Healthier Copycat Orange Chicken

Looking for a healthier version of your favorite Chinese takeout dish? Look no further than this copycat Orange Chicken Recipe. Made with fresh ingredients and without any added preservatives or artificial flavorings, this recipe is not only delicious but also good for you. Plus, with easy-to-follow instructions, you can make this dish right at home in no time. So say goodbye to greasy takeout and hello to a healthier version of Orange Chicken.

round white plate of copycat orange chicken beside steamed broccoli

Copycat Orange Chicken

Copycat recipes are my favorite since they mean I can enjoy something I love without spending a lot of money at a restaurant. While this is similar to many restaurant options, it is also unique. The combination of honey and fresh orange juice gives the sweet citrus you expect, and a bit of garlic and ginger really adds warmth to the recipe.

white plate of orange chicken with broccoli


For full measurements of ingredients, check the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken breasts
  • Broccoli
  • Sesame oil
  • Orange juice
  • Chicken broth
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sesame seeds
orange chicken topped by sesame seeds on plate with broccoli

How to Make Orange Chicken

Start by preparing your chicken. I recommend using boneless skinless chicken breasts, but thighs can also work if you prefer. Cut them into 1/2″ to 1″ chunks. Season them with salt, black pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. Set them aside.

Now, add the sesame oil to a skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the chicken, and cook it, stirring regularly, until cooked through. You want the pieces to be nicely browned. Usually 8 to 12 minutes, depending upon the size of the pieces.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your sauce. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, salt, and black pepper. Taste, and adjust if needed with more orange juice or honey to sweeten.

Once it is cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet, and then pour the sauce you made into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes, or until it is thickened to your preference.

Add the chicken back to the pan with the sauce, and stir to coat and heat back through.

Serve this with your favorite sides and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.

white plate of orange chicken and broccoli on striped napkin on wood table

What do I serve with orange chicken?

This copycat orange chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes. For a traditional Asian meal, you can serve it alongside steamed white rice, fried rice, or lo mein noodles. Green beans, stir-fried vegetables, and/or egg rolls are additional ideas.

For a heartier meal, consider pairing the orange chicken with roasted potatoes, quinoa, or even mashed potatoes.

To provide additional flavor, add some hoisin sauce or a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. You can also serve it with a salad for a light and healthy meal. The combination of crunchy vegetables, fresh greens, and tangy orange chicken is sure to be a hit.

How should I store leftovers?

Leftover orange chicken should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to three days. If you plan on eating it later, store the cooked chicken separately from the orange chicken sauce until you are ready to reheat them together.

You can also freeze cooked orange chicken for up to three months. To ensure food safety, make sure that the chicken has cooled completely before putting it in the freezer. When you are ready to use them, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them in a skillet or microwave.

plate of copycat orange chicken and broccoli


Is orange chicken healthy to eat?

Traditionally, orange chicken is not considered healthy. It is loaded with sugar and is deep-fried. With this delicious copycat version, not only is it lighter because there is no deep frying, but it also decreased the amount of sugar that is used to make the orange chicken sauce. That makes healthy orange chicken a better version much better to eat whether you are looking to eat better or just looking for a delicious meal.

Can I make orange chicken with chicken thighs?

This recipe can definitely be made with chicken thighs. I tend to use chicken breast because it is lower in fat and calories than chicken thighs. Although I know that many people like to use chicken thighs instead because they are said to be more flavorful and juicy. If you use chicken thighs, remember that the cooking time my be different than chicken breast.

Can healthy orange chicken be made ahead and frozen?

Yes, this healthy orange chicken can be made ahead and frozen. To freeze, cook the chicken as directed, and allow it to cool completely before adding it to an airtight container or freezer bag. Label the bag with the contents and date. This can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

When you are ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it in a skillet or microwave. You can also freeze the cooked orange chicken with its sauce for an even faster meal.

If you like this recipe, then check out my cookbooks. I’ve created 4 books filled with delicious recipes that are easy to make, packed with flavor, and ideal for a new cook!

Copycat Orange Chicken
Yield: 4

Copycat Orange Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Make this copycat orange chicken in no time as a tasty weeknight meal that is healthier than takeout but still packed with flavor.


For chicken

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

For orange sauce

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For serving

  • 2 tbsp Sesame seeds


  1. Prepare the chicken by cutting boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs into 1/2" to 1" pieces. Season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, then set aside.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a skillet or wok on medium. Add the chicken and stir often until it’s cooked and browned, about 8 to 12 minutes.
  3. While the chicken cooks, make the sauce. Mix orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Adjust taste with more orange juice or honey if needed.
  4. Take the chicken out of the skillet. Pour the sauce into the skillet, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until it thickens.
  5. Put the chicken back in the skillet with the sauce, and stir to coat and warm it up.
  6. Serve with sides and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.


  • Use maple syrup or agave syrup in place of honey if preferred.
  • Replace chicken breasts with chicken thighs if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1590mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 39g

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