If you love takeout Orange Chicken, you are going to 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 absolutely loves this 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.
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 do have an air fryer, well, get ready for the best weeknight dinner. The chicken is coated in an easy breading and then into the air fryer it goes. You get that great crispy breading with no deep-frying. It’s so easy.
The sauce is really the star, though. It has a bright orange flavor with the best texture so it coats the breaded chicken beautifully.
There’s nothing hard about this air fryer orange chicken recipe – while the chicken is cooking you can make the sauce. Then just toss it all together and wait for the compliments to roll in. Your family is going to love it!
- Cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Black pepper
- Ground nutmeg
Orange Sauce Ingredients
- Orange juice
- Minced garlic cloves or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Ground ginger
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Red pepper flakes
- Green onions chopped
- Orange zest
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.
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.
Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook it 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.
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.
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.
In a pan or skillet over medium heat, whisk the orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook it for three minutes.
Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and cook the sauce for five minutes or until it’s thickened.
Remove 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 low mein noodles or fried rice with some sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.
Add some eggrolls on the side and you won’t miss the takeout!
Tips and Variations
You can use the same amount of boneless chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts.
Be sure the prepare and cook the chicken first. The sauce is very easy 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!
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
More Air Fryer Recipes
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Air Fryer Orange 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
- 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
- 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.