This copycat takeout Air Fryer Orange Chicken is super easy to make at home. Featuring crispy air fried chicken and homemade orange sauce, this naturally gluten free and dairy free recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes and a perfect choice for meal prep!
Copycat takeout recipes are always a delicious and fun way to switch up your dinner routine. Not only are my Shrimp Stir Fry and Broccoli and Beef Stir Fry better than what you’d find at a restaurant, but they’re healthy too. Just add this Air Fryer Orange Chicken to the rotation and you have an amazing meal!
The cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in this orange chicken recipe are done cooking after about 10 minutes in the air fryer, giving you time to focus on the sticky and savory orange sauce. The easy orange sauce is bright, citrusy, easy to make, and much healthier than store bought versions.
This air fryer orange chicken recipe is very similar to the Trader Joe's orange chicken air fryer. It’s made with orange juice, honey, coconut aminos, and chili paste, which lend a variety of bold and fresh flavors.
Pour the sweet and savory orange sauce over the crispy air fryer chicken and enjoy! This takeout-inspired recipe is a delight when served over quinoa fried rice with steamed vegetables. The best part is it tastes great days later, leaving you with delicious and gluten free meals for weekly lunches.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken breasts - The chicken breasts are sliced into bite-sized pieces to help them cook quickly and evenly in the air fryer. Boneless chicken thighs will work just as well.
- Orange juice and zest - Because it wouldn’t be orange sauce without the orange! I recommend using freshly squeezed juice and zest in order to give the sauce a variety of bright, acidic, and citrusy flavors.
- Coconut aminos - This is a common gluten free substitute for soy sauce that can be found at most health food stores. You can use tamari instead or regular soy sauce if you don’t need the recipe to be gluten free.
- Rice vinegar - This slightly sweet Asian vinegar gives the orange sauce a tasty and classic tang. White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used instead.
- Chili paste - Or chili oil will add just the right amount of heat.
- Honey - Used as a natural sweetener to help balance the spicy, savory sauce. Another liquid sweetener, like agave syrup or maple syrup, can be used as a substitute.
How to make orange chicken in the air fryer
This easy orange chicken recipe is a filling and flavorful Asian-inspired dish that’s quickly cooked in the air fryer. Everything can be thrown together in just a few simple steps:
Step 1: Toss the cubed chicken, cornstarch, salt, and pepper together in a ziplock bag. Shake to coat.
Step 2: Transfer the coated chicken into your air fryer basket and cook.
Step 3: While the chicken is air frying, pour the orange juice, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, chili paste, orange zest, and honey into a saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat.
Step 4: Create a slurry by stirring the cornstarch in some orange sauce. Pour the slurry into the orange sauce and cook until it thickens slightly.
Step 5: Pour the orange sauce over the chicken, toss to coat, and garnish with sesame seeds and fresh orange slices. Serve and enjoy!
Oven baked instructions
Don’t fret if you don’t have an air fryer! Gluten free orange chicken is very easy to bake in the oven. Here’s how it’s done:
- Coat the cubed chicken in the cornstarch mixture as normal and spread evenly across a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake the chicken in a 450°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. While your chicken is baking, prepare the stovetop orange sauce according to the recipe instructions.
- Pour the sauce over the baked chicken, then garnish, serve, and enjoy!
What to serve with orange chicken
Healthy orange chicken can be served on its own over rice, quinoa, or chow mein noodles with steamed vegetables on the side. To make it a part of a takeout–inspired feast, serve the chicken next to Thai basil beef stir fry, quinoa fried rice, short ribs, edamame, and Asian salmon.
Make ahead, storing, and reheating
Make ahead tips: Cube (but don’t coat) your chicken and store it in the fridge in a ziplock bag for 1 or 2 days. Make the orange sauce on the stovetop and allow it to cool completely before storing it in a jar or container the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, coat the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, air fry it, and toss it in the premade sauce.
To store: Place any leftover air fryer orange chicken in an airtight container or ziplock bag and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat: Reheat the sauce-covered chicken in a skillet on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
Looking for more savory Asian-inspired recipes?
- Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry
- Instant Pot Quinoa Fried Rice
- Healthy Chicken Cabbage Stir Fry
- Asian Quinoa Salad
- Salmon and Broccoli Stir Fry
Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- 3 chicken breasts cubed
- 3 tablespoon corn starch divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili paste or chili oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ tablespoon orange zest
- orange slices
- sesame seeds
- Toss chicken cubes in ziplock with 2 tablespoon corn starch, salt and pepper. Shake well to coat the chicken. Sift the chicken to remove excess corn starch.
- Spray the tray of air fryer and place the chicken. Cook chicken at 400F for 8-10 minutes or until chicken registers 165 degrees internally or above. Be sure to turn the chicken halfway through.
- Meanwhile add the orange juice, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, chili, orange zest and honey to a small pan and cook over medium low heat. Dissolve remaining 1 tablespoon corn starch with about 2 tablespoon of the liquid in pan, add that starchy liquid back into the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Pour orange sauce over the chicken. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with orange slices.