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Orange Chicken

This easy, saucy Orange Chicken can be on the table in 30 minutes or less! The citrusy sauce tastes just like Panda Express -- it's sweet and tangy with a touch of spice.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Keyword Orange Chicken
Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 492kcal
Cost $7.25


  • 1 pound (16 oz.) frozen breaded chicken tenders Note 1
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, separated
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic Note 2
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup each: white sugar, light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1-2 large oranges (1/2 cup juice & 1-2 teaspoons zest)
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce (not lite)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • Optional: cooked rice (Note 3), for serving, additional red pepper flakes, green onions, toasted sesame seeds


  • CHICKEN: Start by preparing chicken tenders according to package directions (We like air frying them best -- they're done in about 11-12 minutes!). Let cool to warm and then cut into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl.
  • SAUCE: Meanwhile, set a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Then add in the brown sugar, white sugar, and 1-2 teaspoons orange zest (zest is optional -- we love it, but takes an extra minute, so you choose! Add more for a stronger orange flavor and less for a milder taste). Stir to moisten the sugar and then add in the orange juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Then add in the vinegar and soy sauce. Stir to combine.
  • THICKEN SAUCE: In a separate small bowl, use a small whisk or fork to mix the cornstarch and water until the mixture is completely smooth. Pour all of this mixture into the sauce and stir. Continue to cook the sauce until it thickens to the consistency of syrup. Taste and adjust the sauce to personal preference, adding more red pepper flakes for a spicier sauce or a pinch of salt if needed.
  • ENJOY: Pour as much sauce as you'd like over the cut-up chicken pieces (you may not want it all depending on how saucy or un-saucy you prefer your meal). Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil on top of coated chicken. Gently toss and serve immediately. We like to serve over cooked rice with sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions.



Note 1Chicken tenders: I use Tyson® Crispy Chicken Strips (not sponsored) which cook up in about 18 minutes (in the oven) or 11-12 minutes (in the Air Fryer). Make sure to cook them in the oven or air fryer, not the microwave. (We're after a crispy texture!) Not sure about using store-bought chicken tenders? We have a recipe for making homemade chicken in the "FAQ" section of the blog post.
Note 2: Garlic and ginger: To make prep seriously quick and easy, use pre-minced garlic and ginger paste. Alternatively, you can use Dorot® garlic and ginger cubes.
Note 3: Rice: Here's the quickest/easiest way to get perfect basmati rice (must use basmati for this to work!)
  • Fill a large pot with water and set it to boil.
  • Once the water is at a rolling boil, salt the water and add in rice.
  • Cook without, reducing the heat, for 6 minutes (Taste test to ensure it is tender.) and then drain and fluff with a fork. Easy!
Nutrition information does not include the optional rice, green onions or sesame seeds.


Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 956mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg