This Skillet Orange Chicken Recipe is so easy to make — it comes together in 30 minutes or less! Serve it with rice and steamed vegetables or salad and you have an easy weeknight meal.
This recipe for Orange Chicken has a crispy exterior and a sweet, sticky, tangy sauce that comes together all in one pan. It’s loaded with flavor and sure to please the whole family!
I don’t know about you, but Chinese food is one of our favorite things, especially when it can be made completely in 30 minutes!
Takeout can be a lifesaver some days when you just can’t get dinner on the table but I love having a wide range of easy substitutes on hand for when I need something quick but still want something homemade and relatively healthy.
If you’re looking for the Panda Express orange chicken, this Skillet Orange Chicken Recipe is so easy to make — it comes together in 30 minutes or less! Serve it with rice and steamed vegetables or salad and you have an easy weeknight meal.
This Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce, one pan Chicken Chow Mein, and Meatballs in Orange Sauce are a few more of my favorites!
This easy Orange Chicken recipe is a pan-fried version of the traditional deep-fried Orange Chicken often found in Chinese restaurants.
We like to serve it with this Easy Fried Rice or instant rice to cut down on time, but long grain rice works just as well, and cauliflower rice can be a great option if you’re looking for a low carb substitute.
How to Make Orange Chicken
- First, I lightly coat the chicken pieces in corn starch to ensure a crispy exterior without breading or deep frying. We brown just the outside with a little oil, and then add the sauce.
- The Orange Chicken sauce is made of orange juice, orange marmalade, soy sauce, garlic and a few other tasty ingredients. I like adding a bit of orange marmalade because it makes the sauce extra sticky and it really clings to the chicken!
- If you like things extra spicy, feel free to add an extra pinch or two of red pepper flakes — I like to keep things pretty mild so the kids will enjoy it too!
How to Make Crockpot Orange Chicken
This recipe can easily be adapted to the crockpot! Here’s how:
- Coat and brown the chicken in a frying pan according to the original instructions.
- Add the chicken and the sauce mixture to the crockpot, and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. It couldn’t be easier!
- This is a great way to prepare orange chicken for a potluck because it is so easy to keep warm without overcooking. And I guarantee it will be one of the first things to disappear!
Skillet Orange Chicken Recipe
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ cubes
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- ½ cup unsweetened orange juice
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons corn starch, salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
- Heat a large pan over high heat and add oil (add more oil if needed to coat the bottom of your pan).
- Add chicken to the pan and cook over high heat, turning once, just until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, make the Orange Chicken sauce. Whisk together the marmalade, juice, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, chicken broth and 2 tablespoons corn starch.
- Once chicken is browned, reduce heat to medium and add the sauce. Cook and stir until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through (165° F minimum), about 10 minutes.
- Serve over rice as desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Excellent recipe! The sauce was amazing, nice and thick and looked like dinner at a restaurant. I served it with a bowl of rice on the side and everyone loved it, we didn’t have any leftover. I am looking forward to making this again. Thank you!
I really liked this recipe just as it is written. I’ve made it 5-6 times by now, each time reducing the amount of soy sauce. I like it even better when I use less soy sauce. My most recent attempt cut the soy sauce to just 1 tablespoon. It was great. I’ll try cutting it in half to half a tablespoon next time.
Other than the first time I made the recipe, I have skipped the corn starch on the chicken. My plan is to continue skipping that step., but it was great when made like that too.
Thanks for the recipe! It is great as written easy to adjust to personal preference.
So happy you are enjoying it, Kevin! Thanks for sharing your alterations, they sound great.
Would fresh pineapple work in this recipe?
We haven’t tried adding fresh pineapple to this recipe but that sounds delicious. Would love to hear how it turns out for you, Sandy!
I made this the first time according to the recipe and thought it was too sour.
I made it again with only a dash of soy sauce and added about three tablespoons of honey, much better.
Thanks for sharing your substitutions, David! Glad you enjoyed this recipe.
This was delicious! I skipped the cornstarch on the chicken and it was still so yummy. Definitely will be a regular addition to my meals. Thank you!!
Can this recipe be done. With drumsticks in a crockpot with adjustments for ingredients? I have drumsticks in the freezer that I need to cook.
It sounds delicious!
I’ve never tried the recipe with drumsticks, but I think that would work. You may need to increase the cook time slightly to make sure they reach 165F. Enjoy Maureen!
This was sooo good! And it was budget friendly. I didn’t add the red pepper flakes because I was out, so I added a dash of hot sauce instead. My kids both told me it was “on a stick”… my kids and I started trying a new recipe every week. Things we like get saved and the name written on a popsicle stick. I use the stcks to make a meal plan each month. On a stick means its in the mix for this.
Amazing. I made with homemade lemon marmalade, fresh lemon juice and homemade lemon vinegar. Definitely a keeper! Everyone loved it. I used chicken thighs but breasts would work equally as well.
Oh my gosh! This recipe may be the best thing that came out of the year 2020. My college age kids and I perfected making your recipe during the Spring and it is now our very favorite dish! I finally purchased a great non-stick pan, which made browning the chicken 100 times easier. We enjoy adding whole cashews into the recipe towards the end of the cooking process. This recipe has been great for our Gluten Free and Dairy Free family members. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!
So glad your family has loved this dish as much as ours did!
Sub cornstarch for orange marmalade and it will thicken and gelatinate to cover chicken.
I really like your recipes, we prefer the pan cooked ”more exotic” recipes. Keep up the good work
OMG! I made the recipe the only thing i was missing was the white vinegar , but OMG it was delicious, I will make again!!!! We all loved it! Thanks for sharing.
I made this and it was amazing!I an a newlywed and am trying to learn to cook different things. I’m so glad I tried this!
Looks really good, close to my orange chicken recipe, except… why all the soy sauce? Way too much….your sauce is brown, more like orange teriyaki… mine is bright orange. Use a lot of fresh orange zest (afterall the authentic Chinese version is “Orange Peel Chicken) and marmalade, grated ginger, plus some Ponzu… really no soy sauce or very little necessary if you are using some Ponzu. I always use thigh meat, or have used wings as well.
Great flavor. So much better than I hoped.
I made it without cornstarch, so the sauce was runny, but still delicious. Next time I’ll use less soy sauce.
So happy you enjoyed it Wendy!
Hi I would like to add some of my orange infused bourbon in this recipe. At what point would you suggest to add it and how much, I know that’s up to me but I don’t want to overwhelm it with bourbon.
Hi Alison, I would start small and go by taste. Maybe start with a few tablespoons and add it in with the other sauce ingredients. Let us know how it turns out.
This was better than anything I have ever eaten out at an Asian restaurant – and we have some good ones. Just be sure to brown only about half the chick at a time. After browning the first half I set the browned ones in a pie pan until I finished the others. Took the rest of the chick out, added the sauce & simmered until thick, put the chick back in and simmered it covered until tender. It didn’t take long. The timing was spot on, about 2 minutes per side got it nice and golden. Thanks for this recipe!!
*doing a happy dance* so happy you loved it Susie! Recipes like this as a weakness for us. So tasty!
Quick, easy, tasty! I used up some sugared marmalade.
Glad you enjoyed this orange chicken Maria!