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Easy Baked Orange Chicken

This Baked Orange Chicken is an easy, healthier and yummier take on the popular Chinese takeout. Crispy chicken pieces are breaded and oven baked, then coated in a sticky, tangy homemade orange sauce using orange marmalade.

Yes, these baked orange chicken is indeed baked, not fried. But I promise you, it’s just as crispy and delicious! Say goodbye to grease takeout dishes!

A bowl of Easy Baked Orange Chicken with rice

Oven Baked Orange Chicken

Orange chicken is definitely one of those staple dishes that you can find in pretty much any Chinese restaurant in the United States. They may not be an authentic Chinese recipe, but gosh they are good!

I love everything about Orange Chicken, and started making my own baked orange chicken version at home that is healthier and doesn’t require deep frying that chicken in a pot of oil.

The inspiration for this Baked Orange Chicken is none other than Trader Joe’s famous Orange Chicken. They have a great frozen version that we buy frequently and toss in the oven for quick meals.

When I started baking those yummy baked orange chicken, I knew I could make it at home and make it just as tasty.

These chicken may be baked, but they are juicy on the insides, and truly crunchy on the outsides. They are coated in this tangy sweet orange sauce that uses only a few ingredients and are truly delicious.

And I don’t want to brag and all that…but dang, this oven baked orange chicken recipe is so good we rarely get orange chicken takeout anymore. It’s much cheaper, healthier and tastier making them at home!

Ingredients

To make these baked orange chicken, here are the ingredients you will need. Good news is: they are easy to find!

Two bowls of Easy Baked Orange Chicken served with rice
  • boneless skinless chicken breast – cut into small 1-inch pieces. You can also use chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs.
  • orange marmalade – I use Smucker’s but have used other brands and they work great as well. Using orange marmalade makes making the orange sauce for our baked orange chicken much more straightforward and just as tasty!
  • egg – used to make sure breading sticks to the chicken pieces
  • all purpose flour – for breading chicken
  • cornstarch – for breading chicken
  • soy sauce – good old regular soy sauce that goes into the orange sauce
  • garlic – I mince fresh garlic but in a pinch, garlic powder works as well
  • red pepper flakes – gives the orange sauce an extra kick

My goal when creating this Baked Orange Chicken is to use minimal ingredients but also just enough to make it very tasty and not lacking in flavor. Trying to keep this simple yet very yummy!

How to make Oven Baked Orange Chicken

Step 1: Bread chicken

To make Baked Orange Chicken, the first thing I do is prepare the coating for the chicken. You will need two separate bowls to bread the chicken.

  1. Grab a flat bowl, add flour, cornstarch and salt, and mix well
  2. Grab another bowl and whisk one egg

Cut a defrosted chicken into smaller cubes. Pat dry chicken to remove all excess water.

Dip cubed chicken into the egg mixture, coat all over, and then coat multiple times in the flour mixture.

I coat it in flour mixture at least 3-4 times to get a nice, thick coat of flour on the chicken.

Unbaked breaded chicken pieces

Depending on the size of the bowls you use, you can throw many pieces of chicken into the egg mixture at once instead of doing it one at the time. You do want to make sure each piece of chicken is coated evenly with the flour mixture.

Typically I use one hand to work on the egg mixture and another hand (with a spoon) to work on the flour mixture. This way I keep one hand wet and another dry. Wet hands on flour mixture can be tricky.

Step 2: Bake chicken

Once chicken pieces are breaded, line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spoon 2 tablespoons (or more if needed) of vegetable oil onto parchment paper and brush all over evenly. You can use cooking oil spray as well if you have it.

I use aluminum foil for easy cleanup, but you can also place chicken directly on the baking sheet.

From my experience, it can be very challenging removing the chicken pieces from the aluminum foil/baking sheet if you skimp on the oil. So be generous with it!

Bake for 15 minutes at 400℉, remove from oven, use a pair of tongs flip chicken, and bring baking sheet back to oven and cook for another 15 minutes. 

Baked chicken on baking sheet
Baked chicken

Once chicken is done, it should be slightly golden brown and crispy.

Remove chicken promptly from baking sheet into a large bowl.

Step 3: Make Orange Sauce

While chicken is baking in the oven, I like to start making the orange sauce that will coat the crispy baked chicken.

I love my orange sauce, both how yummy it tastes and also how easy it is to make it. A good sauce is so important and it makes this baked orange chicken what it is!

In a small pot, combine orange marmalade (I used Smucker’s brand), soy sauce, minced garlic and a tiny bit of red pepper flakes. If you like it spicier, you can add more red pepper flakes.

Bring to boil under medium low heat.

Once it boils, keep boiling on low heat for 4-5 minutes to slightly thicken sauce. Keep stirring the whole time and keep it under low heat to prevent sauce from burning.

Remove from heat once sauce is done.

Orange sauce
The tangy, sweet and sour Orange sauce

Step 4: Combine and serve!

Add orange sauce to bowl with baked chicken and toss to coat chicken evenly.

And that’s all there is to it! Hello, Baked Orange Chicken!

Serve Orange Chicken immediately so it is still nice and crispy while coated in that sauce.

If Baked Orange Chicken sits too long in the sauce, it’ll get soggy and less crispy. Now while the texture isn’t as great, it’s still gonna be super tasty.

How to Serve this

I highly recommend serving Baked Orange Chicken with some white, brown rice or fried rice.

Rice works great with Orange Chicken because it soaks up all that yummy sauce and complements that tangy sweet savory flavors so very well.

Vegetable side dishes, appetizers or soups are also yummy ways to compliment Baked Orange Chicken. Here are some of my favorites:

A bowl of Easy Baked Orange Chicken on top of rice

Storage and Reheating

Baked Orange Chicken is best served immediately.

For best taste, store the chicken and orange sauce separately, and then heat chicken in the oven to crisp it up before tossing it in sauce.

Personally, I think it’s still yummy if you toss chicken in sauce, store and microwave to reheat. Baked Orange Chicken just won’t be as crispy as it would be fresh off the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Baked Orange Chicken with chicken thighs and/or chicken tenderloins?

Yes! As long as they are boneless/skinless, cook temperature and time should be the same.

How do I make my chicken crisper?

1) Make sure chicken is pat dry before coating in breading. Access water can make chicken pieces soggy.
2) Grease baking sheet generously. Whether we like it or not, oil will help crisp up the chicken!
3) Cook at a high temperature for a little bit longer if needed. If you try 1) and 2) and chicken is still not crispy, go ahead and bump the temperature up slightly and cook chicken longer.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

More Asian Recipes

A bowl of Easy Baked Orange Chicken with rice

Easy Baked Orange Chicken

Baked, not fried! Crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside, these white meat chicken pieces are coated with sweet and tangy orange sauce. Serve with warm rice. So good!
4.85 from 26 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes more if desire
  • ~2 tbsp vegetable oil more if desire

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Cut chicken into cubes. Pat dry to remove all excess water.
  • In a flat bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and salt. Mix well
  • In another bowl, whisk one egg
  • Coat chicken pieces with egg mixture and then flour mixture. Coat one by one in flour mixture. Generously coat each piece in flour mixture at least 3-4 times.
  • Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spoon 2 tbsp or more vegetable oil onto aluminum foil and brush evenly all over. Ensure there is a thin layer of vegetable oil all over to help with easy removal of chicken pieces when baking is completed. Place chicken, without overlapping or touching, onto lined baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove baking sheet from oven, and flip every chicken piece over. Bring back into the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • While waiting for chicken to bake, add orange marmalade, minced garlic, soy sauce and red pepper flakes into a small pot. Bring it to boil on medium low heat, then cook on low for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  • Once chicken is done, move chicken promptly from baking sheet to a large bowl. Add orange sauce to bowl and toss chicken in sauce.
  • Serve with white or brown rice. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight, and it was delicious! My picky 5-year old said, “It tastes even better than it smells!” He is hard to please, but he ate every bite of chicken. I served it with steamed broccoli, which was a good combination with the yummy, sweet chicken. I liked the bit of spice with the red pepper flakes, and the texture of the chicken was perfect. I’ll be adding this one to the meal rotation.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Woohoo! So glad you all like it! ๐Ÿ™‚ The red pepper flakes definitely adds a nice kick and brings out the flavor – I like that touch a lot too. Thanks so much for trying and letting me know how it turned out!

  2. 1 star
    Made this last night and was majorly disappointed. Iโ€™m. It sure if it was the marmalade that I used or it was the texture of the flour coated chicken but it was bitter and too much batter (as per your instructions dipping 3-4 times.)
    Next time Iโ€™ll be using less of the marmelade and a different brand, adding some actual orange juice squeezed fresh and only dipping pieces once. Great concept using the oven to make it healthier !

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you for making the recipe! Appreciate the feedback and I’m sorry it did not turn out the way you hope. Agree that dipping the chicken pieces into the batter only once can help if you felt like there is too much batter, or also try increasing the amount of oil used, which will help sear the batter more thoroughly. Depending on pan size, the amount of oil needed to lock the batter onto the chicken can differ. I used Smucker’s Orange Marmalade which I think is on the sweeter side, but feel free to add some sugar too to offset the bitterness!

  3. 5 stars
    Before I’ve even tried it, I know it will be 5 STARS!! YUMMY this is going to be a regular in our family MinShien, that I know!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much Kathleen! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please let me know how it goes! It’s a favorite in our household! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for the first time, and it was absolutely delicious! The chicken got nice and crispy in the oven, and the orange sauce was just the right amount of sweet and spicy!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! I’m so glad you like it! Thank you so much for leaving a review! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Itโ€™s now in our weekly routine! Absolutely loved a baked alternative to my fave takeout.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! I’m so glad! Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    This is the second time Iโ€™ve made this, and it is so good. My husband loves it. Followed the recipe as is, except our tolerance for hot-and-spicy is different so I left out the red pepper flakes and my h used sriracha sauce to his preference. With rice, asparagus and some chardonnay, this was a 5 star meal. Thanks, MS, for yet another wonderful recipe!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay!! I am so glad! ๐Ÿ™‚ And the Chardonnay sounds like a very nice touch! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 5 stars
    Yum that looks so good MinShien! I love how these are baked and that glaze is everything! The perfect dinner for a Friday night or any night hehe!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thanks so much Christie!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 5 stars
    It was my first time making orange chicken and wonโ€™t be the last thanks to this recipe! I loved the nice crunch to the chicken (but it was still tender) and the directions were clear and easy to follow. Thanks, MinShien!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Cristina L says:

    5 stars
    So yummy!!! I used Whole Foods orange marmalade and gluten free AP flour it was the best!! And so easy ๐Ÿ˜

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing your substitution! ๐Ÿ™‚