Paleo Chinese Orange Chicken made grain-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free.  This simple recipe requires few ingredients and hardly any time. Better than takeout orange chicken ready in 30 to 40 minutes! 

30-Minute Paleo Orange Chicken - an easy gluten-free soy-free Chinese Orange Chicken recipe that comes together quickly. Sweet, sour, zesty, umami and delicious

I posted this recipe for healthier Chinese Orange Chicken back in January of 2020, and after making a few tweaks for my own enjoyment, I figured I would re-post the recipe with my changes and some new photos.

The changes actually make the recipe easier to prepare!

Easy healthier Chinese Orange Chicken made grain-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free.

If you’ve encountered my Paleo General Chicken, Paleo Chinese Lemon Chicken, 30-Minute Sesame Ginger Garlic Broccoli Beef Stir Fry, Sesame Ginger Cashew Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork (and more!), you already know my love for Chinese food knows no bounds.

In addition, making Chinese food homemade to be gluten-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free is one of my nerdy culinary hobbies.

When I was in grad school, I subsisted on Panda Express orange chicken and fried rice and Rockstars (Guava flavor 200%), so for me, orange chicken is positively nostalgic. 

And this recipe results in that crispy chicken with the irresistible sticky sweet and savory sauce that just gets you every time!

Let’s talk about the ingredients.

Easy Healthy Chinese Orange Chicken - paleo-friendly, grain-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, and easy to make in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients for Paleo Orange Chicken:

For the Sauce: Orange juice and zest, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos, sriracha, sesame oil, and cider vinegar.  

You can replace the coconut aminos with liquid aminos or soy sauce if you do soy, but be sure to add 1 to 3 tablespoons (to taste) of pure maple syrup to get the proper sweetness.

You can omit the sriracha to keep it completely mild or bump up the amount to 2 tablespoons for a spicier orange chicken.

For the Chicken: Chicken thighs or breasts, tapioca flour, and egg. 

The chicken is coated with egg and flour then pan-fried to get that crispy crust.

You can use gluten-free all-purpose flour instead of the tapioca flour if you’d like!

Let’s make it!

30-Minute Gluten-Free Chinese Orange Chicken - soy-free, refined sugar-free, easy to make, better than takeout!

How to Make Orange Chicken:

Add the ingredients for the sauce to a small blender and blend until completely combined (I use my Magic Bullet). If you don’t have a small blender, you can simply stir everything well in a bowl – just be sure to mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Set the sauce aside until ready to use.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth

Whisk the egg until well-beaten in a mixing bowl. Chop the chicken and transfer it to the bowl with the egg. Stir well until the chicken is well-coated in egg.

Add the tapioca flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour) and stir everything around until the chicken is coated in flour as well.

Coat the chicken in beaten egg, then add the flour

Stir until everything is well coated in egg and flour

Heat the avocado oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and spread it into an even layer. The chicken pieces will want to stick together – don’t worry about it, they’ll come apart as you continue cooking.

Allow the chicken to brown, stirring every couple of minutes, until the pieces have a nice golden-brown crust to them (you don’t need to cook the chicken through just yet).

Cook the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat until the pieces are crispy and golden-brownPour in the sauce and stir well. Bring the mixture to a full boil, then cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium.

Allow the chicken to cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and sticky, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Cover, stir, and cook until sauce is thick and chicken is cooked through

Serve orange chicken with choice of steamed or fried rice and enjoy!

Paleo Orange Chicken - gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free healthier Chinese orange chicken recipe that comes together in 30 minutes or less.

If you love your orange chicken with fried rice, check out my Pineapple Fried Rice, Basil Fried Rice, or my Red Curry Fried Rice. Coconut Rice is a perfect pairing as well!

For a low-carb option, go with my Cauliflower Fried Rice or my Turnip Fried Rice

Double orange chicken, here we go!

30-Minute Paleo Orange Chicken - an easy gluten-free soy-free Chinese Orange Chicken recipe that comes together quickly. Sweet, sour, zesty, umami and delicious

Paleo Orange Chicken

4.50 from 8 votes
Grain-free, soy-free paleo orange chicken made with just a few basic ingredients in 30 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Orange Sauce:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or liquid aminos or soy sauce*
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves garlic minced**
  • 2 tsp sriracha optional

For the Chicken:

  • 1 to ½ lbs boneless chicken thighs or breasts chopped into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup tapioca flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil for cooking

For serving:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch green onion chopped

Instructions

  • Add the ingredients for the sauce to a small blender and blend until completely combined (I use my Magic Bullet). If you don’t have a small blender, you can simply stir everything well in a bowl - just be sure to mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Set the sauce aside until ready to use.
  • Whisk the egg until well-beaten in a mixing bowl. Chop the chicken and transfer it to the bowl with the egg. Stir well until the chicken is well-coated in egg. Add the flour and stir everything around until the chicken is coated in flour as well.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and spread it into an even layer. The chicken pieces will want to stick together - don’t worry about it, they’ll come apart as you continue cooking.
  • Allow the chicken to brown, stirring every couple of minutes, until the pieces have a nice golden-brown crust to them (you don’t need to cook the chicken through just yet).
  • Pour in the sauce and stir well. Bring the mixture to a full boil, then cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the chicken to cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and sticky, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve orange chicken with choice of steamed or fried rice and enjoy!

Notes

*If using coconut aminos, add ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to the sauce then add more to taste once you’re finished cooking the chicken. If you are using liquid aminos or soy sauce, hold off on adding salt until you’re done cooking, as both contain a decent amount already.
In addition, if using liquid aminos or soy sauce, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup to the sauce for sweetness. Coconut aminos is already naturally sweet so no added sweetener is necessary.
**Omit the garlic for Low-FODMAP.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4 · Calories: 363kcal · Carbohydrates: 12g · Protein: 36g · Fat: 15g · Sugar: 8g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chicken recipe, Chinese food, gluten free, Healthy Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe, Orange Chicken, paleo, Paleo Orange Chicken, soy free, takeout
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
30-Minute Healthy Chinese Orange Chicken - grain-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, better than takeout!

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I made this with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour and it came out amazing. I was worried that the sesame oil was too strong but after cooking the flavor mellowed out. I added a little bit of cornstarch and brown sugar to the sauce but the cornstarch was probably not necessary. I also substituted the Sriracha for a red jalapeño sauce I had on hand. Being soy and gluten free I’ve missed orange chicken. I’m glad to have this recipe in my arsenal!

    1. All of that sounds great, Nicole! Thanks so much for sharing your changes – that’s very helpful for folks who want to try the same thing! xoxoxo 😀

    1. Actually, it is. Low-FODMAP, as you know, means low in fermentable carbohydrate. If you were to add up the sum total of fermentable carbohydrates in this recipe, it is below the threshold of what typically makes people with IBS react.

      The concept is very similar to the keto diet. While carrots and tomatoes aren’t considered “keto” because they contain carbohydrates, as long as you aren’t going above a certain carb threshold in a meal, the meal is still considered keto.

      What’s more important is the way someone reacts to this meal. For instance, when I was at my worst with IBS, I could consume this chicken just fine without having a reaction.

      All of that said, if someone had a garlic allergy or if they were concerned this recipe would cause a reaction, I would tell them to omit the garlic.

  2. Enthused to try this, but it’s categorized as an instant pot recipe on your site. Should there be alternatives instructions for that, or is that an error? Please advise.

    1. Hi Pamela! The Instant Pot categorization was my mistake! I removed the category so that it won’t confuse others in the future – thank you for catching that! In terms of using almond flour or coconut flour – I haven’t tested either one so I can’t be sure, but this is how I think it would go: Almond flour would likely not stick very well to the chicken and also give the sauce a grainy texture. Coconut flour may work but I would use much less because it absorbs a lot of liquid. I also think coconut flour could result in a strange texture for the sauce as well. For these reasons, I do think tapioca flour is the best choice because it will thicken the sauce to the right consistency and coat the chicken nicely. A gluten-free flour blend would also work here. Nevertheless, if you’re open to experimenting and you want to try coconut flour or almond flour, let me know how it turns out!!