This Healthy Orange Chicken Stir-Fry recipe is quick, easy to make, and bursting with bright citrus flavor. It makes an ideal dinner for busy weeknights, because it is ready to eat in just 20 minutes. Learn how to make homemade orange chicken with vegetables with this clean, gluten-free, and paleo recipe that tastes way better than takeout!
UPDATE: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated to reflect new information and helpful content.
Healthy Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
Stir-fry recipes are one of my absolute favorite meals to make on busy weeknights. They are full of fresh and nutritious ingredients and take no time to prepare. This orange chicken with vegetables recipe is a favorite in my house, because it is full of amazing orange flavor and makes a filling, well-balanced meal.
Traditional orange chicken recipes call for frying your chicken in copious amounts of oil, and then coating it with orange sauce that typically calls for at least half a cup of sugar or orange marmalade.
I made this homemade orange chicken stir fry healthier by lightly stir-frying the chicken with bell peppers and carrots in a small amount of avocado oil. The chicken and vegetables are then tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce made with fresh orange juice, honey, organic tamari, garlic, ginger, and a bit of organic cornstarch to thicken it up.
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Healthy Orange Chicken Stir-Fry Tips
Here are a few pointers to ensure that this stir-fry recipe turns out perfect every single time:
- Be sure to have everything prepped before you being cooking. Stir-fry recipes cook very fast, so there’s no time to prepare ingredients once you start cooking. Having all your ingredients ready before you put anything in the pan will also help to ensure that nothing overcooks, because you want the chicken to be juicy and the vegetables to be tender-crisp.
- Make sure the oil is hot enough before the rest of your ingredients hit the pan. The oil should look shimmery and should flow easily when the pan is tilted. A quick readiness test is to add a drop of water to the oil. If it sizzles and evaporates on contact, you are ready to start stir-frying.
- Lastly, get your rice or quinoa started in a separate saucepan before you begin stir-frying. That way the rice and stir-fry will finish cooking at the same time.
More Asian Dinner Recipes
Craving more Asian-style dinner recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
- Chicken Stir-Fry with Veggies
- Baked Honey Sriracha Salmon
- Healthy Teriyaki Chicken
- The Best Fried Rice Recipe
- Orange Chicken with Cauli Rice
For this Healthy Orange Chicken Stir-Fry recipe, I recommend:
Here are a few pantry essentials that I suggest using to make this recipe. All of these ingredients can be ordered online from Thrive Market, which is an online retailer that sells healthy, organic food at wholesale prices. I like to think of it like Amazon (online retailer) meets Costco (wholesale prices) meets Whole Foods (all wholesome, junk-free foods).
- Avocado Oil – This is my favorite cooking oil to use for stir-frying, because it is one of the few oils with a high smoke point and neutral flavor that is actually good for you.
- Thrive Market Cornstarch – Only use cornstarch made from organic, non-GMO corn which contains no preservatives or artificial ingredients. Alternatively, you can use arrowroot starch as a thickening agent in the sauce for this recipe.
- San-J Tamari – I prefer using tamari rather than soy sauce, because it is gluten-free and has a richer and milder taste than regular soy sauce. This particular brand of tamari is organic, contains 100% whole soybeans, and uses unique, natural fermentation process that gives it an amazing, delectable taste.
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If you make this Healthy Orange Chicken Stir Fry recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡
Orange Chicken Stir-Fry (Easy & Healthy Paleo Recipe)
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- 1 large orange, zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
- Salt and pepper
- 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, tamari, honey, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large wok or skillet set over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes until slightly softened. Add bell peppers and stir-fry further for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp.
Return chicken to skillet. Add the orange sauce and stir-fry until the sauce is thickened and the chicken and vegetables are well coated.
Sprinkle green onions over top and serve with cooked brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
- If you are following a paleo diet, you can serve your stir-fry with cauliflower rice rather than rice or quinoa, to keep your meal grain-free.
- If you can, I highly recommend using organic, pasture-raised chicken in this recipe for maximum health benefits.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
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