Orange Chicken Makeover

A lighter alternative to the popular Chinese take-out dish.

Sweet, spicy and flavorful – a lighter alternative to the popular Chinese fast food take-out dish and it’s quick and easy to make!

I had a request a few weeks ago to make over this popular American-Chinese fast food dish which is usually battered and deep fried. To be honest, this is not a dish I would order because I’m not a fan of battered sweet Chinese dishes, but I was happy to tackle a lighter version. My solution was skip all that frying, and make a flavorful orange sauce. The outcome was great, and my husband even gave it two thumbs up!

I served this over cauliflower “fried rice” which I will post tomorrow but you could even saute some bell peppers, snow peas, broccoli or asparagus and add them at the end. Enjoy!

Orange Chicken
Servings: 4 • Size: generous 3/4 cup • Points +: 8 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 288 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 18 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 32.5 g • Sugar: 9 g
Sodium: 463 mg • Cholesterol: 81 mg


For the Orange Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (Tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sriracha, or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

For the chicken:

  • 20 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1-inch grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish


Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and coat evenly with corn starch, set aside.

Heat a wok on high heat, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and add half of the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until well browned, set aside. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and chicken and repeat cooking 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside with the rest of the chicken.

Add remaining teaspoon of oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add theorange zest then return the chicken to the pan. Quickly stir the chicken then add the orange sauce and cook until the sauce thickens,about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide between 4 plates and garnish with the scallion and sesame seeds.