Skinny Orange Chicken

January 1, 2014 by Ali

This "skinny" orange chicken recipe is made with a heavenly orange chicken sauce, but without all of the calories of traditional Chinese orange chicken. Everyone will love it!

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

Happy New Year’s, everyone!

I hope that your 2014 is off to a terrific start. And hopefully, a delicious and healthy start!

So for all of you new years resolution folks who are out there scanning the world wide webosphere looking for lighter recipes after a holiday season full of sweets, you’ve come to the right place. Because I am dedicating the entire month of January this year to sharing healthy recipes with you. And I am stoked to kick things off with a lightened-up Chinese food classic — Skinny Orange Chicken.

This version packs all of the amazing sweet and savory orange flavor of the restaurant-style version, but with only a fraction of the calories and fat. And it is naturally sweetened with honey. And it can be served over rice or (my favorite) quinoa. And it can be made in just 20 minutes from start to finish.

Interested? You should be. :)

Read on for the simple how-to with a photo tutorial. And also be sure to check out our New Year’s Instagram GIVEAWAY for a chance for you and a friend to each win a $100 Visa gift card!

Healthy New Year Instagram Giveaway |

(Before we get to the recipe, I also wanted to invite you to participate in our New Year’s Instagram giveaway. Look up @gimmesomeoven to enter!)

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

The main key to lightening up this restaurant classic is that we simply saute the chicken instead of fry it. The chicken is sauteed until golden and drenched in an orange chicken sauce anyway, so I guarantee you won’t even miss the frying! Plus, it saves us lots of unnecessary fat and calories in an already delicious dish.

And as I said, this skinny orange chicken recipe can literally be made in about 20 minutes. So here’s what you need to make it happen.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

First, begin by cutting your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Mine were roughly 1-inch cubed. Then season them with lots of salt and pepper for extra flavor.

Next, we make the rockstar of this recipe — the orange chicken sauce. This sauce really could not be simpler. Simply whisk all of the ingredients together along with some cornstarch (for thickening), and you’re ready to go.

Chicken + Sauce. Done.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

Next, saute the chicken in some olive oil until it is nearly cooked through. Be sure to let it rest in the pan a bit while cooking so that the sides can get nice and browned.

Then pour in the sauce, which should come to a boil within a minute or so. Let it boil for about 1-2 minutes, or until it’s nice and thickened.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

Then top the chicken with some extra orange zest, green onions and toasted sesame seeds, and you’re good to go!

If you want to go the traditional route, you can serve this orange chicken recipe over rice. But I’m a big fan of eating stir-fry recipes with quinoa. So I whipped up a quick batch for this recipe, made (as always) with chicken broth for extra flavor.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

I mean, really, just look at that gorgeous dish!

So much great flavor, and so little unnecessary fat and calories from frying the chicken. I’m pretty positive that even your friends or family members who usually prefer the fried version will go “poco loco” over this dish. :)

Stay tuned for more healthy recipes to come this month on Gimme Some Oven. And cheers to a great 2014 ahead!

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipeSkinny Orange Chicken Recipe | #newyears #chicken #recipe

Skinny Orange Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: About 4-6 servings


    Orange Chicken Ingredients:
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • orange chicken sauce (ingredients below)
  • toppings: thinly-sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, orange zest
  • Orange Chicken Sauce Ingredients:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey (add more to sweeten, if desired)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • zest of one orange
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • (Optional: Quinoa Ingredients)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth


To Make The Orange Chicken:

Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute for about 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and nearly cooked through.

Pour in the orange chicken sauce, and stir to combine. Let the sauce come to a boil, then boil for an additional minute or two until thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately over quinoa or rice. Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and additional orange zest.

To Make The Orange Chicken Sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If you would like the sauce to be even sweeter, add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of honey.

To Make The Quinoa:

You can see my step-by-step photo tutorial for how to cook quinoa here.

Be sure to also check out these related recipes:

How To Cook Quinoa |

How To Cook Quinoa (A Step-By-Step Tutorial)

Healthier Sesame Chicken Recipe |

Sesame Chicken with Quinoa

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad |

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad

filed in Entrees

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

Leave a Reply


70 thoughts on “Skinny Orange Chicken

  1. im making this tonight.

    - bethany

  2. carbs?

    - pornbunny

  3. This is delishous but would like to know how many calories or have I missed it somewhere?

    - Geri

  4. Ever since I found this on Pinterest we cannot get enough! It tastes so fresh and light. Definitely a great alternative to take out. Thank you for the great recipe!

    - Stevi

  5. Made it 2nite for 4 people. 1.5x batch-sans quinoa. I added 3 thai chili peppers no seeds for some heat to go with the sweet. Thanks Ali- I really enjoyed it.

    - Dan Fall

  6. Is it OK to use white wine vinegar I don’t have rice wine vinegar

    - jill

    • Sure, Jill! Although if you’re going to swap, I’d actually recommend using apple cider vinegar. It’s a bit lighter and sweeter.

      - Ali

  7. Made this for dinner tonight…delicious!!! My husband & I loved it!!!

    - Alysia

  8. This was AWESOME! I did a couple things different, which I don’t normally do when trying a new recipe, but here goes: I substituted white vinegar for the rice wine vinegar because it was all I had. I cut the honey in half (I’m doing weight watchers and figured I could add it in later if need be). I wanted some veggies in there so I added green pepper, grape tomatoes, and pineapple. I added some pineapple juice, around 1/3 cup, to the mix and increased the cornstarch to 4 T. It was so good. My husband thought it was still too sweet, so I will reduce the honey again next time. I loved the little bit of spice from the red pepper flakes. I served it over rice. The sauce was nice and thick, should reheat well. I only did 2 small chicken breasts (only my hubbie and I ate it) and with all the veggies we had enough for dinner each plus two more meals. Will add to my regular rotation. Thanks!

    - Shannon

  9. I made this tonight for my mother and sisters and they loved it! I will definitely make this again. Thank you so much for sharing.

    - Samantha

  10. Great recipe! My fiance loves orange chicken from the little take out spot around the corner but this was soooo much better! For those wondering about the calorie count; According to my ‘Lose it’ App recipe writer, the sauce itself is 184 calories. I did sub 1/4 agave nectar for the honey. The dish all together was 436 calories a serving but I also did sub half the chicken for broccoli. This is based on 4 servings per recipe. You average Chinese take out orange chicken comes in at a whopping 820 calories. So this is awesome!

    - Nikki

    • Hi, question, when you totaled calories with the lose it ap, did that include the quinoa, or just the chicken dish itself? :) Thank you.
      It was delicious, although I will tweak it the next time with a little bit more honey, and a little less red pepper…I made it a tad spicy this time. I will definitely be making this again!

      - Jamie Cogan

  11. Love to see the reviews, and will try this one soon – I tried a slow cooker orange chicken recipe last week and it was not good. I was so disappointed, because I love orange chicken! Have to give this one a shot! :)

    - Chrissi

  12. it claims to be skinny, it should list calorie info

    - Oneta Ray Underwood

  13. I made this tonight and it was delicious!! So fresh tasting! It came together so quickly! A definite “make again” and new addition to my monthly meal plan!

    - Danielle

  14. I made this for dinner last week and while I thought it was excellent, my hubby was not a fan. Disclaimer…he doesn’t like chinese food or much of anything with soy sauce. Nonetheless everyone finished their plates. I was a little disappointed in the leftovers as the sauce turned into jello :(!

    - beth

  15. Really didn’t like this dish. Didn’t taste anything like orange chicken. Followed the directions exactly.I’d say a 2 out 5

    - Jill

  16. I made this for dinner last night and it was simply amazing. My sauce was a bit darker in color than yours, but I served it over brown rice and my boyfriend couldn’t stop praising how good it was (and he’s rather judgmental about Chinese food!) His exact words were “Yeah, so you’ll definitely be making this more often.”

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

    - Marie @ Chocolate & Wine

  17. I made this tonight and it was absolutely delish!!! Thank you for sharing.

    - Miriam

  18. I made this recipe tonight and it was amazing! Thank you for sharing it!

    - Alison

  19. I can’t wait to serve this to my fam! I have all the ingredients in my pantry. I think I’ll serve it over my favorite-black rice! Mmmm

    - Diane

  20. Does anyone have any nutritional information for this recipe?


    - Tyler

  21. Just made this tonight and it was amazing! Couldn’t find my soy sauce so I ended up using teriyaki and I used 3lbs of chicken without having to make any extra sauce. Can’t wait to make this again!

    - Debbie

  22. Made this for dinner tonight! Was amazing!! Girlfriend loved it too!! Wants it again sometime soon. Ended up using regular white vinegar and still came out amazing! Just used a little bit less then stated cause I was worried about the difference. But such a great meal!! Thank you!!

    - Johnathon

  23. Sounds and looks DELISH! Was wondering if you knew the nutrition facts on this dish?

    - Lauren

  24. I made this tonight. Yum!!!

    - Jessica Ford

  25. This was delicious! I was a little apprehensive about how it would turn out and taste but I was not disappointed. I will definitely be making this at least once a month and will also recommend it to friends and family. Thank you!

    - Erica

  26. I am EXCITED to make this! What is the calorie breakdown? I’m tracking all my food (food diary!) and just want to be able to track it.

    - Danielle

  27. Loved this so much that I blogged about it. I swapped half of the chicken for broccoli, but it’s delicious with all chicken, too.

    - Laura

  28. I made the chicken tonight and followed the directions exactly as it said, yet my orange sauce thickened up immediately and became chunky…not at all like regular orange chicken or your pictures. Any thoughts?

    - Whitney

  29. HOLY YUM BATMAN!! Made this tonight and it was awesome!! added it to our list of favorites! thank you!! any idea on nutritional numbers?

    - Kara

  30. Made this tonight and it was delicious. Picky 12 yo son even loved it! It was quite filling. I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

    - Elizabeth

  31. So…I never leave comments on recipes, but I made this last night and it was A-MAZ-ING! I love Orange Chicken and this was far better than any I’ve ever ordered in a restaurant!

    - Jennifer

  32. Made this tonight and it was delicious!! Will definitely be making again!

    - Meagan

  33. This is fantastic! Much better than the fried variety, and so easy. Thanks for the quinoa suggestion, love it!

    - Kristin

  34. I love, orange chicken,can’t wait to try this recipe,thank you,grocery shopping tomorrow.Great way to start the NEW YEAR!!

    - Lourdes Perez

  35. I adore orange chicken and this looks fabulous, Ali! Happy New Year!

    - Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

  36. I made this tonight, and even my picky teen gave it a thumbs up. All agreed it’s a keeper! Thank you! Can’t wait to try the sesame chicken next!

    - Dawna

  37. I have never commented on a recipe before, but this was amazing! And so simple! It satisfied my craving for some horribly bad food, and it was healthy! I will be making this recipe again!

    - Tena

  38. I could definitely go for a big bowl of this for dinner!!

    - Deborah

  39. At first I was a little taken aback by the amount of honey – it sounds great, but “skinny’? 500 plus calories of honey does not equal “skinny”.

    But on a per serving basis, that is only 125 to 80 calories (4 or 6 servings). Perhaps not “skinny”, but not as bad as I first thought

    - david carlson

  40. I made this tonight for dinner & it was sooooo good!

    - Beth

  41. Were can I find rice wine vinegar? I have been looking for months and I can’t find any. This recipe sounds so good!

    - Tammy

    • I bought mine at Meijer. Check in the international food section or ask a worker. I’d guess any grocery store would have it. GL

      - melissa

    • Should be in the aisle with the regular vinegar….usually on the top shelf. May find it in the international aisle.

      - Melissa

    • Rice Wine Vinegar is generally near the soy sauce in the Asian section. It’s possible it’s with the other vinegars, but I’ve always found it in the Asian foods section at my local grocery store (Kroger). I LOVE rice wine vinegar.

      - Amy

    • In the Asian food section. Depending on your store it could also be in the condiment section or where other vinegars are located.

      - Kyle L.

  42. The Orange Chicken recipe is great. Can’t wait to make it! Also wanted to comment on the photography. It is awesome! The pictures make my mouth water. They are exceptional!

    - Peggy Valliant

  43. Do you think I could make this like a freezer meal with the chicken already cubed, and a packet alongside with the sauce ingredients mixed, but not yet cooked? Would the quinoa freeze well? I would really love to be able to come home and pop these ingredients directly into a skillet/micro and serve dinner 15 minutes later!

    - Dawna

  44. I’m so excited that your doing a month of healthy recipes, and starting with this stellar orange chicken recipe! Looks so good!

    - Gina Guthrie

  45. I love orange chicken and this looks infinitely better than any take out option! Happy New Year!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  46. I am so excited for your month of healthy recipes!!!!! And you know I love anything with Asian flavors. This is so right up my alley! Happy New Year friend!

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  47. Love this recipe! I’ve been looking for new dinner ideas, and I’m definitely trying this sometime soon! Happy New Year, Ali!

    - Hallie @ The Wordy Baker

  48. This dish looks amazing. I love orange chicken but always feel a bit off when I get it out, mainly with the frying. I know this will be a new family favorite.

    - Emily @ Life on Food