Skinny Orange Chicken

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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.  :)

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 1x


This homemade orange chicken recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, and is a crazy delicious! (And healthier than the restaurant version!)



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
  • 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:

  1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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:

  1. 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

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330 comments on “Skinny Orange Chicken”

1 3 4 5
  1. 5 stars
    This was SOOO INCREDIBLY DEEELICIOUS!!! Best orange sauce I have ever had!
    My taste buds thank you for the AHHHMAZING healthy orange chicken recipe! :)
    Will def. be making again and again. My daughter gave me the idea to add pineapple chunks to it. We sure loved the pineapple addition! :)

    • Thank you, Laura, we’re so happy you and your family loved it! :) And we bet pineapple would be a yummy addition to this!

  2. 4 stars
    I’ve made several orange chicken recipes and this is my favorite. It’s so light and zesty and goes great with rice or quinoa. So quick and easy too. I’ve made it following the instructions exactly and have even substituted when I didn’t quite have everything. I had a champagne vinegar that I used instead of rice wine vinegar and that really kicked it up a notch.

  3. 5 stars
    I never thought I orange chicken would pair well with quinoa. But OMG it was amazing. Family loved it. We will be cooking this more often. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!!!!

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  5. 5 stars
    Second time I have made, green light to make again
    Shared with the bestie! Thanks again :)

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  7. 5 stars
    I don’t know why I doubted this recipe. Maybe because it looks so fast and easy to make, but Oh My God. This was so amazing! Best orange chicken I ever had. It was fresh and light and full of flavor. Everything went together perfect. My boyfriend loved it as well. I will never order orange chicken out again! I am now going to explore other recipes on your blog since this was such a hit. Thank you!!

  8. 5 stars
    I prepared the Skinny Orange Chicken for dinner last night. It was the first time I tried the recipe. The authors statement that it is a quick and easy recipe caught my attention. Normally, when a recipe reads quick and easy, it takes me twice as long as the recipe states. Not only was the time very close, the Orange Chicken turned out perfect.
    My family’s only complaint was I didn’t make enough. I saved this in my quick & easy meals. I cut up 1 chicken breast per person. There was enough for seconds, but no leftovers.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last night & my family & I LOVED it!!! I loved that this was simple for me to prep & cook! Plus, the meal was very satisfying to eat; slightly sweet & savory with a lot of lean protein. This is definitely a keeper!

  10. 5 stars
    This is fantastic and so fast and easy to make. I wished I had added fresh pineapple chunks because that would have added even more flavor. Thank you for a recipe that will go into my monthly rotation.

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  12. 5 stars
    This has been a staple in my household for years now! Haven’t had this in a bit and just made it tonight for dinner. My husband could not stop raving about it – he said whoever created this original recipe is just on point with the sauce! Lol. I paired it with your fried rice recipe as well. I just love your blog, you have the best recipes! :)

  13. I have never left a comment a blog before, but this recipe was so good I had to come back and say thank you!!! It seems every Asian chicken recipe I come across is loaded with sugar. Loved that this one only had honey as a sweetener. I cut the honey in half and it was still delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this yummy goodness with the world!! I served it over this fried “rice” and there was nothing left.

  14. 5 stars
    Served with veggie fried rice and it was delicious. Will definitely save and make again!!

  15. This was great and super easy! My sauce wasn’t nearly as orange as the pictures but it was still great!

  16. 5 stars
    I loved this it was awesome!! I reduced the amount of honey to 1/3 cup since I had raw alfalfa honey. I couldn’t find white pepper and used the regular black pepper but just a little less than called for. I’m not a pepper fan. It was perfect. I will definitely make this again. Thank you, I won’t have to ever go out for orange chicken again.

  17. WOW……this recipe was absolutely amazing, couldn’t get over the flavors. Will be a regular meal in our home. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 5 stars
    Made this with cauliflower “fried rice” and it was a huge hit! Delicious!

  19. 5 stars
    I made this tonight it was very easy to make and delicious as well! Definitely a keeper!

  20. 5 stars
    We make this at least once a week. Simple, healthy, packed with flavor, and easy to add a few carrots, celery or onion to change it up. We add a little sriracha sauce to bring some heat and cool it down with slices of orange on top that add to the presentation. THIS IS A DELICIOUS WINNER!

  21. 5 stars
    I don’t normally leave comments on websites, but this was literally one of the best things I’ve ever made and I just need to reiterate to anyone not sure if they should make this – you should make it. I home cook almost every night and was looking for something outside of my normal flavor profile. This is sweet but not too sweet, not crazy salty (I used only 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce), and has a kick. I served over cauliflower rice and it was perfect. I started off using only 1/4 cup of honey and then added just a touch more once I tasted the sauce and it was perfect. I used garlic powder (about 1 tbsp) instead of fresh garlic because I didn’t have any. I also forgot to buy cornstarch so I made a quick roux using just 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp AP flour and then whisked in the sauce. It worked great. My goodness, so good, I’ve already sent it to 4 people.

  22. 5 stars
    We LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!!!! I have made this so much I don’t have to look at the recipe anymore. It is so versatile. I always add vegetables with it. Sometimes it may only be broccoli and onions. Or other times, like tonight, it’s carrots peppers mushrooms zucchini broccoli ect….. Another twist I add is fresh ginger and Pure Sesame oil at the end. Whole different flavor. Seriously, our go to meal.

  23. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe the other night and I absolutely loved it! It tasted so good and was really fast and simple to make. It really did take only 20 minutes to make, just like the recipe said. I love that this was a healthier option and I wouldn’t even be able to tell that this was healthier because the taste was on point! The only thing I noticed was that the sauce got really thick and jelly like when I added it to the chicken on the stove, more so than just a thick glaze, so I had to use some water to make it not so thick. I think next time I won’t add as much cornstarch as the recipe calls for, and maybe just mix some cornstarch and water on the side and add that until the sauce comes to the thickness that I prefer. But that’s a super easy thing to fix. I would definitely make this recipe again. I paired it with a healthy version of chow Mein noodles that I found online and they tasted SO GREAT together. Definitely saving this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it! So yummy!

  24. 5 stars
    This was amazing! So zesty and much better than what I get at our local take-out place. My budget was running a bit thin so I ended up using apple cider vinegar and black pepper and it was delicious. I served it with jasmine rice that I had on hand. The only drawback is that after you refrigerate the leftovers, the sauce gets gelatinous and while it still tastes great it doesn’t have the same consistency. Still a 5 star recipe!

  25. I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! Do you mind if I share the recipe on my blog with full credit and links to your page???

  26. 4 stars
    Me and my boyfriend are vegan, but we used to love orange chicken and have been looking for an alternative, this was INCREDIBLE, I just used your sauce recipie, and put it over crispy sweet potatoes, oh my goodness it tasted exactly like orange chicken from panda.. holy hell so yummy! I didn’t use the corn starch I just let it thicken in a sauce pan and it coated two large sweet potatoes very well. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  27. 4 stars
    This recipe called for too much lemon zest for my liking. Next time I would try half as much lemon zest, and add some veggies.

  28. 4 stars
    This was REALLY good and was so easy! And almost all of the ingredients were pantry staples too (unlike other recipes that use specific asian sauces or ingredients). The only downside was I found the sauce didnt stick to the chicken super well, and I had it pretty thick – is that just because the chicken was not coated in flour or something that would otherwise help it stick? I assume that is what makes this a little healthier. Either way, will definitely make this again!

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  31. 5 stars
    Awesome lower calorie alternative . I substituted Agave nectar for honey and it was the perfect level of sweetness and not sticky at all. I also used 3/4 cup of OJ and 1 tsp of ground ginger with some extra garlic powder added. Including a 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes is a must! My picky kids loves this recipe and I will definitely make this again.

  32. 5 stars
    This recipe is one of my husband and my favorites! It’s a regular on our meal schedule a is requested very frequently! I have never seen a healthier or easier recipe for orange chicken, which of course normally is extremely unhealthy. Thank you for a healthy alternative that is so incredibly tasty!!

  33. 5 stars
    Thank you for the great recipe!!! My husband and I, and our 4 boys all loved it!!!

  34. 5 stars
    I have made this many times, it is always a hit! I started using riced cauliflower for a low-carb option too. This is so easy and delicious, thank you for this amazing recipe.

  35. 5 stars
    This was very good & very simple. I would make this again.

  36. How many calories per serving and what is a serving? I know this recipe is from years ago but hoping you get this! Tracking calories so need the info. Thank you!!

  37. 5 stars
    I put this over cauliflower rice! Very yummy and even healthier!!

  38. 5 stars
    This recipe was soooo good! It was nice, light, and did not leave out flavor! I made mine with Jasmine rice instead of quinoa but the orange sauce was just so good! I thought it was sweet enough on its own so I did not add extra honey.

  39. 5 stars
    Listennnnnnnnn Listen Linda. This is delicious. On the couch just took a bite and had to leave a comment. Hot damn!

  40. 5 stars
    OMGoodness! Killer recipe. Delish! Sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and green onions. Looked just like the picture. Made stir fry vegies and served over quinoa. ( I love quinoa, but never added salt to it…what a difference. Thx for the tip!) Can’t wait to make this again! I never rate recipes, but this was just too tasty not to say so.

  41. 5 stars
    I’m TERRIBLE at cooking, but I needed to make something for a date that would impress. Thank you for this recipe, they were impressed.

  42. Just whipped up a pot of this orange chicken and it’s so yummy! We haven’t found a place in town good enough to satisfy our Chinese food cravings yet. So this recipe is a godsend. I added drained pineapple as someone in the comments suggested and it just put it over the top. Keep up the good work!


  44. 5 stars
    I love this dish! It is packed full of flavour…the orange zest ans sweetness from the honey is just delicious! I make it at less once a month!

  45. Do you use juice from the orange or a bottle? Crazy question I know but one is thicker than the other so I don’t know if matters.

  46. I just made this recipe by request from my 17 year old who has been asking me to make this recipe. I really didn’t want to fry the chicken in the true sense of “orange chicken”, so when i saw this recipe that was more of a browning of the chicken and the sauce i thought i would give it a try. The verdict was she LOVED it! The only changes i made is i used fresh grated ginger and added double the fresh orange juice so she would have more sauce. It turned out great and i have added this to our rotation!

    Thank you for sharing this one!
    The Marshall Family

  47. As suggested by other reviewers, I added pineapple. Delicious and easy option for dinner. Next time will add veggies to the mix.

  48. My husband who usually rates my dinners a 7 or 8 out of 10 gave this recipe an 11!