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Orange chicken served over a bed of rice in a white speckled bowl
5 from 14 votes

Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

Your favorite sweet and tangy Panda Express Orange Chicken, but made at home using white meat chicken and simple ingredients. This is the best orange chicken recipe!
Author Diana
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds (900g) chicken breasts boneless and skinless cut into 1 inch pieces, Note 1
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil can also use olive oil
  • ½ cup cornstarch (cornflour in the UK & Australia)
  • cup all purpose flour

For the sauce:

  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange optional
  • ¼ cup (60ml) distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or grated


  • In a dutch oven, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°F/180°C.
  • Season the chicken with salt and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg with oil. In a shallow dish, combine the flour with the cornstarch. Now dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess.
  • Add the breaded chicken pieces to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oil when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F/74°C. The chicken will be a little pale in color. Drain on a wire rack and keep in a warm oven as you fry the rest of the chicken. 
  • In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients except for the ginger and garlic.
  • To a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil (you can use the same oil you used for frying) and sauté the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add the sauce mixture, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat, add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce, and mix until the chicken is well coated. Serve over rice, garnished with fresh chopped green onion.


  1. Use chicken thighs if you want to make this recipe a real copycat, because that’s what Panda Express uses.
  2. You can fry the chicken using a deep fryer if you have one, or use a dutch oven like I’m using here to keep things a bit less messy. You can also shallow fry the chicken, using a smaller amount of oil. Be sure to rotate the chicken pieces to brown each side.
  3. Don’t Overcook! Keeping the chicken crispy and tender and juicy in the middle means that you need to cook it all the way, but not too much. Make sure that the internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C, remember the chicken will be a little pale in color and that's totally fine as it will be coated in sauce.


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 923mg | Potassium: 672mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 176IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg