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Air Fryer Orange Chicken {Copycat Panda Express}

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Air Fryer Orange Chicken is cooked crispy and topped with a tangy orange glaze. This is my copycat version of a favorite Panda Express dish. 

close up of air fryer orange chicken topped with sesame seeds over a bed of rice

Many of you know that I love trying new recipes in my air fryer. It’s almost like I am on a mission to not use my stove and oven (haha!). 

Do you ever get a hankering for Chinese takeout, but just don’t want to leave the house? Or maybe you’ve been trying to make orange chicken similar to Panda Express and just can’t seem to get the recipe right? Or maybe you’re like me and the closest location is over 3 hours away (seriously!!)?

I Heart Air Frying to the rescue! Today I am going to show you how to make my secret air fryer orange chicken recipe with a flavorful orange sauce. And the best thing about it? It’s budget-friendly and you don’t have to leave the house.

Need more Air Fryer Chicken Recipes? 

labelled ingredients for the orange chicken

Ingredients Needed for Air Fryer Orange Chicken

For the Chicken:

Chicken Breasts – these are going to be cubed so you can substitute chicken tenders

Flour – all purpose works best with this recipe 

Cornstarch – secret ingredient to getting the breading perfect 

Spices: Paprika, cayenne pepper, Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend

Eggs

For the Orange Sauce: 

Orange – we are going to use fresh orange juice and a little zest 

Soy sauce – I recommend using the reduced sodium version

White vinegar 

Brown sugar 

Cornstarch 

Minced Garlic – mince fresh garlic or grab a jar from the store

How to Make Orange Chicken in the Air Fryer 

To make the orange sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer. Be sure to stir occasionally as the sauce thickens. Keep it warm until the chicken is ready. 

Combine the flour, cornstarch, and other chicken spices into a bowl. Then crack and beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Dip the chicken into the flour mixture, then the eggs, then back into the flour mixture. 

Step by step process to batter the chicken

Prepare your air fryer basket by coating with a thin layer of oil or use a parchment paper liner for easy cleanup.

Add the coated chicken to your air fryer basket. Mist the chicken with a little bit of oil. 

Cook the chicken at 380 degrees F in a single layer for 10 minutes. 

Once you’ve finished cooking the chicken, reheat the sauce and toss to coat the chicken. 

The battered chicken placed inside an air fryer before cooking

Serve immediately over white or brown rice, lo mein noodles or a side of veggies. Cauliflower rice is a good low carb option. 

Tips for Making 

  • Don’t overload the fryer basket – cook the chicken in batches if needed. 
  • If you are cooking in batches, keep the cooked chicken warm in your oven. 
  • Like more sauce? Simply make a double batch. 
  • If you’re not planning to eat the full batch, reserve some of the unsauced chicken and store separately from the sauce.

More Air Fryer Recipes That Are Easy to Make:

*****Pin the Recipe for Later*****

Closeup of cooked Orange Chicken on a bed of rice with graphic overlay
A picture of orange chicken on a bed of rice

Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Air Fryer Orange Chicken is cooked crispy and topped with a tangy orange glaze. You can make this easy Panda Express copycat at home quicker than you can run through the drive thru!
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 394kcal
Author: Lori @

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN

SAUCE

  • 1 orange you’ll need the juice (about ½ cup) and zest
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add all the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent sauce from sticking. Keep on warm setting while the chicken cooks.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine spices, flour and cornstarch.
  • Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.
  • Coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then dip in the eggs and do a final dredge in the flour to fully coat.
  • Prep the air fryer basket by coating with a thin layer of oil. Place breaded chicken in the prepared basket, being careful not to crowd the pieces. Spritz the chicken with oil.
  • Cook on 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
  • After the chicken is cooked, reheat the sauce on low medium and add the fried chicken. Stir until chicken is completely coated.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions or sesame seeds if desired.
  • Serve over cooked rice.

NOTES

  • Substitute Spike or Mrs. Dash for the Nature’s Season Seasoning Blend.
  • For a saucier dish, double the sauce recipe.
  • Can be served as an appetizer or main dish.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.
Tried this recipe?Mention @IHeartAirFrying or tag #iheartairfrying!

NUTRITION

Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

Keyword: air fried orange chicken, orange chicken with homemade sauce, Panda Express copycat Orange Chicken

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