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March 8, 2024

Easy Orange Chicken

Our easy orange chicken recipe puts a healthier spin on the sweet-savory Chinese takeout favorite.


a bowl of orange chicken served on top of white rice and topped with sesame seeds and green onions
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More Classic Chinese Takeout Recipes

The Best Orange Chicken Recipe

Succulent baked chicken pieces, made magically delicious with a slightly sticky, tangy-sweet homemade orange chicken sauce is an easy dinnertime win for all ages. Round out your DIY Chinese takeout feast by serving it with other favorites like Kung Pao Chicken and a speedy, healthy Vegetable Stir Fry dressed in our umami-rich Stir Fry Sauce.

chicken breast, orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, sugar, garlic  and rice wine vinegar in prep bowls

Ingredients For Our Easy Orange Chicken Recipe

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • Kosher salt

  • Vegetable oil

  • Cornstarch

  • 2 oranges

  • Low-sodium soy sauce or tamari (opt for tamari if you want to make gluten free orange chicken)

  • Chili-garlic sauce (this orange chicken recipe is pretty mild, but if you have little kids or just don’t like spice it’s fine to just leave this out. Or, if you love the heat, add more to taste)

  • Brown sugar

  • Garlic

  • Seasoned rice wine vinegar

orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, sugar, garlic, and rice wine vinegar. being combined in a sauce pan
a pan of orange sauce made with orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, sugar, garlic & rice wine vinegar.
bite sized chicken pieces tossed with vegetable oil and salt then baked in the oven on a baking sheet
baked chicken pieces being tossed in homemade orange sauce on a baking sheet

How To Make Orange Chicken

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven and line or grease a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Bake the chicken. Toss the chicken pieces in a little oil and salt, pop them on the pan and bake them.

  3. Make a slurry.Whisk the cornstarch and water into a slurry — this is what will make your orange chicken sauce thick and ready to cling to the baked chicken pieces.

  4. Make the orange chicken sauce. In a small saucepan, gently stir together all of the orange sauce ingredients.

  5. Finish. Pour that beautiful orange chicken sauce over the baked chicken pieces, stirring it all together gently with kitchen tongs or a wooden spoon.

  6. Dig in & make it nice. Serve the chicken over rice and, if you really want the full take out vibe, garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

homemade orange chicken on a baking sheet sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onions

How To Store Orange Chicken + Tips

  • Store orange chicken in an airtight container, for 3-4 days in the fridge. We don’t recommend freezing it.

  • If you live for leftovers, our healthy orange chicken recipe is going to make your day. The flavors get even more delicious as they sit, and because our recipe is baked instead of fried, sogginess is not an issue.

  • It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to zest the oranges before you juice them.

a bowl of orange chicken served on top of white rice and topped with sesame seeds and green onions

More Homemade Takeout Chicken Recipes To Make At Home

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Easy Orange Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 263



  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges)
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

For Serving

  • Steamed white rice
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Chopped green onions (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or grease it with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the salt and vegetable oil.

  3. Arrange the chicken on the prepared sheet pan, transfer to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and ¼ cup water to form a slurry. In a small saucepan, combine the orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, sugar, garlic, and rice wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the slurry into the sauce, then reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sauce has thickened, 3-5 minutes.

  5. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Pour the orange sauce over the chicken and toss until fully coated.

  6. Serve the chicken over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions if using.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories263
  • Protein35 g
  • Carbohydrates9 g
  • Total Fat9 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol87 mg
  • sodium489 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Easy Orange Chicken

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Wendy

    The garlic/chili paste? Can ya add extra garlic & some salsa? Also it looks like the finished dish needs more sauce. I will make this, we have many pounds of fresh oranges on our tree. Perhaps make extra sauce & freeze for another time ? Thanks !

    No, we would not add salsa to this recipe. We recommend buying the garlic chili paste.

  • Rebecca

    I can find chili garlic sauce at my local store, but not chili garlic paste. Is the sauce o.k. to use in this recipe?

    We'd recommend the paste, it has a stronger flavor and is thicker.

  • Karan

    Can I make the orange sauce without cornstarch?

    It won't get as thick. You could substitute arrow root starch in its place.

  • Michele

    Can I use something else in place of the chili paste? If I make it with that, my kids definitely wont eat this

    You can just leave it out. Hope you enjoy!

  • Dottie

    What is chili garlic paste!
    Where do I get it?

    You can type it into to see the different options. There are a few different brands. You can order from amazon but most grocery stores carry it. Not sure where you live to say what stores are local to you but we get it from Safeway and Fred Meyer here.

  • Danielle

    Great! Whole family loved it and went back for seconds including the toddlers.

    Thanks Danielle, so happy you all loved it!

  • Adrienne

    really wonderful.. I added a little more brown sugar.. and don't forget to do the orange rind .. I used powered clove.. use about a 16th of a teaspoon.. be careful of that one. i cooked the chicken another 10 mins after turning it.. I'm eating it now.. so good.. thank you

    Thanks Adrienne, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Wendy

    Me AGAIN. The question one asked about the vinegar……rice is mild & one can use a bit of cider vinegar….its to make a SWEET N SOUR taste at the END for the sauce. Always TASTE before you toss it all together. You can always add an ingredient….its hard to correct too much of something. Simple steps for a cook of any degree. 👍

  • Wendy

    I didn’t hear back from my question. Still, will wing my own. I find it ODD all the questions over this chili garlic paste. Too, Lemon Chicken is delicious, I could make that with LIMES, same recipe, maybe add more SWEET to it. We love all citrus here. Try it…might like it…toss in some green peas & diced walnuts. Wendy

  • Erin

    This recipe was fantastic! Made this for a weeknight dinner and it was super simple. Flavors were on point!

    Thanks Erin, so happy you loved it!