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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

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Skinny Orange Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 54 reviews
  • 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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285 comments on “Skinny Orange Chicken”

  1. What can be replaced for the honey? I am a diabetic and have really adverse effects to honey. 

    • Hi Megan! We would suggest agave, because it’s lower in carbs and lower on the glycemic index than honey, and you don’t have to use as much of it since it’s sweeter/more concentrated (but you really should check with your dr. first). We hope this helps!

  2. These really looks delicious and with th sesame seeds on top I’m sure these smells good too.

  3. Making this with the fried rice today.  Can’t wait to try.  Thanks so much.

  4. The Skinny Orange Chicken is absolutely delicious!! Sadly, I didn’t have white pepper and ground ginger. I served the orange chicken on a bed of fried rice. I will definitely make this recipe again, and hopefully, I will have ground ginger and white pepper available. This is the first recipe I made from your blog. Thank you, Ali!!! 

    • Thanks LaTrice, we’re so happy you liked it — thanks for giving the recipe a try! :D

  5. Made the skinny orange chicken tonight, We really liked it Thank-you for sharing.

  6. Do you have the nutritional values for this dish? Calories, fat, etc?

    • Hi Kari! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  7. I’ve made this recipe several times now and it is EXCELLENT.  Each time that I make it, the only thing that I change is that add more veggies, meat, or eggs.  I like it nice and hardy so it’s more of a meal than a side dish.   Thank you for the great recipe. 

  8. Do you have the nutritional info for this dish?

    • Hi Toni! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  9. I made this and it was delicious. Will definitely be making it again. It was also really easy and fast to make, so my question may seem silly.
    I am making freezer meals for my sister. Could the ingredients be frozen and thrown into the crockpot?

    • Hi Angie! We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed this! While we think you could probably make this in the crockpot, we wouldn’t advise freezing the ingredients beforehand. We’ve learned that putting frozen ingredients in a slow cooker (especially frozen meats) isn’t the safest thing to do. Slow cookers often can’t get frozen meats up to a safe temperature in time, which means your meat will spend too long in the “danger zone” – 40-140 degrees).

  10. Hi Ali,

    I love fried rice and orange chicken but never tried. I will definitely trying this out. I have one question, I remember reading somewhere that its not good( healthwise ) to boil honey. Is it true?

    • Hey there! We’ve found a few articles/websites that say it can be toxic if added to hot or boiling water, however, they all note this is something that hasn’t been scientifically proven. We weren’t able to really find any trustworthy, reputable sources that back that theory up. Therefore, it’s totally up to you, but honestly we’ve found this recipe works out just fine (it doesn’t alter the taste or anything), and we’ve never had any issues. We hope this helps!

  11. This is fabulous! I made it tonight for my husband and I. I ended up adding sugar (I ran out of honey) and I added sliced oranges to the chicken! It was awesome! Thanks for the recipe! 

  12. I was wondering if I could make this a head of time and throw it into the crockpot to keep warm (about three hours) or cook in the crockpot with everything thawed out before going into the crockpot? Thanks in advance! :)

  13. The dish was excellent! I used agave instead of honey.  My husband loved it,  I’ll definetly be making this again.  Thank you.  

  14. For the orange juice, do you use the drink from a carton or fresh squeezed?

  15. I made this meal last night and I loved it. I got the calorie count from my fitness pal. It’s an app on my phone. I will make this again and again. Thank you so much 

  16. Muy rico y fácil de preparar gracias por este tipo de recetas.. 

  17. Would this recipe work with a crock pot?

    • Hi Sharon! We haven’t tried it in a crockpot, so we really can’t say. We think it should work though, and that it’s worth trying (we’ve seen a couple other similar recipes for this in a crockpot). We hope you enjoy! :)

  18. I absolutely love this recipe!   I’ve made it half a dozen times and my family devours it every time.  It’s DELICIOUS! 

  19. This was amazing..will make again..:)

  20. I loved this orange chicken!!!!

  21. pretty good for a healthy meal

  22. We make this whenever we are craving Chinese food! Very delicious.

  23. i bet this tastes lovely. Thanks for sharing this, gonna give this a go later. Simon

  24. Made this tonight and it was delicious!

  25. How is this healthier than a restaurant version? 

    • Because we naturally sweetened this with honey instead of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, and the chicken is sautéed rather than heavily breaded and fried like the way most restaurants prepare it. We hope you can give this a try! :)

  26. This was awesome! I made it paleo by subbing arrowroot flour for the cornstarch and coconut aminos for the soy sauce. I also halved the amount of honey and it was still delicious! Served over cauliflower rice. Thanks for the great recipe!

  27. Hi Hayley,

    I wanted to make this for a New Years Eve party and wondered if you had any suggestions on making this ahead of time so I’m not cooking while guests are arriving?


    • Hi Laura, we’re sorry for just now getting to your comment! Do you have a slow cooker? You could make this ahead of time and keep it in your slow cooker on the “warming” setting. Or, you could keep it in the oven after cooking (at a low temp —200 degrees), with foil on top. We hope this helps for next time!

  28. This was very good. Had with white rice and fresh berries. Next time think I’ll add carrot slices. I found it helpful to make the sauce first so that it is ready to pour into the chicken as it is done. I don’t know what I did differently, but there is no way the prep work (which I consider cleaning the chicken breasts, then cutting them up and slicing the onions and making the sauce) took as little as 10 minutes. A delicious and satisfying result.

  29. Amazing, delicious I’ve made it twice 1st using honey, this time I used agave both awesome. With cauliflower fried rice absolutely delicious. BUT how many calories per serving? Please help me figure out how often I can have this Asian delight.

    • Thanks, Cheryl — we’re so happy you enjoy it! As for the calories per serving, unfortunately we aren’t sure. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  30. I’ve made this several times, following the recipe exactly as written the first time. But I had to add some more liquid to the pan, as I found 3 Tbsp. of cornstarch made the sauce WAY too gloppy and thick. I’ve cut it back to 1-1/2 Tbsp. to make the sauce satisfactory to me.

    I also add sliced carrots, celery and broccoli florets to the mix to make a complete meal when served over basmati rice.

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Linda — we’re sorry you’ve had some difficulty getting the sauce the right consistency, but we’re glad you’ve figured out something that works for you! We love the veggies you’ve added and bet they’re delicious! :)

  31. Can I make the sauce and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and then take it out and use it when I wanna make the dish?

  32. So I made this, and it’s delicious but it turned brown. It wasn’t orange at any point. I’m wondering if I added to much soy sauce to it or what. I’m not sure. But it’s still really good.

    • Hmmm, we’re not sure why it turned brown (maybe it got a little overcooked, or maybe it was too much soy)? We’re glad to hear you still enjoyed it though!

  33. Great idea! I love this recipe, I do it often! Thanks for sharing yours cooking ideas. 

  34. Tried this tonight and served it over quinoa. It was absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  35. I’ve made this recipe a million times with chicken and my family absolutely loves it! I was wondering if I could use shrimp instead of chicken for this recipe. Would it work? Has anyone tried this?

    • Thank you for sharing, Elsa, we’re so happy to hear that! We haven’t tried this with shrimp, but you definitely could! It won’t need much time to cook though, that would be the only difference.

  36. Hi, I’m new to the site I have not made this recipe yet but am going to for my wife she loves orange chicken but she is a type 2 diabetic and we have to follow certain dietary guidelines. I was wondering do you have the dietary conversions for this recipe the primary ones we are concerned about e carbs and fat counts.

    Thank you

    • Hi Patrick, welcome! Since you would need this info for health reasons, and we aren’t health professionals, we wouldn’t feel comfortable advising you on any dietary conversions, especially since we aren’t sure of the nutritional info of this recipe. We’d recommend consulting with your wife’s doctor or a nutritionist to be on the safe side. We’re sorry we couldn’t be of any help and we do hope you both can give this one a try!

  37. This turned out pretty darn good! I think next time, for my own personal taste, I may use slightly less OJ. But this is a pretty awesome recipe.

  38. Do you have the nutritional information?

    • Hi there! We’re sorry, but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  39. Just made it. So good! Thank you!

  40. I just made this recipe for the first time for my meal prep and it’s SO GOOD. Oh my gosh. I squeezed my own orange juice and it is the best orange chicken recipe I’ve ever had. Thanks so much for posting this up. It’s a new staple.

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. 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!!!!!!

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

  45. 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!!

  46. 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.

  47. 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!

  48. 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.

  49. 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! :)

  50. 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.