Panda Express Copycat Orange Chicken

Last updated 05/7/2020 | |

This post may include affiliate links. 
If you make a purchase, I'll earn a small fee at no extra cost to you.

This Panda Express Orange Chicken copycat is ready in minutes. Enjoy the bright, fresh orange sauce and crispy chicken in this easy recipe that's healthier than the original!

orange chicken on plate

You know how sometimes a brand name becomes synonymous with the product it makes? Think Kleenex or Xerox. We love Panda Express, and it automatically means "Orange Chicken" when we hear it. The conversation has become shorthand: "Wanna Panda?" is all that needs to be said.

Recently, I wanted some Orange Chicken but didn't want to: load the kids in the car in the rain, drive to Panda Express, unload the kids, wait in line (juggling a wiggly toddler saying, "Down!" the whole time), load the kids back in the car, load the food in the car, return home.

Can ya blame me?

Besides, why pay for something you can make? Let's do this.

Panda Express copycat orange chicken

This homemade Orange Chicken contains only fresh, real ingredients, without any of the MSG or corn syrup that may be in the fast-food version.

Homemade Orange Chicken

Inspired by Martin Yan's Orange Beef

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil (buy my favorite coconut oil here)

1/2 cup orange juice

zest of 1 orange

3 Tablespoons oyster sauce

2 Tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. I prefer to do this while the chicken is partially thawed, since that makes it easier to cut.

Heat the butter/oil in a large pan until shimmering. Add half of the chicken (it's OK if they're still partly frozen when you put them in) and cook until nicely browned.

Don't put all the chicken in at once because the pan will get crowded, it won't stay hot enough, and you won't end up with the tasty browned bits of chicken deliciousness.

chicken cooking in pan

Take the first half out and set it on a towel while you cook up the second half. I put the chicken on a towel instead of a plate because the towel will absorb any condensation, preventing sogginess.

While the chicken is cooking, prep the sauce. Mix the orange juice, orange zest, oyster sauce, honey, ginger, and red pepper flakes, if using, in a measuring cup. The honey will probably stay in a big lump in the measuring cup, but it'll melt in the pan.

Take out the second batch of chicken and blot the excess oil out of the pan with a paper towel. Leave the crunchy browned bits in.

blotting oil from pan

Pour the sauce into the pan, making sure the honey comes along for the ride, and scrape up all those yummy browned bits.

orange chicken sauce cooking in pan

You'll know the sauce is the right thickness when your spatula leaves a little blank trail behind it.

orange chicken sauce cooking

Toss in your chicken and heat it through. Serve with steamed rice or loaded fried rice.

Panda Express orange chicken copycat

Kitchen Tips

I like to make a big batch of Orange Chicken sauce and freeze it in these canning jars. Then I can pour the sauce over store-bought chicken strips, make some rice, and dinner is done! BOOM.

Love this recipe? Then you'll love the healthy copycat recipes in Better Than A Box. This fantastic ebook contains more than 50 recipes for your favorite packaged foods, made healthy and from-scratch.

homemade copycat recipes

Plus it teaches you how to remake boxed foods so they're healthy and natural! Our family's favorite recipes from Better Than A Box are Homemade French Onion Dip and Dad's Cheeseburger Helper. YUM.

closeup of orange chicken on wooden bowl with chopsticks

Incredible Homemade Orange Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Faster and healthier than takeout–this delicious, homemade orange chicken recipe is ready in minutes, and is better than Panda Express!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  1. Cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces. I prefer to do this while the chicken is partially thawed, since that makes it easier to cut.
  2. Heat the butter/oil in a large pan until shimmering. Add half of the chicken (it's OK if they're still partly frozen when you put them in) and cook until nicely browned.
  3. Don't put all the chicken in at once because the pan will get crowded, it won't stay hot enough, and you won't end up with the tasty browned bits of chicken deliciousness.
  4. Take the first half out and set it on a towel while you cook up the second half. I put the chicken on a towel instead of a plate because the towel will absorb any condensation, preventing sogginess.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, prep the sauce. Mix the orange juice, orange zest, oyster sauce, honey, ginger, and red pepper flakes, if using, in a measuring cup. The honey will probably stay in a big lump in the measuring cup, but it'll melt in the pan.
  6. Take out the second batch of chicken and blot the excess oil out of the pan with a paper towel. Leave the crunchy browned bits in.
  7. Pour the sauce into the pan, making sure the honey comes along for the ride, and scrape up all those yummy browned bits.
  8. You'll know the sauce is the right thickness when your spatula leaves a little blank trail behind it.
  9. Toss in your chicken and heat it through. Serve with rice or noodles.

Notes

I like to make a big batch of Orange Chicken sauce and freeze it in these canning jars. Then I can pour the sauce over store-bought chicken strips, make some rice, and dinner is done! BOOM.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

homemade orange chicken

You’ll also like:

Copycat Restaurant Recipes!

Join my weekly newsletter and get copycat recipes for 5 famous restaurant foods.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Pam

Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

Making natural living easy.

Whether you need simple recipes, gardening advice, or tips for a non-toxic home–there’s something here for you.

Pam

Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

Trending Now

Shop your recipe essentials.

Off the Shelf: Homemade Alternatives to the Condiments, Toppings, and Snacks you Love

Essential Oil
Diffuser Recipes

Vegetable Gardening
for Beginners