Breaded bite-size pieces of chicken, tossed in a slightly sweet orange glaze, this Baked Orange Chicken is a healthier version of the Panda Express Orange Chicken you love so much!
If I’m being really honest, I’m not a huge fan of orange chicken. I rarely choose it when we get Chinese. I’m much more into stir-fry. My kids, on the other hand, always get orange chicken or sweet and sour chicken, and I’ve had requests from readers to get an orange chicken recipe on the site, so here we go.
I looked through a lot of recipes on the interwebs to decide how I wanted to proceed with my own orange chicken recipe. Many recipes use fried chicken pieces, similar to what you would get at a Chinese restaurant. But, guys, that just takes too long and isn’t something practical for me to do on a weeknight. Plus…calories.
I decided to go with baked chicken pieces instead of frying them. I used a breading technique that I like from this Baked Honey Curry Chicken with Green Beans. For the sauce, I didn’t want to risk it not coming to the consistency I wanted in such a short baking time. So, I prepared it on the stove and tossed the baked chicken in it right before serving. It turned out great and is much more simple to make than traditional orange chicken.
More Asian-Style Dinners You’ll Love
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Grilled Sweet Chili Pork Chops
- Korean Beef Bowls
- Sticky Teriyaki Baked Chicken Thighs
- Better than Take-out Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Step-by-step pictures for how to make Baked orange chicken
Tips for making Baked Orange Chicken
- Cut the chicken into equal-sized 1-inch pieces.
- Use boneless chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs.
- Use fresh-squeezed orange juice for the best flavor.
- Add more or less spice by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes you add to the sauce.
- Double the sauce if you want extra to eat with your rice. The amount the recipe makes doesn’t leave much excess sauce after being tossed with the chicken.
- 2-3 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ¾ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
- ½ tsp orange zest
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed (approx 2 tsp)
- 2 tbsp water
- 2½ tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp rice wine or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp sesame seed oil
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a large cookie sheet or two 9x13 pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large Ziploc bag or in a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, 2 tsp cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add the cut chicken pieces and toss until the chicken is well coated.
- Place chicken pieces in a single layer on a large cookie sheet or divided among the two 9x13 baking dishes. Spray the top of the chicken pieces with cooking spray.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir chicken once halfway through cooking.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients in a 1- or 2-quart-sized saucepan. Before turning on the heat, make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly whisked together, being especially careful to make sure the cornstarch has dissolved.
- Once it is whisked together, turn on medium-high heat and bring sauce to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until it slightly thickens. You don't want it too thick. Imagine a thin gravy consistency.
- Once sauce is done simmering, remove it from heat. As soon as the chicken comes out of the oven, toss the chicken pieces in the sauce.
- **I recommend combining both 9x13 pans of chicken before tossing. If you used a cookie sheet, put the chicken in a serving bowl or something easier to toss it in before adding the sauce.
- Serve immediately over jasmine rice and with a side of your favorite green veggie.