Baked Orange Chicken

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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

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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

5 from 10 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
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!


  • 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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).

  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, while the chicken is baking, make the sauce.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 388 calories, Calories: 388g, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 213mg, Sodium: 505mg, Potassium: 497mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 260g, Vitamin C: 17.1g, Calcium: 53g, Iron: 2.2g

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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.

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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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  1. Hello Sabrina , You have done it again; it taste far better than the Panda Express or any other place. It was so simple easy and quick.
    I want you to copycat Taylor Farms Kale salad the Lemon Poppy dressing. I know you can surpass it.
    Every thing you made is AWESOME.

  2. We can’t get crushed red peppers here in Oz but I have found crushed dried chilli that is 50% seeds. Can you tell me if the American crushed peppers has the seeds in it or is it just the flesh?

    1. There are no seeds in crushed red peppers. I would probably just use cayenne as a substitute but you may need to add about 1/4 teaspoon to adjust for the difference. Hope this helps!

  3. Okay, so I made this tonight for about 18 volunteers who prep food for our homeless breakfast, and they LOVED it. This is sooooo good! Made a quadruple batch and baked half, fried half. Most folks tried both, and really loved the baked version. Two little girls who decorate the lunch bags thought they’d hate the sauce but then ended up licking it off their fingers. State Department lady who’s been all over the world just had to have the recipe! Have I raved enough! This is the most appreciative I’ve seen this crowd. They always eat, but tonight they went on and on about how delicious it was. I have enough left for a full steam pan, half and half, for our homeless folks in the morning. They’re a discerning crowd, but very appreciative. I’ll let you know what they say.

      1. Our homeless folks the next morning loved this orange chicken too!! I’m making another double batch for after church tomorrow. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  4. Made this tonight and I would give it 10 stars if I could. The sauce is so spot on, it tastes just like Panda Express! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks Sabrina!

  5. I’m excited to try this recipe out tomorrow and will update this comment after I do. But first I have a (maybe?) dumb question. Is mirin the same as the rice wine you listed or would I need to find chinese rice wine? Thanks!

  6. Hi Sabrina, I love your site and the recipes you share. Thank you. I have a question about oven baking the Orange chicken … you state to “add the panko to a food processor and pulse until the crumbs are much smaller, like regular breadcrumbs”. Instead of doing this, can regular breadcrumbs be used or will this change the texture of the chicken?