Easy Meals

Healthy Baked Orange Chicken

This healthy baked orange chicken recipe is crispy and made with fresh orange, and other simple ingredients. It’s gluten and dairy free and tastes like your favorite Chinese takeout, but healthier!

I’m always down for Asian food. Asian-inspired stir frys are one of Rob and I’s favorite go to weeknight meals and we’re always trying to come up with different ways to make them a little healthier and make them more authentic tasting!

healthy baked orange chicken with peppers and rice

I won’t ever completely cut out an authentic pad Thai or egg roll from my diet on occasion, but if I can make a darn good Asian meal at home with fewer ingredients and less salt that’s definitely what I’m going to go for on a more regular basis.

This healthy baked orange chicken is one of my new favorite meals to add to our weeknight line up. It totally hits the spot when I’m trying to satisfy my craving for take-out orange chicken in a healthy way and doesn’t take forever to make.

I love that you can pair it with a lot of different sides like veggies and rice and I’m so excited for you to make it too! I’ve been wanting to make my own healthier orange chicken for a while now and when I started brainstorming recipes for citrus week (happening on my Instagram now!) I knew it had to happen and I’m so excited for how it came out!

ingredients for healthy baked orange chicken

  • boneless chicken breast
  • orange
  • crackers ( I love using these from Simple Mills for this recipe. They’re gluten free and made with nutrient dense ingredients)
  • 1 egg
  • honey
  • fresh ginger
  • fresh garlic
  • paprika
  • chicken broth
  • coconut sugar (any sugar will work)
  • coconut aminos ( or soy sauce)
  • cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • salt

how the baked orange chicken gets crispy

A cracker coating is what makes this baked orange chicken really crispy and taste even more like your favorite Chinese style takeout! The chicken is “breaded” in crushed up crackers, baked and them finished in the sauce.

The end result is a crispy baked orange chicken dish that pairs well with veggies and rice and is lower in sodium and free from other ingredients and oils that some restaurants may use in orange chicken.

crispy orange chicken recipe

what to pair this orange chicken recipe with

This baked and crispy orange chicken goes great with Asian-inspired veggies like peppers, carrots, pea pods, and broccoli — all together in a stir-fry would be awesome! You could definitely double the sauce recipe below to make enough to cover your veggies.

I also like pairing it with a starch like brown rice, or quinoa. In these pictures I paired it with a rice made from chickpeas called RightRice.If you’re looking for a low carb version, you could also pair it with cauliflower rice!

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healthy baked orange chicken with peppers and rice

Healthy Baked Orange Chicken

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: easy meals
  • Method: bake; sautee
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Baked and crispy just like restaurant style orange chicken, you’ll love how easy this healthier chicken tender recipe is and how great it is for a quick weeknight dinner.


Ingredients

Scale

for the baked chicken: 

  • 1 lb package boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 box crackers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds

for the sauce: 

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 4 tsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add the crackers to a plastic bag. Use a rolling pins to break them into small pieces but not completely crushed.* Leave them in the bag.
  3. In a shallow dish, whisk the egg. Add the honey, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  4. Cut raw chicken into strips and start by dipping them in the egg mixture and placing them in the bag to get coated in the crackers.
  5. Repeat with remaining chicken and use excess cracker coating to add to parts of the chicken where it might be missing. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is baking make the sauce. Combine the chicken broth, orange zest and juice, sugar, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, and sesame oil in a frying pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for about 4-5 minutes. Whisk in the arrowroot powder (this will make it thick!) 2 tsp. at a time until sauce thickens.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven. Using tongs, transfer it into the skillet with the sauce. Get all sides and pieces of the chicken coated in the sauce and remove from heat. Transfer to a plate and top with sesame seeds as a garnish!

Notes

* If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use a wine bottle!

Keywords: healthy baked orange chicken

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