See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

This Orange Chicken has tender bites of chicken in a sweet and savory orange chicken sauce. It’s quick and easy to make and much healthier than takeout!

If you like this orange chicken recipe you might also enjoy these easy chicken recipes: Lemon Chicken, Chicken Stir Fry and Pineapple Chicken.

Orange chicken in skillet garnished with orange wedges.

Why You’ll Love this Orange Chicken

  • Best Orange Chicken Sauce. Made with fresh orange juice and orange zest, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce, this sauce is packed with flavor! Red pepper flakes add a little spice which nicely contrasts with the sweet orange flavors.
  • 30 Minute Dinner. This recipe is quick and easy to make! Start to finish you can have it on your table in 30 minutes or less.
  • Healthy Recipe. Instead of frying the chicken pieces, they are sautéed in just 1 tablespoon of oil. By skipping the frying, this orange chicken is easier and less messy to make, as well as healthier.
Orange chicken served over white rice and garnished with orange slices, sesame seeds and green onions.

Want to make this recipe in the Instant Pot or slow cooker? Try Instant Pot Orange Chicken or Slow Cooker Orange Chicken.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for orange chicken recipe.
  • Orange Zest and Juice: Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best flavor. A microplane is an inexpensive kitchen tool that’s perfect for zesting oranges and other citrus fruits. One large orange or two medium oranges should provide enough juice for this recipe.
  • Soy Sauce: I recommend low sodium soy sauce to ensure that the dish doesn’t turn out too salty.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness to the sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds tanginess to balance out the sweet.
  • Cornstarch: The cornstarch makes the sauce thicken when you pour it into the hot pan.
  • Fresh Garlic and Ginger: These bring lots of flavor to the orange chicken.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Adding a bit of spice to the sauce gives it delicious flavor complexity. You can adjust the amount to your tastes, or omit the red pepper flakes if you are sensitive to spice.
  • Oil: Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil, avocado oil or canola oil when browning the chicken.
  • Chicken: Both chicken breasts and chicken thighs work well in this recipe.
  • Salt and Pepper: To season the chicken.

Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

How to Make Orange Chicken

Making this orange chicken is as simple as mixing up the sauce, browning the chicken and then adding the sauce to the skillet. It couldn’t be easier!

Make the orange sauce. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl.

Orange chicken sauce in a liquid measuring cup with a whisk.

Cook the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken pieces and cook them on the first side for a few minutes until browned. Then flip the chicken pieces over and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.

Cooking chicken pieces in a cast iron skillet.

Add the sauce. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the chicken. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Orange sauce added to skillet with chicken.

Serve, garnished with chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds, if desired.

Orange chicken in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon with oranges, rice, sesame seeds and green onions around the skillet.

How to Add Vegetables

You can easily add vegetables to this orange chicken recipe. There is enough sauce to coat the chicken as well as 3-4 cups of chopped veggies. Vegetables that work well in this recipe include broccoli, snap peas, snow peas, bell peppers, bok choy and asparagus.

To add veggies to this orange chicken recipe:

  • First, cook the chicken. Then remove it to a clean plate.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and then add your vegetables. Add firmer veggies, like carrots and broccoli, to the pan about 2 minutes before quick-cooking veggies, like bell peppers or zucchini. Sauté the vegetables until just crisp-tender.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan, along with the sauce. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until the sauce thickens.

Make Ahead Instructions

You can prep the recipe components ahead of time to save time later on when you’re ready to cook dinner:

  • The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Wait and add the cornstarch when you’re ready to cook the orange chicken.
  • You can cube the chicken up to 1 day ahead of time and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • Leftover orange chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Close up of orange chicken on a wooden spoon set in skillet.

What to Serve with Orange Chicken

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Looking for more dinner ideas? Try one of these chicken recipes next!

Like this recipe? Pin it to Pinterest!

Close up of orange chicken in a skillet garnished with orange wedges.
5 from 2 ratings

Easy Orange Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This Orange Chicken has tender bites of chicken coated in a sweet and savory orange sauce. It's ready in just 30 minutes and perfect for a busy weeknight. Serve the chicken with rice and a green vegetable for a quick, tasty dinner.


  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, from 1 large orange
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice, from 1 large orange
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you like spicy
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooked rice, for serving
  • chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds, optional, for serving


  • Combine the orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let the chicken brown on the first side for a few minutes and then flip, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. (This will take about 7-10 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Thighs take a bit longer to cook through than chicken breasts.) If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Whisk the sauce again to make sure everything is well combined and then pour the sauce into the pan with the chicken. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve chicken and sauce over rice, topped with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.


  • While using fresh ginger will give you the best flavor, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger if you don’t have fresh available.
  • Nutrition information estimate calculated for recipe made with boneless, skinless chicken breast and does not include rice.
  • Leftover orange chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Serving: 1/4 recipe, Calories: 297kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 776mg, Potassium: 784mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 136IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: Chinese
Course: Main Course
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