Paleo Orange Chicken

This easy-to-make Paleo Orange Chicken is simple, flavorful and perfect for a weeknight dinner. It’ll be loved by both kids and adults alike and it just so happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!

Healthy orange chicken in a bowl with garnishHealthy Orange Chicken Recipe

It’s almost hard to believe that this healthy and flavorful orange chicken recipe only takes about 20 minutes to get on the table, but it’s true! The paleo orange chicken has simple ingredients and simple instructions and your whole family will love it! Serve it with your favorite side, but we suggest cauliflower rice and if you’re feeling like you need some extra veggies in your life some green beans or broccoli would fit right in here.

We love this orange chicken because it’s one of those magical recipes that is so easily made paleo and with other dietary restrictions in mind by simply using real whole ingredients. Fresh orange juice as the main player in this dish, giving it a bright, bold flavor. The chicken is coated in arrowroot starch which helps make it crispy after it’s quickly pan seared and it also helps thicken the sauce to keep it gluten-free.

Here is what’s in it:

  • chicken breast (or thighs)
  • arrowroot starch
  • Salt and pepper
  • oil
  • fresh orange juice
  • orange zest
  • rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • fish sauce
  • honey
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • sesame oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Paleo orange chicken with cauliflower rice on a plate

What can you serve with this Paleo Orange Chicken?

We served ours with cauliflower rice, but it would also go well with:

  • white rice
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • steamed broccoli
  • cooked green beans
  • steamed cauliflower
  • roasted spaghetti squash

Bowl of quick orange chicken

If you like this quick weeknight chicken dinner, check out these others:

Paleo Orange Chicken

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:15 Total Time 00:20 Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cut chicken into 1" pieces and place inside of a large bowl with arrowroot and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken fully.
  2. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Once hot, brown chicken on both sides, in batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Remove chicken and set aside. To the pan add the remainder of the ingredients (except sesame seeds and cauliflower rice). Increase heat and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Once the sauce has boiled and thickened up, add back the chicken and cook through until hot, about 1 more minute.
  4. Serve chicken immediately with sauce from the skillet over cauliflower rice.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs here!
  2. If you don't have rice wine vinegar on hand, you can substitute apple cider vinegar.
  3. So many of you are already making this, but have been asking: What can you substitute for fish sauce? It is optional. Fish sauce is just an extra flavor booster that enhances the overall depth of the dish. But if you don't have it and don't want to buy it, skip it! The dish will still be lovely!
  4. For Whole30 you can omit the honey!
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12 comments on “Paleo Orange Chicken

  • Made this tonight. It had such a bright and citrusy taste. It was easy to prep all the sauce ingredients ahead of time. I do recommend that you keep your eye on the sauce while it is thickening. It boils down very quickly. I added some coconut aminos and all was good. Thanks for this recipe!

    Reply
    • Kelli Avila says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Randy! For sure don’t walk away from the sauce, as you pointed out. The instructions say it only needs about 1 minute to thicken it, as it happens quickly.

      Reply
  • This recipe is absolutely delicious! I love Asian food and this chicken was amazing. The flavors are so fresh and light. I’ll be adding this in my favorite dinner rotation ASAP!

    5.0 rating

    Reply
  • I made this recipe last week and we loved it! I will keep a closer eye on the sauce when it’s thickening next time but otherwise it was so easy to make and full of citrusy deliciousness. The first night I made basmati rice as a side but then my husband made Jasmine rice with the leftovers. I preferred the mix of a more sticky rice like the Jasmine with this dish. So good! I love your recipes, Lexi!

    5.0 rating

    Reply

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