Baked Orange Chicken

Baked Orange Chicken made with Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat Sauce with an easy baked recipe that’s easier and healthier than frying in 30 minutes!

This recipe is healthier because of baking, but has the same sauce as my classic Panda Express Orange Chicken (Copycat) recipe and you should make it immediately and serve it with Easy Chow Mein or Chinese Fried Rice.

Baked Orange Chicken Recipe Baked Orange Chicken

Baked Orange Chicken takes the most difficult part of making my crazy popular orange chicken recipe out of the equation (that would be the deep frying). Most people don’t like deep frying because it can be dangerous, messy and it takes a lot of oil. This recipe is so much easier but uses the same delicious sauce you love and easy enough for dinner tonight.

The first time you make this recipe make it with this sauce (because yes, it is as good as the Panda Express original), but next time try making my recipes for General Tso’s Chicken or Easy Sesame Chicken using this method for baking the chicken. When you break down the panko bread crumbs and make them smaller you won’t have the spiky texture most people have when baking with panko, so it will taste and feel more like a classic orange chicken recipe.

Orange Chicken Sauce:

Classic orange chicken sauce is made with white sugar but some recipes call for marmalade or brown sugar. Using the Panda Express recipe most of the flavor comes from garlic, ginger, orange juice, orange zest and sesame oil.

The first thing we do is add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to a pan with a bit of oil to saute before adding and thickening the sauce ingredients.

To cut down on the time you are working on this orange chicken recipe make your sauce while your chicken is baking. This way your orange sauce will be ready right when the chicken comes out and is perfectly crispy.

Finish the dish with some green onions, sesame seeds or extra crushed red peppers as a garnish.

Pieces of baked orange chicken

Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breast

You can absolutely use skinless chicken breast in this recipe instead of chicken thighs, the reason I chose to use chicken thighs was because the classic Chinese Orange Chicken recipe is made using chicken thighs.

Since we are baking it in the oven the thigh meat will keep the meat more tender and any fat that renders out of the chicken will help to crisp up the bites. Most Chinese food that is battered is made using dark meat, so while chicken breast is certainly an option, just know it will make the dish slightly less tender.

You can also bread the chicken pieces and freeze them ahead of baking on a baking sheet. When ready to cook be sure to spray with cooking spray or coat with vegetable oil well because the extra condensation from defrosting will cause the breading to soften a bit, so the extra oil will help.

What to serve with Baked Orange Chicken:

We love to serve this with Chinese Steamed Rice, dim sum favorites like Crab RangoonEgg RollsSpring Rolls, or Potstickers and something non chicken like Beef Teriyaki or Coconut Shrimp.

More Easy Chinese Recipes:

 

Chinese Baked Orange Chicken Recipe

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Baked Orange Chicken

Baked Orange Chicken made with Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat Sauce with an easy baked recipe that's easier and healthier than frying in 30 minutes!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs , boneless skinless
  • 2 large eggs , beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil , divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger , minced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (white wine works too)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice , from the orange
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 orange , zested

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and add the panko to a food processor and pulse until the crumbs are much smaller, like regular breadcrumbs.
  • Add the panko to one bowl, the chicken (cut into small chunks) in a second bowl, the eggs in a third bowl, and the flour in a fourth bowl.
  • Dip the chicken pieces into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet, then spray with cooking spray (or brush lightly with vegetable oil).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, while the chicken is baking, make the sauce.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and crushed red peppers to a saucepan on medium heat and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, bring to a boil until it thickens then turn off the heat and wait for the chicken to finish baking, then toss the chicken with the sauce and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 17.1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Keyword: Baked Orange Chicken

Collage of Orange Chicken Photos

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. It’s delicious. I made this for my guests tonight and the sauce was so flavorful that everyone loves it!! Thank you.

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