If you love takeout Orange Chicken, you will love how easy it is to make at home in your air fryer! Air Fryer Orange Chicken is the easiest way to make this favorite takeout dish!

My family loves this orange chicken – it has crispy chicken coated in a simple orange sauce loaded with flavor. No one asks for Panda Express anymore – they beg me for this easy air fryer recipe instead.

the chicken coated in the sauce.

I have a few orange chicken recipes, so if you don’t have an air fryer, don’t worry! You should try my slow cooker orange chicken or baked orange chicken. They’re lovely, too.

My family LOVES Chinese takeout, and I do, too, but I hate how expensive it is and how not-so-healthy it can be, so I love to come up with copycat recipes of our favorite dishes. 

The newest one is this air fryer chicken. It has everything you love about the takeout favorite, like crispy chicken and a sticky sauce, but made healthier with way less oil.

Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipe

If you have an air fryer, get ready for the best weeknight dinner. The chicken is coated in an easy breading and then goes into the air fryer. You get that great crispy breading with no deep-frying. It’s so easy.

The sauce is the star, though. It has a bright orange flavor and the best texture, so it coats the breaded chicken beautifully. 

There’s nothing complicated about this air fryer orange chicken recipe – you can make the sauce while the chicken is cooking. Then, toss it all together and wait for the compliments to roll in. Your family is going to love it!

Chicken Ingredients

  • Cubed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cornstarch
  • Black pepper
  • Ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Paprika
groceries needed for the recipe.

Orange Sauce Ingredients

  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Orange juice
  • Sugar
  • Minced garlic cloves or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Ground ginger
  • Rice vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Green onions chopped
  • Orange zest
ingredients for the recipe.

How to Air Fry the Chicken

Mix one cup of cornstarch with black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, and paprika in a large resealable bag. Seal the bag and shake it to mix.

the cubed chicken in a bag.

Add the chicken pieces to the bag, seal the bag and toss until all the pieces of chicken are evenly coated. Remove the coated chicken from bag and shake of the excess coating.

the chicken coated in the flour mixture.

Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook it according to the manual that comes with your air fryer.

the breaded chicken in the air fryer.

I set mine at 390°F for 24 minutes, tossing the chicken halfway through. Make sure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

the chicken in the air fryer.

Cooking Tip: Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the chicken in batches. You can keep the air-fried chicken in a warm oven while you cook the other batches.

the air fried chicken in a bowl.

How to Make Orange Chicken Sauce

While the chicken cooks, you can make the sauce.

Whisk the water and two tablespoons of cornstarch in a small bowl. Set it aside.

Whisk the orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes in a pan or skillet over medium heat over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook it for three minutes.

the sauce in a skillet

Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and cook the sauce for five minutes or until it’s thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green onions and orange zest. Add the cooked chicken and toss to coat it evenly in the sauce.

How to Serve It

We love this orange chicken piled on top of cooked white rice or brown rice with sliced green onions for garnish. Sometimes I add a drizzle of sesame oil.

It’s also great with lowmein noodles or fried rice with sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.

Add some eggrolls on the side, and you won’t miss the takeout!

overhead shot of the final dish.

Tips and Variations

You can use the same amount of boneless chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts.

Be sure to prepare and cook the chicken first. The sauce is straightforward and doesn’t take long at all. I like to prepare it while the chicken is cooking.

For the best results, don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. I make a big batch of this for my family, so I divide the chicken into a few batches to cook. Once a batch is done, I transfer the cooked chicken to a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The coating will soften, but the dish will still be delicious when you reheat it!

orange chicken and rice on a plate with a fork.

I hope you pick up the ingredients at the grocery store for this easy air fryer orange chicken! You’ll skip the takeout or drive-through once you try it. Enjoy! XOXO San

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Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 428 kcal
My family absolutely loves this air fryer orange chicken – it has crispy chicken coated in a simple orange sauce that is loaded with flavor. No one asks for Panda Express anymore – they beg me for this easy air fryer recipe instead.
orange chicken on plate with rice

Ingredients
 

Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Orange Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

Instructions
 

  • In a large Ziplock bag, mix 1 cup cornstarch, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, and paprika. Seal and shake up to mix.
  • Cut the chicken into 1" cubes and add to the bag of corn starch, seal and toss chicken until all the pieces are well coated. Remove chicken from bag, making sure to remove any excess cornstarch
  • Place in your air fryer and cook according to the manual that comes with your air fryer. I set mine at 390°F for 24 minutes, tossing the chicken halfway through. Make sure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Make the sauce while the chicken is cooking.
  • Whisk together 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and set aside.
  • In a pan over medium heat, whisk together orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Whisk in cornstarch slurry, cooking for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the green onions and orange zest.
  • Toss cooked chicken into the sauce and serve.
Serving: 1cupCalories: 428kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 40gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 621mgPotassium: 815mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 293IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
orange chicken on plate with rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yay, an air fryer version of one of my all-time favorite take-out dishes, this sounds delish, can’t wait to try it!

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! And cooking the chicken in the air fryer was so much quicker and cleaner than frying it on the stove top. We loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    This was a much healthier alternative to the traditional deep-fried version but still packed with all the flavors you’d expect from a classic orange chicken. Loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    I made orange chicken in the air fryer and it turned out great! The air fryer made the chicken crispy without using much oil. It was a great meal. I’ll definitely be making it again!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh man, my kids have been wanting me to make orange chicken for a long time and I decided to finally try this one. Everyone loved it! YUM!

  6. 5 stars
    Just tried your Air Fryer Orange Chicken recipe, and it was an absolute delight! The chicken turned out so crispy, and the orange sauce was the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

5 from 16 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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