Skinny Orange Chicken

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.  :)

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

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:

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

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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

Leave a Comment:


  1. Samantha — March 3, 2014 @ 8:15 pm (#)

    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.

  2. Shannon — March 9, 2014 @ 4:28 pm (#)

    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!

  3. Alysia — March 11, 2014 @ 12:06 am (#)

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

  4. jill — April 1, 2014 @ 7:03 am (#)

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

    • Ali — April 1st, 2014 @ 7:33 am

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

  5. Dan Fall — April 3, 2014 @ 8:45 pm (#)

    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.

  6. Stevi — April 6, 2014 @ 6:37 pm (#)

    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!

  7. Geri — April 8, 2014 @ 7:43 pm (#)

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

  8. pornbunny — April 9, 2014 @ 9:48 am (#)


  9. Kathryn — April 12, 2014 @ 6:46 pm (#)

    The sauce was so thick and gloopy. Maybe it was the 3 Tbsp. of cornstarch or the 1/2 C. honey. I wasn’t really a fan of this dish, but everyone has different taste! I will be sure to try out another one of your recipes.

  10. bethany — April 14, 2014 @ 12:27 pm (#)

    im making this tonight.

  11. Katia — April 24, 2014 @ 6:42 pm (#)

    Ack way too sweet! And I didn’t even put in the full 1/2 cup of honey. This definitely has potential. I will make this again with way less honey – maybe like 1/8 of a cup for me. And I used white vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Apple cider vinegar would not be a good idea.

  12. Mikkola — May 10, 2014 @ 10:47 pm (#)

    Mine did not taste “orangie” enough. I think the honey overpowered the orange juice. And I used apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar, I don’t if that affected the overall taste as well… But for sure, I’ll do this again.

  13. Mary Lee — June 1, 2014 @ 5:06 pm (#)

    Made this tonight as we wanted a quick meal and I had chicken in the fridge. I had no ginger but had everything else. I wasn’t sure but my oh my. This was so delicious. You don’t miss the fried coating at all. I served it with broccoli and brown rice and everyone loved it. I will add ginger next time and there WILL be a next time. So easy and so delicious. Thank you for posting this.

  14. Diana Lee — June 10, 2014 @ 9:38 pm (#)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this outstanding recipe! My husband and I both loved it. Absolutely no tweaks or adjustments were necessary. Yum!

  15. Karianne — June 16, 2014 @ 6:47 pm (#)

    this is such a good recipe! fast, and very delicious, thanks for sharing :)

  16. Sharon Lucas — June 19, 2014 @ 10:08 am (#)

    Where is the calorie content?

  17. Dianne — June 23, 2014 @ 11:26 am (#)

    Great recipe! Do you think it might work with lemon as well?


    • Ali — July 18th, 2014 @ 9:36 am

      It would be slightly more bitter, so I would definitely add more sweetener and/or less lemon. I’m working on a new lemon chicken recipe, though, so stay tuned! :)


  18. Sonja — July 31, 2014 @ 6:24 pm (#)

    Perfectly balanced flavors! Delicious.

  19. Katie — August 2, 2014 @ 2:01 pm (#)

    As I calculate this receipe it is nearly 2000 calories (total), without the quinoa. However, if you replace the olive oil with cooking spray, and reduce the honey to 1/4 cup it is much better! Remember, honey is 2X sweeter than sugar.
    If we are serving 4 people it will equate to 366 calories per serving with these modifications. Much better!!

  20. Gianelli — August 10, 2014 @ 1:39 pm (#)

    Great Recipe!

    I tried it before and the whole family loved it! My husband cannot stop talking about how delicious it is. I did not have all the ingredients so I did leave a few things out but it was still amazing. Thank you for sharing, I am trying it again tonight.

  21. Heather Urry — August 14, 2014 @ 5:40 pm (#)

    Delicious! Thank you. Reduced the honey, used fresh ginger, and added a splash of sesame oil. Terrific served with steamed rice (will try it with quinoa another time!) and broccoli. Yum.

  22. Trista — August 23, 2014 @ 7:47 pm (#)

    I just made this and it is so good! I sauteed some broccoli too! I am definitely making this again :)

  23. SSF — November 10, 2014 @ 5:03 pm (#)

    Skinny orange chicken
    Made it for dinner, I added some roasted veggies
    Great recipe
    It’s a saver!

  24. Sarah — November 16, 2014 @ 7:02 pm (#)

    I just made this tonight for supper, and it tastes amazing! Next time I make it, I think I’ll probably use a little bit less cornstarch. It seemed to me like it thickened up too much. 

  25. dustin — December 8, 2014 @ 4:44 pm (#)

    OK I made this tonight and it was a total fail. The sauce turned to tar in the pan immediately..I think you’re supposed to reduce the heat a bit first.I guess? 

  26. Zest to impress — December 27, 2014 @ 10:01 am (#)

    I’m going to try this tonight, looks and sounds delish. I really like your blog and your blog name is so cute! I’ll be coming back for more “oven.” ;)

  27. Laura — January 3, 2015 @ 6:48 am (#)

    I tried this today and love it! So easy but so flavorful – this will become a new weeknight staple for me. I also just saw your lemon honey chicken, I gotta try that as well. Happy new year and thanks for the great recipes!

  28. Anna — January 6, 2015 @ 9:49 pm (#)

    Hey! Can you post how many calories this orange chicken recipe has? Thanks!

  29. Travis Beebe — January 9, 2015 @ 8:11 pm (#)

    This was a great recipe my family loves Orange Chicken and this was a hit!  

    The only change I made to this recipe was substituting the 1/2 cup honey and orange zest with a 1/2 cup of Smucker’s Orange Marmalade.

  30. Maria — January 18, 2015 @ 5:50 pm (#)

    I made this tonight and it was AMAZING!!! I added blanched broccoli to the pan to get coated in the sauce too– served it with a brown/wild rice Birdseye steamer bag!  Thank you for the great recipe!


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