This Keto Orange Chicken recipe is a Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat that tastes like the original. Enjoy a low carb orange chicken version that is sweet and tangy, perfectly spiced with crispy and flavorful chicken bites.
The sugar free orange sauce is made with orange juice, vinegar, minced garlic, ginger, orange zest, and soy sauce, and it’s perfect for coating the crispy chicken.
If you are on a keto diet and craving Chinese food but don’t want the sugar and carbs that come with most Chinese takeaway, I’m here to show you how to make low carb Asian meals at home.
Making keto orange chicken at home is incredibly easy, and since it’s one of the most popular recipes on the Panda Express menu, I’m sure you’re already craving it. The chicken is crispy, flavorful, and the whole recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes from scratch. You can also try Easy Keto Teriyaki Chicken, Keto Korean Beef, or Filipino Chicken Adobo.
Watch our quick video to see exactly how to make the keto orange chicken.
Why Are You Going To Love This Recipe
- Extremely easy to make in under 30 minutes.
- Contains only 6g net carbs per serving.
- Tastes exactly like the famous Panda Expres Orange chicken but with less sugars and carbs.
- Budget friendly and loved by all the family members.
- It’s perfect for meal prep since the chicken stays crispy for at least 2 days.
What Is Orange Chicken?
Orange Chicken is the star from the American fast-food chain Panda Express and also is a popular recipe that is never missing from any Chinese restaurant.
Orange Chicken recipe consists of crispy bite sized fried chicken coated in a sweet and sour sauce created for American tastebuds. This sauce is what makes this recipe so delicious. It’s made from a delicious combination of fresh orange juice and zest that pairs perfectly with fried chicken.
What Is The Taste Of This Recipe?
This keto Chinese chicken recipe is flavorful and delicious. The sauce has a sweet and sour taste with a hint of ginger spice and covers the crispy deep-fried chicken coated in a batter.
The orange juice and zest in the recipe add a perfect citrusy flavor. And the hint of spiciness is given by ginger.
Is Orange Chicken Keto?
No, the original orange chicken recipe is not keto friendly since the chicken is dredged to a flour and cornstarch mixture, then covered with a soy and orange sauce that’s loaded with sugar. A single serving of Panda Express Orange Chicken has 42.9g total carbs and 41.9g net carbs.
But, no worries, you can still make a keto version of orange chicken at home.
Can I use Orange Juice on Keto?
Yes, orange juice is keto-approved if you use it to add flavor to a recipe. This means a small amount ( 1/4 to 1/2 cup of natural orange juice) can be used in cooking and keto baking. However, I do not recommend drinking orange juice since it’s loaded with carbs and will spike your blood sugar.
As a fact, oranges have less carbs than blueberries per serving!
Ingredients For Keto Orange Chicken Recipe
Don’t be scared when you see the list of ingredients. Even if they seem to be a lot, they are super easy to find, and you probably have them in your pantry already. If you’re wondering if oranges are keto, read my detailed guide about oranges on a keto diet.
- Chicken Breast – I used boneless skinless chicken breast, but you can also use chicken thighs.
- Eggs – use room-temperature eggs and beat them well.
- Coconut Flour – if you don’t have coconut flour, you can easily replace it with almond flour, pork rinds, or whey protein isolate.
- Frying Oil – For frying, I recommend using vegetable oil such as avocado oil or canola oil because they have a high smoke point and neutral taste. Olive oil is not a great oil for deep frying.
- Salt & Pepper – to taste. But you can season your chicken with your favorite seasonings.
Sugar-Free Keto Orange Sauce
- Fresh Orange Juice – Freshly squeezed orange juice is the best in terms of flavor. You’ll need the juice from one medium lemon. Store-bought orange juice is often loaded with added sugar.
- Orange Zest – make sure that you wash the orange.
- Low Carb Soy Sauce – if you want to make a gluten-free recipe, you can replace the soy sauce with gluten-free Tamari or Coconut Aminos.
- White Vinegar – you can replace it with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar.
- Sweetener – Use any of your favorite granulated low carb sweeteners such as Erythritol, Monk Fruit, or Xylitol.
- Garlic Cloves – fresh garlic is needed for the best flavor.
- Ginger – for a more authentic taste.
- Xanthan Gum – it helps the sauce to thicken. You can also use about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch that adds about 7g net carbs to the whole recipe, so about 2grams of net carbs per serving.
How To Make Panda Express Keto Orange Chicken
You’ll be surprised to see that you can prepare this delicious Keto Orange Chicken following just some easy steps.
- Prepare the Chicken – Start by cutting your chicken breast into 1-inch cubes.
- In a bowl, mix together the eggs, coconut flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder until smooth.
- Fry the Chicken – Heat 2 cups of frying oil in a small pan, then dip chicken pieces into the coconut flour mixture and add to the hot oil. You have to work in batches and don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Fry the chicken until golden and crispy. Transfer the fried chicken to a plate covered with paper towels or to a cooling rack.
- Make the orange sauce – In a saucepan over medium, add all the sauce ingredients, except the xanthan gum. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer the sauce for about two minutes. Add the xanthan gum and whisk the sauce until it thickens.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and pour over the chicken. Stir until each piece of chicken is completely coated in sauce.
- For a healthier version, you can cook your chicken in the oven or air fryer.
- You can add some veggies, like broccoli, red peppers, onions.
- Make the sugar-free orange chicken sauce ahead and store it in the fridge until ready to use.
- If you want an egg-free version, you can soak the chicken in non-dairy buttermilk.
Can I Make Air Fryer Keto Orange Chicken?
It’s super easy to cook the chicken in the air fryer once it is coated into the coconut four mixture. Air fry the chicken bites for 8-10 minutes at 390F until golden and crispy. Make sure to grease your Air Fryer Basket to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom.
Can I Make This Recipe Lighter?
Sure, if you want to create a lighter version of this recipe, all you have to do is change how you cook your chicken pieces. So instead of deep frying, you can cook the chicken in the oven or air fryer. Or you can completely leave out the coating and pan-fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes until golden.
How to Store Low Carb Orange Chicken
- Fridge: transfer the leftovers in an airtight container and store for up to 5 days. However, the chicken won’t be as crispy.
- Freezer: Freeze the chicken bites onto a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag and store them for up to one month. When ready to serve, all you have to do is place the chicken bites in the oven and reheat for about 10 minutes. Then coat with the sauce.
How To Serve Keto Orange Chicken
Low-Carb Sides: To create a well-rounded meal, pair your keto orange chicken with some low-carb side dishes. Here are some options:
- Cauliflower Rice: Swap traditional rice with cauliflower rice, which is low in carbs. You can sauté it in olive oil or butter for added flavor.
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower: Bake broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil and seasonigns until it’s tender-crisp.
- Green Beans: Sautéed Green Beans or Green Beans Almondine make a great keto-friendly side dish.
Looking for More Keto Chicken Recipes? Try these:
- The Best Crispy Keto Fried Chicken – Low-Carb Gluten-Free Recipe
- Easy Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Tenders – Keto & Low Carb
- Bacon Wrapped Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Marry Me Chicken with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
Chinese Keto Orange Chicken
Keto Orange Chicken Sauce
- sesame seeds
- green onions
- orange zest
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, coconut flour, salt, pepper, and red chili pepper powder.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of oil.
- Using a fork, dip pieces of chicken into the egg mixture. Shake the chicken to remove the excess.
- Cook several chicken pieces in the hot oil, turning often until golden brown and cooked through for about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate lined with clean paper towels. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Keto Orange Sauce
- Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, white vinegar, sweetener, water, crushed garlic, and ginger.
- Gently simmer the sauce for about 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the saucepan. Whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, mix in another 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum. Remove from heat.
- Pour the orange sauce over the fried chicken and toss well.
- Serve over cauliflower rice and top with sesame seeds, green onion, and orange zest if desired.
- Be cautious when frying in hot oil to prevent oil splatter and potential burns. Use a slotted spoon or tongs for handling the chicken to minimize contact with hot oil.
- Try to cut the chicken into evenly sized pieces. This ensures that they cook uniformly, resulting in a consistent texture.
How do we calculate the nutrition info?
These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.
The full recipe is in the recipe card below. Readers that love this aslo made these recipes: