Healthy Orange Chicken is a simple, low calorie version of your favorite takeout meal. This lighter meal is made with real food and gluten free. Gluten Free, Low Calorie with Paleo option.
Orange chicken is definitely not the healthiest option on a Chinese restaurant’s menu.
When I started losing weight, I started by simply cutting back on the portion I’d eat. But after time I realized how horrible the ingredients in the restaurant versions made me feel.
Healthy Orange Chicken
This Healthy Orange Chicken will definitely have you feeling energized and proud that you’re putting better nutrition in your body (more on this below)!
Made with a handful of real food ingredients, you can’t beat this knock-off on a takeout favorite! It’s gluten free, low calorie and so simple to make. You won’t believe it!
What You Need
- Chicken Tenderloins (I get mine from ButcherBox)
- Orange Juice with no added sugar
- Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- Coconut Aminos
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Garlic Powder
- Ginger Powder
- Green Onions
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How To Make Orange Chicken Lower Calorie
Swapping flour or bread based breading with gluten free oats is a healthier and lower calorie alternative. Oats are high fiber. A great carb that I talk about in my weight loss training that should be incorporated more of in a weight loss diet.
This recipe also significantly less oil to brown the chicken and swaps high inflammatory oils like sesame or canola with extra virgin olive oil. Instead of frying, we’re browning in a skillet. Much healthier option!
The sauce is made with coconut aminos, orange juice and apple cider vinegar. No added sugar, MSG and it’s completely gluten free.
How To Cook Healthy Orange Chicken
Cooking your orange chicken happens in one skillet! It starts by preheating a large skillet with the extra virgin olive oil then breading the pre-cubed chicken in gluten free oats that have been blended into oat flour.
Chicken is wet enough that it doesn’t need an egg wash or anything to make the oat flour stick to the chicken. All you need to do is roll it around in the oat flour then brown in the skillet.
Once the chicken is brown (note, you may need to do this in a few batches depending on the size of your skillet), remove the chicken and place aside on a clean plate.
Then whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and bring to a boil in the skillet. Now this is where you have to be super patient! The sauce will be liquid-y at first, but after 15-20 minutes it will thicken up nicely. If it’s not thick, you have to cook it longer at a higher temperature until it does.
Add the chicken back to the skillet and combine with the sauce then add green onions (sesame seeds too if you like) and serve with your favorite side!
How To Serve Healthy Orange Chicken
Steamed broccoli, cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, quinoa, brown rice or chickpea pasta are great ways to serve your lightened up orange chicken!
Hope you enjoy it!
Healthy Orange Chicken
Healthy Orange Chicken is a simple, low calorie version of your favorite takeout meal. This lighter meal is made with real food and gluten free.
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins or chicken breast
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup orange juice no sugar added
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 2/3 cup gluten free rolled oats or gluten free oat flour or arrowroot flour for Paleo
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 2 green onions diced
- 4 cups broccoli florets
Preheat a large skillet to medium heat and add the extra virgin olive oil.
Chop the chicken into 1-inch cubes, set on a plate and pat dry.
Place the oats in a blender and blender 1 minute or until it becomes a flour like consistency. Transfer the oats to a plate. Coat each chicken piece with the flour then place in the preheated skillet.
Cook 3-4 minutes then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes or until browned on each side then remove and place on a clean plate. You may need to do this in batches depending on how large your skillet is.
In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, ginger powder and garlic powder then place in the skillet and bring to a boil fro 15 minutes.
Stir the sauce every few minutes. It will start to thicken and you will know it is done when it's a syrup-like consistency. Add the chicken and sliced green onions to the skillet once the sauce is done and stir to combine.
While the sauce cooks, cook the broccoli by steaming in a pot with water for 5 minutes or by cooking according to your desire.
Serve the chicken with sauce and broccoli immediately or store in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Get a meal plan designed to meet your weight loss goals.