Easy Orange Chicken

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

sheet pan of easy orange chicken topped with sesame seeds and green onions

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.  

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

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

Orange Chicken Sauce

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice +2tsp finely minced zest
3 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari to make it gluten-free)
1/2-1 tsp chili-garlic paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2" cubes
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl toss chicken breast pieces with salt and olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake chicken cubes for 20 minutes on center rack until cooked through.
  2. While chicken is baking prepare a sauce. In a small bowl form a slurry by combining cornstarch with water until fulling incorporated. In a small saucepan add all ingredients, including prepared slurry, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
  3. Once chicken is done pour the orange sauce over the chicken and toss until chicken is fully coated. Serve warm over white rice or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!