Orange chicken is one of my favorite dishes in Chinese cuisine. It’s one of the most popular dishes at Chinese restaurants, such as Panda Express.
The regular orange chicken is not keto-friendly because of the use of cornstarch, flour, soy sauce, brown sugar, and orange juice. To keep it low carb, I made this keto orange chicken recipe by substituting a few ingredients.
The main ingredient is chicken breast, which is a super great source of protein. You can also use chicken thighs for this as well. I made many keto recipes with chicken you can try.
I used eggs and coconut flour to bread the chicken meat. For the orange sauce, I used orange extract, orange zest, chicken broth, olive oil, ginger and erythritol for sweetening.
If you’re sensitive to sweeteners, or they cause digestive upset, then you can omit them entirely. The dish will be flavorful enough with the orange zest and extract.
You can serve this keto orange chicken with a low-carb vegetable of your choice, such as sauteed spinach or steamed broccoli. This dish would also pair well with zucchini noodles and riced cauliflower.
In the end, you will get an incredibly beautiful dish that is healthy and tasty.
How to Make Low Carb Orange Chicken
Chop chicken into small pieces then season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the breading. Add egg and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Beat well.
In another bowl, add coconut flour, black pepper, and garlic powder in. Mix well.
To coat the meat, dip it in the egg mixture first then roll it in the flour mixture.
To fry the chicken: In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil in. Start frying each side of the meat for 2-3 minutes until browned. Remove the cooked meat and set aside. You can also cook Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
Prepare the orange sauce: in a saucepan, add orange zest, orange extract, chicken broth, olive oil, erythritol, grated ginger in and mix well. Bring to boil then simmer to your desired thickness. Stirring occasionally.
To serve the chicken: You can either add the cooked crispy chicken to the orange saucepan and stir to mix the chicken with the sauce then bring to a plate and serve, or you can transfer the chicken to a plate, then pour the orange sauce over it and top with some sesame seeds and sliced green onions. It’s up to your liking.
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Keto Orange Chicken
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with sea salt.
- In one bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt. In a second bowl, mix coconut flour with garlic powder and black pepper.
- Coat the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then the flour.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned then turn them over and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Make a sauce: In a saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the chicken pieces to the platter. Pour the orange sauce over the meat, sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and serve. You can also mix the cooked chicken with the orange sauce in the frying pan and stir it for 1 minute then remove and serve.
Is Panda Express orange chicken keto friendly?
No, Panda Express orange chicken is not keto-friendly as it is breaded and coated in a sugary sauce.
Is orange chicken high in carbs?
Yes, orange chicken is typically high in carbs due to its breading and the sugar content in its sauce. There are almost 22 grams of net carbs per 100-gram serving of orange chicken without rice and broccoli. (*)
Is there any keto Chinese food?
Yes, there are keto-friendly Chinese food options, such as stir-fried meats and vegetables without sugary sauces, steamed fish, and egg drop soup. As a rule of thumb, I suggest you avoid dishes with thick, sweet sauces, breaded or battered items, and rice or noodles. Check our Keto Chinese restaurant eatout guide for more tips.
How to thicken orange chicken sauce on keto?
To thicken orange chicken sauce on keto, you can use xanthan gum or guar gum. Start by sprinkling a very small amount (1/4 of a teaspoon) into the sauce while continuously stirring, and allow it to simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
What to serve with orange chicken on keto
On a keto diet, serve orange chicken with cauliflower rice or steamed low-carb vegetables like broccoli and green beans or keto-friendly salad.
How to reheat leftover orange chicken
Here are 4 methods of warming up the leftover:
Using The Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Spread the orange chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Heat for 7-10 minutes, or until warmed through.
Using The Stove:
- Heat a skillet or pan over medium heat.
- Add the orange chicken and stir occasionally, ensuring even reheating. You might add a little bit of water or chicken broth in.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes or until hot.
Using The Microwave:
- Place the orange chicken in a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent.
- Heat on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway to ensure even reheating.
Using The Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C).
- Spread the orange chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 2-4 minutes or until crispy and heated through.