Does anyone remember the days of Leeann Chin? During my high school years, my mom often took me there because it was connected to one of our favorite local Minnesotan grocery stores (Lund’s & Byerly’s baby!). We’d get a quick meal to go (my go-to was orange chicken), which frankly wasn’t necessarily too healthy at all because it was fried + then I drenched it in sweet and sour — but still, this girl was obsessed.
In fact, I pretty much lived on quick food because my mom wasn’t home to cook often and I really didn’t pay attention to what I was eating. To be honest, as good as the food tasted at the time, those choices never made me feel good, on the inside, or out.
Fast forward to adulthood where life is vastly different. Now I’m a food blogger, and wellness is my passion. These days, I’m all about healthier takes on my favorite childhood meals and today I’m here to prove that you can still enjoy those nostalgic meals with better-for-you ingredients. This healthy orange chicken stir fry is just one of those meals!
I eat good to feel good and I hope this recipe inspires you to do the same.
I made this homemade orange chicken stir fry healthier by lightly stir frying the chicken in a skillet with red bell pepper, green beans and cashews, and then cooking it in a sweet and tangy fresh orange sauce. You’re going to love it!
What’s in this healthy orange chicken stir fry?
Traditional orange chicken recipes call for frying your chicken in lots of oil and then coating it with orange sauce that typically calls for at least 1/2 cup of sugar or orange marmalade. I say, why use that when you can use FRESH orange juice?! Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Chicken: I like to cut up boneless skinless chicken breast in this recipe.
- Veggies: we’re stir frying the chicken with onion, garlic, a red bell pepper and fresh green beans. You’ll need some toasted sesame oil (or regular sesame oil) for cooking.
- Cashews: we’ll also be cooking some cashews right into the stir fry. YUM.
- For the sauce: the super flavorful orange sauce is made with fresh orange juice and zest, honey, soy sauce, freshly grated ginger, red pepper flakes, and a little cornstarch or arrowroot starch.
- To garnish: I like to top this stir fry with fresh green onion and some toasted sesame seeds.
- For serving: we’re serving this delicious meal with my easy cauliflower rice! See below for even more ways to enjoy it.
Customize your orange chicken stir fry
This weeknight staple is super easy to customize with what you have on hand. We love switching up the veggies according to what’s seasonal! Here are more ways to make it your own:
- Swap your veggies. I also love this recipe with broccoli and asparagus, but mushrooms, snow peas, and even brussels sprouts would be great.
- Go vegetarian. Feel free to swap the chicken for a can of chickpeas or cubed tofu!
- Keep it gluten free. Ensure that your soy sauce is gluten free or use a sub like tamari or coconut aminos. Same goes for the cornstarch!
What to serve with this healthy orange chicken stir fry
I love serving this stir fry with my low carb cauliflower rice flavored with coconut oil, fresh lime juice and a bit of cilantro! It’s absolutely delicious. This recipe is so versatile and also delicious with:
- White or brown rice (try my coconut rice!)
- Fluffy quinoa
- Rice or ramen noodles
Delicious orange chicken stir fry in 30-minutes
- Rice the cauliflower. Start by ricing your cauliflower so that you can easily cook it later.
- Make the sauce. Next, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set this aside until you’re ready to use it.
- Cook the chicken. Add your toasted sesame oil to a large skillet and cook your cubed chicken with a little salt and pepper until fully cooked. Transfer chicken to a bowl and keep the heat in the pan.
- Cook the veggies. Add a little more sesame oil to your pan and saute the onion until slightly translucent. Then add the garlic, bell pepper, green beans and cashews and cook for a few minutes. Be sure not to overcook — we want the veggies to still have a little crunch!
- Cook the cauliflower rice. While the veggies are cooking you can make the cauliflower rice by cooking it in a separate skillet with a little coconut oil, salt and pepper.
- Add the sauce. Pour the orange sauce into the pan with your veggies and stir while the sauce thickens up. Add the chicken back in, reduce the heat to medium low, and let the sauce thicken for a few minutes.
- Garnish & serve. Serve immediately with the cauliflower rice or your fav side! I like to garnish with sesame seeds, green onion and cilantro.
This easy orange chicken stir fry is perfect for your weekly meal prep! Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat in intervals in the microwave.
More 30-minute meals you’ll love
- One Pan Sazon Skillet Chicken
- Sweet and Sour Pineapple Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry
- Crispy Broccoli Sweet and Spicy Sesame Tahini Noodles
- Ginger Cashew Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Cauliflower Rice
- Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce
Get all of my 30-minute meals here!
You’re going to love healthy orange chicken, please let me know if you make it by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it helps encourage others to make the recipe! Enjoy xo!
Healthy Orange Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Cauliflower Rice
Delicious healthy orange chicken stir fry with flavorful coconut cauliflower rice. This easy paleo weeknight dinner recipe is packed with veggies, protein, and an incredible sweet & tangy orange sauce. Perfect for meal prep and the best leftovers!
- For the cauliflower rice:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the sauce:
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
- 3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- zest from 1 large orange
- For the stir-fry:
- 1 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into large bite-sized pieces
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- ½ white onion, cut into chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- ½ cup raw cashews
- To garnish:
- Green onion, for garnish
- Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
First make your cauliflower rice. Remove all greens from cauliflower and break into florets. You can either use a box grater, or a food processor to process the cauliflower into rice. If using a food processor (the easier method), simply add half of cauliflower florets to bowl of the food processor with a blade attachment. Pulse until cauliflower resembles rice. Add in remaining florets and process again until cauliflower becomes rice-like. Transfer to a large, clean dish towel and squeeze all the moisture out of the cauliflower. Set aside in a large bowl until ready to cook.
Next make the sauce: Add the orange juice, honey, soy sauce, ginger, cornstarch/arrowroot starch, red pepper flakes and orange zest to a large bowl; whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside for later.
Next preheat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat and add in 1 tablespoon of the toasted sesame oil. Add in chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until fully cooked and no longer pink. Once chicken is cooked, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Keep the heat in the pan.
Add the other 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan (over medium-heat); add in onion and saute until onions become slightly translucent, about 2 minutes.
Next add in the garlic, bell pepper, green beans and cashews and saute for 4-6 minutes. You want the green beans to still have a little bit of crunch!
While your veggies are cooking, make your cauliflower rice. Add ½ tablespoon coconut oil to a separate large skillet and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in cauliflower rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the orange sauce into the pan. Stir frequently as the sauce will start to thicken up.
Add in chicken and stir again. Reduce heat to medium low and let the sauce simmer and thicken some more, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve immediately over your cauliflower rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, green onion and cilantro if desired. Serves 4.
To make gluten free: Please ensure that all of your ingredients are gluten free, including the cornstarch and the soy sauce.
To make vegetarian: use 1 can of chickpeas in place of the chicken.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
Love everything about this!! Can’t wait to try 🙂
Such a great dinner. Hope you love it!
This is SO good and so easy/quick! I also loved Leann Chinn’s orange chicken growing up, and this has much better real orange flavor with a spicy kick.
Isn’t it good? I’m obsessed! Glad you enjoyed it, Ashley!
YES it was so good growing up. Glad you found this healthy alternative 🙂
This was amazing. I used sugar snap peas and broccoli instead of green beans. I also added some thinly sliced carrots. The sauce is so good. Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi Melanie! So happy you liked this recipe, it’s one of our go to easy weeknight meals!
Delicious. Marinaded chicken and tofu. I added jalapeño to the sauce – it’s a nice lil kick. 👌👌👌
Perfect!! All about an extra kick of heat 🙂
This is so good! Doubled the whole recipe….next time will add snap peas and broccoli like someone else suggested.
Perfect! This would be delicious with those add-ins, too 🙂
Love your recipes! Thanks for sharing! Is your print button working….I can air print from other web sites but for some reason it doesn’t hold the print page…might just be me. Thanks, can’t wait to try this!
Hi Gayle! So glad you’re loving the recipes here! Are you printing from your computer? The print button should be working correctly, but I will definitely look into it. Hope you get a chance to make this one!
This recipe was delicious! Have you thought about making a cookbook? I’ve only tried a few of your recipes but they’ve all been delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!
So happy you liked it! Hopefully a cookbook in the future 🙂 thanks for your note!
Love this easy recipe!
such a good way to use up orange juice!
everything look delious
I was surprised at how good this was. I thought it would be just “meh” but using the fresh oranges really made it so good!
Absolutely! It adds such a delicious brightness.
This was a crowd pleaser. I have three growing boys and they all dug right in and asked for seconds. I doubled the chicken and added additional veggies including carrots & mushrooms and I used frozen riced cauliflower. I will definitely use this in my regular rotation. So so good! Thank you for the recipe!! Happy Mom here!!
Amazing! So happy to hear that. Love the idea of some extra veggies + mushrooms!
Such a great recipe to make when I’m craving take out, but I want something a little lighter. I used orange juice from the carton for this and it turned out great. One of my favorite AK recipes. The red paper flakes give it such a good kick.
Absolutely! Love that.
Soooo delicious!! Will definitely be making again soon.
Glad you enjoyed!
This recipe is awesome! Using fresh orange juice makes it so much less sugary and fake tasting than when using marmalade. I served this with regular jasmine rice, used less chicken, and added more veggies.
Absolutely. Glad you loved it!
Move over Chinese takeout! Guilt free meal with great flavor.
Very tasty! Next time I will add more veggies like others suggested. I’d probbly double the sauce as well. I had to serve with white rice because my son loves it. He also loved this and ate it up! Thank you!
Perfect! Glad you enjoyed and that you son loved it, too!
I’ve made this before but want to skip using the red pepper flakes so my 3 year old will eat it. Has anyone tried that before? I’m worried it will be too sweet.
Leaving out the red pepper flakes should be fine!
Hit the spot for Chinese cravings!
YUM! another winner! This was REALLY flavorful and delicious. Just enough orange flavor to be interesting without overpowering the other ingredients. I made a few quarantine-time substitutions, most notably I used pork instead of chicken and sugar snap peas instead of beans. I didn’t have quite enough orange juice so I added a tablespoon of orange marmalade and coconut water to make up the volume. Lastly, I threw in some sliced shiitake because I love them. I feel a little bad leaving a review when I made so many modifications, but the spirit of the recipe was absolutely in mind, even if I didn’t have all the ingredients at hand. I’ll definitely be making it again.
Perfect! This one’s great for customizing 🙂 glad you enjoyed!
I’ve made this a few times now, it’s amazing, better than takeout and I love that you can surprise it with any veggies you want! Amazing recipe!
This dish is SO flavorful! To cut down my preparation time, I used H‑E‑B’s prepared cauliflower rice as well as their fresh-squeezed orange juice. I think I could’ve used half the amount of honey, as it was pretty sweet. Still SO delicious! I’ll definitely be making this again.
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed!
Excellent!!!!!! Regular meal for us!
So happy to hear that!
I made this tonight with my 7 year old son. We are a family of 6 and everyone loved it! The flavor was delicious! Simple and family pleasing….thank you for a great option!
Prettt solid. Very orangey so be prepared for that
Glad you enjoyed!
This was so great! I doubled the recipe and cooked the chicken in a cast iron in the oven 400f for 15 min after searing on the stovetop for 5 min on med high. I’ll definitely make this again, but might try bottled oj next time. Juicing all those oranges took a long time 😂 served over jasmine rice. Will probably 1.5x the sauce on the next try as well, it was so good! Would’ve loved to have more to drizzle on the rice.
I always love your recipes Monique! Everything is so darn good! I’ve made this several times. My teenage son LOVES it… I double it because I know better now! This is so flavorful and an easy meal to make. It’s one of our go to dinners!
We will definitely make this again. My son, normally a picky eater, loved it. Healthy, flavorful, and satisfying, this will be in our normal dinner rotation.
Amazing! So happy to hear that.
Loved this recipe! Only used one orange for juice- very delicious, thicker sauce, very flavourful!
love this recipe! it’s become my go to for a quick, healthy weeknight meal
My husband and I really liked this recipe. The kids were surprised they liked the cauliflower rice! I used liquid aminos instead of soy sauce and I didn’t use fresh squeezed orange juice. I also left out the cashews because we didn’t have any! Very tasty and healthy.
Perfect! Glad it was a hit!
This dish not only tastes delicious, it is beautiful as well! I was tired of my usual stir fry flavor and this was just what I was looking for. The orange flavor is DELICIOUS and made my kitchen smell delicious too. We are trying to eat more vegetables and eat very healthy and this was all that. The only thing I changed was that I did 1 whole red pepper and added a whole yellow as well. My husband’s only request was that I cut the green beans smaller next time. I used honey instead of agave. I will definitely make again.
Love that! So glad you enjoyed 🙂
Honestly, hands down the BEST stir-fry sauce!! Furious I am only discovering it now!! Will definitely make again and wouldn’t change a thing!
Note: I didn’t have any coconut oil so I simply added some unsweetened desiccated coconut into my olive oil for the cauliflower rice and I worked perfectly!
So happy to hear that!!
Made this last night because we’ve been eating entirely too much takeout and were in the mood for something healthier. Oh my, the sauce was SO GOOD. Even my veggie-averse boyfriend gobbled it up. I modified it by using plain white rice, added thinly sliced carrots and used pre-cooked shredded chicken. Oh, and I doubled the red pepper flakes because we’re spice whores. #noregrets. This was so fast (especially with pre-cooked chicken) and flavorful and used things I always keep on hand. A keeper!
Amazing! So happy you both loved it 🙂 I’m all about that extra spice!
Will add a bit more zest next time to really bump up the orange flavor, but the consistency of the sauce was spot on! And loved the coconut cauliflower rice.
Sounds great! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Delicious! I love how easy and light this is! I got a little lazy with the cauliflower rice and just microwaved it, and it worked! Thank you for the recipe!
Glad to hear!! Thanks for the review, Rebecca!
Yummy! I only had one orange which yielded ~1/3 cup of juice but still tasted great. Next time would add more veggies since there was plenty of sauce.
So glad you enjoyed it! And yes you can definitely add more veggies — good call 🙂
Deliciousness! I’ve made this twice for my family and both times have been a big hit. My 2.5yo even loves it. I will continue to make!
The orange chicken portion was delish, but THE COCONUT CAULIFLOWER RICE. I did not know such flavor was possible for what I usually consider a sad substitute for rice. I used frozen bagged cauliflower rice which made it so easy.
Was looking for a new recipe to try for lunch and I’m so glad I found this one– so easy and delicious! The only changes were that I added some broccoli and used basmati rice instead of cauliflower. Definitely recommend!