If you enjoy Chinese takeout, you will love this 30 Minute Healthy Orange Chicken recipe. You can savor the flavor of your favorite dish without all the extra calories and high sodium levels. This delicious chicken tastes great and is good for you too!

When you order Chinese takeout, do you often get the orange chicken? You may love the sweet taste of the chicken with some of your favorite sides, such as mixed vegetables, chow mein, or even rice. Although you like orange chicken, you probably know that the takeout food is not the healthiest option.

The good news is that you can make Healthy Orange Chicken at home. It is better for you, tastes good, and will save you money from ordering out. You can serve the chicken with cauliflower rice, white rice, or even a side of vegetables, such as seasoned cabbage and broccoli.

What You’ll Need to Make the Healthy Orange Chicken

You can get started on making the Healthy Orange Chicken when you have the following ingredients at home:

  • Chicken Breast. Cut your chicken breast into bite-size pieces.
  • Fresh Orange Juice. The orange chicken gets its sweet taste from orange juice. Use any brand and style that you have in your fridge.
  • Soy Sauce. The soy sauce mixes with the orange juice to create the perfect marinade for the chicken.
  • Chili Garlic Sauce. You will need to have the chili garlic sauce when preparing the sauce over the cooked pieces of marinated chicken.
  • Brown Sugar. Give your sauce that extra touch of sweetness by adding brown sugar to it.
  • Red Chili Flakes. If you would like to give your chicken a slight kick, you will want to add the red chili flakes to the sauce.
  • Sesame Seeds. The sesame seeds get sprinkled on top of the chicken after you have coated it with the sauce.

Several other ingredients needed include salt, baking soda, black pepper, garlic, ginger, cornstarch, orange zest, and oil. You will also need cooked rice and steamed broccoli to prepare the full meal.

How to Make Healthy Orange Chicken

The first thing you need to do is chop your chicken breast into small pieces and then add it to a bowl with all the marinade ingredients.

Mix it all and leave the chicken to marinate for at least 10 minutes, although you can allow it to marinate much longer than that if you have the extra time.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce for the chicken by combining your orange juice, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, orange zest, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and red chili flakes. Continue to whisk until you have blended the ingredients and put your sauce off to the side. 

Grab a skillet, add oil to it, and then place the chicken on top of the oil. Cook the chicken on a medium flame for about five minutes on each side, making sure it is cooked to perfection.

Pour the sauce over the chicken, stir the ingredients, and allow it all to simmer together on the stove for an additional five minutes.

The result is this delicious super sticky orange chicken that tastes 1000x better than the fried stuff. Serve your Healthy Orange Chicken with rice and broccoli or with your favorite sides!

How to Store the Healthy Orange Chicken

Place your Healthy Orange Chicken leftovers in a food storage container. You can use a plastic or glass container. Put the chicken in the fridge and keep it there for as long as three days. You can also freeze the orange chicken for six months if you want to prepare large batches and save some for later.

More Delicious Healthy Take-Out Recipes

4.73 from 54 votes

Healthy Orange Chicken

30 Minute Healthy Orange Chicken recipe without all the extra calories and high sodium levels. This delicious chicken tastes great and is good for you too!
Prep15 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Servings 4 people


To marinate the chicken

To make Orange Sauce

  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp  orange zest
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp  sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp green onions chopped
  • 1 cup cooked rice, to serve
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, to serve


  • In a medium-size bowl combine all the ingredients under the “to marinate chicken” section and mix it thoroughly and marinate the chicken for at least 10 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl combine orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, cornstarch, orange zest, garlic, ginger, red chili flakes, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk it until the sugar dissolves and keep the sauce mixture aside.
  • Heat a wide skillet; add oil and once the oil is heated add the marinated chicken pieces to it.
  • Cook on a medium flame for 4-5 minutes and flip the chicken pieces to the next side and cook for 5-6 more minutes until the chicken is cooked perfectly.
  • Stir in the prepared sauce mixture to the skillet and cook the chicken along with the sauce uncovered for 5 minutes.
  • The sauce will start to thicken and everything comes together. In this stage add the sesame seeds and green onions.
  • Serve the orange chicken along with rice and veggies.



Nutritional data is for 1/4th of the sesame chicken dish excluding rice and broccoli. 


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 257kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 1219mg, Potassium: 562mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 204IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: healthy, orange chicken, sesame chicken
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  1. Sorry to hear that! Yes, add the chicken with the marinade may have been the issue. Next time, I would half the black pepper.

  2. This was so good, thanks for the recipe!! And honestly pretty quick to throw together. We served it with some sautéed noodles and veggies

  3. My family and I have this in our weekly rotation and we love it!! I love preparing it because it comes together very easy. I didn’t have rice vinegar so I substituted apple cider vinegar (no one could tell the difference). 10/10 recommend making this healthy (& cheaper) alternative to take out!!

  4. I added honey about 2 tbsp and I also added about a 1tbsp of sweet chili sauce and instead of oranges I used fresh tangerines 🍊 the recipe came out delicious 🤤

  5. I added honey about 2 tbsp and I also added about a 1tbsp of sweet chili sauce and instead of oranges I used fresh tangerines 🍊 the recipe came out delicious 🤤

    1. Thank you for your lovely review. I’m so happy you loved it!

  6. So delicious! Definitely going on the rotation. 😁

  7. Fantastic, although I will only use half the black pepper when doubling (for 8 servings).

  8. Flavor was good but My sauce didn’t turn out as dark or as thick. Any idea what I could have done wrong? I followed the recipe to a T minus the chili sauce because my 1 year old was going to be eating as well.

  9. One of my kids has a peanut allergy so going out for Chinese food is not a good option for us. This recipe completely hit the mark! Both of my kids loved it and requested THIRDS and they are not adventurous eaters. Will be making this again very soon!

  10. Very good. I followed the recipe exactly, so next time I’ll reduce the chili sauce because I think it over powered the orange flavor.

  11. This is very good. I would cut back on the fresh ginger though, it was a little too hot.
    The is no way, what-so-every to do this in 30 minutes. My son and I both worked on this together- he made the sauce and I did the chicken and marinade. It took us over an hour to get everything cut up, grated, chopped, measured.
    Maybe, if you had everything ready to dump in the bowls, already chopped, zested, grated, chopped, sitting around in little ramekins ready to go by the recipe, it might take 15 minutes top prep and 15 minutes to cook. It is very misleading to think you can get it done in 30 minutes. It takes the rice at least 12 minutes, and you have to get that ready as well.
    Good taste, but time consuming to make.

    1. …not to mention cleanup time! Definitely not a quick, weeknight meal.

  12. Hi! I have a sensitive smoke alarm. Is there a recommendation for a baking method? Thanks!

  13. Doubled the recipe w/no problem. Absolutely delicious without the Chili sauce and pepper flakes. Chicken was so tender and flavorful. ( marinated it for @40 min).I offered sauce and flakes at the table. Teenagers wolfed it down, retirees wolfed it down so everyone was happy. TY

  14. I’ve made MANY orange chicken recipes and most require battering the chicken and are high on sweet and low on actual orange flavor. This recipe is fantastic! It’s brightly flavored, and doesn’t use much sugar or oil. Will definitely become part of my repertoire and thanks so much for sharing it!

  15. Made this for the first time and it was delicious!
    Will definitely make this again!

    1. This was awesome. I didnt have soy sauce, so I used basalmic vinegar and only used half the amount it said to use for the soy sauce. It didnt seem to have alot of orange flavor, but I didnt miss it.

  16. This is the most delicious orange chicken recipe that I have found! Pretty much every other on has so much sugar and not near enough spice. I made a double batch of sauce and made both the chicken and a crispy cauliflower version (as we are trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our routine) Even my 15 year old Panda Express loving teen absolutely loved it. Definitely a keeper!!

  17. Really great recipe! I cut down on the rice vinegar and brown sugar, added a tiny bit of sesame oil to the chicken when cooking. Served with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. Such great flavor wow! Thank you for sharing 🙂