Skip to Content

The Wait is Finally Over!

Get Our Cookbook

Easy Orange Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 263
baked orange chicken on white rice topped with sesame seeds and green onions

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

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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
  • Calories 263
  • Protein 35 g
  • Carbohydrates 9 g
  • Total Fat 9 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Cholesterol 87 mg
  • sodium 489 mg
  • Total Sugars 6 g

Easy Orange Chicken

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

or
  • Suzanne E Bryan

    Can boneless skinless chicken thighs be used in place of the chicken breasts?

    Yes that should work fine, it might take a bit longer to cook so ensure it is cooked through before removing it from the oven. Hope you enjoy Suzanne!

  • Sandy R

    I could only find chili paste without the garlic. Should I add garlic, how much?

    It should be ok but if you want to add an additional garlic clove, feel free! Hope you enjoy!

  • Katrina

    LOVED this recipe! Have you guys tried a lemon version of this? So desperate for more! Haha

    Ha! No we haven't. I've never heard of lemon chicken. : )

  • Ilana Cohen

    Hi Can this be made a few days in advance and just heated up or even frozen

    Yes!

  • Brennen Ross

    About how many people would this dish feed? I was looking to make something for my family, and need to know how much more of the ingredients I would need.

    With rice, this serves 6.

  • Suzanna Williams

    My kids loved it

    That's great! Thanks Suzanna, happy everyone enjoyed it!

  • Beto cook

    Simply delicious. Cook it for my customers down here in Brazil, they just love it! Thanks for sharing

    Thanks Beto! We are so glad everyone enjoys it!

  • Holly G

    So delicious, husband loved it! We made with thighs instead of breast because it’s what we had. Sauce got very thick - gorgeous and yummy. I think next time we make this (because we 10/10 will make again), may double sauce recipe and use a higher water:cornstarch ratio for slightly thinner and higher volume sauce. We wanted more to dress our sides of broccoli and rice!

    Thanks Holly! We are so glad you enjoyed it! Extra sauce is NEVER a bad idea, so happy to hear you'll be making it again!

  • Kay C

    Best Orange Chicken! Easier than I imagined. The sauce is so so good.

    Thank you Kay! We are so glad you loved it! We love how easy this one is!

  • Patrick L

    Awesome! Wouldn't change a thing.

    Thanks Patrick! We are happy you loved it!