A lightened up version of traditional Asian orange chicken – an easy, better-than-take-out dish for those busy weeknights!
With swimsuit season so close, I really can’t afford to be eating buckets of fried chicken every week – although occasionally I think that would be the ultimate bliss. I love Asian-inspired dishes but sometimes they can really break the bank when it comes to a healthy eating. So when my craving for perfect orange chicken hit hard this week, I had to come up with something more waist-line-friendly.
This orange chicken is SO good. Perfectly saucy, with just enough orange tang and a bit of heat to keep things interesting. By not battering and frying the chicken, you save on loads of un-needed calories and I PROMISE you, you will not miss them. Promise.
And to think, this recipe comes together in 20 minutes. Twenty minutes people! That’s nothing! You can’t even take a shower in that amount of time! Okay… I can’t, because I am notorious for taking really long showers that use up the whole tank of hot water… But my point is simply that this orange chicken is crazy good and crazy easy to make, which makes those busy weeknights just a little easier and a lot yummier.
What people are saying about this Lighter Orange Chicken
“Just made this and it was easy and tasty. I like the brightness of the fresh orange and the kick from the chili flakes. There was too much sauce and I only ended up using about 1/2 of it, but otherwise great!” – Caroline
“Made this for dinner yesterday – super quick, super easy and super delicious!” – Sara
Lighter Orange Chicken
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite-size pieces
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
Orange Chicken Sauce
- ½ cup orange juice - 2 large oranges
- 1 tablespoon orange zest - from 2 large oranges
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar - (may sub white vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- green onions, sesame seeds, steamed rice - for serving
- Combine chicken and 1/3 cup corn starch in a large ziploc bag. Seal and shake to coat chicken.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes before using tongs to turn chicken pieces over and cooking another 2-3 minutes until browned all over. Transfer chicken to a dish and use a few paper towels to wipe out the skillet.
- Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour into skillet and bring to a boil.
- Stir together water and corn starch until dissolved. Stir into boiling sauce til thickened.
- Add chicken to the pan and cook for 2-4 minutes until sauce begins to caramelize on the chicken.
- Serve over cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions if desired.
Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking.
I love orange chicken and this recipe looks amazing!
Just made this and it was easy and tasty. I like the brightness of the fresh orange and the kick from the chili flakes. There was too much sauce and I only ended up using about 1/2 of it, but otherwise great!
Made this for dinner yesterday – super quick, super easy and super delicious!
Hi Tiffany. I absolutely love orange chicken and I have since I was a little girl. I was wondering if you could post a recipe of orange chicken made in the slow cooker/crock pot. I just recently got a new apartment and for now the only cooking items in my house are a microwave and a slow cooker. I have been in the mood for orange chicken, but don’t want to try making it in the slow cooker and burn it or undercook the chicken. Thank you for your time and consideration! ~Sarah
Delicious! I have added to monthly rotation. I did add 1/4 tspn sesame oil. Thank you for an easy supper.
I’m so happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed this recipe so much, Mary!