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Easy Orange Chicken

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


baked orange chicken on white rice topped with sesame seeds and green onions

Step Away From the Takeout Menu

We’ve been on a Chinese food kick lately—hello, Kung Pao chicken!—and no one is complaining. What is it that’s so satisfying about recreating your favorite take out dishes at home? It’s hard to say exactly what it is—it’s sort of a puzzle-solving high, plus it fills our frugal hearts with joy. Oh, and it’s nice to control exactly what’s in your food—homemade is always going to be healthier than takeout! Baked instead of fried means way less oil, we use a little less salt than your favorite Chinese restaurant would, and you’ll find no MSG on our ingredients list.

Easy Orange Chicken Sauce

TMP Orange Chicken Sauce—With A Not-So-Secret Ingredient

If it’s not coated in a slightly sticky, tangy-sweet sauce, then it’s just not orange chicken. Our easy orange chicken sauce hits all of the right notes—a little sweet, a little tart, a little savory, and a little spicy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An orange! Yes—a real, actual orange. Believe it or not, using freshly squeezed orange juice and zest really sets this recipe apart. Fresh orange juice, plus a little zest will make your orange chicken sing with flavor.
  • Soy sauce—or you can use gluten-free tamari, which makes the whole dish gluten-free!
  • Chili-garlic paste—any brand you love works just fine.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Garlic.
  • Rice wine vinegar.
  • Water + cornstarch—this forms a slurry, which is the key to giving the sauce a classic Chinese restaurant texture. Just sticky enough to cling to tender, roasted chicken bites.
chicken breast cubed on a baking sheet
Easy baked orange chicken on a sheet pan

How To Make Orange Chicken (but Healthier & Easier!)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—making Chinese dishes at home is not just healthier than takeout, it’s also way, way faster than waiting for delivery. This easy orange chicken comes together in about 20 minutes.

  1. Roast the chicken pieces until they’re cooked through.
  2. Simmer the orange chicken sauce until it’s thick—it’ll just take a couple of minutes.
  3. Toss the chicken pieces with the orange chicken sauce, and serve!
Easy baked orange chicken over rice with green onions and white rice
sheet pan of easy orange chicken topped with sesame seeds and green onions

Tools You’ll Need:

Other Asian Chicken Recipes We Love:

Orange You Glad You Tried This Chicken Recipe?

Sorry, we just had to. But seriously—it’s so good, right? Show us how your orange chicken turned out! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Easy Orange Chicken

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


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Orange Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 tsp chili-garlic paste, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar

For Serving

  • steamed rice
  • sesame seeds, optional
  • chopped green onions, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Fit a rack in the center position. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or spraying it with nonstick baking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the chicken breast pieces with salt and the vegetable oil. Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Bake the chicken in the oven on the center rack, until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

  4. Prepare the orange sauce: In a small bowl form a slurry by combining the cornstarch with the water until smooth. In a small saucepan add the orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, sugar, garlic and rice wine vinegar, mix to combine.

  5. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, stir to combine and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  6. Once the chicken is fully cooked, pour the orange sauce over the chicken and toss until the chicken is fully coated.

  7. Serve over white rice or cauliflower rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

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.

  • Linda

    I couldn’t find the garlic chili sauce, what can I use in its place?

    You might need to look for it called Sambal Oelek, most stores carry it.

  • Parris A Jones Jr

    I notice some recepes use Chicken Breast and others use chicken thighs. Which is better?

    Both are good, it really just depends on your preference.

  • maddison

    can i make it without rice wine vinegar?

    We wouldn't recommend it.

  • Kelsey

    Is this spicy? Could toddlers and children eat it

    It is not very spicy, kids should be able to eat it just fine. Hope you enjoy!

  • Tori Bergstrom

    What do you use for vegetable oil? And is there an organic version?

    Yes, you can find organic vegetable oil. Any brand will do. Hope you enjoy!

  • Irene

    Love. love this recipe. Made it today. Added 1 TBSP of chile paste and after tasting toned it down with a bit of sugar.
    It was perfect and I'm anxious to try your other recipes!

    Thanks Irene, so happy you loved it!

  • jayden

    my mouth is watering

    Thanks Jayden!

  • Kate

    This is delish! Thank you!

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Kate

    This is so so good

    Thank you!

    Thanks kate!

  • Tangie

    Easy and delicious! Subbed half the chicken for broccoli and a yellow pepper for veggies. Was able to do everything in one skillet (in stages) to eliminate dishes.

    Thanks Tangie, so happy that you loved it!