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!

Orange Chicken has to be one of my favorite Chinese dishes to order when we order takeout or visit a favorite Chinese restaurant. I’ve made it a few times at home, but decided that I wanted to make a skinny orange chicken recipe.

Orange Chicken Recipe | ©addapinch.com

You know, around the first of the year, that’s what seems to be on our minds. This lighter orange chicken recipe, or my Skinny Orange Chicken, is exactly what I had in mind! It’s so full of flavor and a favorite in my family!

Orange Chicken Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Skinny Orange Chicken

How to Make Skinny Orange Chicken

I begin with four skinless, boneless chicken breasts that I slice 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 toss my chicken into a skillet with a bit of oil. I use coconut oil as I want to make this recipe as Paleo-friendly as possible, but you can use olive oil, butter, or a combination of the two for a delicious flavor.

While the chicken is browning, I mix together the sauce for the chicken. While traditional orange chicken always calls for frying the chicken bites in a cornstarch batter, I omit 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 is browned, I remove it from the skillet as I cook the sauce to reduce it for the dressing. You are going to love the substitutions I made. It tastes so fresh and delicious!

Orange Chicken Recipe | ©addapinch.com

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

Skinny Orange Chicken Recipe

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!
4.68 from 34 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4
Course Main Course
Calories: 237kcal
Cuisine Chinese
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish optional
  • Broccoli recipe

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To serve, spoon chicken over a bed of broccoli and then spoon on additional sauce. Top with sesame seeds, if desired.

Notes

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 1/4 cup coconut aminos, use 1/4 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 464mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 12.7mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Orange Chicken makes a favorite Chinese dish. A lightened Orange Chicken recipe which is Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and grain-free, yet full of flavor! // addapinch.com

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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132 Comments Leave a comment or review

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

    1. 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! 🙂

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. If you can’t find coconut aminos and aren’t worried with making this as a Paleo-friendly dish, you can use soy sauce

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

  4. 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

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

    1. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Looking to go heather for 2014.

    Thanks,
    Donna

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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! 🙂

    1. 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!

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

    1. 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!!!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

    1. 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!

  20. We made this tonight and enjoyed it! We used soy sauce in place of the coconut aminos, and it was a little too salty, so next time I think we’ll do more honey and less soy sauce. We had it with a side of rice, which helped soak up a lot of the sauce and flavor. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Tried this last night and it was awesome. Not only is this extremely easy to make but the time invested is so minimal. It is packed with flavor that makes you enjoy each bite and look forward to the next. I added long grain brown rice for my boyfriend and the sauce soaked in there perfectly. It cures the “chinese food” cravings without the 1000 extra calories! I do not follow the Paleo diet so I used what I already had in my kitchen- olive oil & soy sauce. Thank you for helping us eat so well!

  22. Made this tonight and it was amazing. First time ever having and trying orange chicken. Thank you!

  23. I made this sauce with shrimp.
    I didn’t have a fresh orange, so just used the refrigerated OJ in the fridge and a splash of water instead of chicken stock.
    It was delicious orange shrimp!!!!!
    THANK YOU!

  24. Thanks for the amazing recipe! Had a quick question. Is there something you can substitute the Sriracha sauce? And does it effect the thickness? I don’t keep spicy stuff in the house because I don’t like my foods spicy. I made this last week and left it out. The flavor was fine for me, but it didn’t thickent. Did the Sriracha mess that up or could it have been something different. New to Paleo and New to Cooking!
    Thanks

  25. I am going to try this for my fourth of July dinner. However, I have not fried chicken without a breading. What is keeping the chicken from being burnt with being added directly to hot oil or not being done because you’re trying to keep it from cooking to long and being hard?

  26. I made this tonight and it was amazing! I’m not sure that siracha is paleo but it was fab nonetheless!! Thanks for posting this!! 🙂

  27. I didn’t have coconut aminos, either, but Tamari sauce is a gluten free soy sauce that can be substituted to be as close to paleo as you can. Great Recipe!!!!!

  28. This was so good. My boys (4&6) as well as my daughter (13) and hubby devoured this dish. I was hoping for leftovers for lunch but they ate every last bit!

  29. Making this tonight! I love everything you do, thank you so much! I try to do all my prepping while kids are in school so I have the chicken cut and the sauce made….curious if I can marinate? Thoughts?
    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks so much, Beckie! Yes, you can definitely marinate in the chicken in a bit of the sauce. It will just make it even better! Great idea!

  30. Two things: 1. I never buy sriatcha sauce as I never need it. It is necessary to the goodness that I’d orange chicken? 2. I’m confused on the arrowroot starch thickening paste. Some say TABLE spoons, you say TEAspoon. One girl said before the chicken, you say on the sauce. I’m a detailed gal, can you help me out? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this!

  31. Yummy! Had this as a pretty quick weeknight dinner for my boyfriend and I, I served with rice and had the broccoli on the side. I loved the fresh orange flavors and I didn’t miss the deep fried batter one bit 🙂 It also made for great leftovers!

  32. Made this for dinner tonight with leftover rotisserie chicken. Wow! So packed with flavor. I chose to halve the sriracha and leave out the red pepper flakes to lessen the heat. Will definitely be making again and again.

  33. All I can say is AMAZING!!! SOO DELICIOUS!!! I served it with cauliflower rice! Thanks for this AWESOME recipe Robyn!!

  34. This is an amazing recipe! Our little grand daughters gobbled it up, even the broccoli! I left out the heat for them. I would love to have the nutritional info if possible!

  35. I’m curious if anyone has ever tried this without any sugar? Would more oj work? Trying to make it whole 30. Seems like it would just be runnier…..maybe a few dates smashed? I do realize fruit is sugar but trying to be black and white on the rules

    1. Coconut aminos are a healthy substitute for soy sauce which is super high in sodium. If you can’t find at a store near you, it is sold on Amazon.

  36. I never really leave reviews. But I am on my day 11 whole 30. I made this recipe whole 30 compliant and it was amazing. I used three dates instead of the honey and I juiced two oranges for extra sweetness it came out really yummy! Thanks for the recipe

  37. LOVE this recipe!!! I made it for my mom and she request it every time she comes over:). Have you ever tried it in the crock pot? I wonder if the sauce would thicken….

  38. I made this tonight, it was awesome and much tastier than another paleo recipe on Pinterest I’ve tried (the other called for tomato paste). I skipped the broccoli and instead stir fried green and red peppers after the chicken and set it aside with chicken while the sauce reduced. I added half of the garlic and fresh ginger to the wok when cooking the chicken to get the flavors locked in! I also added salt and it was perfect. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  39. I first made this about 2 years ago, and for some insane reason I did not pin it! I have been looking for it for a long time but there are a lot of “Skinny Orange Chicken” recipes on Pinterest…but none are as good as this one! My family absolutely loves this meal and I will be making it tonight for dinner, yay! They will be so happy! Thank you for sharing a great recipe.

  40. How long does it usually take for the sauce to reduce? I have had it on low heat for a while and it’s not making much progress!

    1. Use a little arrowroot powder next time! It’ll thicken anything like cornstarch does, but it’s much cleaner.

  41. hi! thank you so much for the awesome recipe! I was at the grocery store and logged onto Pinterest, and came across your recipe via Paleo Running Momma! I just made your recipe ( tripled the sauce, cause I serve husband and two sons)! Best recipe ever! I added sliced green onion! thank you again!

    blessings,
    aimee

    1. I don’t have the calorie count for this dish, but there are several online websites, such as Calorie Count, that will calculate the calories in a dish for you. Glad you enjoyed it, Darren! Thanks!

  42. have diabetes and am trying some new sort of Banting diet. Am 68 and cook for husband and granddaughter. so hard to fix food they will like. am going to try the skinny orange chicken and the lo mein recipe. can you give me e-mail that is free where I can get more recipes? will post comment later this week. thanks, lovescooking

    1. Hi Mrs. Threadgill –
      I hope you enjoy the Skinny Orange Chicken and the Easy Lo Mein! My family enjoys them very much!
      If you join my Mailing List here on my website, you will get an email each time I post a recipe. Also, take a look at my Recipe Index, where you can see the various types of recipes here.
      I hope this helps you and that you find many recipes that you enjoy!
      Thanks so much!
      Robyn

  43. Just made this for the second time tonight! I’m so pleased with the taste of this healthy recipe. It’s quickly becoming a favorite. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s a favorite in my house as well, Camille! It’s wonderful that you enjoy it as well! Thanks so much! xo

  44. Made this last night and it was delicious. Had to stop myself from eating it all in one sitting. I’ve used other recipes but hands down this one is going to be my go to from now on. Looking forward to trying other recipes on the site now.

    1. Aww! I’m so glad you loved it, Lisa. It really is one of those dishes that I have to portion out to stop myself, too! 🙂 xo

  45. Hi Robyn,
    This looks wonderful, I was wondering what
    would you serve with this. Going to have
    company and would like to fix this.
    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes
    and the time you take to do this.
    Enjoy your day
    Linda

  46. Oh man, this is so good! The last orange chicken I made I added too much zest (I had no idea how to measure it and just packed it into the tablespoon! lol), and it was just overpowering until I added it to vegetables and rice. I froze my chicken breasts for a few hours to aid cutting and doubled the sauce. I would’ve preferred there be more sauce (maybe I reduced it too much?), but it’s worked out well so far in a mix of vegetables and rice. If I make this again, I think I’ll quadruple the sauce. If anyone else is wondering, I used zest from two average sized organic oranges and that was perfect.

    This is so good my boyfriend keeps sneaking spoonfuls from the fridge. 🙂 Thanks so much for the recipe!

  47. I didn’t care for this at all. I’m not sure if my adjustments made a difference but I used braggs instead of coconut aminos and used the juice of an orange instead of orange juice. I thought it was way to orange tasting. 

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t care for it, Savina. I do think your substitution could have made a difference. I always make this with coconut aminos, 1/4 cup orange juice and orange zest as indicated in the recipe. Is it possible your juiced orange was more juice than 1/4 cup? I’ve not used the product you mention in this recipe, so I can’t say what it tastes like with the other ingredients. Thanks!

  48. This has become my go-to recipe. I use soy sauce, 1/2 the siracha, & maple syrup along with the other ingredients and thicken it with a little cornstarch. Often, I’ll throw in a handful of raw cashews. My favorite is to replace the chicken with breaded popcorn shrimp and serve it over rice. That makes it not skinny and not as nutritious, but so yummy. Thanks for a great, versatile sauce.

  49. I am not very vocal but I do love your recipes and this website.
    But I am a certified nit-picker and little errors and quirks pop out at me.
    In your otherwise very good description of the process here, this line causes me a little consternation.

    “Once the chicken is browned, I remove it from the skillet “AS” I cook the sauce to reduce…”

    “AS” could mean “while” or “because”…

    I am only trying to be helpful. I am a great fan

  50. Great recipe with tons of flavor. I quadrupled the sauce and still not quite enough. Next time I will double that.

    1. I’m thrilled that you liked it Maria! I love the flavor in this recipe too! The sauce is delicious – you can definitely make more if you wish! Thanks so much! xo

  51. Hey I wanted to try this recipe out, just wondering hoe much exactly is a serving size? How many cups or ounces or ect? It looks great btw.

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