Easy Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe

Easy Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe. Crispy chicken in a sweet and tangy glaze, perfect for weeknight dinners!

Sweet and Tangy glazed orange chicken on a bowl of rice with green onion and chopsticks

My family loves Chinese takeout. The cute little containers. The egg rolls. And reading the fortune cookies at the end of our meal. We love it all.

My husband and I even have a tradition of ordering Chinese takeout every year on our wedding anniversary. And we always make sure to include orange chicken in our order.

I used to struggle with cooking Chinese food.

Every time I made fried rice it wasn’t nearly as good as Chinese takeout. It always took me more work than it was worth and didn’t turn out how I wanted.

But one day I decided to make this orange chicken recipe and my Chinese food cooking skills soared.

This easy orange chicken recipe tastes just as good as Panda Express orange chicken, and other Chinese food takeout! The orange chicken sauce has a sweet, savory flavor with a crunch from the deep fry goodness.

This is a perfect recipe when you’re craving takeout but want something easier on the wallet.

How to Make Orange Chicken

Prep bowls with chicken in egg mixture, chicken in flour mixture, and crispy chicken

Step 1: Mix the egg, salt, white pepper, and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a bowl. In another bowl mix 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup flour. Coat bite size pieces of chicken first in the egg mixture and then in the flour mixture.

Step 2: Heat vegetable oil on medium high heat in stainless skillet (you will need enough oil to fill the skillet about 1/2 inch deep, or use a fry daddy or air fryer). Fry chicken in oil until completely cooked, several minutes on each side. Remove chicken into serving bowl with paper towels to sop up grease. Drain all but 2 tbsp of the remaining oil.

Step 3: With the remaining 2 Tbsp of frying oil, heat ginger, garlic, red pepper, green onions, sesame oil, and two Tbsp soy sauce. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until onions soften.

Step 4: In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, white sugar, orange juice, and rice vinegar. Add to onion mixture in skillet. Bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. Add to boiling mixture and return to boil until thickened.

Step 5: Pour hot glaze over chicken, mix and serve with rice. Garnish with fresh green onions slices if desired. ENJOY.

What you’ll need to make orange chicken and sauce (tools/ingredients)

If you want a quick glance at what’s needed for today’s recipe, look no further. For the printable recipe with measurements, scroll all the way down!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour
  • Ground ginger
  • Garlic, pressed
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Orange juice
  • Rice vinegar
  • Water

Tools:

  • Stainless skillet
  • Small bowls
  • Whisk

What to serve with Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken goes really well with rice! The rice sops up all the extra orange chicken sauce and gives it a great tangy flavor.

You can make traditional white rice or chicken fried rice to serve with this dish. My crockpot PF Changs lettuce wraps also pair really well with this orange chicken.

You could even whip up a batch of this egg roll skillet. All the flavor of egg rolls, without the extra carbs (or hassle of making them)!

Can Orange Chicken be made in the Slow Cooker?

I have a modified version of this orange chicken recipe that you can make in the slow cooker. The chicken breast cooks in the Crock Pot all day, giving you a tender and flavorful chicken that is just as easy as takeout!

However, be warned, it’s not as authentic as today’s version. But, if you’re looking for something delicious and flavorful…and VERY EASY, my Slow Cooker Orange Chicken Recipe might be for you!

Tips for making the best Orange Chicken Recipe

  • The best type of oil to use for orange chicken is vegetable oil. I use vegetable oil in my egg mixture and for frying the chicken.
  • You can use a skillet or saucepan to fry the chicken. You don’t need a deep fryer for this step. 
  • You can use boneless chicken thighs or boneless chicken breasts for this orange chicken recipe. I prefer thighs because they tend to be a little juicer, but breasts would work too.
  • You can make this dish without stir frying it in a skillet by using your air fryer. To do this, dredge your chicken in the egg and flour mixture, and put it in the bottom of your air fryer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches 180 degrees. Make your glaze and pour it over your chicken once it’s done cooking.

Is General Tso’s Chicken the same as Orange Chicken?

You may have seen General Tso’s chicken and wondered if it’s the same thing as Orange chicken.

Although the dishes are cooked similarly, have many of the same ingredients, and include an orange flavor component (orange zest, juice, or other) General Tso’s chicken tends to have a more spicy flavor, while orange chicken has a more sweet savory glaze.

Can Orange Chicken be made ahead of time and/or frozen?

You can make this ahead of time and freeze it for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat chicken in a frying pan. You can add a little chicken broth if it needs more liquid.

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More CHICKEN Recipes:

Yield: 8 servings

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe. Crispy chicken in a sweet and tangy glaze, perfect for weeknight dinners!

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut bite size
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 cup plus 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

For the Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. Mix egg, salt, white pepper and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a bowl. In another bowl mix 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup flour. Coat bite size pieces of chicken first in egg mixture then in flour.
  2. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in stainless skillet (you will need enough to fill skillet about 1/2 inch deep-or use a fry daddy). Fry chicken in oil until completely cooked, several minutes each side. Remove chicken into serving bowl. Drain all but 2 Tbsp oil.
  3. To remaining 2 Tbsp vegetable fryer oil, heat ginger, garlic, red pepper, green onion, sesame oil and 2 Tbsp soy sauce. Heat for 2-3 minutes, until onions soften.
  4. In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup soy, 1/4 cup water, sugars, orange juice and vinegar. Add to onion mixture in skillet. Bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and cold water in small bowl. Add to boiling mixture and return to boil until thickened.
  5. Pour hot glaze over chicken, mix and serve with white rice! Garnish with green onions slices if desired. ENJOY.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 577 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 166mg Sodium: 1608mg Carbohydrates: 55g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 23g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 48g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Recipe originally published March 14, 2011. Photos updated August 2019.

Easy Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe. Crispy chicken in a sweet and tangy glaze, perfect for weeknight dinners!

**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

19 comments on “Easy Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe”

  1. Anonymous

    I don’t know when, but I do want to try this one! I agree, fried rice at home sucks, I never make it good.

    -Jeff

  2. Gail H.

    I made this for the first time tonight and it came out great!!

  3. Abby K.

    Wonderful recipe, easy to follow and it turned out delicious!!

  4. This looks just as good a any you’d get at a Chinese restaurant and seems pretty easy, too. I’ll pin it for another day. Already have some shrimp and scallops marinating for tonight. We’re a day off from Valentine’s Day, but that’s OK.

    Next time I make fried rice I’ll have to post it. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done it, but it’s really tasty….and better than the restaurant. I always think it’s a little dry when I order it.

  5. Amanda

    What kind of oil did you use in the egg mixture?

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  7. Cheryl S

    This orange chicken recipe gets two thumbs up from my family! It will definitely be on our regular rotations!

  8. Trang

    Love! Thank you for also including tips on making it in the slow cooker.

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  11. I know what I will be having for dinner tonight! This looks amazing; worthy of a restaurant, indeed!

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  13. Laura Reese

    We love panda express orange chicken! Can’t wait to make this one.

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