I grew up eating Chinese food pretty often. I’d always get chicken with broccoli, orange chicken, or some kind of fried rice. SO good, but there are definitely ways to make Chinese takeout a lot healthier and still super delicious and flavorful! I love this recipe because it is extremely good for you, high in protein, and there’s still so much bright orange + sesame flavor. It’s the perfect weeknight meal.
You can serve this over rice noodles, brown rice, white rice, even zucchini noodles! I served mine over brown rice with a little steamed broccoli, but feel free to switch these up with whatever you grains and veggies you have on hand.
That’s the beauty of this weeknight meal. EASY.
What makes this healthier is that I didn’t fry the chicken (it really doesn’t need it), I used freshly squeezed orange juice and no sugar or sweeteners (the orange juice is naturally sweet enough!), and served it with a ton of steamed broccoli and brown rice instead of white rice and more veggies doused in that thick, sodium rich sauce you get from Chinese restaurants.
It’s super light and it’s great for leftovers too. The best part is it comes together in a little over 30 minutes!
Healthy Orange Chicken
- 1 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 3 large oranges)
- 2 tsp. orange zest (zest from about 1/2 a large orange)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 2 T. coconut aminos or soy sauce (use the coconut aminos if paleo or gluten free)
- 2 T. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3 T. water
- 1 T. tapioca flour or cornstarch
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- sesame seeds for garnish
- steamed broccoli for serving
- cooked brown rice for serving
- In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, orange zest, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos or soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium/high heat. Add coconut oil and once heated, add chicken. Season with garlic powder and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Add the sauce, and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl, stir together the tapioca flour or cornstarch and water. Add mixture to chicken and sauce.
Stir, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add sesame seeds and half of the scallions. Season to taste with salt (mine didn't need any). Serve over rice and broccoli and garnish with remaining scallions and more sesame seeds if desired.
Be sure to tag your recipes #spicesinmydna on social media..I love seeing your creations!
I used to love Chinese takeout, but ever since having to go soy-free, I haven’t been able to have it. Coconut aminos are such a life-saver to get that amazing soy sauce effect without soy. Frankly, I think they taste even better! I love orange chicken with broccoli, so I can’t wait to make this for a quick dinner this week.
Spices in My DNA
Aren’t coconut aminos awesome?! I love that they’re lower in sodium too. Yay let me know if you try this!
Thank you so much for posting this!! I used to get orange chicken all the time at Chinese restaurants before I switched to a low-carb diet. So excited to try this healthy version sometime!
Spices in My DNA
Yay! Thanks Harper! Let me know what you think! 🙂