Baked Orange Chicken:
This baked orange chicken offers a sweet and savory flavored chicken, tossed with an easy, but complexly flavorful orange sauce. The ease and flavor make this dish a favorite orange chicken recipe. And it is baked, not fried, which means all the flavor, less calories.
Once you see how easy Baked Orange Chicken is to make, you won’t need to make a trip out of your house for Panda Express Orange Chicken to satisfy the sweet orange craving. Pair it with some egg drop soup, egg rolls, and fried rice for a complete meal.
To say I am obsessed with the flavors of orange chicken would be an understatement. The citrusy sweet tang, the heft with the coating. It is just one of my all time favorite flavor combos, and one of the reasons places like Panda Express are in business. Who doesn’t love a little sweet heat, with some tangy citrus notes?
In fact, I have a lot of recipes on my site specifically capturing this wonderful combo:
- Spiced Orange Chicken Marinade
- Ginger Orange Chicken
- Classic Orange Chicken
- And even this Low Cal Orange Chicken made with a bottle of soda!
So why am I adding another to the arsenal? Well, this orange chicken recipe offers all that amazing flavor, and the ease of being baked, not fried. Let calories, just as much flavor!
It is great when you want the flavor of a Chinese orange chicken without having to deal with the annoyance of deep frying chicken or waiting for a table to be ready at your favorite Chinese restaurant.
It is quick and easy, and requires very little hands on time, and it is sooo good!
Is General Tso’s Chicken the Same as Orange Chicken?
This is a question I get a lot…
But they are not the same thing!
They do have similarities, they both have a base that uses soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, etc, but there are some differences.
- Orange chicken has oranges in it. So it is more citrus-y.
- The overall flavor of Orange Chicken is less spicy. If you want heat, General Tso’s is the way to go.
- General Tso’s Chicken is darker in color.
Chances are if you like one, you will like the other.
Is Orange Chicken and Sesame Chicken the Same?
While we are on the subject of deciphering the differences between orange chicken and General Tso’s chicken, we mine as well clear up any confusion with sesame chicken and orange chicken as well.
Orange chicken and sesame chicken are not the same either. Hopefully I am not disappointing anyone with this news.
The good news is that there are many similarities in the preparation of these dishes, making it easy for you to make either.
Once again, sesame chicken, General Tso’s chicken and orange chicken all have a similar baseline of ingredients, and similar cooking techniques. However, all have their own unique flavors.
Sesame chicken seems to be the sweetest of the three. Orange is citrusy. General Tso’s more spicy.
How to Make Orange Chicken
Making baked orange chicken is simple:
- Prep Ingredients.
- Dredge Chicken and Bake.
- Make sauce, pour over chicken
You likely already have much of what you need on hand.
And one of the best parts is you don’t have to fry the chicken. To get a crispier exterior you can spray the chicken with cooking spray, or lightly brush it with oil before baking.
After that it is hands off. You just let it bake, and while it is baking, you let that sauce caramelize and thicken stovetop so the end results are amazing!
How Much Sugar is in Orange Chicken?
Orange chicken is sweet, some of which comes from the oranges themselves, or the orange juice. And some from sugar.
How much sugar is in orange chicken?
That depends on you. This recipe uses a brown sugar, and calls for 3 Tablespoons, but if you want to cut back you can. Taste your sauce, and adjust to your preference.
Often the juice from the oranges adds enough sweetness so you can avoid adding much extra sugar. But sometimes, especially if serving kids, or someone with a sweet tooth, you want to keep it as is.
I always start with 2 Tablespoons, and adjust from there.
How many Calories in Orange Chicken?
We all love to be healthy, and baking chicken instead of frying it is always a good idea, and a great way to cut calories.
What I love about this baked orange chicken recipe is that it is healthier because it is not fried. But I would be lying if I said it was totally low cal, or there aren’t things you can do to reduce the calories even further.
This is more about making things easy, and less about low calories. If you are trying to make this recipe low cal, here are my suggestions:
- Skip the breading. It won’t have the same overall effect as you won’t get that crunch, but you will eliminate calories while retaining flavor.
- Cut down on the sugar in the sauce.
The Best Orange Chicken Recipe!
Sometimes you are in the mood for some Panda Express Orange Chicken, but you don’t want to go out and eat. Or, you may want a healthier take on orange chicken.
Look no further, this baked orange chicken recipe will satisfy your orange chicken craving at home!
Citrusy deliciousness! This Baked Orange Chicken really is the best, packed wealth of flavor, it is a party in your mouth.
Other Take-Out Fake-Out Favorites
Baked Orange Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1 inch chunks
- salt + pepper
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup panko
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red hot chili peppers depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 5 Tablespoon orange juice
- 3 Tablespoon brown sugar You can use less if your orange juice is sweet or you want to cut back
- 1 orange zest of
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. And spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cut chicken thighs into 1 inch cubes
- Pat dry and season chicken with salt and pepper, set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, until frothy.
- Pulse panko in a food processor until fine like bread crumbs. Then place in a bowl.
- Add cornstarch to a third bowl, and prepare to dredge the chicken.
- Gently roll chicken in corn starch, then dip the chicken into the eggs, then roll in panko. And place in prepared baking dish. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
- Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes, until browned.
- While chicken bakes, in a large sauce pan whisk together all of your sauce ingredients except the green onion. And cook until reduced by 1/3, and slightly thickened
- Pour evenly over the chicken. Toss to coat.
- Bake for additional 5-10 minutes
- Garnish with green onion, and serve with rice.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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