P.F. Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken (Copycat)

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P.F. Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version! P.F. Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken is one of the dishes we always order at P.F. Chang’s because like most people orange flavored stir fried Chinese American food is pretty much always going to be a winner! In close second would be Orange Peel Beef because well… yeah.

This was one of my first posts on the blog back in 2015. It was a recipe I couldn’t wait to post and since then I’ve gotten better at taking photos. So there is a fun new set of photos for the recipe. Same delicious flavors though!

This dish is the first I ever tried there, and as I am sure you know about me (or will learn soon enough) when I love a dish, it becomes my go-to. At PF Chang’s it is this Orange Peel Chicken, at The Cheesecake Factory it is the Spicy Cashew Chicken (with no cashews). P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

I am a loyal fan, only deviating from my favorites to taste a bite of my husband’s dish. He is, luckily for me, the opposite of me when we go out to eat and loves to try new things. So I end up with the best of both worlds.

Now if only I could convince him not to eat from my plate as I am eating from his…

The one change I made to this recipe is that I skipped the breading and deep frying process and used cornstarch in place of flour to keep the chicken as crispy as possible. P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

You can definitely add that back in if you would like, but with just a coat of cornstarch (or flour if you prefer), you will still have a completely delicious dish. I made it both ways at home for the same meal so we could compare, this version won by unanimous decision.

We normally serve this P.F. Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken with Perfect Brown Rice, Every Time and Roasted Garlic and Ginger CarrotsP.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

If you’d like to try out another P.F. Chang’s favorite you should also head over to Peas and Peonies and check out Catalina’s Mongolian Beef copycat recipe!

P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

P.S. Did you know I’ve recreated every Panda Express recipe on the menu? Head over and check out all the copycat recipes now!

Tools Used in the making of P.F. Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken:
Wok: The best way to cook quickly and over high heat for Asian dishes, this wok is the perfect stir fry pan.
Sriracha: Quite possibly the king of all pre-made hot sauces as far as I’m concerned. Adds heat without overwhelming you and can be used in almost every cuisine. Try mixing with mayo to make a perfect spicy mayo!
Citrus Zester: This zests your citrus perfectly without getting any of the pith in the recipe.

Recipe

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P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken (Copycat)

5
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese
Spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor, this Orange Peel Chicken is a healthier version of the PF Chang's favorite!

Ingredients

  • 2 lb . chicken breast , cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 green onions , sliced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • peel from 1 orange , half zested and half julienned
  • Perfect Brown Rice , Every Time

Instructions

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

  1. Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks. Put in a bowl and coat with cornstarch.
  2. Add two tablespoons of oil to your wok.
  3. Heat oil on medium high and add the chicken.
  4. Cook until browned on both sides.
  5. Remove chicken from pan. If you have about a tablespoon of oil in the pan go ahead and use it without wiping your pan clean. If not, add a tablespoon of oil, minced garlic and green onions and let cook for about 1 minute, but don't let your garlic burn.
  6. Add tomato sauce, water, sugar, Sriracha and soy sauce.
  7. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  8. Remove from heat and set aside.
  9. Add the chicken back into the pan with the sauce.
  10. Top with the orange zest and orange strips and mix until all coated, letting it cook for another 20-30 seconds for the chicken to heat back up.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Recipe Secrets
3.3.3077

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!
P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!
P.F. Chang's Orange Peel Chicken is crispy, spicy and sweet, with notes of orange flavor and even healthier than the restaurant version!

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Comments

  1. My nephews LOVE the orange chicken from Panda Express … and this looks to be pretty darn close! And I love that it’s not fried … food can still be delicious without being drenched in oil!

    Making this for dinner soon … thanks!

  2. My mom always makes her sauce with ketchup, haha. My kids are addicted to orange chicken, so I’ll certainly be making this one.

  3. I have never cooked with any fruit peels, but I keep seeing them as ingredients in so many delicious looking recipes. I need to give this one a try!

  4. That looks fantastic! Orange chicken is one of my favorite dishes. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  5. I can’t wait to give this a try. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at Asian style food, and this looks like the perfect recipe for it.

    1. This would be a great recipe to start with, all of the ingredients are totally approachable and easy to find 🙂

  6. Oh my word. That looks amazing. I would love to try this, I am pretty sure I will now have to. I love chicken and orange chicken, yes please!

  7. I am always a fan of orange chicken but can not stand when it tastes artificially orange. Love the ingredients you used in this version!

    1. You’ll love this! When you’re eating it you can smell the fresh orange from the peel. It is amazing.

  8. This sounds so good! I really need to try making this the next time we’re in the mood for Chinese food.

  9. This sounds delicious. Will have to add it to our meal calendar soon… as we are always looking for new things to try.

  10. I haven’t had Orange Peel Chicken in ages, and I have never tried making it, I will have to try this recipe out, but I definitely want mine WITH Cashews! 🙂

  11. That looks amazing and I love that you opted to share a healthier version! On the menu at my house for next week 🙂

  12. That is my daughter’s absolute favorite food. I need to make your recipe and win some serious cool mom points.

    1. I got some amazing mom points thanks to you today too! I made the dinosaur ice eggs and my oldest LOVED them!

    1. I hope you love it! It is my favorite too! We also always order the mongolian beef and the chicken in lettuce wraps 🙂

  13. We are obsessed with making our own Chinese food at home too! This definitely looks like one the entire family would enjoy!

  14. Unfortunately, this dish isn’t quite for me. That being said, I know plenty of family members who would practically drool at the sight of this!

  15. I had no idea that this type of dish has a tomato base. Orange peel chicken is my favorite frozen-dinner Chinese food; I’d love to make this!

  16. My husband is a huge fan of Asian dishes. He is going to love this when I show it to him. We are on a big health kick right now.

  17. Oh my, orange peel chicken is my favorite dish from PF Changs! This looks and sounds delish, and love that it’s a healthier version!

  18. Made it tonight, and everyone loved it! Only question — I didn’t end up using the flour listed on the ingredients, just the cornstarch — everything turned out fine, but I just want to make sure I didn’t miss a step! I couldn’t see where to add flour in to any part of it, but I also am notoriously bad at following recipes. (I also added string beans in to the sauce and chicken at the end, just to get some veggies into the dish, which fortunately worked out great.) Overall, a winner, and Otis loved making it with me 🙂 Thanks for such a great recipe!

    1. Yeah that flour in the recipe baffles me! I don’t know how it got in there. I am so glad it was enjoyed by everyone and that Otis got in the mix! I love that you added a veggie in there, I have tried adding lightly sauteed zuchinni before too. Usually we serve it with roasted carrots or broccoli 🙂 If I have extra sauce I also toss the veggies in the sauce after serving the chicken on each plate.

    1. I think so, haha. People get enthusiastic. But 1 commenter made and reviewed the recipe 🙂 That being said I didn’t get any dinner invites, so I can’t be 100% sure, lol.

      1. It does look great, but what scares me about making it is that of all the orange chicken recipes ive seen online this is the only one that uses tomato sauce for the base, Most use orange juice.

        1. The flavor a are a bit different than say a Panda Express orange chicken. It is an almost exact copy of the PF Chang’s version. You would never guess the tomato base, promise!

  19. I FINALLY got around to making this tonight and you were right. It was AWESOME! Could not at all tell it was tomato sauce based. Im from NY and a total chinese food snob and this was GREAT. Tasted very orangy, not too sweet, and had just the right kick to it from the sriracha. I added sugar snap peas to mine and served it over sticky white rice for a wonderfull dinner. Thanks so much for the recipe. This one is going to be made often.

    1. I’m so glad to hear it!! I was hoping you would end up trying it. It is totally deceiving because it looks like so MUCH tomato, but somehow it completely transforms. Thank you for coming back and telling me what you thought of it!

  20. I hate to do this, because usually I put your recipes in my ‘guaranteed win!’ category. But this one absolutely did not work for me. I followed it to the letter, and am a confident cook, but somehow the final flavor was overwhelmed by the tomato sauce. Yuck =/

    I’m going to give it another try because this recipe seems to have great potential, and some of your positive reviewers seem like folks who would agree that they don’t want a heavy tomato sauce note in this sauce. So maybe I messed up in some way I just didn’t catch.

    1. Did you really give it a good five minutes until the sauce thickened? That, combined with the garlic, really does mute the tomato flavor (and it is a whole quarter cup of garlic!) If you try it again and have the same issue, I would be happy to try and troubleshoot with you if you send me an email at contact @ dinnerthendessert.com. I’ve made this for numerous people and no one has guessed that there was tomato in the recipe!

      1. Thank you for the tip. I am going to try it again and be scrupulous with the timing. I’ve had such good results with all of your recipes that I’m convinced I had to have done something wrong.

        I also wonder if I used Stevia in this one instead of regular granulated sugar. I just don’t remember for sure, as sometimes I make that substitution and sometimes I don’t – but it could have contributed to the issue. I’ll use regular sugar for sure next time, and will give the sauce the full five minutes to combine flavors. Thanks again for your help!

        1. No problem, I hope the second try is a much happier experience and thank you for the kind words, you totally made my day!

  21. I’ve made this twice now and EVERYONE LOVES IT. This is an absolute PERFECT recipe, especially if you like a little kick in your meal! I’ve printed this out and have added it to my successful dinners recipe book! Thank you!

  22. Okay, LOOOVE this! Such a great alternative to fried takeout food. My kids are going to be so pumped when they see this on the dinner table. #MomWin

  23. Hi making in Ireland and tomato sauce can mean either ketchup or passata wondering which one this is? And also what do u mean by julienne?

    1. Tomato sauce is made from all-natural, vine-ripened tomatoes simmered with salt, spices, and natural flavors for seasoning. In the states you can buy it in a can in the pasta aisle. Julienne is a method of cutting into short, thin strips. Hope this was helpful!

  24. Tried this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I think I actually enjoyed it more than the PF Chang’s version, especially since it didn’t cost a pretty penny to make. The only changes I made were adding some fresh squeezed juice from the orange (to taste) and doubling the sauce. We like extra to pour over our rice and vegetables. If you prefer it thicker, just throw a lid on top when you simmer and it will goop up in no time. Thanks for the great recipe- I will definitely be using this one again!

    1. Yay! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and let me know how much you enjoyed it!! It is a nice perk to make it yourself and customize it perfectly to your taste.

  25. 5 star recipe, as always. 1 star website. Why is there ALWAYS a window playing the audio to the embedded video on every recipe? I can’t listen to music while having your page open because the embedded videos auto-play for a recipe I’m not making. This can’t possibly be monetized, so what gives?

    1. That is a fault in the video player, not at ALL intentional. I’m forwarding it to my tech person. Thank you for letting me know, it hasn’t done it to me.

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe though!

  26. Wow, just made this tonight and it turned out AMAZING! Thank you for such a great recipe, I will definitely be making this often! I used to love the orange peel chicken at P.F. Chang’s until I found out it contained mushroom and oyster sauce (I am super picky, I know) so I am thrilled to have found a substitute. Like others have mentioned I was nervous about the addition of the tomato sauce– but it turned out wonderfully. My husband says he wants me to make this every week!

    Rating: 5
  27. This recipe was delicious! I was a little skeptical when it didn’t call for any orange flavoring other than zest so I did end up adding a splash of orange juice before the sauce began to simmer. We accidentally bought sriracha mayo so we used a tbsp instead of regular sriracha. Our family of 5 with a 13 yo, 2yo, and 1yo ate every bite! 

    Rating: 5
    1. I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! I know how hard it is to please everyone at dinner. Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  28. This is just amazing.. I have been eating PF Chang’s orange chicken my whole life and this was by far better in my book! Excellent recipe!!! I will be making again! and again.. and again.. and again.. and again..

    Thank you!!! 🙂