Rating: 4.5 stars 4.4
2093 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1352
  • 4 star values: 504
  • 3 star values: 161
  • 2 star values: 42
  • 1 star values: 34

This orange chicken recipe is sticky, sweet, and delicious. It tastes similar to the orange chicken from a popular Chinese restaurant in the mall! It's easier to make than you think for delicious takeout at home.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
20 mins
2 hrs 10 mins
2 hrs 50 mins

You don't have to go out to enjoy delicious, Asian-inspired cuisine! Make your own orange chicken at home with this top-rated recipe. Over 1,300 Allrecipes community members have rated this recipe 5 stars, so you already know it's going to be great!

Have some rice on deck because you won't be able to resist the temptation of immediately biting into this sweet and sticky chicken.

What Is Orange Chicken?

Orange chicken is a popular item at Chinese restaurants. It consists of small cubes of chicken that are breaded, pan-fried, and coated in an orange sauce. 

The orange sauce is sweet with a little tang and a hint of spice. It's mainly known for its orange flavor (as you can guess from the name). It's typically made with orange juice and orange zest to achieve the citrus flavor.

Is Orange Chicken Chinese?

Even though you see orange chicken at Chinese restaurants in America, it's not a typical Chinese dish. Instead, it was popularized by American Chinese restaurants — alongside General Tso's chicken, which is also not traditional Chinese food.

How to Make Orange Chicken

You'll find the full step-by-step recipe below, but here's what you can expect when making orange chicken:

Make the Sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let cool. Once cool, transfer to a zip-top bag with chicken and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Make the Chicken

After the chicken is marinated, coat it in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook it in a skillet until it's brown on both sides.

Combine Sauce and Chicken

Add the sauce to an empty skillet and bring it to a boil. Add cornstarch and water (to thicken it), then the chicken pieces. Let it simmer until everything is combined.

How to Store Orange Chicken

Store orange chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for three to five days. Reheat the chicken in a skillet — you may need to add water to fix the sauce's consistency.

How to Freeze Orange Chicken

Freeze orange chicken in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag for up to three months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I made this for my family and got raves. I didn't have any green onions so I left onion out and I cut back a little bit on the red pepper flakes. It was so good. I served it with brown rice and it was perfect. I didn't have any leftovers even though I used 4 chicken breasts. I will definitely be making this again," according to Carol.

"LOVED this recipe. Time intensive, but worth the effort. I used fresh oranges and lemons for juice. I made brown rice and stir fried snow peas, broccoli flowers, grated carrots, and diced red peppers. Rice went on the plate first, followed by the veggies, then the chicken, and last the sauce. Delish," raves jenvan.

"My family, even my 13 year old grandson, loved it. The only change was the marinating for 2 hours. It was a last minute dinner idea and I didn't have 2 hours so I put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and it worked out fine. Next time though I will cook the chicken in small batches as it didn't all get as crispy as I would have liked," says Firebird91.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water, rice vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, and orange juice for sauce into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, green onion, orange zest, ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag. Pour in 1 cup cooled sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Reserve the remaining sauce.

  • Mix flour, salt, and pepper in another resealable plastic bag.

  • Remove chicken from the marinade and place into the bag of seasoned flour. Seal the bag and shake to coat.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in the hot skillet until browned on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and cover with aluminum foil. Wipe out the skillet.

  • Pour reserved sauce into the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  • Mix together cornstarch and water until completely smooth. Stir into the boiling sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the chicken, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

445 calories; protein 17.8g; carbohydrates 68.7g; fat 11.2g; cholesterol 34.2mg; sodium 762.8mg. Full Nutrition