Enjoy Chinese takeout at home with this Orange Chicken recipe! No deep frying required and this meal will be a hit with the whole family. This is a great easy dinner option for busy nights and tastes better than the Panda Express version you love so much!
If you love Panda Express Orange Chicken, you are about to be extremely happy. Giddy! I set out to make a copycat recipe of Orange Chicken that is easy but that also rivals my favorite take-out. I totally nailed it because this is one of the best meals I’ve made in my kitchen in a very long time. I could not stop eating it once I started.
And a bonus? This is a 30-minute meal, so it is perfect for those busy nights when dinner needs to get on the table asap. Another bonus? No deep frying is involved. I tend to avoid deep-fried recipes, so this is a huge win for me. Enjoy this delicious recipe, friends! It’ll quickly become a favorite!
VIDEO TUTORIAL (LESS THAN 1 MINUTE!): HOW TO MAKE EASY ORANGE CHICKEN!
Enjoy the step-by-step video tutorial we have created for this recipe! Our goal is to make your time in the kitchen as easy as possible and to ensure that your version of this recipe is a success. See our full collection of cooking and baking videos on YouTube!
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE CHICKEN
Make this Chinese take-out favorite in your own kitchen in just a few simple steps! Say buh-bye to $15 meals!
In a medium bowl, combine 2 beaten eggs, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well. Add 4 chicken breasts that have been cut into bite-size pieces and toss until each piece is fully coated. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons white or rice vinegar, the zest and juice of 1 orange, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Whisk until the cornstarch has dissolved.
Heat 4 tablespoons of canola, vegetable or sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer (do this in multiple batches, if needed) and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel lined plate and cover. When you’ve gotten through all of the chicken, add it back to the skillet along with the orange sauce.
Cook over medium heat until the chicken pieces are fully cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately over white rice! Top with green onions and orange zest. YUM.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE
Because this recipe is not deep-fried it is already a healthier version of the Chinese staple dinner. To make it even healthier, do any or all of the following:
Use low-sodium soy sauce.
Decrease the amount of brown sugar by half.
Reduce the amount of canola or vegetable oil you use by half (although you may not achieve perfectly crispy chicken if you go this route).
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ORANGE CHICKEN
Like most Chinese take-out meals, Orange Chicken is best served over white or brown rice. The texture of the rice complements the flavors in the dish and it also soaks up all of that delicious sauce that you do not want to waste. I love topping the end product with additional orange zest for an extra touch of that orange flavor that makes this dish a star.
WHICH CUT OF CHICKEN TO USE FOR ORANGE CHICKEN
Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe. Breasts are a lighter meat and will yield a leaner meal, but will be less moist than the dark-meat thighs. Both are delicious options, depending on whether you prefer light or dark meat!
IS ORANGE CHICKEN SPICY?
This meal is not typically prepared with peppers, making it mild on the spice charts. It is more sweet than spicy, but you can easily add a touch of spice if you’d like! Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the soy sauce mixture and/or sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top just before serving.
HOW TO THICKEN ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE
If you want the sauce in this recipe to be thicker, increase the amount of cornstarch you use in the orange sauce to 2-3 tablespoons (add in 1-tablespoon increments). This should result in a nice, thick sauce!
OTHER CHINESE FOOD TAKE-OUT FAKE-OUT DINNER OPTIONS
If you love this Orange Chicken, you may be interested in these delicious homemade dishes, as well:
DELICIOUS USES FOR RICE
I highly recommend that you serve this dish over a steaming pile of white or brown rice. Let it cook in your Instant Pot in MINUTES while you prepare the recipe! If you have rice leftovers, consider using in any of these delicious ways!
Sprinkle in some chopped fresh cilantro and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and juice from 1 lime. No need for Chipotle!
Serve alongside Instant Pot Chicken for the perfect complete meal.
Add it to a skillet or wok, along with eggs, peas, carrots and soy sauce to create a delicious fried rice.
Go simple and serve with a few pats of butter or olive oil. Stir until the butter has melted.
Mix together with salsa, black beans, lime juice and chopped avocado. Add shredded chicken for a meaty dish!
RICE COOKER VS. INSTANT POT FOR MAKING RICE
Both rice cookers and electric pressure cookers cook rice in the same way. Both use steam inside the pot to cook the rice. The main difference is that a pressure cooker has a sealing ring inside the lid that prevents any steam from escaping during the cooking process. This allows the appliance to maintain pressure levels inside the pot with greater accuracy, therefore cooking it more quickly.
Shortened cook time is an advantage when using an Instant Pot and typically it requires a bit less liquid than when using a rice cooker. However, if you are planning to cook a variety of different types such as wild, black or basmati rice frequently, a rice cooker might be the better option for you. Plus, rice cookers are more affordable and will take up less valuable counter space.
TRY THIS RECIPE!
Have you tried the Orange Chicken from Panda Express? If so, leave a comment telling me how it compares! Enjoy this super easy take-out fake-out recipe, friends! Thank you so much for being here. Have a great rest of your week!
- 2 eggs beaten
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 whole orange juiced and zested
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp canola oil or vegetable oil
- sliced green onions for topping
- Extra orange zest for topping
- In a medium bowl, combine the egg, 3 Tbsp cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the chicken and toss until each piece is fully coated. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, orange zest and juice, garlic and 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Whisk until cornstarch has dissolved.
- Heat the canola or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer (do this in multiple batches, if needed) and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Add all of the chicken back to the skillet, along with the orange sauce. Cook over medium heat until the chicken pieces are fully cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
- Serve immediately over white rice. Top with green onions and orange zest.