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Healthy Orange Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

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I’m SO excited to share this healthy orange chicken recipe with you! The inspiration for this orange chicken stir fry came from a weeknight dinner club member request. So I tested and tinkered (yes, it’s a delicious job) and landed with a simple and homemade orange glazed chicken that is ready in just 30 minutes and made up of common, everyday ingredients. The whole family LOVES this meal, and I know yours will too.

This orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade also calls for orange juice, which I found to be the best and most flavorful combination. Orange marmalade on its own was a little flat, but the zing of fresh oj added an awesome fresh flavor. You can use freshly squeezed or bottled orange juice.

Bowl of orange glazed chicken with broccoli

What is Orange Chicken Stir Fry?

Orange glazed chicken is a Chinese American dish consisting of deep fried chicken tossed in a sweet and savory orange sauce.

Healthy Orange Chicken Ingredients:

The ingredients to make orange glazed chicken are pretty simple, and you probably have most of them already:

  • chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)
  • cornstarch
  • vegetable oil (canola, avocado, etc.)
  • orange marmalade
  • soy sauce
  • orange juice
  • rice wine vinegar
  • sesame oil
  • garlic
  • ginger
Ingredients for healthy orange chicken recipe

How To Make Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe:

This simple orange chicken recipe comes together in 30 minutes for a quick and delicious dinner:

  • Prep ingredients. As with any stir fry recipe, it’s important to prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking as things cook quickly! Cut up the chicken (you can use a knife or kitchen shears), mix up orange chicken sauce, and make rice.
  • Stir fry broccoli. I like serving this orange glazed chicken with broccoli, stir fry broccoli with garlic, sea salt, pepper, and orange juice for a twist on broccoli.
  • Make orange chicken. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet and cook the chicken in batches so that it gets crispy, not soggy!
Fried chicken in skillet for orange chicken stir fry

TIP: Let the chicken cook undisturbed for a few minutes per side to get it browned and crispy.

  • Finish orange glazed chicken. Add first batch of chicken back to nonstick skillet and then toss with sauce and let cook for 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is thick and glossy.
  • Serve. Serve this healthy orange chicken recipe with rice and broccoli stir fry.

Orange Glazed Chicken FAQs:

Does orange chicken taste like orange?

Well, yes! In my orange glazed chicken, we’ve got two forms of orange flavor: orange marmalade and orange juice. The marmalade gives it a sweet, orange flavor and the orange juice adds a bright, fresh flavor.

Is orange chicken sweet?

Because this healthy orange chicken recipe is made with orange marmalade, it does have a sweet and citrusy flavor, which is why everyone loves it! The rest of the ingredients in the sauce balance out the sweetness, so I don’t think this version is too sweet.

Is orange chicken healthy?

Many Chinese restaurant versions of orange chicken are served with deep fried chicken, which would add fat and calories…not to mention making it at home would be a huge mess!

This healthy orange chicken recipe features stir-fried chicken, a homemade orange chicken sauce, and a bright and flavorful broccoli side dish. It’s everything you want (need!) in a meal.

Orange chicken vs. general tso…what’s the difference?

Orange chicken and general tsos chicken are very similar in that they are both American Chinese Restaurant chicken dishes that consist of deep-fried chicken tossed in a sweet and salty sauce.

Besides the commonalities of the soy, garlic, ginger flavors in both sauces, the big difference is that orange chicken is made with orange juice and general tsos is made with whole red chili peppers. General tsos is spicy and sweet; orange chicken is sweet, but not at all spicy.

Two bowls of healthy orange chicken stir fry with broccoli

How to Store Leftover Orange
Chicken with Rice:

Store any leftover orange chicken stir fry in the refrigerator for 3-4 minutes. Reheat in the microwave or a nonstick skillet until heated through.

I stored everything together in a glass storage container, but you could also store the components separately.

How to Serve Orange Chicken Stir Fry Recipe to the Whole Family:

This is a meal that makes one family meal nice and easy! (Aka, my kids loved this one!)

If you have younger kids, serve the rice, chicken, and broccoli in different sections of a plate, instead of mixed together in a bowl.

Serve with a glass of milk or some fruit if you aren’t sure how this will go over.

Bowl of orange chicken stir fry

Crispy Orange Chicken Nutrition + Substitutes:

If you want to swap out any of the ingredients and toppings, here are a few ways you can add even more nutrition into this meal:

  • More veggies – The recipe calls for stir-fried broccoli, but you could also make a big veggie stir fry with cauliflower, snow peas, shredded cabbage, or any Asian veggie mix.
  • Cauliflower rice – This easy swap adds more veggies into
  • Brown rice – I always recommend using whatever rice your family loves best, brown rice will have a little more fiber in it, and is also a whole grain.
  • Popcorn chicken – So this isn’t exactly adding more nutrition, but it’s definitely a kitchen shortcut that you can take. Simply bake popcorn chicken as directed and then toss with orange chicken sauce and serve.

Worried about orange chicken calories? I include 6 servings of rice for 4 servings of the meal, but you could cut down the portion of rice if you want.

More Easy Asian-Inspired Recipes:

If you like this orange chicken stir fry recipe with vegetables, you might also like some of my other Asian-inspired recipes:

  • Shrimp Stir Fry Noodles – Packed with fresh flavors, veggies, shrimp, noodles, and a flavorful sauce! Ready in just 30 minutes.
  • Thai Beef Noodles – This flavorful meal is ready in 20 minutes! Thai beef is served over noodles with a zippy lime sauce, cucumber noodles, and tons of fresh herbs.
  • Turkey Meal Prep with Peanut Sauce – This simple, 4-ingredient meal was designed for meal prep lunches, but it totally works for dinner, too! Made with just 4 ingredients from Trader Joe’s.
  • Ground Pork Stir Fry – This flavorful pork is topped with a simple, homemade peanut sauce – YUM! The pork is made with a secret vegetable that’s virtually impossible to detect.

Helpful Tools to Make Easy Orange Chicken:

  • Nonstick Skillet – It’s important that you cook this healthy orange chicken recipe in a nonstick skillet otherwise the chicken will stick to the pan. (Trust me, we learned this the hard way and it was a mess!)
  • Glass Storage Containers – Store any leftover orange glazed chicken in these containers that can go right from fridge to microwave.
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Bowl of orange glazed chicken with broccoli

Healthy Orange Chicken Stir Fry Recipe


Description

Everyone loves this family approved healthy orange chicken recipe! And you’ll love that this orange glazed chicken is ready in just 30 min.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 servings rice
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. cup vegetable oil (canola, avocado, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. + 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 oz. broccoli florets
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Instructions

  1. Prep ingredients:
    Make rice according to package instructions.
  2. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl. Toss chicken with cornstarch to coat. (Start with 1/4 cup.)
  3. Mix up orange sauce. In a medium bowl, mix together the orange marmalade, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of orange juice, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
  4. Make broccoli: Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add broccoli, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add orange juice to pan, cover, and cook another 3-4 minutes, until broccoli is tender-crisp. Remove cover and remove from heat.
  5. Make chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/2 of chicken to pan and let sit, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Flip pieces over and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set onto a plate. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil in pan and cook the rest of the chicken.
  6. When the second batch is done cooking, add the first batch back to the skillet and add orange sauce to pan. Stir to coat the chicken and let cook for 1-2 minutes, until sauce is thick and glossy.
  7. Serve over rice with broccoli on the side.


Keywords: orange chicken stir fry, healthy orange chicken recipe, orange glazed chicken

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Orange glazed chicken - pinterest

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Comments

  1. Joline

    Easy and delicious! Only had apricot jam on hand (instead of orange marmalade) and it was very tasty! Looking forward to trying with orange marmalade soon!

    • Emily

      Thanks so much, Joline! Appreciate you leaving a review and also the apricot jam substitution so that others can try it, too. 🙂