Ground Orange Chicken (1 Pan!)

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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.



Ground Orange Chicken

4.94 from 96 votes
  • 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
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!


  • 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


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

  1. To make the sauce combine the rice wine, 2 tablespoons water, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar, and orange zest.
  2. To make the cornstarch mixture, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in the remaining 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
  3. To a large pan add 1 tablespoon oil and ground chicken.
  4. 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.

  5. Once the chicken is cooked add the ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 10 seconds.

  6. Add the orange sauce and bring to boil.
  7. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and cook for just a few seconds, stirring until it thickens.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 248 calories, Calories: 248g, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 405mg, Potassium: 604mg, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin C: 0.5g, Calcium: 10g, Iron: 1.1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

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!

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

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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! 🙂

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.