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. so easy but so good! Orange sauce comes out fresh, not cloying and over sweet like store bought brands.

  2. This recipe is so amazing simple ingredients but delicious. NO LEFT OVER and my family want more. Thank you so much Sabrina for sharing 🙂

  3. Absolutely amazing!! I took the advice of others and cut the sugar in half, which still made a sweet sauce. I added extra soy sauce to balance it. Next time I’ll add veggies and double the sauce. Oh also the red pepper flakes def added a kick! Be careful if you don’t like spicy! I highly recommend this dish and will add this to my regular rotation!

  4. HI, this tastes amazing, thank you for the recipe! Just wondering why my sauce doesn’t look orange glazy like yours? The ground chicken I used has only 5% fat so it looks on the greyish side, but thought sauce would add some color and it didn’t. Thoughts?

    1. Hmm, did you allow for it all to come to a boil once the sauce was added? My though is that maybe it didn’t cook long enough for it to darken. So glad it still tastes amazing as that’s the most important.

  5. Haven’t made this as of yet, it’s my menu plan tonight as I defrost my ground chicken. Any guesses on the measurements of orange zest? I have tangerines in the fridge I plan to use for the zest.

  6. Thank You for sharing this recipe! We loved it. I have to admit I just found it yesterday due to a mix up at the meat market, they gave me ground chicken instead of boneless, skinless breasts, so I looked up recipes for ground chicken and this one looked best. Glad I tried it. I didn’t have any oranges so I used orange juice (4TBSP) it was fantastic. Going forward, I will double the sauce (we’re just saucy people).

  7. My husband loved this one! I used 1/2 the sugar and substituted with honey and it was delicious and not overly sweet.

  8. I’m thrilled to find your recipe! One question – I only found toasted sesame oil at my regular grocery. Is toasted OK or do I need find the regular sesame at an asian market?

  9. This was SO delicious! Served over cauliflower rice and with broccoli. May try to cut back sugar a little next time. Don’t skimp on the orange zest…it makes the dish!

    P.S. I did sub Pinot Grigio for the rice wine because it was what I had on hand.

  10. This was amazing and my husband and daughter agreed! Definitely adding to my rotation! I followed the recipe exactly and serviced it with steamed broccoli and miso noodles, yum!

  11. Fabulous recipe!! So glad I found this. Just made it for lunch. I recommend doubling the recipe as this was not enough for four people since it’s so delicious, we gobbled up to the last morsel!!

  12. Made this last night because I was unable to find ground beef in the stores but could find ground chicken. I’ve never cooked with ground chicken before So I wanted to try something I know they would like. We all love Panda Express orange chicken. My family loved it. Great recipe. I don’t eat rice so I added half a bag of a chopped cabbage salad mix at the end of cooking. Worked well. Definitely a keeper. Loved it. Thank you.

  13. Is there something I can use as a substitute to the rice wine? I’d love to give this recipe a try, looks delicious! Thanks!

  14. If you want quick and delicious this is it!!! I doubled recipe for a family of four (with 2 guys that are big eaters) and I will triple next time. Also added broccoli. Family staple now!

  15. Easy to make & taste great. Everyone loved it – No leftovers is the only down side. We will definitely make a habit of this.

  16. Excellent recipe! I needed a larger portion so I used 3lbs ground chicken and quadrupled the sauce recipe. A few tweaks I did: used Coco Aminos in place of the soy sauce, Truvia for the sugar (and used half the amount the recipe calls for since you only use half as much truvia vs sugar) and Arrowroot flour in place of cornstarch. Turned out perfect and everyone loved it including my 3yr old.

  17. Could you freeze this? It was delicious! I doubled the sauce and yes, add veggies! I’m trying to get a good freezer meal list before baby #3 comes.

  18. This Is absolutely amazing. The flavor is so Intense, but the orange doesn’t overwhelm. Will be making this often.

  19. My family loved this, especially my 11 year old son who orders orange chicken from Pei-Wei and Panda. Might try honey next time, as someone else suggested.

  20. I made this last night (1/28/20), it was awesome! Will keep in recipe binder for rotational dinners. Thanks!

    1. Because you’ll be cooking the sauce at a high heat, it allows for the alcohol to evaporate and makes it safe for kids. The sweet flavor will remain but not the alcohol.

    2. It’s 1 Tbsp of rice wine for a full recipe so even if the alcohol didn’t cook out (which it does), it would still be safe for kids….

  21. Excellent!

    The ground chicken sticks together and seems gummy. Weird.

    I followed the recipe with the following adjustments:
    • Increased orange zest to one whole orange.
    • Thinly sliced a couple green onions and stirred in right at the end.

  22. This was very yummy and quick to make. There isn’t much sauce and that worried me but it’s so flavorful a little goes a long way. This sauce would be good on a variety of meat or veggies.

  23. Wow! A great recipe for sure.
    I, too, doubled the sauce – so good.
    Is now on my “to have again” list.
    Warmed this Canadian gal up on a really cold night. ??

  24. I made this recipe last night for dinner because I had to make something with the ground chicken I had. This was truly delicious! My husband, who is not a ground chicken fan, had two servings and took the rest for lunch today. I tripled the recipe and the only thing I changed was adding some of the juice of the orange that I used for “zesting”. The flavor of the orange sauce was restaurant quality….truly. I love to read reviews, but seldom leave them, but I had to revisit this site to leave my comments. The only thing I would change if I could have is I would have used whole chicken slices instead of ground. Still a winning recipe! Thanks!!

  25. Such a keeper! I have a big household of 7 to feed and in a hurry most times. With cheer practices, football games, basketball games, soccer practices, soccer games, and more I’ve been experimenting with ground chicken recipes. Love Korean Beef w ground beef but want some other options. This is a winner! I added 2 Tblsp of orange juice to mine. Tbh I double everything so I really added 4 Tblsp. It’s very much the same Orange Chicken flavor as Panda ? ? You can adjust heat too which is nice. I gotta couple lil ones who aren’t quite there yet for spicy foods. Thanks for another great option!

  26. Orange chicken was good but next time I would cut the sugar in half it was way too sweet. I would also add broccoli and cashews.

    1. So sorry to hear it wasn’t to your taste – it sounds like you’ve got some great ideas to make it more to you liking! I’d love to hear how it turns out!

    1. I haven’t used that personally so I don’t want to give a recommendation. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

      1. I used monk fruit sweetener and it was outstanding! I’m making it again tonight with chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces. Can’t wait to eat ?

  27. I am sitting here right now eating both this and your Kung Pao version. I had packages of both ground turkey and chicken that I needed to use and I googled ground chicken recipes and found yours. They are both very good. Hubby liked but said he would like more crunchy veggies in the kung pao. I did double the sauce. But again, both were very good. I will definitely make again.

    1. So happy to hear that! Some crunchy veggies I suggest would be water chestnuts or bean sprouts added in at the end. You can also dice instead of mince the peppers 🙂 Hope this helps and thanks for coming back and letting me know how it turned out!

  28. Absolutely terrific. I totally agree about doubling the sauce. I used rice wine vinegar instead of plain white vinegar. 5 stars. Easy. Delicious.

  29. Just made this today and it was awesome, quick, and easy! My local grocery store didn’t have rice wine and I didn’t have time to go to an Asian market, so I used a dry white wine. I doubled the sauce, replaced one of the tablespoons of sugar with honey, and added a bit more red pepper. I also threw in some peas and diced carrots and served it with jasmine rice. I’m definitely going to check out your other “ground” Asian dishes now!