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Healthier Orange Chicken

This 20-minute healthier orange chicken is the perfect weeknight dish. Why pay for takeout when you can make this quick and easy dish from scratch? 

Healthier Orange Chicken served with broccoli.

I have this weird love-hate relationship with Chinese food.

I love it for the fact that it’s typically cheap, fast, and always available but I hate it for the fact that I’m always a little worried about why it’s so cheap.

How can good (as in quality) food cost so little? Well, the fact is that it’s probably not good quality.

Yeah, no thanks.

I mean I’m not a food elitist or anything.

I’m not sitting here on some sorta food pedestal. I will (when necessary) go face-deep in a box of chicken nuggets with sweet sour sauce BUT for the most part, I try to keep it real.

You know?

Healthier Orange Chicken in a bowl with sesame seeds.

This is where this quick and easy meal comes into play.

It’s ready in 20 minutes and is about a million times better than anything you could get delivered.

It’s full of fresh orange flavor and perfect when served with brown rice and a big side of vegetables.

I like it served with broccoli but you live your life and serve it with anything you see fit.

I don’t run your vegetable-filled life. Your life. Your vegetable choice.

Healthier Orange Chicken in a round bowl.

I’m also not opposed to you serving it with zero rice or vegetable and just eating it straight from the pan.

I’m super classy. I’m assuming the majority of my audience is just as class as myself.

Now, get into the kitchen and make this chicken. You will not be sorry. TRUST ME!

Oh and be prepared to burn your Chinese take-out menu because you won’t need them ever again.

More easy Asian-inspired recipes

This 20 minute healthier orange chicken is the perfect weeknight dish. Why pay for take out when you can make this quick and easy dish from scratch. Trust me, you'll LOVE this dish it's seriously that EASY!

Healthier Orange Chicken

Author: Brandy O’Neill – Nutmeg Nanny
This 20-minute healthier orange chicken is the perfect weeknight dish. Why pay for takeout when you can make this quick and easy dish from scratch?
5 from 1 vote
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Servings 4 servings


  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup orange juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes more if desired
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds optional


  • In a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat add coconut oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add in the chicken and cook until lightly browned and fully cooked – about 8 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and place the pan back on the heat.
  • Add in orange juice, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, orange zest, fish sauce, grated ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a slight boil.
  • In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and cold water until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
  • Add cornstarch to the orange mixture and mix together until slightly thickened. This will not take too long so keep an eye on the mixture.
  • Once you have reached your desired thickness remove from the heat, stir in your sesame seeds and add the chicken back to the pan and toss with the sauce.
  • Serve with brown rice and vegetables if desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 625mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword fake out take out recipes, healthy asian recipes, healthy orange chicken, orange chicken healthy, orange chicken not battered
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!
Healthier Orange Chicken pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating


Friday 23rd of June 2017

Made this in a double batch for my work dinners (about to go heat some up right now!). I used plain chicken breast, for cost as well as quantity. I would've either been short by a significant amount with packages of tenders, or way overdoing it. I have it over a 50/50 mix of black and brown rice along with green beans, carrots, assorted bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. This is only the second time I've worked with zest, and I confess I'm not quite sure how to measure it properly... I packed it in those measuring spoons. lol I think that overdid it, as the chicken just by itself is way too orange zesty for my liking. However, that overpowering flavor mellows out perfectly when mixed with everything else. It's just strong enough to preserve the flavor when so spread out! I've never used fish sauce before, and now I have to find other recipes to help me use up the bottle. This is so good. Thank you for the recipe!

Angie | Big Bear's Wife

Tuesday 9th of February 2016

I am so making this for dinner one night this week!


Monday 8th of February 2016

This recipe was a winner at my house! My kids loved this better than the other orange chickens we have tried. It was so fresh tasting and easy to make!


Sunday 14th of February 2016

Hi Christa! Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the chicken! It's a HUGE favorite around here and I agree - it's so fresh tasting!

Renee - Kudos Kitchen

Sunday 17th of January 2016

I could definitely see myself eating this straight from the pan and not even telling my husband that dinner is ready. All mine. LOL

Kim Henrichs

Friday 15th of January 2016

Ooh, I love orange chicken - definitely trying this!


as seen on promo graphic


as seen on promo graphic