Kirbie's Cravings

Baked Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is made a little healthier while still retaining its crispy coating through baking. This baked orange chicken is an easy weekday meal.

baked orange chicken on a white plate

I’ve been on a quest to make some of Mr. K’s favorite dishes healthier. While I really liked the healthier orange chicken I made last time, Mr. K wasn’t as much of a fan. He missed the crunchy coating and complained that the dish tasted “too much like chicken.”

So I have been working on a baked orange chicken recipe that is crunchy like my crispy baked honey garlic chicken.

So, for this recipe, the chicken is coated in bread crumbs and baked until crispy. Then it is drizzled with the orange glaze right before serving. It tastes as good as take-out! All you need are some fortune cookies for dessert.

a close-up shot of chopsticks holding a piece of baked orange chicken


Breaded Chicken

I use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts but I think the thighs have more flavor and don’t dry out as much when you bake them.

The chicken pieces are dipped in a whisked large egg and dredged in panko bread crumbs.

Orange Sauce

The sauce is a combination of orange juice, granulated sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, and sriracha (or a few pinches of red pepper flakes). It’s also thickened with cornstarch.

How to Make It

Once you’ve breaded the chicken, place the pieces on a prepared baking sheet and bake them it at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the breading is crispy and golden brown.

You can make the sauce while the chicken bakes. Combine all of the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch, in a sauce pan. In a separate small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water.

Heat the sauce ingredients to a low boil and then add the cornstarch mixture. Stir and cook the sauce until it thickens.

Once the chicken is done baking, toss it with the sauce and it’s ready to serve.

How to Store It

Baked orange chicken is best when it’s made while the coating is crunchy. After it cools and sits with the sauce, the coating will soften.

You can store the leftovers in the fridge, but the coating won’t have the same texture. It will still be good, though. Keep the leftovers in an airtight container and they will keep for three to four days.

Garnishes and What to Serve With It

You can garnish the orange chicken with fresh cilantro, parsley, or sliced green onions. For extra crunch, you can sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the top. Some orange slices would be good, too.

We like this dish with cooked rice or cauliflower rice. You can do plain rice or try my traditional Chinese fried rice or fried cauliflower rice. If you want a big batch, you might like my sheet pan fried rice.

Or, if you like noodles, you could try lo mein or pan fried noodles.

Some veggies like red bell peppers or broccoli would also work well.

a close-up shot of baked orange chicken garnished with fresh chopped parsley

We both liked this version – it’s definitely lighter than Panda Express orange chicken but with the same sweet and tangy orange sauce. I love the orange flavor with the crispy chicken and I like that it’s healthier than take-out.

More Recipes to Try

Be sure to try my Slow Cooker Orange Chicken for an easy and even healthier option! If you love take-out you might like to browse my favorite Chinese take-out recipes, too.

Baked Orange Chicken

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
This is a healthier version of our favorite takeout-style orange chicken and only takes around 30 minutes to make. Instead of frying the chicken, I like to coat it in breadcrumbs before baking it. This gives the chicken a crispy coating without all the oil. 


  • 1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 extra-large egg whisked

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/8 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Dip chicken pieces in egg and then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all chicken is coated. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken coating is a light brown and is crunchy.
  • While chicken is cooking, make the sauce on the stove. Add all sauce ingredients except the 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water. Bring to a low boil. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water, then add to the mixture. Stir until sauce boils again and cook until sauce thickens. Toss chicken in sauce right before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired.


Serving: 0.5of recipe, Calories: 565kcal, Carbohydrates: 98.7g, Protein: 27.4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1.9g, Sodium: 983mg, Fiber: 2.7g, Sugar: 33.6g, NET CARBS: 96

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Recipe Rating

20 comments on “Baked Orange Chicken”

  1. Loved it! Added some veggies though (carrots, onion, celery and green pepper) it was perfect!

  2. Just found this recipe and made it for dinner tonight and it was such a hit!!! I added an little more sriracha but it was perfect!!! 

    • I’m so glad you loved it! I like adding more sriracha too but I know some people (like my husband) can’t take so much spiciness.

  3. Made this on a whim and it was AMAZING! I’ve attempted an orange chicken recipe before, but this one was perfect. Thank you for sharing!

  4. GREAT recipe! Super easy, quick, and delicious! Definitely will be making again. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. do you think panko can be substituted for the breadcrumbs?

  6. Have you ever used fresh squeezed orange juice? I don’t like my food too sweet and I was wondering if that would work. 

  7. Kirbie
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I just love it. After a long day at work it is great to come home and fine a simple, delicious recipe to cook.

    As a matter of fact all of you chicken recipes are great. Thanks for a great blog.

  8. Made this for supper tonight and it was very good. I have a picky family but they liked it which makes me happy!!…I would make more sauce next time though, I think..I like too how easy it was to make, with pretty much all ingredients I have on hand…Thank you very much for sharing!!

    • Positive comments like this always make me happy! I know what you mean about the sauce actually. I was trying to keep it a little healthier but I like smothering it in sauce too.

  9. Orange chicken is one of my all time favs. Can’t wait to give your version a try.
    Have a fantastic week!

  10. Sounds tasty.. but could I substitute pork for the chicken?, to make my favourite sweet and sour pork.