Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2024)

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Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (1)

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 theentire 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 | Gimme Some Oven (2)

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.

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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 chickensauce. 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.

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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 | Gimme Some Oven (5)

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.

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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 | Gimme Some Oven (7)Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (8)


Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (9)

Skinny Orange Chicken

★★★★★4.9 from 54 reviews

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 4-6 servings 1x
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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 (A Step-By-Step Tutorial)

Sesame Chicken with Quinoa

Lighter Chinese Chicken Salad

posted on January 1, 2014 by Ali

Main Dishes


Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2024)


How do you upgrade frozen orange chicken? ›

microwave those frozen packages and then add some orange zest. the juice of an orange and half a cup of soy sauce. this is just a way to elevate the orange flavor in the orange chicken. mix it all together and bring it over to the cooking chicken & vegetables and mix that in.

How many calories are in orange chicken homemade? ›

Orange chicken contains 660 calories per 252 g serving. This serving contains 32 g of fat, 36 g of protein and 57 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 34 g sugar and 2 g of dietary fiber, the rest is complex carbohydrate. Orange chicken contains 6.1 g of saturated fat and 154 mg of cholesterol per serving.

How to cook TJ orange chicken? ›

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Mine takes about 10 minutes to preheat, but check your air fryer's manual for preheating recommendations. Then add the whole bag of chicken pieces (without the sauce) to the air fryer. Cook for 10 minutes.

How do you make frozen chicken better? ›

That's why the best way to bake frozen chicken breasts is to brush them with a moist sauce, like the flavorful mixture of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, parsley and garlic called for in this recipe. As the chicken bakes on a sheet tray in a 425 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, the sauce adds extra moisture.

How do you make frozen chicken taste fresh? ›

There are a few tricks to eliminate the "chicken" taste from raw, frozen chicken breasts before cooking, without marinating:
  1. Cold Water Soak: Thaw the chicken breasts in cold water for about 30 minutes. ...
  2. Vinegar Rinse: Try a quick rinse in vinegar-water solution (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water).
Nov 2, 2022

What to pair with orange chicken? ›

To recap, the best side dishes for orange chicken are;
  1. White Rice.
  2. Stir-Fry Veggies.
  3. Chicken noodles.
  4. Potato salad.
  5. French Fries.
  6. Instant pot Hot and Sour soup.
  7. Green Salad.
  8. Instant pot macaroni salad.
Sep 6, 2023

Can you put parchment paper in an air fryer? ›

Yes, and here's what you need to know. Parchment paper is a safe and effective liner to use in the air fryer. To avoid safety hazards, weigh down the paper with food and keep away from the heating element. Parchment paper can be heated up to roughly 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do you cook orange chicken from Sam's? ›

Deep frying: preheat fryer to 350°F and thaw unopened sauce pouch in a bowl of hot water. Deep fry chicken for 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then drizzle sauce over chicken or use for dipping. Air fryer: preheat fryer to 350°F and thaw unopened sauce pouch in a bowl of hot water.

Can I eat orange chicken on a diet? ›

Is Orange Chicken Healthy? Traditional Chinese Orange Chicken is loaded with lots of excess fat, salt, carbs and sugar thanks to the batter, frying oil and sweet orange-flavored chili sauce, so it's not necessarily the healthiest option.

Is the original orange chicken healthy? ›

Takeout orange chicken is not very healthy because it's loaded with sugar and deep-fried as well. But this homemade version is a healthier alternative made from whole food ingredients with no added sugar and no deep frying involved.

What is a serving size of orange chicken? ›

Serving Size: 3.6 oz. Preparation Instructions: Place a single layer of chicken on baking sheet. Heat at 400 F for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown, and internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Is orange chicken from Trader Joes good? ›

Trader Joe's award-winning Mandarin-orange chicken was just as delicious as actual takeout. Trader Joe's Mandarin-orange chicken is one of the brand's most popular items — it's so beloved by shoppers that it's earned a spot in the chain's Product Hall of Fame.

Is TJ orange chicken healthy? ›

Mandarin Orange Chicken

“With 330 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving, it contains a massive amount of sodium,” says Yelena Wheeler, RDN, a dietitian in Los Angeles. “It also contains 95 mg of cholesterol, which is fairly high for just one cup.”

What's the difference between orange chicken and tangerine chicken? ›

Tangerine is used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as cooking. Tangerine chicken tastes fresh and spicy, but orange chicken tastes sweet and sour. Orange chicken is crispy cooked in a sweet and little spicy orange sauce. The sweetness of orange chicken was introduced to cater to American tastes.

How do you upgrade frozen meals? ›

Pump up with protein and fiber.

For frozen meals lacking in protein, top it with nuts and seeds or a half-cup of beans (drained, of course!) for additional protein and fiber. Or add in some leftover chicken, a can of tuna or other lean protein you have on hand.

How do you upgrade store bought chicken? ›

How to upgrade a store-bought rotisserie chicken
  1. Add the chicken to a salad for a quick and easy meal.
  2. Shred the chicken and use it in place of beef in recipes.
  3. Create a chicken stir-fry for an easy weeknight dinner.
  4. Enjoy chicken as part of a sandwich for lunchtime.
  5. Pair chicken with rice and beans for a filling meal.
Oct 24, 2022

How do you upgrade frozen chicken patties? ›

If you're looking for a way to improve your frozen chicken patties, cooking them in an oven is a great option. Ive always had luck making them in my air fryer. The air fryer doesnt need any oil for a frozen breaded chicken patty. Crisps it up just fine.

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