I’m SO excited to share this healthy orange chicken recipe with you! The inspiration for this orange chicken stir fry came from a menu plan 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.
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.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Table of Contents
- What is Orange Chicken Stir Fry?
- What You’ll Love About Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe
- Healthy Orange Chicken Ingredients
- How to Make Orange Glazed Chicken
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Storage Instructions
- How to Serve Crispy Orange Chicken to the Whole Family
- Substitutes + Nutrition
- More Asian-Ish Recipes
- Helpful Tools to Make Orange Chicken Stir Fry
- Pin this healthy orange chicken recipe for later!
What You’ll Love About Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe
- Delicious, fresh flavor
- Family friendly
- Ready in 30 minutes
- Made with simple ingredients
- Balanced and healthy meal
Healthy Orange Chicken Ingredients
The ingredients to make orange glazed chicken are pretty simple, and you probably have most of them already:
- Chicken thighs – Buy skinless boneless chicken thighs for best flavor. You can use chicken breasts, but the higher fat content in thighs works best.
- Cornstarch – You can also use flour or arrowroot powder.
- Vegetable oil – Use canola, avocado, etc.
- Orange marmalade – This is the base of the orange glaze and helps give it deep flavor.
- Soy sauce – You can use low-sodium soy sauce, but may need to adjust salt to taste.
- Orange juice – Use freshly squeezed or your favorite orange juice brand. You could also use orange juice concentrate.
- Rice vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Garlic – Use fresh or frozen for best flavor.
- Ginger – Use fresh or frozen or tubed ginger. (Since I don’t use ginger on a daily basis, I like to keep the frozen cubes in the freezer for when I need them.)
How to Make Orange Glazed Chicken
This simple orange chicken recipe comes together in 30 minutes for a quick and delicious dinner:
- Make rice.
- Prep chicken. Cut chicken (you can use a knife or kitchen shears) and toss with corn starch.
- Mix orange sauce. In a small bowl, mix together orange marmalade, soy sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, sesame oil, part of the garlic, and ginger.
- Stir fry broccoli. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and stir fry broccoli with garlic, sea salt, pepper, and orange juice.
- Make orange chicken. Heat oil over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet and cook the chicken in batches so that it gets crispy, not soggy!
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 and any extra pan sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
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. Like a honey orange sauce, it’s sweet and juicy!
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.
Store any leftover orange chicken stir fry in the refrigerator for 3-4 minutes.
I stored everything together in a glass storage container, but you could also store the components separately.
How to reheat
Reheat in the microwave or a nonstick skillet until heated through.
Can you freeze orange chicken?
How to Serve Crispy Orange Chicken to the Whole Family
I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉
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.
Substitutes + Nutrition
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 Asian-Ish Recipes
If you like delicious recipes like this orange glazed chicken stir fry, you might also like some of these other Asian-inspired recipes:
- Ground Pork Stir Fry
- Ground Turkey Stir Fry
- Pepper Steak Stir Fry
- Udon Noodle Stir Fry
- Shrimp Stir Fry Noodles
- Thai Beef Noodles
- Turkey Meal Prep with Peanut Sauce
Menu Plans by My Everyday Table can help you out.
The plan addresses three major issues when it comes to weeknight dinners: having a plan, time, and one family meal.
You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and feel calm when 5pm hits because your dinner is already planned.
Helpful Tools to Make Orange Chicken Stir Fry
- 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.
Everyone loves this kid friendly orange glazed chicken recipe! This healthy orange chicken stir fry is quick, easy, + ready in just 30 min.
- 6 servings rice
- 1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs (skinless, boneless)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. 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
- 3 cloves minced garlic, divided
- 2 tsp. minced ginger
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 12 oz. broccoli florets
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Prep ingredients:
Make rice according to package instructions.
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl. Toss chicken with cornstarch to coat. (Start with 1/4 cup.)
- 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, 2 cloves of the garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
- Make broccoli: Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add broccoli, remaining 1 clove of 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve over rice with broccoli on the side.
Keywords: orange chicken stir fry, healthy orange chicken recipe, orange glazed chicken
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