), we are glad we could meet another via net, u have gotta amazing blog

  3. That salad sounds amazing and your pictures are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m so impressed that you went off of all junk food “cold turkey.” Wow!

  4. My dear Min! This looks….. BREATHTAKINGLY beautiful! I’ve never tried fennel.. but one day I’ll have to! So cool that you’re cooking your way through a cookbook! I’ve never had to determination to do so, or maybe I just don’t like to be restricted to one single book! But your attempt to cook through Salad for Dinner reminds me of the movie Julie & Julia! xoxo!

  5. I can’t even tell you how good and beautiful this salad looks! I am obsessed with it!

  6. ‘Party in your mouth’…love it 😀 This looks delicious and like you say, perfectly seasoned naturally with the fresh ingredients. So often that is the best way!

  7. I love everything about this salad! esp the beets and fennel! yum! and wow, did you really cut out ALL junk food completely? Wow! congrats! I totally agree with you you’ve said here: Cook more often. Dine out less. Just eat Real Food!” . . but for me, I do have to indulge every now and then. . but I believe it’s all balance. . balance is key. . but on the other hand, if I could cut out ALL of the junk, I’m sure my body would like it more! 🙂 LOVE this salad!

    1. Thank you so much, Alice!! Oh no no no..I guess I should’ve been more clear bc I sure like to indulge every now and then..some days more than others ;). I completely eliminated junk food in the beginning when I decided to change my diet for the better. The addiction was too overpowering not to do so. Since then, I’ve learned to eat more mindfully and the concept of everything in moderation. I would never have a whole bag of Goldfish, but I certainly enjoy a small bowl while watching Korean dramas ;).