This Panda Express Orange Chicken consists of crispy chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. It's super easy to make at home!
Ingredients in this recipe
Here's what you need on hand for this orange chicken:
- canola oil
- chicken breasts
- green onions
- sesame seeds
- white rice
Orange chicken sauce
And here's what you need to make the sauce:
- orange juice & orange zest (from 1 orange)
- hoisin sauce
- rice vinegar
- garlic, minced
- orange zest
- ginger, minced
How to make orange chicken
It's super easy to make this orange chicken, and it tastes just like takeout! Here's how:
- Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- Add rice ingredients to a rice cooker and cook and prepare remaining ingredients.
- Toss chicken with cornstarch in a large bowl.
- Heat canola oil in a large skillet, then add chicken and stir fry for 6-7 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- Toss chicken with sauce once cooked.
- Serve chicken over rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve and enjoy!
- Chicken – To keep this dish healthier, I use boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you prefer dark meat, feel free to use boneless skinless thighs.
- Cornstarch – Good substitutes for cornstarch are arrowroot starch, tapioca, or potato starch.
- Cooking oil – You can use any high smoke point oil for stir frying. I use canola oil, but other options are avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil.
- Scallions – These are the popular choice for onions in most Asian dishes. You can substitute white onion if you need to.
- Honey – This adds sweetness to the sauce. If you need a substitute, you can use agave syrup or maple syrup. Just keep in mind that the flavor of the sauce will be a little different.
- Hoisin sauce – Hoisin is a combination of white vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and garlic paste. You can swap it out for a combination of teriyaki or soy sauce, plus a combination of either plum jam or bbq molasses.
- Rice vinegar – This is another popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. The taste is sweeter than traditional white vinegar. Either apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will work as well.
Tips to getting the perfect crispy chicken
There are two important keys to creating super crispy stir fry chicken.
- Coat the chicken in cornstarch. Cornstarch and other cooking starches react to heat, causing the food to become brown and crispy. You won't have those results if you use flour.
- Make sure the pan is VERY hot. If you own a stir-fry wok, I highly recommend that you use it to cook the chicken.
Woks are designed to heat up quickly and they retain heat really well. If you don't have access to one, you can use a traditional skillet. Just be sure to get it really hot before you add the chicken.
Making the rice
If you want to serve the chicken over rice, you will need to cook it separately. I like to use my rice cooker for this, but there are other cooking options as well.
- Stove top – To cook the rice in a pan on the stove top, just follow the package directions. It takes about 20 minutes for white rice to cook, or 40 minutes for brown or wild rice.
- Crockpot – This option is my least favourite because it's very easy to over cook rice in a slow cooker. Of course, this means the rice will be very sticky and gummy.
- Instant Pot – For super quick-cooking rice, make my Instant Pot rice recipe. You’ll have fluffy rice in less than 10 minutes!
Or, for a healthier option, consider making cauliflower rice instead!
Panda Express Orange Chicken calories
One reason that I like to make restaurant dishes at home is to save money, but even better than that are the calories you can save!
Using the ingredients shown in the recipe card below, one serving of this meal has 449 calories, including a one-half cup serving of cooked white rice.
In comparison, one serving of the fast food version from Panda Express has 490 calories, without the rice.
Storing and reheating
Any leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten or frozen within 5 days. Be sure to place them into an airtight container with a lid.
The best way to reheat orange chicken is in a skillet over medium heat. Microwaving tends to change the texture of the chicken.
Freezing this recipe
If you store the food in an airtight, freezer safe container, you can freeze the meal for up to 3 months. Because it doesn't require as long to reheat, I suggest storing the cooked rice separately.
More Panda Express recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into leftovers.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
Panda Express Orange Chicken
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
Orange chicken sauce
- 1/3 cup orange juice preferably from an orange
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Mix together sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Add rice ingredients to a rice cooker and cook.
- Toss chicken with cornstarch in a large bowl. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Once oil is smoking, add chicken and stir fry for 6-7 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- Toss chicken with sauce, then serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve and enjoy!