This easy 30 minute healthy Orange Chicken is full of real ingredients, great fresh flavor, and is perfectly easy for any night of the week! Your family will be begging for you to make it again and again!
Orange Chicken is one of those meals that I want to love sooo much but have a hard time enjoying. Its so hard to find a recipe (or something to order off a menu) that actually tastes like it has any orange in it at all. Seriously, why is it called orange chicken if the only thing “orange” about it is the fact that there are 4 tiny strips of orange peel in it? Between that and the seriously amount of breading (and frying) and fake ingredients – its really hard to love Orange Chicken. But I want to soooo much!
This meal would be awesome with a great vegetable side dish – pick one out from my Asian Vegetable Recipes roundup, filled with easy, simple and family friendly side dish recipes!
Easy Orange Chicken Recipe
I set out to find and make my own version of orange chicken. One that actually has oranges in it, with real ingredients. Something that tastes great, is easy to make, and is healthy for you! Our whole family loves this healthy orange chicken recipe! Its ready in about 30 minutes, its easy, it tastes great, and its healthy! AND even my kiddos like it! Say what?! It’s seriously a weeknight winner!
How to Make Easy Orange Chicken
This recipe is so simple to make!
- Stir together orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil, ginger and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the sauce in a hot skillet and simmer, until thickened (read the instructions below for more complete directions).
- Remove the sauce from the pan and set aside. Return the skillet to the oven and wipe out with a cloth.
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and coat in cornstarch.
- Cook in the hot skillet, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet when done and toss with the sauce.
- Serve with segmented oranges, chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and rice.
Healthy Orange Chicken Shortcuts:
- Use microwave rice pouches to cut down on cooking time.
- Some stores like Whole Foods sell orange segments precut! I love this option because there is no pith included in the segments. Plus they are pretty and easy!
- The sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead of time and stored in an air-tight glass container. Reheat it before you toss in the chicken.
Interested in adding more Asian flavors to your weeknight meals but not sure how to make it actually doable? Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Asian Cuisine for easy tips and recipes that are weeknight and kid-friendly and will help your weeknight meals be a win!
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- zest of half an orange
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 3 TBSP cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 ” cubes
- 1 medium orange, peeled and segmented
- green onions, sliced
- sesame seeds
- 2 cups hot cooked ice
To make the sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add in the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
- Add in the orange juice mixture to the skillet.
- Bring to a low bowl.
- In a small bowl, stir together 2 tsp of the hot sauce with the cornstarch, and then dump that back into the pan and whisk well.
- Boil for 2 minutes, and then turn down to a simmer and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it thickens up.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover – allow to sit on the counter while you prepare the chicken.
- In a large skillet over medium/high heat, heat up the remaining olive oil.
- In a large ziplock bag, add the chicken, cornstarch and salt and pepper to taste. Seal and shake to evenly coat the chicken.
- Dump the chicken into the hot skillet and cook until brown and crispy (about 3 minutes per side)
- When the chicken is done, remove from heat.
- Add in the sauce and toss to coat.
- Top with sesame seeds, green onions, and segmented oranges.
- Serve with white rice and enjoy!