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Healthy Orange Chicken

Are you looking for a healthier alternative than Chinese takeout? This healthy orange chicken recipe is an easy, homemade dish that's incredibly delicious and more nutricious than takeout.

This is a plate for healthy orange chicken. The plate is filled with brown rice topped with orange chicken, broccoli, and orange slices. There is a pair of chopsticks on the side of the plate as well.

What is orange chicken?

Orange chicken consists of small chicken pieces, fried and coated in a thick sweet and spicy orange-flavored sauce. The dish is very popular at North American Chinese restaurants and is typically served with rice and paired with crab rangoons. On average, an order of orange chicken with fried rice at an American Chinese restaurant is about 800 calories per serving.

Healthy orange chicken

This healthy orange chicken is an easy, homemade, more nutritious alternative for restaurant-style orange chicken. This recipe is easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious. It’s full of flavor, packed with protein, and is more nutricious than take out! Each serving size is less than 300 calories and has 33 grams of protein.

What's better than the nutrition is that this healthy orange chicken tastes amazing and can be enjoyed so many ways! It’s perfect for meal prep on rice, with veggies, as a wrap, on a salad, or in a bowl. Gather the ingredients and let's get cooking.

This is a plate for healthy orange chicken. The plate is filled with brown rice topped with orange chicken, broccoli, and orange slices.

What ingredients do I need?

This recipe is easy! All you need to do is add chicken to the slow cooker, mix the sauce ingredients together, dump it over the chicken, and it'll be ready in a few hours. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast – This recipe calls for 2 lbs of chicken breast (or about 3 large ones). I’ve used raw and frozen chicken for this recipe and both work.
  • Corn starch - Before adding sauce to the recipe, you will coat the chicken breast pieces in some corn starch. Doing this will help thicken the sauce and help it coat the chicken.
  • Orange juice - To make a sweet sauce with orange flavor we will use orange juice as a primary ingredient.
  • Coconut aminos or soy sauce - To add a salty flavor to the sauce, mix in a little coconut aminos or soy sauce.
  • Honey - Adding in some honey will provide sweetness and a thicker consistency for the sauce.
  • Fresh ginger zest or ginger powder - Ginger adds such great flavor to an orange chicken recipe!
  • Orange zest - To really focus on the natural orange flavors in this recipe, we will add some orange zest. To avoid food waste, we will use the remaining orange slices as garnish.
  • Corn starch - This will thicken up the sauce as it cooks in the slow cooker.
  • Red pepper flakes - For a little extra spice, we will add some red pepper flakes.
  • Salt - Add salt (and pepper) to taste!
  • Minced garlic or garlic powder - Like ginger, adding some garlic will provide great flavor for the sauce.
  • Optional garnishes: green onions chopped, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, orange slices

What equipment do I need for this recipe?

The only equipment you need for this recipe is a slow cooker. All you need to do is dump everything into a slow cooker and let it cook!

What is the process?

  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.
  • Add ¼ cup corn starch to a bowl. Coat the chicken with the corn starch.
  • To make in a slow cooker:
    • Spray the slow cooker with a cooking oil.
    • Add the coated chicken cubes to the slow cooker.
    • Make the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
    • Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.
    • Cook on low for 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  • To make on a stove:
    • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cover the skillet with cooking spray. Cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internally.
    • Add half of the sauce mixture to the skillet and stir. After 30 seconds, turn the heat to low so that the chicken and sauce can simmer together for about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    • Repeat with the other half of the chicken and sauce.
  • Stir and serve with green onions, sesame seeds, and additional orange slices. Enjoy!

How should I eat this?

This healthy orange chicken can be enjoyed in so many ways! Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate the chicken:

  • Wraps
  • Rice
  • Salads
  • Quinoa
  • Bowls
This is a bowl of healthy orange chicken. The bowl is filled with brown rice topped with orange chicken, broccoli, and orange slices.

Looking for something similar?

If you love slow cooker recipes, try these recipes:

Can I have the recipe?

If you try this recipe and love it, please rate it and me know your thoughts! I hope you enjoy this healthy orange chicken as much as I do.

This is a plate for healthy orange chicken. The plate is filled with brown rice topped with orange chicken, broccoli, and orange slices. There is a pair of chopsticks on the side of the plate as well.
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

Healthy Orange Chicken

This healthy orange chicken recipe is an easy, homemade dish that's incredibly delicious and more nutritious than takeout.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: healthy orange chicken, orange chicken, slow cooker
Servings: 6
Calories: 295kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ¼ cup corn starch

Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger zest or ginger powder
  • 1 ½ tsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or garlic powder

Optional Garnishes

  • green onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • orange slices

Instructions

  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.
  • Add ¼ cup corn starch to a bowl. Coat the chicken with the corn starch.
  • To make in a slow cooker:
    Spray the slow cooker with a cooking oil. Add the coated chicken cubes to the slow cooker.Make the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl.Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  • To make on a stove:
    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cover the skillet with cooking spray. Cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internally. Add half of the sauce mixture to the skillet and stir. After 30 seconds, turn the heat to low so that the chicken and sauce can simmer together for about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Repeat with the other half of the chicken and sauce.
  • Stir and serve with green onions, sesame seeds, and additional orange slices. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 683mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




Emily

Monday 17th of January 2022

Amazing! Seriously, my picky kids who are addicted to Fast food Chinese takeout gave this a 10/10! I made extra for meal prepped lunches!

Helen

Monday 27th of December 2021

I’m so excited for a healthy new recipe! Look delish!

Dinah

Tuesday 28th of September 2021

First of all WAY TO GO JORDO! This blew me and my roommate away! The little spice with the lack of difficulty really knocked this one out of the park! I have not tried it in the crock pot but I’m sure it would take this to the next level of easy! In my opinion this was so much better than Panda Express!

Frances

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

This recipe was delicious! My whole family loved it!

Krista

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

Made this the other night and it was a hit! Great flavor and it hit the spot!! Great job Jordo!!!!! Keep the goodness coming!