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30-Minute Healthy Chinese Orange Chicken (Paleo, Soy-Free)

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

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Grain-free, soy-free paleo orange chicken made with just a few basic ingredients in 30 minutes.

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
  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 of 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 363Total Fat 15gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 12gSugar 8gProtein 36g
30-Minute Healthy Chinese Orange Chicken - grain-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, better than takeout!

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