Skip the take-out and make this 30-Minute Soy Free Orange Chicken! The chicken pieces are tossed in a sticky orange sauce which has the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy.
This is one of those comfort foods you make when you are craving take-out. It only takes 30-minutes to make and you just need one pan. Growing up I would always request this at least once a week and any time we'd hit a Chinese restaurant this was exactly what I ordered.
The majority of Chinese take-out orange chicken is deep fried and loaded with sugar, gluten, egg, and soy. It was time to give orange chicken a little makeover and make one a bit healthier without losing all of those amazing flavors.
Ingredients in 30-Minute Soy Free Orange Chicken?
- Organic chicken breast- You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or if you are vegetarian or vegan you can simply use a variety of vegetables or extra-firm tofu.
- Vegetables- You can use any vegetables you want in this recipe, I always switch it up with whatever I have on hand.
- Avocado oil- If you don't have avocado oil you can use extra-virgin olive oil. Any time I am frying or cooking on high heat I will use avocado oil vs olive oil. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point, meaning that it doesn't burn and smoke as quickly.
- Sesame seeds
What is in the soy free orange chicken sauce?
When it comes down to it orange chicken is nothing without the sauce! This orange chicken is loaded with flavor and made with fresh ingredients. So what's in it?
- Oranges- the key ingredient to this dish. I use both the zest and the juice to make sure I am utilizing the whole fruit. You can find oranges year-round in grocery stores, but if you can get them when they are in season (December-March) they will have more nutrients and more flavor.
- Coconut aminos- is a salty, savory seasoning sauce made from the fermented sap of coconut palm and sea salt. This is what I use instead of soy sauce or Tamari. If you are trying to eliminated gluten and soy this will be your go-to.
- Rice vinegar- sweet and delicate flavor.
- Toasted sesame oil- gives the sauce a nutty aroma.
- Garlic- Every week I'll peel a handful of garlic and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Anytime I use garlic I always try to cut my garlic at least 10 minutes before eating or adding it to heat to make sure I'm getting the maximum benefits.
- Ginger- A little tip when grating ginger is to store it in the freezer. Frozen ginger is actually easier to peel and grate than fresh, there's no need to thaw it first either. If you don't have fresh ginger you can use ⅜ teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Honey- If you are vegan you can use date paste, coconut sugar, monk fruit, or maple syrup. I have not tried any of these sweeteners personally so I'd use a little at a time and taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
- Arrowroot powder- This is a great alternative to corn starch. I use this to thicken up the orange sauce.
- Red pepper flakes- If you don't have red pepper flakes you can use cayenne pepper.
*You can make the orange sauce ahead of time to cut down prep time. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The arrowroot will sink to the bottom so make sure to whisk the sauce really well before using.
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If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #wellnesskitchenmakeover on Instagram. Enjoy friends!Print
30-Minute Soy Free Orange Chicken
Skip the take-out and make this 30-Minute Orange Chicken! The chicken pieces are tossed in a sticky orange sauce which has the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Sautéing
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1 pound organic chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- Half of an onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, optional
- Zest of an orange
- 1-2 oranges, juiced (about ⅓ cup)
- 2½ tablespoons coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons raw honey, melted
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (cornstarch alternative)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, add more for additional spice
- In a small bowl whisk together the Orange Sauce ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large skillet heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Pat dry your chicken then add in your chicken pieces.
- Spread them out evenly so the chicken can brown. Cook for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In the same hot skillet add red pepper and onion. Sauté until crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes. (Add 1 tablespoon of water or bone broth into the hot skillet to help steam the vegetables faster).
- Add the cooked chicken back into the skillet and reduce heat to low.
- Give your Orange Sauce another whisk and pour it into the skillet. Stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until sauce starts to bubble and thicken. Top with black sesame seeds and serve with white or brown rice.
These make great leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Keywords: orange chicken sauce, soy free recipe, healthy chinese food, healthy orange chicken
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