Skip the takeout and make this air fryer orange chicken at home instead. This is my take on the famous Panda Express orange chicken that everyone loves.
If you love making takeout favorites at home, then this is a recipe that you are going to enjoy. It’s crispy chicken coated in a tangy flavorful sauce.
Panda Express Orange Chicken
The original orange chicken we all loved that Panda Express released in 2016 was inspired by Hunan province’s flavors. It is a crispy chicken covered with savory orange sauce. You can taste all these flavors in this amazing copycat Panda Express orange chicken.
Why I Love This Recipe
I used to buy Chinese takeout a lot, especially when I’m by myself. However, I find it really costly to buy takeout every time I want it. So I found a way to make one at home that is healthier and just as yummy as the one I buy from Panda Express.
- Easy to make
- Always a hit at parties
- Perfect for picky eaters
- Fills the house with a delicious aroma
If you love making Chinese Takeout recipes at home give this Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli recipe a try.
You only need a handful of basic ingredients to help you make this air fryer orange chicken. Most of these ingredients can be found in your kitchen pantry.
- chicken breast, cubed
- Nature’s Seasoning
For the sauce
- orange, you’ll need the juice and zest
- soy sauce
- white vinegar
- brown sugar, packed
- minced garlic
- cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Brown sugar: The best substitute for brown sugar is white sugar mixed with molasses since this is what brown sugar is mainly made of.
Nature’s seasoning: To make your own nature’s seasoning, mix together salt, pepper, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. These seasonings are basically what make up nature’s seasoning.
Vinegar: You can use rice vinegar if you want to since most Asian cuisines use this kind of vinegar.
Equipment Needed/Helpful Tools
You only need a handful of kitchen tools to make this dish. These are all things that you probably already have in your kitchen.
How To Make Air Fryer Orange Chicken
Make your own orange chicken from Panda Express at the comfort of your own home with these simple steps. You will be so glad that you made this tasty dinner recipe.
Step 1: Make the sauce
In a saucepan over medium heat, add all sauce ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Once slow boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every couple of minutes to prevent the sauce from sticking. Let sit on warm while the chicken cooks.
Step 2: Mix together the dry ingredients
In a mixing bowl, mix spices, flour and cornstarch.
Step 3: Whisk the egg
In a separate bowl whisk egg.
Step 4: Dredge the chicken in flour and egg
Coat the chicken in the flour, and then dredge in egg.
Step 5: Repeat the flour dredge
Return chicken back to flour and fully coat.
Step 6: Add the chicken to the air fryer basket
Place breaded chicken in an oil sprayed air fryer basket. Spray chicken with oil.
Step 7: Air fry the chicken
Cook on 380 for 10 minutes.
Step 8: Coat the chicken in the sauce
Once all the chicken is cooked, increase sauce heat to low medium and add fried chicken. Stir until chicken is completely coated.
This recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. However, there are a few variations that you can do to make this Panda Express inspired dish your own.
Add some vegetables: You can add some veggies to this dish to make it more filling and nutritious. Some good options include broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots.
Make it spicier: If you want a little more heat, you can add more cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the dish.
Add some crunch: To add some crunch and texture, you can top the dish with chopped peanuts or cashews.
I find this Panda Express copycat orange chicken better with a bit of garnish when serving. Here are some suggestions:
- Green onions
- Red pepper flakes
- Sesame seeds
Do you have questions about this air fryer orange chicken recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions for this recipe.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
To reheat, place in the air fryer at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave. Just heat on high for about 1-2 minutes or until warmed throughout.
I do not recommend freezing this dish as the sauce can separate when thawed.
More Chinese Recipes
If you like Chinese food, give these recipes a try:
- Instant Pot Potstickers
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Air Fryer Chicken Egg Rolls
- Air Fryer Chicken Fried Rice
Ready to get cooking? Print off the recipe card below or toggle on Cook Mode to keep your screen from going dark while you follow along on your phone or tablet.
Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken
- Air Fryer
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 1 chicken breast cubed
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 tablespoon Natures Seasoning
- 2 eggs
- 1 orange you’ll need the juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add all sauce ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Once slow boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir every couple of minutes to prevent the sauce from sticking. Let sit on warm while chicken cooks.
- In a mixing bowl, mix spices, flour and cornstarch.
- In a separate bowl whisk egg.
- Coat the chicken in the flour, and then dredge in egg.
- Return chicken back to flour and fully coat.
- Place breaded chicken in oil sprayed air fryer basket. Spray chicken with oil.
- Cook on 380 for 10 minutes.
- Once all chicken is cooked, increase sauce heat to low medium and add fried chicken. Stir until chicken is completely coated.
Need to run to the store for a few ingredients first? Don’t forget to pin this recipe so you can find it when you’re ready to cook!