Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe

Orange Chicken has to be one of my favorite Chinese dishes that I order when we order takeout or visit a Chinese restaurant that I love when we happen to make it into the big city. I’ve made it a few times at home, but decided the other day that I wanted to try a skinny orange chicken.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe from

You know, the first of the year, that’s what seems to be on our minds and this recipe seemed just ripe for a little reworking.

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe from

I began with four skinless, boneless chicken breasts that I sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into bite-sized pieces. I find that they cook a lot more evenly that way and it saves a ton of time when cooking chicken in recipes like this. You’ll definitely want to make sure you are using a very sharp knife and I like to pop my chicken into the freezer for about 15 minutes as it makes them perfect for cutting, in my opinion.

I tossed my chicken into a skillet with a bit of oil. I used coconut oil as I was trying to make this recipe as Paleo-friendly as possible, but you can use olive oil, butter, or a combination of the two for great flavor.

While my chicken was browning, I mixed together the sauce for the chicken. While traditional orange chicken always calls for frying the chicken bites in a cornstarch batter. I omitted that part to reduce a few calories. Believe me, you won’t miss it once you taste the sauce on this chicken!

Once the chicken was browned, I removed it from the skillet as I cooked the sauce to reduce it for the dressing. You are going to love the substitutions I made. It tastes so fresh and delicious!

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe from

Here’s my Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe. I think you are going to love it. I know we sure do!

4.5 from 10 reviews

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
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Orange Chicken makes a favorite Chinese dish. Get this lightened up Skinny Orange Chicken recipe which is Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and grain-free, but definitely not free of flavor!
Serves: 4
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1½ teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish, optional
  • Broccoli recipe
  1. Melt coconut oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add in chicken pieces and cook until cooked through and browned, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. While chicken is cooking, stir together chicken stock, honey or maple syrup, garlic, orange zest, orange juice, coconut aminos, Sriracha sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes. Pour into heated skillet once chicken has been removed and reduce to low heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce has been reduced and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and pour over chicken.
  3. To serve, spoon chicken over a bed of broccoli and then spoon on additional sauce. Top with sesame seeds, if desired.
If not concerned with making this recipe Paleo-friendly, use the following substitutions:
For 1 tablespoon coconut oil, use butter or olive oil or a combination of the two
For ¼ cup coconut aminos, use ¼ soy sauce

If your sauce does not thicken as desired, you may add the following to assist in the thickening:
Mix 1 – 2 teaspoons of tapioca flour or arrowroot powder, if Paleo OR cornstarch, if non-Paleo, with the same amount of water to form a paste. Stir into the sauce well to thicken.


Are you interested in more lightened up favorites? Are you looking for more sugar-free, grain-free, or Paleo-friendly recipes? Please send me an email letting me know and I’ll be sure to include more of what you are looking for this year.

Love to you all!
Robyn xo

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About Robyn

A seventh generation Southern wife and mom who loves to share simple, fresh, and scrumptious recipes the whole family will enjoy.


  1. 1

    I know what I am making for dinner Tuesday night- this Orange Chicken recipe!

  2. 3

    yum! this looks fantastic! i love orange chicken and very much appreciate the healthy spin on the traditional fried version! :)

    • 4

      We actually love it even more than the fried version. I’m thinking I may have started something around here with lightening up some favorites! :)

  3. 5

    Mmmm, this sounds delicious and I love that you cook your chicken in coconut oil!

    • 6

      Since coconut oil has a high smoke point, it works great for recipes like this where you cook the chicken quickly. Hope you enjoy it.

  4. 7

    Drooling over here. Who needs takeout with easy recipes like this one?

  5. 9

    I love orange chicken and I know that it is so bad for me. I would love to try this recipe, but I’m not familiar with coconut aminos. If I can’t find it, is there any substitute that I can use?

  6. 12

    I too was wondering about coconut aminos – never heard of it. But definately going to try it – one of our favorite dishes. Janet/AZ

  7. 13
    mom@lthfarm says:

    Sounds yummy, Robyn! Hope to try soon! :)

  8. 14

    I am drooling over this dish Robyn!! Need to make it asap!

  9. 16

    Skinny or not this is absolutely gorgeous! Chicken is our go to around here and I’m always looking for ways to switch it up. Happy New Year!! xo

  10. 18

    What are coconut aminos?

    • 19

      Hi Kathleen,
      Coconut Aminos is a soy sauce substitute used for those who are allergic to soy or are making Paleo-compliant or friendly recipes since they do not use soy products. If you aren’t worried about either, you can just use soy sauce. If you are trying to be Paleo-friendly, you can find Coconut Aminos at grocery stores like Whole Foods, as well as online.

  11. 20

    I made this recipe tonight for my family’s dinner. It was AMAZING!!! Orange chicken is something I crave and order whenever I go to Panda Express. Let me tell you, hands down, this is a favorite for me and my husband!!! But the best part was that my children loved it, too!!!

    Thank you so much for all you do. Keep up the delicious recipes!

    • 21

      Oh my goodness! I’m so glad, Martha! Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for letting me know how your family enjoyed it! xo

  12. 22

    Ok, I made this last night for dinner. My family loved it! I didn’t have any coconut aminos, so I used low sodium soy sauce. My kids loved it and my husband took leftovers for lunch today! I was happy because not only was it simple to prepare and delicious, but it didn’t have rice or pasta in the dish. By the way, the photos in the post are beautiful.

  13. 24

    Do you have a recipe for the packets of onion soup mix sold in grocery stores?

    Looking to go heather for 2014.


  14. 26

    Robin, this looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try it!

  15. 27

    I made this tonight and it was delicious!

  16. 29

    I am seriously drooling over this. It looks like perfection!!

  17. 31

    Made this exactly like recipe (uses soy instead of coconut aminos) and it was absolutely delicious. Served over brown rice with side of broccoli. Orange sauce is light and fresh and very nice. I think this will be a new family favorite! Yummy!

  18. 33

    I love orange chicken. I am going to try it the next couple of days.

  19. 35

    I made this tonight and it was an amazingly good meal.

  20. 37

    I was wondering what can be used besides coconut, as I’m highly allergic to it, I can usually avoid coconut but I really want to make this…. any suggestions? BTW I’m new to the Paleo life.

    • 38

      If you are avoiding coconut, then you can use Ghee or grass-fed butter in place of the coconut oil and a low-sodium soy sauce in place of the coconut aminos, especially if you aren’t concerned with the recipe being strictly Paleo.

  21. 39

    Hi!! I made this tonight but my sauce never thickened. I used a stainless steel skillet. Could that have been the problem? Thanks!!

    • 40

      Hey, Laurel! Use 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (paleo-friendly alternative to cornstarch) before adding the chicken, and that should thicken the sauce for you. We had the same trouble, but this worked for us. Hope this helps!

  22. 41

    I made this and followed the recipe to the letter. The flavor was amazing! We loved it! But, my sauce never really thickened up, do you have any tips for that? I want to make it again!

    • 42

      Hi Sue,
      So glad you loved it! It is now one of my weekly staple recipes! Continue to cook the sauce maybe increasing the temp a wee bit and it should thicken fairly quickly.

  23. 43

    Robyn, this recipe looks great! I love this dish, but only eat it out. Maybe I’ll try it at home now. Thanks for sharing!

  24. 44

    I’m wondering what would you choose for the sweetener between maple syrup or honey? Do you find one tastes more like it goes with it the asian flavor? Thank you for your opinion because I really want to try this for my family! :-)

    • 45

      Hi Karly,
      I go back and forth between the two, but really think that the honey does lend more of an Asian flavor than the maple syrup. It also tends to make the sauce thicken more quickly when you reduce it. Hope your family loves it!

  25. 46

    any nutritional values available?

    • 47

      I recommend using Calorie Count for nutritional values as it will adjust for your serving size and any adjustments you might chose to make.

  26. 48

    How about adding when/where to use the ginger to the recipe?

  27. 49

    Hi, all.

    For those of you having trouble with the sauce not thickening, add 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (a paleo-approved alternative to cornstarch) before adding the chicken. And as Robyn suggests, be sure to keep the heat low. I hope this helps! Other than that, this recipe is delicious! We’ll certainly be making it ahead.

    Thank you, Robyn!

  28. 50

    Thank you so much for this! This is a great allergy friendly recipe for my son the whole family enjoys! We just leave the hot sauce out because it’s a little too spicy for my two year old.

  29. 52

    Hey there, your recipe looks delicious! I was wondering…after the chicken browns, do you think I could just throw everything into my slow cooker for a few hours?? Think there’s enough sauce?
    Thanks for your help!

    • 53

      Hi Adam,
      I’ve not done it that way, but I think it would work perfectly. It would give the sauce additional time to thicken with the chicken and all of those flavors to become even more pronounced. Let me know how it works for you!!!

  30. 54

    Made this today, tasted AWESOME!! But the sauce wouldn’t thicken. So I ended up just putting the chicken back in the pan and cooking it together so the flavor a would blend. Any tips? Will definitely make again!

  31. 55

    Fan-freaking-tastic! Easy and delicious! A nice change-up on all the chop suey-esque stir fries at our house! Pinned & definitely will make this again!

  32. 56

    I’ve made this recipe once a week since finding it and I absolutely love it! My only issue is my sauce won’t thicken. About how long do you usually simmer it for? Every time I’ve made it, it just won’t thicken up. Any ideas?

    • 57

      Hi Kelsey,
      Sorry it doesn’t thicken for you. If you are following a Paleo diet, you’d use tapioca flour or arrowroot powder to thicken it. If not, then cornstarch would work as well. Just about 1 or 2 teaspoons to equal amounts of water to form a paste and then add into the sauce. I hope that helps!

  33. 58

    Can’t wait to make this! Do you know the calorie breakdown per serving?

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