Ground Orange Chicken (1 Pan!)

Ground Orange Chicken is made in one pan and only takes 20 minutes using a Panda Express copycat sauce. So much healthier than the original!

Ground Orange Chicken is made in one pot and only takes 20 minutes using a Panda Express copycat sauce. So much healthier than the original!

Ground Orange Chicken was born in my head one evening about a month ago when we were preparing Korean Ground Beef as we have for years. I had a package of ground chicken and I was about to suggest making Korean Ground Chicken when I thought, “ooooorrrrrrrrrrrrr….” and a whole new world of ideas came flooding into my head. In the last month we’ve made them in four different flavors (which are all coming soon).

This Ground Orange Chicken is amazing because it still has the crisp texture because we brown it well before breaking the chicken apart and it still has that amazing Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce that we all love. The only thing missing is the deep fat frying. Plus it takes literally 20 minutes to make, and that is at a leisurely pace. Maybe we can start a write in campaign to Panda Express and say hey, make this version for when we want the sauce but not the breading!

We LOVED this ground orange chicken, full of Panda Express Orange Chicken sauce and in just 1 pot and 20 minutes!

Set your rice to cook in the rice cooker, start cooking the chicken, and wash and cut up some broccoli to steam in the microwave (glass bowl, a bit of water and a wet paper towel over the top for 3 minutes). By the time the rice is done cooking, so is dinner.

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Ground Orange Chicken is made in one pot and only takes 20 minutes using a Panda Express copycat sauce. So much healthier than the original!

Tools Used in the making of the Ground Orange Chicken:
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.
Large Frying Pan: I use this Cuisinart for most of my non cast iron cooking unless I am going with a stainless steel option, then I choose my All Clad.
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Sesame Oil: The flavor of sesame oil in this dish is unmistakeable and not really able to be substituted. Some Asian grocery stores will try and sell less expensive options that aren’t actually sesame oil, so just be sure the one you’re buying is authentic sesame oil.
Rice Wine: Adds an authentic flavor to the sauce, in a pinch if you absolutely can’t find it you can substitute white wine, but it will make it taste slightly different.

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Ground Orange Chicken

Ground Orange Chicken is made in one pan and only takes 20 minutes using a Panda Express copycat sauce. So much healthier than the original!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese (sort of...)
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoons ginger root minced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chili pepper crushed
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar
  • zest of ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • To make the sauce combine the rice wine, 2 tablespoons water, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar, and orange zest.
  • To make the cornstarch mixture, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in the remaining 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
  • To a large pan add 1 tablespoon oil and ground chicken.
  • Cook until a good crust forms before breaking apart, then finish cooking by breaking it apart with a spatula and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked add the ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 10 seconds.
  • Add the orange sauce and bring to boil.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and cook for just a few seconds, stirring until it thickens.



Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 405mg | Potassium: 604mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword: Ground Orange Chicken (1 Pan!)
Ground Orange Chicken is made in one pot and only takes 20 minutes using a Panda Express copycat sauce. So much healthier than the original!
We LOVED this ground orange chicken, full of Panda Express Orange Chicken sauce and in just 1 pot and 20 minutes!
Ground Orange Chicken is made in one pot and only takes 20 minutes using a Panda Express copycat sauce. So much healthier than the original!

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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  1. I really wanted this recipe to work but it was literally so bland. ended up having to add a bunch more spices to make it work.

  2. Used less sugar, miran and lemon peel as that is what I had around. So good snd will make this again- served over cauliflower rice

  3. This is So good! And easy, which makes it even better. I made it last night, love the tip to let the ground chicken brown before breaking it up. It gave the meat a crispy coating. Also, I didn’t have an orange to zest so I threw in a few tablespoons of orange marmalade to get the citrus taste and it was excellent. I served it over brown rice.

  4. Wow. This was delicious. I cooked it for dinner and we ate the whole pan. It was amazingly quick too, perfect for when you are short on time. Super delicious, thank you for creating this! Next I´m going to try your Chinese Lemon Chicken or your Taco pasta!

  5. Ok mine did not look remotely close to the picture and likely didn’t taste the same either. I followed the directions from start to finish with the exception of the entire amount of sugar. The orange zest was too overpowering and there was no “sauce,” just ground chicken over rice with some Asian flare to it.

  6. Wow! We loved this recipe! I always wonder what to do with ground chicken and this is my new go to. Thanks for the great recipe. I followed it exactly.

  7. I’ve made enough of your stuff that I trusted this and I’m so glad I did. I don’t usually comment but I enjoyed this so much! I didn’t realize my orange started to turn so with the zest I was able to salvage, I also squeezed in some of the juice. Followed the rest of it to a T, this is absolutely delicious! Such a treat, came together nice and fast. I ate it with spaghetti squash and definitely had two servings! I’m saving the rest for lunch tomorrow.

  8. Outstanding. I have a Down Syndrome daughter that I am trying to teach to cook. One day when she lives independently, she will have a collection of recipes she can cook. We made this today for dinner and it will become a family favorite. I didn’t have rice wine (mirin) but a quick internet search showed dry sherry or a dry white wine as a substitute.

  9. Delicious recipe. Instead of the sugar I used maple syrup. And I added onions and carrots to the ground chicken. Served it with white rice and garlic bread. Yum

  10. Great recipe. My husband took one bite and before even swallowing it was like “this is really good”:-). I didn’t have the red pepper so added a little scotch bonnet sauce for the spice. I also added a sweet pepper to the garlic and ginger mix and topped it all off with a little black and red pepper seasoning. If I made it again, I would add onions as well – both the white and the green (on top).

  11. I really do not understand how this recipe has so many positive reviews. I made this for dinner tonight and served it with steamed broccoli and jasmine rice, and it was horrible. I followed the recipe to a T, with no substitutions. This was not good. It’s a shame I wasted my time cooking this, I was looking forward to a nice meal with my boyfriend tonight. It was unbearable to eat by itself, we had to drown it in sriracha to get it down.

    1. Hello Lea, I am so sorry this recipe was not to your liking. Maybe one of my other recipes will suit you both better. Thank you 🙂

  12. A delicious recipe that is really easy! We loved the flavors and what a great way to use ground chicken. Will definitely be making this again.

  13. Looking forward to trying this recipe this week – my daughter is crazy about orange chicken. I’m going to mince my chicken – should I use thigh or breast meat? TY

  14. We love this recipe! I did cut the sugar by a TBSP and I used rice vinegar because that is what I had on hand instead of white vinegar. I cut the vinegar by a TBLS as mentioned by a previous comment and added 1 TBSP of fresh squeezed orange juice. This recipe is so good. I never would have thought to make this with ground chicken.
    Thank you for such a great idea! We definitely will have this in our dinner rotation! 🙂

    1. Hello Michelle! I’m so happy everything turned out wonderful and love the improvisational skills. Thank you so much!

  15. Surprised, didn’t think it would be this good! My family really liked it. I served it over sauteed cabbage. Will definitely make again.

  16. I’m confused. Is the rice wine, white wine (that’s what the link goes to), or is it rice wine vinegar?

    1. Not the recipe developer, but rice wine is just that – a cooking wine make from rice. Not the same at white wine. “Mirin” is one name for it. You could just replace it with cooking sherry, if you have any.

  17. Made it as-is but forgot to let the chicken cook before breaking it up, so not as crispy as it would have been otherwise but still delicious! We made it with rice and soba noodles and broccoli (I just threw the broccoli in the last couple minutes of cooking and put a lid on it). My whole family loved it!

  18. I used 1 real tbs of sugar, and splenda for the remaining sugar but man.. was this AWESOME thank you!!! I now have an entire pinterest board dedicated to your goodness..thank you for the non hum drum friday night better than take out alternatives!!

  19. LOVED this! I followed the recipe pretty much exactly besides reducing sugar by 1 tablespoon and some fresh squeezed orange juice. DELICIOUS!

  20. Loved this recipe. I did adjust it and added in the fresh squeezed orange juice in place of a couple of the tablespoons of the vinegar to give it an orangier flavor. I also added in carrots, onion, snow peas and asparagus. It was fantastic.

  21. This was very tasty. I did alter it a bit. I was worried about the sweetness and calories of the sugar. I substituted 1 Tbl. of splenda for the 5 Tbl of sugar. I can’t imagine how horribly sweet it would be with that much sugar. I also added a Tbl of Hoisin sauce and another Tbl of soy sauce. I added less ginger as I don’t love a strong ginger flavor.

  22. Really easy, simple to adjust, quick as anything, and delicious. Wrote “Very Good” on the top of the recipe and put it in the recipe book to go in the rotation. Thanks!

  23. My family loved this dinner! I served it with white rice and steamed fresh carrots and broccoli. I doubled the sauce, and it was perfect for one pound of ground chicken.

    Definitely a keeper recipe – thank you! 🙂

  24. I am looking forward to trying this! Is it possible to substitute anything for the white vinegar? Would either white wine vinegar or rice vinegar work?

  25. This was delicious! Will be part of our regular meal rotation. No need to go out for Asian food when I can make this myself.

  26. This was really delicious…the hubs and I both really liked it and I will definitely make it again. I made a few substitutions based on what I had and other comments. I did not have rice wine so just threw in some fresh squeezed OJ. Also, I had some rice vinegar I wanted to use up so I did 2 T of rice vinegar, 2 T of OJ, and 1 T of white vinegar. I used less sugar…3T and it was plenty sweet (I’m sure the OJ helped). I added in some diced onion and yellow bell pepper to up the veggies. I used the zest of a whole orange. It definitely had plenty of delicious orange flavor! Served on a bed of Jasmine rice, and sprinkled with scallions.

  27. My goodness. No, mine does not look exactly like the picture. It doesn’t matter . Both my husband and I gave it a RQY (Really Quite Yummy) rating. I will be making this again in the near future.

    I served this over sticky rice. The sauce blended very well with the rice!!

  28. Found this to be way too vinegary. I thought 5 TBS of white vinegar is a lot, & decided to only use 4, (otherwise I followed the recipe exactly) but it still tasted mostly like vinegar & not much else.

  29. I made this tonight. I did not have rice wine and substituted a dry white wine. It has a very nice flavor, but I will use less sugar the next time I make it.

    I served it with coconut rice.

    1. I’ve not tested it but it should work. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it works out. Thanks!

  30. I look forward to trying this tonight but like to cook from pro y copies nit iPad on counter. I can’t find a print button; is it hiding somewhere?

    1. Hmmm, it should show up under the photo. You can also create an account and save the recipe to go back to that way as well. Hope this helps!

  31. This was delicious and was so spot on for Panda Express orange chicken, sauced thickened so well!! I substituted stevia for sugar and used brown rice as we are on Weight Watchers. Thank you for this recipe, we will be adding to our monthly rotation.

  32. I made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing. I used it and the rice as filler for lettuce wraps. I also added green onion. Will definitely be adding it to our rotation. Thank you!

  33. Made this tonight & mine was not orange colored at all, how does yours look like that? I couldn’t find rice wine, tried 4 stores so had to use white wine otherwise followed the directions but unfortunately nobody liked.

  34. I don’t know where all the negative reviews are coming from. This was SOOOO good. I reccommended it to two family members after eating it. I made a few modifications, I used lemon zest in one batch of sauce and the juice of half a lemon in the second batch because I didn’t have any oranges/oj. I used rice vinegar instead of wine because I just didn’t have any. I also omitted the sesame oil because I detest it. I used ground ginger because that’s what I had. I will definitely make this again and again. It was so good!!! The second batch was used solely for the carrots and asparagus to add to the chicken and rice. It was the perfect amount of sauce with both batches, veggies, chicken and rice.

    1. Rice vinegar is Not even close to rice wine. Or wine. Rice wine is found in liquor store. It’s sake, the stuff that they drink. I didn’t know until I asked guy at liquor store hahahah

      1. I didn’t know that. One commenter used rice vinegar and I had it so I did too. Thank you for the info. I know for next time!

  35. I tried this but the flavors
    were underwhelming and didn’t blend together well. If you try it I’d suggest cutting the sugar in half, doubling the amount of sauce + seasoning, and blooming the chili, garlic and ginger in oil first.

  36. We really like the orange chicken bought at Trader Joe’s but I decided to make your recipe with a pound of ground chicken I found in the freezer. Your orange chicken recipe made a wonderful meal! Easy to put together and easy to eat. My husband was very pleased and asked for me to make it again next week. Thank you for posting a very good recipe that was not only delicious but easy to make.

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