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.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (4)

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)


Is it better to bake chicken low and slow or high and fast? ›

Question: When I cook chicken, it always comes out tough. Am I cooking it too long, too short, too high or too low? The slower you cook chicken, the better. That's the overall rule for cooking protein.

What is the secret to cooking chicken? ›

Chicken breasts must be at room temperature before going in the pan as cold chicken can cook unevenly and tends to be tough. Allow the chicken breast to sit out for 20 minutes. That should do the trick. One of my favorite pieces of kitchen gear is a cast iron pan.

Is orange chicken healthy to eat? ›

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.

How to thicken orange chicken sauce? ›

To thicken the sauce, pour it into a small saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to make a cornstarch slurry. Once the sauce starts to bubble in the pan on the stovetop, add the cornstarch slurry and stir to combine.

Is it better to bake chicken at 350 or 400? ›

You can roast or bake anywhere between 325 and 450 degrees F. When roasting a whole chicken, a nice rule of them is to start at 400 to 425 degrees F and then turn the oven down to 350 after 15 minutes and cook until the internal temp of the chicken is 165 – 175 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

How long to bake chicken in the oven on 350? ›

The right temperature and time
Type of chickenWeightRoasting: 350°F (177˚C)
breast halves, bone-in6 to 8 oz.30 to 40 minutes
breast halves, boneless4 oz.20 to 30 minutes
legs or thighs4 to 8 oz.40 to 50 minutes
drumsticks4 oz.35 to 45 minutes
1 more row

How do you keep chicken moist in the oven? ›

The secret? The parchment paper method. By covering the chicken with a piece of parchment paper, the chicken bastes in its own juices so they never dry out. It's basically a cross between braising and roasting and is sure to become one of your new favorite ways to cook chicken.

What is the secret to moist chicken? ›

There are three key tricks: tenderize, marinate, and controlled cooking time. When you use all three of these methods, you will have succulent, moist chicken every time, and you can apply these strategies to other cuts of meat as well.

What should you season chicken with? ›

Spices: Garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and cumin add savoriness and flavor to the chicken. Spices like paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and Cajun seasoning add heat and smokiness to the chicken.

What is the healthiest Chinese food to order? ›

14 Healthiest Chinese Food Dishes, According to Registered...
  • Moo Goo Gai Pan.
  • Szechuan Tofu. ...
  • Shrimp with Broccoli in Garlic Sauce. ...
  • Chicken with Bok Choy. ...
  • Beef and Broccoli. ...
  • Spring Rolls. ...
  • Steamed fish with ginger, scallions and soy sauce. ...
  • Chicken with green peppers.
Aug 31, 2022

Why is my orange chicken soggy? ›

Whether Orange Chicken is baked or fried, it can get soggy if left to sit for too long once combined. To prevent soggy chicken, serve immediately or store the chicken and sauce separately, then combine when reheating.

What is orange chicken sauce made of? ›

How to make the orange chicken sauce. The orange sauce is made from a mixture of the orange juice and zest, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and rice vinegar. This is bubbled up in the wok until slightly thickened. The chicken is then added back in, and tossed in the sauce until fully coated.

What is a substitute for orange juice in orange chicken? ›

Lemon juice is a great all-around orange juice substitute. It can be used in just about any cooking or baking application. If you are worried about the tartness consider using a Meyer lemon. You can also increase the sweetness of the dish by adding honey or simple syrup (sauces) or added sugar.

Should you cook chicken quickly or slowly? ›

Is it better to cook chicken slowly? Chicken is a very versatile and lean meat with little fat or sinew, so it doesn't need long cooking for it to become tender. Both quick high heat methods such as frying, and low, slow cooking are suitable.

Should you bake chicken on low or high heat? ›

While some recipes recommend baking chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, go for anything between 375 to 450 degrees to seal in the juices. The only exception here is if you're making just chicken thighs — in that case, avoid cooking them with high heat so you don't immediately burn the skin.

Is chicken better cooked low and slow? ›

Long and slow produces a more tender finished product. You want to bring your crockpot up to temp quickly even when you are going to cook at low. For optimal results, it's generally recommended to cook chicken on the low setting in a crockpot.

Does cooking chicken low and slow make it more tender? ›

So … Yes, chicken breast will become softer and more tender the longer it is cooked, provided it is cooked at a low enough temperature. If it is cooked at too high of a temperature, the chicken breast will become dry and tough.


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