Easy Orange Chicken
Made simply with wholesome ingredients, this delicious Healthy Orange Chicken is way better than the classic take-out dish. It’s beyond easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes for the perfect healthy weeknight dinner recipe!
This Easy Orange Chicken is made with oven-baked chicken breast cooked in a zesty and flavorful sauce, then served with lightly roasted broccoli. It has all the flavors you crave, without any of the artificial preservatives you don’t. This healthy one-pan recipe is convenient, easy to make, and absolutely delicious.
To say I enjoy take-out would be the understatement of the year. Living in Southern California, there is a seemingly endless supply of incredible take-out dining options. While I love to indulge as much as the next person from time to time, I try to keep my take-out spending to a minimum.
Luckily, this does not mean that I don’t still get to enjoy my favorite take-out dishes. If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you have probably stumbled across some of my lightened-up twists on classic take-out recipes. From my Kung Pao Chicken to my Baked Egg Rolls and Beef and Broccoli you could say I love a good dupe.
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I won’t say that every dupe is better than the original, but when it’s pretty darn good and saves you money… I think it’s worth a shot. If you’re looking to save money and indulge in a totally guilt-free way, then this Healthy Orange Chicken recipe is for you.
Serve this dish on its own or alongside a bed of cauliflower rice or steamed white rice for the ultimate dinner. Whether you’re serving a crowd or cooking for one, this dish guarantees to please.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
To bring this zesty dish to life, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Chicken breast: If you don’t have chicken breast, feel free to use chicken thighs instead.
- Soy sauce: The savory umami flavors of the soy sauce provide the perfect contrast to the sweetness of the orange juice. For a gluten-free option, try swapping it out for tamari instead.
- Orange juice: As the name would suggest, orange juice is essential in making orange chicken! It’s sweet, zesty, and makes this dish extra delicious.
- Honey: This natural sweetener adds an extra touch of sweetness to brighten up the dish.
- Rice vinegar: This is a common ingredient in many Asian sauce recipes, because a little bit of acid can go a long way in enhancing the other flavors.
- Cornstarch: This helps to prevent the chicken from overcooking and also thickens up the sauce a bit.
- Broccoli: This is my green veggie of choice to pair with this dish, but feel free to swap it out for a different one if you’d like. Other good options include zucchini, asparagus, and green beans.
Orange Chicken Recipe Tips
Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you when making this delicious recipe:
- For an extra hearty meal, serve this dish over a bed of rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
- For a vegan-friendly dish, try swapping out the chicken breast for cubed tofu and the honey for maple syrup or agave.
- Not a big fan of broccoli? No problem. You can easily swap out the broccoli for another veggie like green beans, sugar snap peas, or snow peas.
- If you prefer your meals with a kick, try adding some crushed red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha just before serving the dish.
- For an added pop of color, try sprinkling some chopped green onions over the dish before serving it.
- To get your orange chicken looking just like it does at your favorite Chinese restaurants, don’t forget to sprinkle it with sesame seeds before serving it!
How to Store Leftover Chicken
This delicious dish can easily be made ahead of time and stored for later. If you choose to freeze the dish, I highly recommend storing the chicken separately from the broccoli. Before storing your orange chicken, make sure to let it completely cool down first. Once it’s cooled, you can transfer the dish to an airtight storage container and store it in one of two ways:
- In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- In the freezer for up to 6 months.
When it comes to reheating a dish, I generally try to reheat it in the same way that I originally cooked it. For example, when I cook a meal on the stove, I reheat it on the stove as well. You can reheat this dish on the stove, in the oven, or in the microwave. If it’s frozen, make sure to let it thaw in the fridge overnight first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this quick and easy dinner recipe:
What is orange chicken sauce made of?
Our healthy orange chicken sauce is made with soy sauce, orange juice, honey, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, orange zest, and cornstarch. It’s wholesome, zesty, and packed with a ton of delicious flavor.
Is orange chicken good for you?
The orange chicken you get in a little white take-out container tends to be filled with preservatives and sugar, meaning it’s not the healthiest dish. However, this homemade version of orange chicken is made with all-natural ingredients and is a perfectly healthy dish!
What do you serve with orange chicken?
I like to pair my orange chicken with broccoli, but you can serve it with any greens and/or grains you like. Some of my favorite choices include green beans, asparagus, cauliflower rice, quinoa, and rice.
Can you freeze orange chicken?
Yes! Orange chicken freezes incredibly well. Once the chicken has cooled down to room temperature, you can transfer it to an airtight storage bag or container. When properly stored, it will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Easy Orange Chicken
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- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
- 2 tbsp cornstarch, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 orange (zest)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
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In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook it for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, until it is brown. Flip the chicken and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, stirring to combine. Place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for 10 minutes.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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