This low-carb keto orange chicken is made with crispy fried chicken coated with a sugar-free sticky orange sauce. It tastes like your old time favorite Chinese restaurant recipe without the sugar or carbs! Bonus, this is a healthy recipe with only 300 calories and 5.8g of net carbs so keep reading to learn more.
The first question you will ask me is, can you eat orange chicken on keto? So, before starting this keto orange chicken recipe let’s do a little reminder on what a traditional orange chicken recipe is! Orange chicken is a popular Chinese dish made of juicy bite-size fried chicken, previously dipped into a cornstarch/egg mixture to create a crispy layer around the chicken pieces. Then, these pieces are coated with a high-carb sugar-loaded orange sauce made of white sugar, orange juice, and soy sauce, rice vinegar.
With that, you’ve got your answer, a classic orange chicken recipe from your local restaurant is NOT keto-friendly. So, I am sorry but NO, a Panda Express orange chicken is not okay on keto!
The traditional sauce is loaded with white sugar and rice vinegar and the chicken pieces are full of cornstarch one of the highest carb flour. So let me guide you through the process of making a healthy homemade orange chicken within 30 minutes!
Yes, you can use a small amount of fresh orange juice on your keto diet to flavor a dish or baking. Of course, do not question drink a large glass of orange juice during the day or it will spike your blood sugar level. But remember that what makes a recipe keto-friendly is the total amount of net carbs it contains per serving. So, if you use orange sparingly in a recipe, like here, the net carbs per serve will still be very low.
Plus, you will be surprised to know that orange is actually not so high in carbs compared to other keto-approved fruits like blueberries! Yes, orange has less net carbs than blueberries per serve!
First, you need to choose the right meat. The classic Chinese dish uses boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces. This is the juiciest meat and while regular chicken breast will work too, I recommend the thigh to keep the meat extra juicy.
Since you want to achieve the same texture as a classic orange chicken recipe, you must coat the meat into an egg wash and coconut flour mixture. Coconut flour is very low in carbs compared to the cornstarch used in restaurant and when fried, this coating mimics the classic starchy layer pretty well.
To fry your chicken the healthy way, choose avocado oil, it has a higher smoke point and it’s a keto-friendly oil. I don’t recommend baking the chicken pieces for this recipe. You would end up with dry chicken bites.
This is a healthy orange chicken sauce recipe, very low in sugar since I am using a low amount of orange juice, no sugar but keto-friendly sweeteners, and no cornstarch to keep your carb in control.
The ratio of each ingredient brings the best balance of flavors to make a healthy orange chicken recipe that everyone loves! All you need to make this low-carb orange chicken sauce recipe are:
The keto orange sauce is pretty easy to make, all you have to do is to simmer all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes. Whisk constantly to avoid having the sauce stick to the pan and remove from heat when sticky and thick.
When your sauce is ready, it’s very easy to assemble your orange chicken keto recipe. First, pour the keto orange sauce onto the fried chicken and stir to coat the fried pieces of chicken.
Then, serve immediately, topped with a pinch of sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Cauliflower rice and orange chicken go very well together and it’s my recommendation as a side to this low-carb orange chicken recipe. However, any super greens like kale, green beans, or any keto vegetables from my list are great!
To make stir fry cauliflower rice, simply heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the cauliflower rice and stir fry 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
Have you made this easy and healthy orange chicken recipe? Share a picture with me on Instagram and leave me a review or comment below.
Your friend, Carine
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