Orange Chicken is a Chinese take-out classic, but it isn’t exactly the healthiest for you. This Orange Chicken recipe takes the comfort food classic and makes it a little healthier by ditching the fryer and infusing more flavor into the sauce.
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For busy weeknights, I like making dinners that are quick, easy, tasty, and sure to please my entire family. This Orange Chicken recipe definitely ticks all of those boxes. Plus, it’s healthier than your favorite Chinese takeout. Now you’ve got to love that!
We really enjoy this Orange Chicken and it appears on our weekly menu plan often. I like to get the kids involved by getting them to shake the chicken once it’s inside the Ziploc bag, and they love whisking together the sauce.
Here are more takeout favorites that are always a hit with my family:
Cook’s Note – Orange Chicken:
- To get this dinner on the table even faster, I like to prepare the sauce and get the chicken marinating in the morning. I even sometimes make the fried rice in the morning too and then just reheat it right before dinner.
- If you want a sauce that’s lighter in color then go ahead and use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar.
- I like to serve this healthy orange chicken with white rice or fried rice like pictured below.
Cook’s Tools – Orange Chicken:
ONE YEAR AGO: Chile Con Queso
TWO YEARS AGO: Puff Pastry Cronuts
THREE YEARS AGO: Chicken Chow Mein
Healthier Orange Chicken
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup orange juice
- 1 large navel orange zested (about 1 Tablespoon of zest)
- 6 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
- In a large measuring cup whisk together the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne until the sugar is dissolved. Pour ¾ cup of the sauce into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add the chicken, seal the bag, and shake to cover the chicken in the sauce. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Cover the remaining sauce with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook the chicken.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat bring the orange sauce to a boil. Once boiling, combine the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and then whisk it vigorously into the orange sauce. Reduce the heat to low boil and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the marinated chicken and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is browned and thoroughly cooked about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the heat and stir in the orange sauce until the chicken is evenly coated. Serve over white rice or alongside fried rice.