Looking for a healthy orange chicken recipe? A lot of us love orange chicken for it’s sweet, tangy, gooey sauce.
If you’re not familiar with it, orange chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish that features bite-sized pieces of chicken that are typically battered and deep-fried until golden and crispy, then coated in a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy orange sauce.
Traditional preparations of orange chicken involve battering and deep-frying the chicken pieces. And they usually add a significant amount of sugar. This healthier version, is light on sugar, and doesn’t use batter, and skips the frying so it’s high in protein and can fit into a healthy diet.
This is Skinnytaste.com’s healthier version to satisfy your craving.
Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe Variations
I love taking popular fast food takeout dishes like this Orange Chicken and making them over! You have so much more control of what you’re consuming when you cook your own food. Chinese Orange Chicken is usually battered and deep fried, not a dish I would order because I’m not a fan of fried sweet dishes, but I was happy to tackle a lighter version. My solution was to skip all that frying, and make a flavorful orange sauce to simmer with chunks of lean chicken breast.
Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe
For the Orange Sauce:
• ▢1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
• ▢1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
• ▢2 tbsp soy sauce, Tamari for gluten-free
• ▢2 tbsp white or brown sugar, or sugar substitute
• ▢1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
• ▢1 tbsp sriracha, or more to taste
• ▢1 tbsp rice vinegar
• ▢1/4 teaspoon white pepper
• ▢2 teaspoons corn starch
For the chicken:
• ▢20 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
• ▢kosher salt, to taste
• ▢1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
• ▢1 tbsp sesame oil
• ▢4 cloves minced garlic
• ▢1- inch grated ginger
• ▢1 teaspoon grated orange zest
• ▢2 tbsp chopped scallions
• ▢1/2 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Mix the orange sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Season the chicken lightly with salt and coat evenly with corn starch, set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and cook the chicken in batches so it browns well, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, set aside.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and chicken and repeat cooking 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside with the rest of the chicken.
5. Add remaining teaspoon of oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until fragrant.
6. Add the orange zest then return the chicken to the pan.
7. Quickly stir the chicken then add the orange sauce mixture and toss, cook until the sauce thickens.
8. Divide between 4 plates and garnish with the scallion and sesame seeds.
• You can swap chicken for a white fish like Tilapia or make it vegetarian with tofu.
• Add some sauteed vegetables like asparagus, bell pepper, or zucchini.
• If you prefer dark meat, use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead.
• To lower the sodium, use low-sodium soy sauce instead.
• If you can’t have sesame oil, you can swap it for peanut oil.
What To Serve with Orange Chicken
• It’s often served with steamed rice and broccoli or other steamed vegetables.
• Serve it over cauliflower rice or Cauliflower “Fried Rice”
• Serve it over brown rice for a healthier option.
• Try other vegetables like some sauteed bell peppers, snow peas, or asparagus.
Nutrition (per ¾ cup serving)
Carbohydrates: 18 g,
Protein: 32.5 g,
Fat: 9 g,
Sugar: 9 g
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