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Ground Orange Chicken

This Ground Orange Chicken is an easy and affordable option to the traditional Orange Chicken you get with Chinese Takeout. Juicy chicken, a tangy orange sauce, and all in less than 30 minutes!

healthy orange chicken recipe

Easy Orange Chicken Recipe

Do you love Chinese food as much as I do? Orange chicken and Sweet and Sour Chicken are my favorite dishes hands down.

Growing up I was partial to pepper steak but now I can’t resist a sweet and spicy combination.

But are you looking to make your own Chinese takeout at home and save some time and money? This ground orange chicken recipe is just the thing.

Cooked in a tangy, sweet orange sauce, it’s perfect over a rice or in lettuce wraps! The best part is it uses just a few ingredients, made in one pan, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Quicker than ordering take out delivery!

Skip the Panda Express line and make this Chinese orange chicken dish at home in your pajamas!

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healthy chicken stir fry ingredients

Ingredients Needed

Chicken – Ground chicken is quickest or substitute ground pork or ground turkey

Orange marmalade – This is the easy way to get all the orange flavor. Substitute orange zest, fresh orange juice, and some sugar.

BBQ sauceUse your favorite traditional barbecue sauce. Or substitute a Hoisin sauce.

Soy Sauce – Regular or low sodium will work.

Sesame oil – This will give it that rich flavor.

Pantry staples – Olive oil

Garnishes – Sesame seeds, sliced green onions.

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How to Make Ground Orange Chicken From Scratch

First: In a mixing bowl, stir together orange marmalade, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.

Second: Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown ground chicken until no longer pink. Drain thoroughly.

Third: Add the orange sauce to the skillet with the chicken. Stir to coat and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

Fourth: When all together and sauce has slightly thickened, remove from heat. Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

super easy 30-minutes to a bowl of yum

Is ground chicken healthier than ground turkey?

Both ground chicken and ground turkey are healthy options but it depends on the cut of meat and how it’s prepared.

Ground chicken (lean) is lower in fat but turkey has slightly higher amounts of protein.

They both contain important nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

How you prepare the ground meat also matters. Frying can increase fat and calories so choose to use healthier fats like olive oil and only as much as needed to cook the meat.

better than dinner at Chinese restaurants

Can I make my own ground chicken?

I like to buy mine already ground from the store. You can also buy chicken breasts and ask the meat department to grind it for you so you know it’s fresh.

To make your own ground chicken at home you will need partially frozen chicken breasts and a food processor.

  1. Cut the chicken into small chunks, about 1 inch. Remove any fat or connective tissues.
  2. Place in the food processor, being sure not to overfill.
  3. Chop in short pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Only pulse until chopped and not made into a paste.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and use in your recipe or store for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Freeze for up to 1 month if needed.
  5. Be sure to clean and sanitize all the equipment afterwards.
simpler take on Asian inspired recipes

How long does ground orange chicken last?

If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool slightly. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat it, either microwave in 30 second intervals until warmed through. Or place in a pan on the stove and warm over medium heat until ready. If it starts to dry out, add a tablespoon or two of water or soy sauce.

Can you freeze ground orange chicken?

You sure can! Just cool to close to room temperature. Transfer to a freezer safe bag or air tight container.

Label and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat like I mentioned above.

simple ingredients best served with steamed broccoli

What to serve with Ground Orange Chicken

This recipe is super versatile as you can you serve it in lettuce wraps as an appetizer or as orange chicken bowls over rice and veggies as a full meal. Here are a few of my favorite things to serve with it.

Rice – I like to serve this over a bed of fluffy white rice. And it tastes delicious on brown rice or cauliflower rice as well.

Noodles – Soba, udon, lo mein, or rice noodles make a great base for this dish.

Vegetables – Whip us some stir fry vegetables or roast some in the oven. I love this with broccoli and cauliflower. Try it with carrots, bell peppers, green beans, or snow peas too.

Salad – Just like serving these in lettuce wraps you can spoon it over a green salad and top with an Asian dressing and fried wonton strips.

Garnishes – I can also just eat this plain and sprinkled with tangy green onions, crunchy cashews or peanuts, and toasted sesame seeds.

easy recipe for orange chicken

Who invented orange chicken?

As far as I can gather, it was invented by a chef for Panda Express. Chef Andy Kho developed it in 1987 for the restaurant and used the flavors from Hunan Province.

Is orange chicken spicy?

Traditionally it is a sweet and slightly spicy dish due to the small amount of red pepper in the orange chicken sauce. But with this recipe you can make it as spicy as you like or leave the pepper out all together and just have it sweet and tangy.

plate of orange chicken with gold forks

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Substitute the chicken for another ground meat like turkey, pork, or even ground beef.
  • For more of a kick, add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and crushed red pepper flakes as needed.
  • Drain chicken for a thick sauce. It’s best to remove and drain on paper towels.
  • If the sauce is too sweet, add a teaspoon of white vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar to the sauce.
  • The sauce should be thick from the marmalade, you shouldn’t need a cornstarch mixture or slurry.
  • If you don’t want the small pieces of orange rind in the marmalade, try orange preserves.
  • Make it even easier by purchasing a store bought orange sauce.
  • Serve it in bowls like egg roll bowls.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

pieces of chicken breast with a yellow banner

Whether you’re cooking for one or feeding a crowd, this recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy a flavorful meal. Whip up this ground orange chicken recipe tonight and enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner in no time!

plate of ground orange chicken with forks

Ground Orange Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This Ground Orange Chicken is an easy and affordable option to the traditional Orange Chicken you get with Chinese Takeout. Juicy chicken, a tangy orange sauce, and all in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds and green onions for garnishing

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the marmalade, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well using a fork or whisk. Set aside.
  1. Add the oil to a pan over medium heat. Brown the ground chicken and cook until no longer pink. Drain chicken after cooking.
  2. Add in the orange mixture and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. When done, serve chicken over a bed of white rice. Top with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Notes

  • Substitute the chicken for another ground meat like turkey, pork, or even ground beef.
  • For more of a kick, add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and crushed red pepper flakes as needed.
  • Drain chicken for a thick sauce. It's best to remove and drain on paper towels.
  • If the sauce is too sweet, add a teaspoon of white vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar to the sauce.
  • The sauce should be thick from the marmalade, you shouldn't need a cornstarch mixture or slurry.
  • If you don't want the small pieces of orange rind in the marmalade, try orange preserves.
  • Make it even easier by purchasing a store bought orange sauce.
  • Serve it in bowls like egg roll bowls.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1369mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 2gSugar: 60gProtein: 30g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and we can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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