Keto Orange Chicken
This low-carb Keto Orange Chicken is made with crispy fried chicken coated with a sugar-free sticky orange sauce.
It tastes like your favorite Chinese restaurant recipe without the sugar or carbs!
Bonus, this is a healthy recipe with only 300 calories and 5.8 grams of net carbs, so keep reading to learn more.
What’s Orange Chicken?
The first question you will ask me is, can you eat orange chicken on keto? Before starting this keto orange chicken recipe, let’s do a little reminder of a traditional orange chicken recipe!
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.
These pieces are then coated with a high-carb sugar-loaded orange sauce made of white sugar, orange juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
Is Orange Chicken Keto-Friendly?
A classic orange chicken recipe from your local restaurant like Panda Express is not keto-friendly.
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!
How To Make Keto Orange Chicken
This recipe requires quite a few ingredients but it’s super easy to make.
All you need to make the crispy chicken are:
- Boneless Chicken Thighs – choose free-range chicken for the best taste.
- Coconut Flour – it’s a low-carb flour that will perfectly coat the chicken.
- Black Pepper
- Eggs – eggs are perfectly keto-friendly.
- Heavy Cream – make sure to pick a keto-friendly cream.
And for the low-carb orange chicken sauce recipe:
- Fresh orange juice – fresh oranges bring the best orange flavor, so press your own rather than buying store-bought juice that will probably have additives or added sugar!
- Chicken broth
- White vinegar – it replaces the high-sugar rice vinegar used in traditional recipes.
- Orange zest – make sure the orange is untreated, or the orange skin may contain additives that are not good for you.
- Erythritol – you can play with sweetness depending on how sweet you like your sauce. Always start with 1/4 cup and increase, adding up to 2 extra tablespoons to taste. Since erythritol is a zero-GI sugar alcohol, adding more won’t impact the recipe’s net carbs. Learn how to convert sweeteners.
- Low-carb sauce or coconut amino – check the nutrition panel to make sure there’s no added sugar in the sauce you buy.
- Garlic cloves
- Xanthan gum – this is your keto sauce thickener. It replaces the classic high-carb cornstarch used in the traditional Chinese dish.
Choosing The Chicken
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.
Coating The Meat
Since you want to achieve the same texture as a classic orange chicken recipe, you must coat the meat with an egg wash and coconut flour mixture.
Coconut flour is low in carbs compared to the cornstarch used in restaurants, and when fried, this coating mimics the classic starchy layer pretty well.
Frying The Chicken
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.
Preparing the Keto Orange Chicken Sauce
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 ingredients brings the best balance of flavors to make a healthy orange chicken recipe that everyone loves!
The keto orange sauce is pretty easy to make. All you have to do is 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.
Assembling The Keto Orange Chicken
When your sauce is ready, it’s straightforward to assemble your orange chicken keto recipe.
First, pour the keto orange sauce onto the fried chicken and stir to coat the fried chicken pieces.
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, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the cauliflower rice, and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes and season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
This recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat it in a saucepan or frying pan.
You can also freeze individual portions for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find below my answers to the most common questions about this recipe.
Yes you can, but because it’s a bit drippy, you might make a mess in your air fryer.
Yes, you can use any sweetener you like.
Yes, you can use a small amount of fresh orange juice on your keto diet to flavor a dish or baking.
Of course, drinking a large glass of orange juice during the day is out of the question. It would 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 serving will still be very low.
Plus, you will be surprised to know that orange is actually not as high in carbs as other keto-approved fruits like blueberries!
Yes, orange has fewer net carbs than blueberries per serving!
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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.
Keto Orange Chicken
Want My Kitchen Equipment?
- 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs about 6 thighs or 3 chicken breast (450 g)
- ⅔ cup Coconut Flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 large Eggs
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream or coconut cream if dairy-free
Keto orange sauce
- 3 tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice about 1/2 medium-sized orange
- 3 tablespoons Orange Zest finely chopped, about skin of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons Low-carb Soy Sauce or coconut aminos
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ cup Crystal Sweetener you can add up to 2 extra tablespoons for a sweeter sauce, it won't impact net carbs.
- 3 large Garlic Cloves crushed
- ¼ teaspoon Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
To fry the chicken
- ¼ cup Avocado Oil
- Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, mix the coconut flour, salt, pepper. Set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs and heavy cream. Set aside.
- Using a fork, dip a piece of chicken into the egg mixture (gently shake it drain the extra egg) dip into the coconut flour on both sides to coat the chicken piece evenly.
- Set aside the coated chicken pieces onto a rack, and repeat the previous step until all chicken pieces have been coated with the egg/flour mixture.
- In a medium saucepan, add 2 inches (5 cm) of avocado oil and bring to high heat, 375°F (180°C).
- Line a plate with paper towels. Set aside.
- Add the marinated chicken cubes to the frying pan, about 10 pieces simultaneously, and deep fry for 2-3 minutes until golden. Turn halfway with a slotted spoon or fork and brown on the other side
- Reserve the fried chicken onto the plate covered with absorbent paper.
- Cover plate with foil to keep the chicken warm while you make the sauce
Orange keto sauce
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, whisk together orange juice, orange zest, low-carb soy sauce, white vinegar, erythritol, water, ginger, and crushed garlic
- Boil the sauce, then gently simmer for 2 minutes to reduce. Taste your sauce sweetness now. If not sweet enough, add up to 2 extra tablespoons of erythritol (this doesn't impact the net carb/serve) and keep simmering to dissolve the extra sugar-free sweetener.
- Sprinkle xanthan gum all over the saucepan and constantly whisk until the sauce thickens and coats the whisk. This can take 1-2 minutes. If it's not sticky enough to your liking, add an extra sprinkle of 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum.
- Remove the saucepan from heat when the sauce is thick and sticky.
- Add the fried chicken into the sauce and toss until the sauce coats it thoroughly.
- Serve with cauliflower rice, sesame seeds, and green onion.
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Ingredients:ChickenCoconut FlourEggHeavy Cream
Cooking Method:One Pan
Preparation:Under 30 Minutes
The recipes, instructions, and articles on this website should not be taken or used as medical advice. You must consult with your doctor before starting on a keto or low-carb diet. The nutritional data provided on Sweetashoney is to be used as indicative only.
The nutrition data is calculated using WP Recipe Maker. Net Carbs is calculated by removing the fiber and some sweeteners from the total Carbohydrates. As an example, a recipe with 10 grams of Carbs per 100 grams that contains 3 grams of erythritol and 5 grams of fiber will have a net carbs content of 2 grams. Some sweeteners are excluded because they are not metabolized.
You should always calculate the nutritional data yourself instead of relying on Sweetashoney's data. Sweetashoney and its recipes and articles are not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Sweetashoney cannot be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or advice found on the Website.
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Can I use almond flour?
I didn’t try yet so I am not sure it will coat and crisp as well.
Can this be made in an air fryer?
I didn’t try it yet but I think it will work, feel free to experiment with temp/time
can I air fry this?
I didn’t try this option, I am worried that this dry out the meat too much because it’s coated in a high-fiber flour: coconut flour.
This was delish. I made some modifications based on my experience keto cooking. If you have oat fibre blended with a bit of unflavoured whey powder and use some whisked egg whites, you can skip the eggs, whipping cream and coconut flour and skip quite a lot of calories too. Just depends on your macro needs. But the egg whites and oat fibre coating crisps nicely in the oil and does not leave that breaded texture that can get soggy. The sauce is super delish as is and goes well with cauli rice or lightly sautéed shredded Brussels sprouts.
Came out pretty good, but I did not follow the recipe exactly. I used almond flour instead and added baking powder. Next time I make this, instead of coating the chicken in the egg and whipping cream mix, I’m just going to coat the chicken with almond flour and olive oil and just air fry instead. As I was frying the chicken, it just became messy so I tossed it in my air fryer and came out just fine. Orange sauce was good
Hi Carine, My husband is sensitive to coconut. Is there another flour to substitute with?
Almond flour should work well too, enjoy!
Definitely a keeper! Tastes just like restaurant quality Orange Chicken!
Thanks for the lovely feedback!
This recipe was amazing in taste. A little messy in getting it all coated but it was worth it with the sauce over mash cauliflower or just a salad on side. Thanks so much! Using your recipes has helped me so much in getting the right fit for my Keto diet.
I made this to tonight for dinner and it was delicious. The sauce was dynamite. It is so close to my favorite orange chicken takeout, but so much healthier. I did add some whey protein isolate to the coating. I didn’t see directions for marinade, so just marinaded the chicken for 30 minutes in a little oil, garlic, soy, and a touch of honey. It was a little time consuming, but so so worth it. Thanks for such a delicious recipe, I can’t wait to try out some other ones.
Thank you for the ability to adjust the recipe. I wanted to make a double amount. I’m glad you have a slider.
It sounds like we like big portions. I want to make enough for 4 larger portions. Very excited to make it tomorrow!
Hi! Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?
Sure, any vinegar will work well here.
This looks great! I will try the next time I get orange juice in the house. It’s not something I normally keep.
I can’t use erythritol. Can I use Stevia to sweeten it?
Thank you, your recipes are a lifesaver.
You can also squeeze an orange so you don’t have orange juice leftover 🙂 Stevia should be ok to sweetened the sauce, just play with amount as it’s very sweet and can be overpowering
Thank you so much for answering my question! Planning on making it Friday night. However, I will have to use my frozen chicken breasts. I need to use them up.
Question about the coconut flour technique. Will that also work with fish? I won’t be deep frying it. I’m trying to sub for flour in sauteing fish. Thank you.
I didn’t use the recipe as a fish batter but it should work if you deep fry.
I am the only one doing keto in my household. I made this for dinner tonight and my husband and son cleared their plates. They had no clue it was low carb. I served theirs over white rice and made mine with cauliflower rice. It was delicious and will definitely make again.
I tried the coconut flour method last night. I sautéed it. Yes, some of the breading stuck to the pan.
Hubby loved it!
Next time, I will keep moving the fish around. Great technique
Just hoping that it’s not too dry with the chicken breasts
Thanks for sharing with us !
This was so delicious! I love it.
Omg I don’t know what I did wrong I followed recipe exactly.. the chicken turned out great UNTIL I poured sauce over it.. It looked great but was AWFUL it was all gummy and soft & the texture & taste was repulsive. I Even tried to broil it to see if I could crisp it up..it didn’t work..I spit it out & had to throw it all out in garbage..:(
How to you get 2 inches of oil in a pan using only 1/4 cup oil? I’m sure you want us to deep fry and not pan fry, correct?
I am using a small frying pan and fry it by small batch, if your pan is larger simply add more oil, the goal is 2 inches oil in the pan to fry the chicken
I used a wok and 2 inches of avocado oil. This allowed me to deep fry the chicken with no need to turn. Since you instruct to turn the chicken pieces, I’m guessing that you are shallow frying and not deep frying. Also, I used a zester for the orange zest and really only needed about 1 tablespoon of zest. Thanks for the recipe; it was very good.
can you air fry the chicken instead of skillet frying?
Probably but it will be very dry with the coconut flour coating
Is there a substitution for the egg wash?
You can use a flax egg, combine 1 tbps flaxmeal with 3 tablespoon milk and set aside 10 minutes until an egg like texture form. This replace 1 egg
The sauce is nice but the coconut flour breading doesn’t hold up. Might try to pan fry the chicken chunks next time. Very yummy sauce though, will definitely use that part of the recipe again.
Ummmmmmm. 6 servings? Who was eating this? a mini-human? I could have eaten the entire thing in one serving. OMG – it was so good. But honestly, we had 3 good servings. Will make again!
Hahah, I am a tiny woman of 149 cm so for me it makes 6 servings but feel free to adjust based on your nutritional needs! Happy to hear you love it
I made this recipe and it was delicious!!!