Baked Orange Chicken

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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


  • 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 fresh 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


  • 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.


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

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 cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, 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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  1. I have made this 3 times now and I LOVE this recipe !!!! Hands down way better than any take out ever 🙂 thank you for this recipe .

  2. Could a lemon be used instead of an orange to make Lemon Chicken? I have tried many lemon chicken recipes and none have been good, still searching….

    1. Use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for every 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger called for in a recipe. Please let us know how your chicken turns out!

  3. Yum! Just the sauce I was looking for. I did reduce the sugar and white vinegar to 1 Cup (8 T) each as I was afraid it would be too sweet. I thought the flavor was perfect, with just the right amount of sweet/sour/salty/hot. There was plenty of sauce for 2 lbs of chicken (I used breast meat). I did use about 1/3 cup more Panko crumbs, but had just enough eggs and flour for the coating. It did take longer than 10 minutes to prep the chicken and gather all the ingredients, but the recipe instructs you to make the sauce while the chicken is baking, which takes another 20-30 minutes, during which time you can also make some rice to serve it with. It all comes together nicely. This would also be delicious made with pork, and would be a great dipping sauce for coconut chicken! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Love the detailed feedback and thanks for the 5 star rating Tricia! So glad you enjoyed the recipe…lots more where that came from!

  4. The sauce on this chicken is phenomenal! It’s got an awesome balance of sweetness and vinegar, with a huge pop of flavour. My kids ask for me to make this very often, and then they take it cold to school the next day. One of our favourites!

    1. So good, right?!! Glad the kiddos enjoyed the recipe and appreciate the 5 star rating, Megan 🙂

  5. So good! We keep making this dish anytime we crave Chinese! However, one thing to keep in mind is the prep time. If you are a pro, 10 minutes is a good number, but you may need longer if you are a regular home cook – plan accordingly, especially if you plan to whip this up quickly during a weeknight.

    1. Hi Annette! I double checked my notes and YES! 1 1/2 Tablespoons of ginger! Enjoy!

  6. Delicious!! My family loves it and it is my mother in laws favorite recipe that I make! I was skeptical that it could bake crispy so I always browned them first. I was in a rush one day so just baked it and it was crispy! So awesome!

    1. Here’s a list to consider:
      Best Rice Wine Substitutes
      Pale Dry Sherry
      Dry White Wine
      Sake or Mirin
      Apple or Grape Juice

  7. This was really good! 2 things I will comment on though- it was WAY too sweet, next time I’ll add less sugar. Prep time is also much longer than 10mins, but I also don’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen so I’m probably slower than most! I added it to rice which helped the sweetness a little. Overall good and I’m glad I meal prepped it for the week

  8. I love the taste of this recipe but who are you kidding? 10 minutes prep time? I didn’t even cut up all the chicken in 10 minutes and it took 20 minutes to make the sauce.

    1. Hi Janet, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will take a look at this and test the times again. Were your chicken thighs boneless and skinned by any chance? Again, thanks for letting me know.

  9. This was amazing. I love sweet and sour with a little kick and this was perfect. My family loved it too. I added this to my faves because this will definitely go into the dinner rotations.

  10. I never leave comments but decided to for this as I make it again and again. It is so good we can’t get enough. I serve it with fried rice to get my veggies. Thank you for a recipe that isn’t fried as I have a sensitive stomach. And it is so good!

    1. This orange chicken is better than the box orange chicken I get from target. I will definitely be making this again. I didn’t have a food processor so I used a blender and it worked well, I also did 1/4 cups of orange juice instead of it being fresh from an orange.

  11. This was easy to make and a big hit for my family! I don’t have a food processor so I just put the panko in a ziploc baggie and went at them with a rolling pin. Served it with long grain white rice that I cooked in vegetable stock instead of water and steamed broccoli.

  12. Made this tonight for 2 ….I used 3 boneless thighs and dredged in rice flour
    Doubled sauce due to previous comments…I used 2 cloves garlic, 11/2 Tbsp chopped ginger, 1//3 c white sugar plus 1/3 c. Tangerine marmalade, as that’s what I had, used some white wine vinegar (1Tbsp) and the rest white vinegar, dark soy sauce (tamari) and low sodium soy equally, chicken got crispy baked convection oven at 400…I did have a full cup of sauce left I froze for later.
    We really enjoyed it. Ty

  13. I doubled the recipe and still didn’t have enough sauce for 2 lbs of chicken. I could have used another half as much. Following the advice of another reviewer, I used 2/3 c of vinegar and sugar. I used only panko but it was kind of gloppy. If I make this again I will use only cornstarch. My local grocery store has been out of cornstarch since the holidays. We liked the flavor. I added a couple of drops of red food coloring to brighten it. I didn’t have yellow food coloring. I let mine bake for another 15 minutes because the gloppy breading wasn’t browning. I served this with rice and baked egg rolls made with ground turkey.

  14. I usually never leave reviews but considering this recipe made it into the “Really Good, Would Make Again” bookmark folder, this deserved a review. Wow this was yummy!! My husband is a pretty tough critic when I try new recipes and he loved this. I used chicken breast and it came out great. My only suggestion is you may want to double the sauce ingredients because it’s orangey deliciousness and you’ll want more! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful creation!

    1. I added green pepper strips and onions sautéed in sesame oil as a side with steamed rice and the chicken/sauce recipe. My husband has a spice allergy, so he found it Spicey, but very good. I cut the red pepper seeds in half for him. I like the sauce and had enough for lunch for two left over. I appreciated the baked chicken instead of fried in oil version. I would make it again. Fresh fruit would be a great accompaniment or dessert wrap up. The sauce was good and could be used for a pork filet roast too. It was not heavy handed.

  15. As others have said, prep time of 10 minutes is way too generous. 2 eggs was not enough. Had to add a third. 1 c. Panko bread crumbs were not enough. Ended up using plain bread crumbs. Certainly not dragging out my processor to grind up more panko with my egg, flour, crumbs encrusted hands. I’m a trained chef. I feel for all the home cooks. A hint. Put flour into a baggie and shake like Shake and Bake. Easier. Off to grate orange rind and juice oranges. Another 10-15 minutes. Will report later as to how sauce turns out. As others have said, one recipe is not enough. I plan to double it but with less sugar and vinegar.

  16. So the recipe says 10 Tblsp sugar and also 10 Tblsp white sugar. Is this a typo? If not, can you please explain? I really want to make this!! Thank you!

    1. I always make orange chicken (and similar dishes) with apple cider vinegar. Given that it is already fruit-flavored from the orange, the apple cider is a nice complement to the orange. As an aside, I also use orange marmalade, which I make at home.

  17. Do I spray the pan before placing chicken on the baking sheet or am I spraying the chicken after placing it on baking sheet? Making tonight, excited to try!

  18. Need to ask – am I spraying the pan before putting chicken on or spraying the chicken after placing on the pan? Making tonight, excited to try it!

  19. Delicious – just like the photo.
    My 14 year old daughter made this for dinner & it worked perfectly.
    As others have mentioned you could adjust the sugar/vinegar/chilli ratio to suit tastes but it was crispy with a perfect sticky sauce.

  20. This dish is really tasty. Here are the reasons for 4 stars and not 5. The prep time is way longer than 10 minutes. After dipping in egg and panko crumbs for half of the chicken, I needed to add another egg and more panko crumbs. The flour makes the egg thick and the egg makes the panko gooey. The sauce needs to be doubled so it is not all absorbed. It is definitely tasty and I will make again knowing these variations.

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