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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

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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.

  • 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.

  • Alice

    can I substitute the chili paste with curry paste?

    We do not recommend that in this recipe. They are very different flavors.

  • Emily

    I’d love to pin this recipe on Pinterest but I keep getting the error “PinterestHTTPSErrorDomain error 403” :(

    Hmm, we just tried and didn't get that error. Refreshing your browser might help.

  • Matt

    Can I use sesame oil in place of vegetable oil

    It would be quite a lot of sesame oil and would probably be overpowering in flavor. We'd suggest sticking to the vegetable oil.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Julie

    This is the best orange sauce I have ever made! I made this recipe today and my family loved it!

    Thanks Julie, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Dee Dee

    Absolutely delicious. Doubled everything, but followed directions (eyeballed the chili paste to keep it mild for the kiddos) and was absolutely delighted. Bookmarking and will definitely be back!

    Thanks Dee Dee! We are so happy you loved it!

  • Elizabeth petty

    Its very good I'm 13 and its very easy for me to make taste so good aswell

    Thanks Elizabeth! Great job cooking it!

  • Jaide Townshend

    it was awesome.

    Thanks Jaide, we are so happy that you loved it!