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Orange Chicken

Coated in a thick healthy sauce, this easy orange chicken with hints of honey and garlic will be your new favorite 25-minute Asian dinner. Paired with fluffy baked cauliflower rice and crunchy green onions, you’ll love every juicy, saucy, spicy bite.

Bowl of orange chicken with cauliflower rice.

Easy & Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe

Served over tender cauliflower rice, this juicy orange chicken with a homemade sweet-and-savory sauce tastes way better than your favorite take-out. The secret ingredient? Lots of freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for the citrusy, tangy goodness that balances out the dish.

To keep things nice and healthy, this recipe is packed with coconut aminos for all of the umami and none of the excess sodium usually found in restaurants. A splash of white wine vinegar also brightens things up while raw honey adds natural sweetness. Don’t forget lots of ginger and garlic for fragrance and extra Asian vibes.

Sprinkled with red pepper flakes for heat, the browned chicken is simmered in a thick, fruity sauce for a couple of minutes before serving. Ready in less than half an hour, good luck ordering in from a restaurant again.

Close-up of orange chicken with green onions and orange slices.

Why You’ll Love This Paleo Orange Chicken

This dish is 25-minute comfort food at its best.

  • Paleo. There are no processed ingredients and has balanced macro-nutrients so you can enjoy this dish even if you’re on a diet.
  • Homemade. You won’t buy a store-bought orange chicken sauce again and neither will you get it for take-out once you’ve tried this easy recipe.
  • Family-friendly. If you’ve got picky eaters at home, just swap the cauliflower rice for steamed rice. They’ll gobble up the chicken!
  • Healthy. With a homemade sauce, you won’t have to worry about eating large amounts of sugar, fats, sodium, or additives.
Ingredients for orange chicken.

What You’ll Need

Fresh orange juice is what sets this dish apart from the usual fast-food version. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

For the Chicken

  • Chicken breasts – Make sure it’s boneless and skinless.
  • Coconut oil – Vegetable, corn, canola, and even olive oil are perfect for this.

To Make the Sauce

  • Fresh garlic – This adds the best flavor, but garlic powder is a good swap.
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice – Try to avoid store-bought because it leaves a strange after-taste.
  • Honey – Don’t use maple syrup or agave nectar. Use brown sugar instead.
  • Coconut aminos – Feel free to use low-sodium soy sauce.
  • White wine vinegar – Don’t use white vinegar. They’re not the same.
  • Ground ginger – Fresh ginger works too.
  • Ground black pepper – Don’t add white or pink pepper because they are fruitier.
  • Orange zest – You can use fresh or dried.
  • Arrowroot powder – Cornstarch is a great swap.
  • Red pepper flakes – Cayenne pepper is a good substitute.

For the Cauliflower Rice

  • Cauliflower – You can use fresh or frozen.
Bowl of orange chicken with cauliflower rice.

How to Make Healthy Orange Chicken

Whisk the sauce, add it to the chicken, and serve. That’s basically it, especially if you use leftover cauliflower rice. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

Making the Sauce and Cauliflower Rice

  • Whisk it. Except for the arrowroot powder, whisk all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Add one tablespoon of arrowroot at a time and whisk until combined. Set it aside. It should be nice and smooth.
  • Bake it. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the grated cauliflower on the baking sheet. Bake it for 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Cooking the Chicken

  • Prepare the chicken. Season it with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil.
  • Brown it. Add the chicken and let it cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until browned.
  • Add the sauce. Add the sauce and mix well. Let it come to a boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened.
  • Serve. Remove it from the heat and serve immediately over cauliflower rice. Garnish with green onions and enjoy.
Healthy orange chicken with green onions and orange slices.

Tips for Success

Marinating the chicken takes this dish to the next level, and so will all of the other tips in this section.

  • Hold the salt. Coconut aminos are very savory, so always wait until right before serving to taste the dish and adjust the seasoning with more salt otherwise your chicken might turn out too salty.
  • Add a garnish. Chives, orange zest, and sesame seeds add great flavor and texture to the dish. They also make it look pretty.
  • Marinate the chicken. Mix 1/2 cup soy sauce with 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, and 1 tablespoon minced garlic until well combined. Pour it into a large bag and place the chicken inside. Seal it and let it marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • Don’t add all the arrowroot. When whisking the sauce, don’t mix it with all of the ingredients at the same time. You have to add it in little by little or you’ll get lumps in the sauce.
  • Swap the grains. If you’re not on any type of diet, swap the cauliflower for regular rice, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or your favorite grains.
Holding a piece of chicken in between chopsticks.

What to Serve with Paleo Orange Chicken

This healthy orange chicken is a great main for all your Asian-inspired dinners. I love it with a bowl of Curried Lentil Soup with Tomato and Coconut or wonton soup on the side. For more side dish ideas, try my Soba Noodle Salad, Sesame Roasted Asparagus, and Roasted Bok Choy.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight when on the counter for reheating or serving. To reheat it, pop it into the microwave for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat it in a pan over medium-low heat for 6-7 minutes.

For longer storage you can also pop it into freezer-friendly bags in serving size portions. Freeze for up to 3 months. Transfer it to the fridge a day before serving and reheat it as usual.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Landscape photo for orange chicken.

Orange Chicken

This juicy orange chicken with garlic and honey is the perfect Asian-style paleo dinner served over cauliflower rice. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

Orange Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut amino
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 head of cauliflower cleaned and grated {I use food processor grater}


Orange Sauce

  • In a medium bowl whisk all ingredients together adding arrowroot one tablespoon at a time, whisk each tablespoon until completely blended before adding remainder. until combined. Set aside.


  • Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat coconut oil in a large heavy skillet. I used cast iron pan.
  • Place pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté for about 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is browned and nearly cooked through.
  • Pour in the orange sauce, and stir to combine.
  • Let the sauce come to a boil, then boil for an additional minute or two until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately over cauliflower rice or rice. Garnish with green onions and additional orange zest.

Cauliflower Rice:

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Toss grated cauliflower on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Serve in a bowl with cauliflower rice topped with chicken and extra red pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian


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4 comments on “Orange Chicken”

  1. I want to make this recipe but I am not familiar with this ingredient [br][b]Orange Sauce:[/b].


  2. The flavor was delicious. Really easy to make. However, the consistency was more jelly like. Where did I go wrong?

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