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How to Make Orange Chicken Recipe Panda Express Copycat

Dinner

If you’re curious how to make the Orange Chicken Recipe Panda Express style, this copycat recipe is the absolute best. I’d say it’s even better than the original. Crispy pieces of delicious marinated chicken are tossed in a delicious tangy citrus sauce. This orange chicken recipe is easy to make and the perfect affordable meal for the entire family. It even freezes great for leftovers!

I absolutely love the Orange Chicken from Panda Express, but I didn’t realize I could actually make it so easily at home. Grab your chopsticks and get ready to enjoy some Panda Express with this deliciously crispy orange chicken copycat recipe!

Also, check out our awesome Kung Pao Chicken Panda Express Copycat Recipe!

Orange-Chicken-Recipe-Ingredients

Key Ingredients

Some key ingredients to making your Orange Chicken Recipe Panda Express style is to use fresh orange juice with rice vinegar, soy sauce, siracha, fresh green onions, and ginger. Fresh ingredients are always going to create more vibrant flavors.

The Orange Chicken at Panda Express also uses corn starch as their coating, not flour. Most Chinese cooking techniques involve marinating and cooking with corn starch which helps break up the muscle fibers. This results in meat that is much more tender.

Orange-Chicken-Panda-Express-Marinade

Always Marinate Your Chicken

Never skip the marinade when it comes to Chinese cooking. Especially with this orange chicken recipe. Even if you’re short on time, marinating your chicken will make a huge difference in flavor. Below are the ingredients for our Orange Chicken Recipe.

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp orange zest

Orange-Chicken-Recipe-Healthy

How to Make Orange Chicken Healthier

If you want to make your orange chicken healthier, you can use boneless chicken breast instead of chicken thighs. You can also spray the chicken pieces with an avocado oil zero-calorie spray and cook them in the air fryer. For this recipe, however, we are going to cook it traditionally in a Wok just like they do at Panda Express.

Adding a variety of vegetables is also a great way to make this Orange Chicken recipe healthier.

How to make Vegan Orange Chicken

If you want to make vegan orange chicken you can use Cauliflower instead of chicken. Alternatively, you can also use vegan chicken pieces or even chunks of tofu and follow the exact same recipe.

Orange-Chicken-Recipe-Healthy
Orange-Chicken-Sauce

How to Make Orange Chicken Recipe Panda Express Style

1. Marinade: Mix the ingredients of the marinade into a large bowl. Then, add chicken pieces and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to two hours. After the chicken is marinated, remove the chicken pieces and discard the marinade liquid.

2. Coat the chicken: Beat two eggs in a small bowl, and put cornstarch into another bowl. Now, dip each piece of chicken in the beaten egg, ensuring it is fully coated, and then toss it in the cornstarch, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated. This process creates a crispy outer layer when fried.

Orange-Chicken-Coating
Orange-Chicken-Frying-in-Pot

3. Fry the chicken: Add sunflower oil to a wok, stainless steel skillet, or nonstick frying pan. Bring oil over medium heat, and once it’s hot enough to fry, cook chicken in batches until golden brown from both sides. Once cooked, place the chicken on paper towels to drain excess oil.

4. Make the sauce: To make the sauce, add oil, minced garlic, and sliced green onion into a skillet. Stir for two minutes until soft and fragrant. Then incorporate the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously. Taste and adjust the spiciness.

5. Coat chicken & serve: Add your cooked crispy chicken to the skillet and stir to coat. Serve in individual bowls with a portion of cooked rice. Then Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

Orange-Chicken-being-coated-in-sauce
Orange-Chicken-Coated-in-Sauce

Tips

  •  You can add a drop of egg or cornstarch to test the temperature. If it bubbles, it’s ready to use.
  • If you are using a stainless steel pan, always heat the pan first, then add oil and wait for the oil to heat. Never add the oil first to a cold stainless steel pan.
  • Always marinate your chicken first

Serving Suggestions

This dish is best served with white or brown rice topped with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. I always serve this dish with either steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas, sliced carrots, or sliced bell peppers.

To make this Orange Chicken recipe Panda Express style, I also like to add a little extra spice by sprinkling a few red pepper flakes over the chicken.

Orange-Chicken-Recipe-Panda-Express-Copycat

Storing Suggestions

Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to five days. This dish can also be frozen and taken out the night before.

My preferred way to reheat this Orange Chicken recipe is to place it on foil and in the toaster oven or regular oven at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes. This will ensure the chicken stays nice and crispy.

Similar Recipes

Panda-Express-Orange-Chicken-Copycat-Recipe

BEST Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

This Orange Chicken Panda Express copycat recipe is absolutely delicous with crispy chunks of crispy chicken on a zesty homemade orange sauce. This budget friendly dinner recipe is easy to make and freezes great for leftovers.
Sondra Barker
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
marinating time 30 minutes
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 426 kcal
Diets:
How to Make Orange Chicken Recipe Panda Express Copycat 1
Low Carb

EQUIPMENT

  • 1 wok or pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs chicken breast cubed or chicken thighs
  • 1.5 cups cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sunflower oil

Marinade

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest

Orange Sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 whole green onions sliced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp ginger fresh grated
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup water

Toppings

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 whole green onion sliced

Instructions
 

  • Mix the ingredients of the marinade into a large bowl. Then, add chicken pieces and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to two hours.
  • After the chicken is marinated, remove the chicken pieces and discard the marinade liquid.
  • Beat two eggs in a small bowl, and put cornstarch into another bowl. Now, dip each piece of chicken in the beaten egg, ensuring it is fully coated, and then toss it in the cornstarch, ensuring the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Add sunflower oil to a stainless steel pan, nonstick pan, or wok. Bring oil over medium heat, and once it’s hot enough to fry, cook chicken in batches until golden brown from both sides. Once cooked, place the chicken on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  • To make the sauce, add oil, minced garlic, and sliced green onion into a skillet. Stir for two minutes until soft and fragrant.
  • Then incorporate the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously. Taste and adjust the spiciness if needed by adding more Sriracha.
  • Add cooked chicken to the skillet and stir to coat.
  • Serve in individual bowls with a portion of cooked rice and or vegetables. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 1337mg | Potassium: 1015mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 281IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg | Net Carbohydrates: 22g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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CHEERS!

DSC_1770 cropSondra Barker
I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

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Sondra Barker of Cuisine and Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to recommendations on Amazon.com. All Products recommended are from my own opinions and experiences.

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