Looking for a better than Panda Express Orange Chicken recipe? We’re sharing a delicious recipe for healthy orange chicken.
It’s made with real orange juice, honey, a little sriracha AND…it’s not deep-fried, but still has a crunch.
From one takeout girl to another, you’re going to be absolutely obsessed with this healthy orange chicken recipe. 9 times out of 10, I’m going to choose some kind of Asian food for takeout. I’m a sucker for stir fry…especially when there is a good mix of protein and veggies!
Classic orange chicken is deep-fried and coated in a sugary orange sauce…AKA pure deliciousness. We wanted to keep these same flavors and textures, but really lighten things up with whole foods and the most amazing healthy orange chicken sauce.
How to Make Orange Chicken
So how do you keep the same flavors of Panda Express Orange Chicken while making it healthy at the same time? We have a few tricks up our sleeve and it really comes down to 2 parts: the chicken and the sauce.
For the Chicken
Typically for orange chicken, you’re going to need to deep fry the chicken in an oil such as canola. However, instead of fully deep frying, we’re stir-frying with much less oil while still getting that amazing crunchy texture!
- Begin by slicing your boneless, skinless chicken breast into small strips.
- Then, create your egg wash why whisking 2 eggs in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Create your chicken coating by mixing together flour (we suggest whole wheat), garlic powder, and salt.
- Dunk each piece of chicken in the egg wash and then full coat each side with the flour mixture. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated.
- Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan and turn heat to medium/high. Cook chicken on each side for 3-4 minutes or until fully cooked and golden brown. Remove from heat.
Orange Chicken Sauce
Our healthy orange chicken sauce is really where this recipe shines. You guys. It’s. So. Good. Made with just 5 basic ingredients, you’re never going to want to order take out orange chicken again! Here’s what you need:
- 100% orange juice
- soy sauce (or tamari/coconut aminos)
Once the chicken has fully cooked, place all chicken back in the frying pan and scoot to one side. Add orange chicken sauce and then sprinkle on cornstarch. Whisk until cornstarch dissolves and sauce begins to thicken. Then, toss the chicken pieces in the sauce.
Healthy Orange Chicken Substitutions
While the written recipe is how we prefer to eat this amazing orange chicken recipe, you can totally swap out a few things to make this recipe suitable for most diets.
Gluten-Free: Make sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce to keep the orange chicken sauce gluten-free. You’ll also want to use a gluten-free flour such as an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend for the chicken.
Paleo: To make this recipe paleo, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and a different, paleo-friendly thickener such as arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. For the chicken, use a nut-based flour such as superfine ground almond flour instead of glutinous flour.
Keto: For those on the keto diet and wanting a lower-carb meal, start by halving the sauce (this is where most of the carbs live). Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty to coat all of the chicken! For the sauce, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and remove the honey completely. Use arrowroot starch to thicken instead of cornstarch. For the chicken, use a nut-based flour such as superfine ground almond flour instead of glutinous flour.
Again, like we stated above, we prefer to eat this delicious meal with the prescribed recipe!
More Healthy Stir Fry Recipes
- Amazingly Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Honey Ginger Chicken Stir Fry
- Best Healthy Stir Fry Recipes
- More Chicken Meal Prep Recipes
Healthy Orange Chicken
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour any kind of flour will work
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil or more, if needed
Orange Chicken Sauce
- fresh orange zest
- sesame seeds
- First, prepare orange chicken sauce by mixing together orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and sriracha. Set aside.
- Next, crack 2 eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until scrambled. Then, place white whole wheat flour, garlic powder, and salt in another medium bowl and whisk.
- Prepare chicken by thinly slicing into bite-sized pieces. Then, dunk each piece into the egg wash and coat with the flour mixture. Repeat until all chicken slices are fully coated.
- Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan over medium/high heat. Cook chicken pieces on each side for 2-4 minutes or until fully cooked. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches. Add more oil as needed.
- Once all chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan. Then, add in sauce and sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Whisk over medium-high heat until sauce has thickened and cornstarch has dissolved.
- Add chicken back in and toss in sauce. Season with fresh orange zest and sesame seeds.
- Serve with your choice of grain and veggie!
Very good recipe. No changes were made. The chicken was crisp and tender and the sauce was very flavorful. Thank you!
This chicken is AMAZING!!! I personally would like more sauce with more of a sticky texture though… other than that, I love it. It has flavor, but not an overwhelming amount. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
Hi. I let the sauce thicken and it became a lovely sticky texture. Flavor was great.
This is a staple in our house! It always hits the spot when we are craving Chinese takeout but don’t want to feel gross afterward. LOVE!
YAY glad you love it!!
haven’t made the recipe yet, but cant wait to try. suffer from a heart condition so i made a few changes here and there to accommodate for my diet/health issues.
in place of eggs, use chickpea flour and water for dredge
either whole wheat flour or almond flour for final dredge
morton nosalt product
depending on cholesterol intake, either chicken or cauliflower
1 tbsp of oil
coconut secret amino acid in place of soy sauce/tamari
arrowroot instead of cornstarch
you suggested several of these already substitutes/replacements already, but in case people skimmed through and missed it I listed them here.
This was amazing! I needed a new meal prep recipe and this fits the bill! The meals tasted fresh and delicious every time, I also used canola oil instead of coconut and also added some orange zest to the sauce!
So glad you loved this!
This was amazing! I needed a new meal prep recipe and this fits the bill! The meals tasted fresh and delicious every time, I also used canola oil instead of coconut and also added some orange zest to the sauce.
Orange chicken is my husband’s absolute favorite so I think I’m going to make this for our anniversary coming up!! Can I use a different oil other than coconut oil??
Any oil should work!
I made this tonight and it was soo soo good. I loved that the ingredient list was short. You could also make the chicken in an air fryer. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for a great recipe!
Ohh I love the air fryer idea!!
OH MY GOSH! Thank you so sooo much for making this recipe! I’ve tried multiple different healthy orange chicken recipes and they were horrible. This one is incredible! I felt like I was sitting right in a Chinese restaurant eating orange chicken. If you are looking to make this, DO IT! It is so so delicious and I will be looking forward to making it again 🙂
YESSS! So glad you guys loved this 😀
Putting this one into our regular rotation. I have tried a lot of “healthier” orange chicken recipes and this one is by far my favorite. A lot of them are labeled as healthy but still have a TON of sugar. This one seemed to have lower sugar and was absolutely delicious! Definitely will be making again, and again.
So glad you guys love this recipe!
This was excelent! I Love orange chicken! Your blog is amazing.
We’d love it if you could give us a star rating <3
Can I use garlic soy sauce because it’s the only one I have lol…
This recipe is amazing. I love orange chicken and I definitely wanted a healthier substitute and this one hit the nail on the head. I absolutely love it. Thank you so much for this! I love the crispy yet saucy but not too saucy texture. <3
Really enjoyed a variation of this, added a grated tsp of fresh ginger and a clove of grated garlic to the sauce. Other than only using one egg ( more than enough) this is something i will make loads from now on. Had with cauli rice and broc for a superhealthy tea.
So delicious!!! My chicken didn’t get super crunchy, I used red mills paleo flour…do you think that’s why? Any tips on getting the crunch? Thanks!!
Hey Carly! That’s probably why. White whole wheat flour has gluten in it, which gets crunchy!
Excellent!! Did this recipe with both regular flour and almond flour: the chicken becomes more “crunchy” with regular flour but it’s delicious either way. It’s now the third time I make it. Perfect for Sunday meal prep 🙂
YAS!! I love this recipe, too!
I didn’t change a thing in this recipe. Quite tasty. Will make it again.
YAY! We love it so much, you just can’t beat it!
This was delicious! I picked out a few pieces of the chicken before I added them to the sauce for my picky toddlers, and they gobbled that up!
How many does the original recipe serve?
These were amazing!! My husband couldn’t stop eating them and already asked me to make them again!