Gluten Free Orange Chicken
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Make THE BEST Orange Chicken recipe, that’s gluten free and easy to make in just 29 minutes! It’s healthy, more delicious than Chinese takeout, and features the most amazing orange chicken sauce.
My obsession with making my favorite Chinese foods gluten free started with this Gluten Free General Tso’s Chicken recipe. While General Tso’s and Orange Chicken are prepared similarly, the sauces are different. Orange sauce is sweeter and is not spicy. General Tso’s sauce is less sweet and more spicy. Chinese Honey Chicken is also prepared similarly, but with a different sauce where the main ingredient is honey.
Lucky for you, I have gluten free recipes for each of these delicious Chinese chicken dishes on the blog. So if you’re gluten free, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite Chinese restaurant favorites anymore!
To make a healthy orange chicken recipe, that’s also gluten free, instead of battering the chicken in flour, I batter it in cornstarch. And instead of deep frying the chicken, I stir fry it on the stove. I also use gluten free soy sauce to make the best orange sauce ever!
Out of all the recipes I’ve ever made on the blog, this is my brothers favorite recipe! The best part is, it’s made in just 29 minutes. It’s easy enough to whip up for dinner tonight!
Table of contents
- Orange – to make the best orange sauce, you’ll want to use both the zest and the juice from an orange. This gives it a nice tang and that bright, orange flavor. Since we’ll be zesting the outside of the orange, you want to find a bright orange, without any blemishes on the outside skin.
- White wine vinegar – in a pinch, you could also use rice vinegar.
- Gluten free soy sauce – also known as tamari, you’ll need this to make the orange sauce gluten free. If you’re not gluten free, you can use traditional soy sauce.
- Sriracha – this helps balance out the sweetness in the sauce. We like things on the spicier side at our house, so we always double the amount of sriracha in the orange sauce. Feel free to do the same for a nice balance of sweet and spicy!
- Garlic – fresh crushed cloves are always preferred for the best flavor.
- Ginger – I use ground ginger in the sauce, but if you happen to have fresh ginger on hand, feel free to grate that right into the sauce.
- Brown sugar – this will help sweeten the sauce and the batter for the chicken.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – you could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, if you prefer dark meat.
- Egg – used to batter the chicken.
- Cornstarch – also used to batter the chicken. I use cornstarch in this recipe, instead of flour, to make it gluten free.
- Olive oil – for pan frying the chicken, you can also use avocado, canola oil, or vegetable oil.
- Green onions + sesame seeds – these optional ingredients are great to add as a garnish on the orange chicken.
I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: prepare the orange sauce. In a medium bowl, combine fresh squeezed orange juice, white wine vinegar, gluten free soy sauce and sriracha. Add garlic, orange zest, ground ginger and brown sugar, stir to combine.
Step 2: crack an egg in a shallow dish and whisk the egg. Place bite size chicken breast pieces in the whisked egg and toss to coat the chicken in the egg.
Step 3: in another shallow dish, combine cornstarch and brown sugar. Move the chicken from the egg to the cornstarch mixture. Shake off any excess cornstarch, then place the chicken aside until it’s all battered.
Step 4: add olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and stir fry for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned on the outside.
Step 5: pour the sauce over the chicken, reduce the heat on the stove to medium-low.
Step 6: cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and is sticking to the chicken. Remove the chicken from the heat and garnish with diced green onions and sesame seeds, if you’d like.
Tips and tricks
- When battering the chicken, use one hand for the egg mixture and another for the cornstarch mixture. My Dad taught me this trick as a kid when we would make fried chicken together. If you use the same hand in the egg and the cornstarch, the egg from your hand will drip into the cornstarch. This can make the cornstarch mixture become clumpy.
- If you want to spice up this orange chicken recipe, you can do so in a couple of ways. First, you can add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or an additional teaspoon of sriracha to the sauce. Second, you can top the completed dish with red chili flakes or drizzle a little sriracha right on top.
- The orange sauce can be made ahead of time and either stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The sauce will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. To defrost the sauce, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it defrost for at least 12 hours in the fridge.
- The chicken can be deep fried for a more authentic orange chicken recipe. When deep frying, add 3 inches of oil to a large skillet. Heat the oil on the stove over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Once all of the chicken is fried, toss it in the orange sauce and serve.
How to store and reheat
- Leftover orange chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To reheat it in the oven, arrange the chicken in an even layer on a baking sheet. Heat the broiler on the oven to low. Place the chicken under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. This will heat the chicken and keep it crispy, without making it tough.
- You can also quickly reheat it in the microwave. Place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 2 minutes. Squeeze a little fresh orange juice on top after reheating the chicken. This gives it a fresh burst of flavor.
What to serve with it
Chinese Orange Chicken is commonly served with white rice. For a low carb option, serve the chicken with Cauliflower Rice or serve it in lettuce wraps. You can also serve it with steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, snap peas and cauliflower, or any of these Asian-style side dish recipes.
More gluten free Chinese recipes
Most Chinese food is not traditionally gluten free. But these recipes will help you easily make gluten free Chinese meals at home!
- Honey Walnut Shrimp – this classic Chinese dim sum dish is easy to make at home in only 25 minutes!
- Sweet & Sour Chicken Fried Rice – this recipe combines two Chinese restaurant favorites into one delicious gluten free meal!
- 20 Minute Kung Pao Chicken – Kung pao chicken is a spicy good time! You’re going to love this easy gluten free version!
- Chinese Lettuce Wraps – if you’ve ever been to PF Changs, I guaranteed you’ve tried their appetizer lettuce wraps! This is a healthier version of those, that’s just as flavorful and delicious!
- Sriracha Steak Fried Rice – this 15 minute one pan recipe is perfect for a gluten free weeknight meal! It’s super quick and easy to make!
- Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry – this popular Panda Express menu item is so easy to make in your own kitchen! And I promise it’s 10 TIMES better than Panda Express!
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Gluten Free Orange Chicken
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into large chunks
- 1 egg, whisked
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh green onions, chopped – garnish
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, garnish
- Prepare the sauce by combining the orange juice, white wine vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, orange zest, ground ginger and ¼ cup brown sugar in a medium bowl.
- Set the sauce aside.
- Prepare a shallow dish with the whisked egg and another shallow bowl with the cornstarch and 2 tbsp brown sugar.
- Place the chicken into the egg then lightly coat in the cornstarch mixture.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the breaded chicken.
- Cook 5-7 minutes, or until chicken begins to lightly brown.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Reduce heat to low and cook 8-10 minutes.
- Serve with rice, vegetables or lettuce for wraps.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
- This orange chicken recipe is sweet, to add some spice, add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or an additional tablespoon of sriracha to the sauce. You can also top the completed dish with red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha.
- To reheat this chicken in the microwave, place in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 2 minutes.
- To reheat this chicken in the oven, place in an even layer on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler on low in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
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