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A close up of healthy orange chicken on a white plate with green beans and rice on the side.

Healthy Orange Chicken

4.67 from 458 votes
Skip takeout & try this Healthy Orange Chicken Recipe! Paleo, gluten free + delicious - it's one of the best healthy chicken recipes!
WW Freestyle Points 4
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 35 minutes
Total Time : 45 minutes
Serves : 4 people
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  • Clean + cut chicken into 1 inch cubes.
  • In a large frying pan, heat sesame oil. Cook the chicken until the edges are brown and slightly crispy (Approx 12-15 minutes)
  • As the chicken is cooking, stir together the sauce mixture in a separate bowl
  • Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked remove it from the pan and place it off to the side in a separate bowl.
  • Pour the sauce mixture into the same pan you cooked the chicken in.
  • Bring the sauce mixture to a boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring every minute or so until it starts to thicken. (You will know it has thickened when you scrape the pan and it pulls away from the pan) The sauce should be bubbling the entire time.
  • When the sauce thickens, add the cooked chicken back in + stir to coat the chicken
  • Serve over steamed broccoli or green beans for a paleo option, or rice/quinoa. 
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds + enjoy!
  • *** If substituting ground ginger for fresh ginger, cut the amount to 1/2 teaspoon

Instant Pot Instructions

  • IMPORTANT: If making this recipe in the instant pot you will need 3 teaspoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. You also must use 1/2 the amount of ingredients in the sauce recipe, except for chicken stock. Ex: Orange Juice: 2 cups = 1 cup
  • Mix together 1/2 the amount called for in the recipe for the orange juice, coconut aminos, honey, garlic powder, ginger, orange zest and pepper. Set aside.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to sauté on the highest heat setting. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and allow it to heat up. The Instant Pot will display the word “hot” when it’s ready.
  • Trim the chicken breasts and dry them off with paper towels. When the Instant Pot is hot place the chicken breasts in the oil. You’ll need to do 2 at a time so you do not crowd the pot. Sear them on each side for 2 minutes then flip just to get a golden color. You’re not trying to cook them through.
  • Pull them out and set them on a cutting board. Dice them into 1 inch pieces. 
  • Put the diced chicken back into the Instant Pot and pour the sauce mixture over. Close the lid and put the vent to sealing. Set it to Manual High Pressure for 3 minutes.  Note that pot will take 3-5 minutes to come to pressure before the display starts counting down the 3 minutes you’ve set.
  • When it’s finished quick release the steam by setting the valve to venting. Be sure to use a towel or pot holder to do this so you don’t get burned.
  • When the Instant Pot releases all the steam the button will lower down and you’ll be able to safely open the lid.  
  • Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Mix together the chicken broth and corn starch.
  • Turn the Instant Pot back to sauté choosing the highest heat setting again. Your sauce should begin to bubble.  Stream in the corn starch slurry and whisk. Allow the mixture to boil for 7-9 minutes until it’s nice and thick.
  • Return the chicken to the sauce and select the “Keep Warm” setting on the Instant Pot. Serve over steamed broccoli or green beans for a paleo option, or rice/quinoa. 



Instant Pot Notes:
  • To get your sauté on highest setting, Press sauté then hit the adjust button and choose “more” to set it to the highest setting.
  • It’s very important that they are dried off before you put them in the hot oil so they will brown.
  • It’s very important to brown the chicken breasts whole prior to dicing them. This ensures that maximum surface area makes contact with the pan and the chicken actually browns. Browning the chicken is an important step. This seals the juices in and ensures the chicken doesn’t release too much liquid while being pressure cooked. This additional liquid effects the consistency of the sauce.
  • The sauce will seem thin until you add the corn starch slurry and reduce it down. This is normal
What to do if the sauce doesn't thicken with this Healthy Orange Chicken:
Give it time, I promise. Re-read the directions listed in the recipe. The chicken needs to be completely removed from the pan, and the sauce needs to boil for 15-20 minutes. Stir the sauce every few minutes, and once the sauce starts to pull away from the pan as you scrape it back, you'll know it's ready!
My sauce is more brown than orange, is this ok?
Yes! This is totally fine! Your sauce might look a little dark than these photos simply due to the ingredients you use. The color won't impact the flavor!

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Orange Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups chicken + veggies (approx) does not include rice)
Calories 470 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 570mg25%
Potassium 1383mg40%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 52g104%
Vitamin A 883IU18%
Vitamin C 146mg177%
Calcium 69mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. This is an estimate and can vary pending your ingredients
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