​Better Than Take-Out and Cost Less Too!

Once upon a time, I used to love to get Chinese take-out, but then when I had to go gluten-free, that all changed. In fact, I was sure I would never be able to eat Chinese again. I have worked to create a fantastic recipe. Honestly, it is the best gluten-free Chinese Orange Chicken I have had, and many people say that it is better than regular orange chicken.

Chinese orange chicken is delicious, but most often, it is made with several wheat flour ingredients. This makes it impossible for someone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease to eat it. However, there are was to make a fantastic gluten-free Chinese orange chicken that will knock your socks off.

Gluten free chinese orange chicken

The Best gluten-free Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe

​I found a recipe online, but it was lacking something. So I do what I always do; I started experimenting with the recipe. After some time, I found that I loved my new creation, and so did my family. AND, then I did what I do next when I want to know if a recipe is really good and if it tops a gluten-filled version. I invited some people over. Every single time we make this recipe, everyone raves about it. EVERYONE! 

Once, we had some friends over who had never had Chinese Orange Chicken. They loved it and wanted to make it at home. They said their recipe didn’t even come close to what I had made. So I decided to post my so other people could have access to THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE CHINESE ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE.

​NOTE: I truly believe in the “made with love” theory. When creating a recipe for family and friends, it is a labor of love. Experts claim that love somehow through some method that nobody truly understands, gets infused into the recipe, and then it just makes food taste better. People say that is why your mother’s or grandmother’s food always tastes better – it is the love factor.


Follow the recipe. If you skip something or substitute it in this recipe, you will get subpar results.

Breading the chicken for orange chicken. Bowl with beaten eggs, another bowl with bread crumbs and final plate with breaded unfriend chicken

Use gluten-free cornstarch, gluten-free all-purpose flour, and gluten-free bread crumbs. The use of all three is essential.

Make sure to read labels and make sure your ingredients are gluten-free and use fresh ingredients for best results.

Gluten-free soy sauce is now easier to find than it used to be. Coconut aminos can be used, but it will have a slightly different flavor – not bad, just different.

​For best results, serve with short-grain white rice and roasted broccoli! YUMMY

Use fresh oranges. I use a combination of fresh orange juice and Simply Orange Juice. Do not forget the orange zest.

Use fresh ginger and grate it when making the recipe for the best flavor. I store my ginger in the freezer and pull it out to grate. It is easier to grate when it is frozen.

There are ways to make an easy orange chicken recipe in your crockpot, but it will not be as tasty. While this recipe calls for frying the chicken (and we used peanut oil), obviously, a baked version or one done in the crockpot will mean fewer calories.

Once you have made your Gluten-free Chinese Orange Chicken, plate with rice, and broccoli, and add green onions and sesame seeds to the top of the chicken. 

Gluten-Free orange chicken and white rice with sides of roasted broccoli and fried cabbage with carrots

​Frequently Asked Questions?

What are the ingredients needed to make this gluten-free Chinese orange chicken recipe?

You will need boneless skinless chicken breast, eggs, corn starch, gluten-free flour, gluten-free breadcrumbs, orange juice, fresh oranges, sugar, brown sugar, rice vinegar, gluten-free soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic powder, red chili flakes, orange zest, green onions, sesame seeds, peanut oil sesame oil, rice, and broccoli. 

What types of ingredients do I have to watch for in Chinese food if I am avoiding gluten?

The obvious ones such as soy sauce made with wheat, breading made with bread crumbs or wheat flour, or ramen noodles. You may also need to watch for other hidden sources of gluten such as oyster sauce and modified food starch which may or may not contain gluten.

Does it taste like the orange chicken at Panda Express?

Unfortunately, I have never had the orange chicken at Panda Express to compare it.

​Can you use this sauce over baked chicken?

Absolutely, you can. However, I would probably pour it all in a frying pan and heat it up to get even better flavor.

​Help. I used too many red pepper flakes, and my sauce is too spicy.

If you haven’t already poured the sauce on the chicken, you can strain the sauce to remove as much of the red pepper flake as you can. This should help stop any more heat from being added to the sauce. However, it is still too spicy, the next step would be to add some honey or more sugar. If that doesn’t do the trick, the final step would be to add more of all the other ingredients. You will have way to much sauce and you can freeze the extra for the next time you make the best gluten-free Chinese Orange Chicken recipe. Just make sure to put it in an airtight container – and put a note in your calendar to use it in the future.

Can I use an air fryer to make the homemade orange chicken?

Yes, you can. I personally don’t have an air fryer, but I know that it would work. After taking the chicken out of the air fryer, add the chicken and the homemade orange sauce to a frying pan to “fry” the sauce into the chicken.

What type of chicken should I use?

Boneless, skinless chicken breast is my first choice, but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. I buy extra chicken and fry it all. Then I put the extra chicken in the freezer and pull it out for another meal. I always use chicken breasts for this recipe because I do prefer white meat for orange chicken. However, dark meat can work too.

Can’t I just use store-bought tangy orange sauce?

No! Nothing compares to homemade. However, if you have found an authentic orange sauce you like, you can substitute. Just be sure the sauce is gluten-free as not everyone uses cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce.

What about using cauliflower rice?

I have made cauliflower rice and used it with other recipes, but I would be lying if I told you cauliflower rice was a great substitute in this recipe. 

I have leftover orange chicken. What do I do with it?

Place it in an airtight container. You can place any leftover rice in the same container. Reheat your leftovers on medium heat in a frying pan. I add a few tablespoons of water and place a lid on the pan. Watch to see if you need to add more water. This will produce a “mushier” chicken and rice, but it is still very tasty as leftovers. 

What other sides can I use with this recipe?

Serve over short or medium-grain white rice. Stir-fried veggies are an option, as well as fried cabbage. My favorite side is roasted broccoli.

My sauce is too sour. What do I do?

Did you use my recipe or another recipe? Sweet and sour sauce is different than orange chicken sauce. However, if you used my sauce and you find it too sour, that may be due to the oranges or you grated too much pith (the white part) in with the orange peels. 

What’s the difference between General Tso and orange chicken and sweet and sour chicken?

Orange chicken is usually crispy chicken that has a tangy Chinese orange sauce. The orange flavor in the sauce is from fresh oranges or orange juice. It is placed over the chicken in the frying pan and is incorporated into the chicken. General Tso is stir-fried with a sweet and spicy sauce. Sweet and Sour Chicken is battered (not breaded) and deep-fried. Usually, sweet and sour sauce is served on the side. The sour flavors come from the vinegar in that recipe.

Can I get gluten-free options at Chinese restaurants or Chinese take-out?

Most Chinese food can be made gluten-free. However, soy sauce and breading at most establishments are not. Most of the chicken pieces that are breaded have wheat ingredients. Some may be made with corn starch or other flour, and you can check with your local Chinese restaurant to be sure. However, if they use a deep fryer, there will be cross-contamination. 

A local Chinese restaurant offers some naturally gluten-free options with unbreaded chicken and a white sauce. While it is good, it is not my favorite.

​Help! I juiced my oranges and threw out my orange peels. What else can I use for zest?

You can use the zest of any citrus fruit such as tangerine peel, limes, or lemons. 

Do you have any other gluten-free recipes on this blog?

Yes, I do. I have some truly yummy desserts, and I have some cookies. But one of our favorite dishes is the Korean Bulgogi recipe which we have regularly in our home.

I want to have a family movie night. What would you recommend?

Watch Mulan or Kung Fu Panda, eat Chinese, and read about the Great Wall of China. Place a big blanket on the floor, and sit on cushions while you eat.

Gluten-Free orange chicken and white rice with sides of roasted broccoli and fried cabbage with carrots

Gluten-Free Chinese Orange Chicken

Gluten-Free breaded, fried chicken with orange sauce
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 servings



  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in chunks
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash garlic powder optional
  • peanut oil

Orange Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup bottled orange juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger use more if you love ginger!
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes adjust to your taste
  • zest from orange
  • 1/2-3/4 cup white sugar adjust to taste – if your oranges are sour, you may need to use 3/4 cup sugar.
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • green onions chopped
  • sesame seeds


Orange Sauce

  • In a medium sauce pan, add liquid ingredients and stir. Turn on heat to medium.
  • Add 1/2 cup sugar, ginger, and garlic. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Taste and add sugar if more is desired.
  • Add red chili flakes. Adjust to desired taste.
  • Once orange sauce is heated, add the cornstarch to 1 tablespoon cold water. Mix well. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to saucepan, stirring continuously. Continue to cook until sauce thickens.
  • When sauce is thickened, remove from heat. Add the orange zest and set aside until chicken is cooked.

Bread Chicken

  • Cut chicken in bite size pieces.
  • Place bread crumbs, flour and cornstarch in a bowl and mix. Add salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder if desired. Mix breading mixture with spoon.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs
  • Coat chicken in beaten eggs
  • Dip chicken pieces into the bread crumb/flour/cornstarch mixture.
  • Heat oil (we used peanut oil) in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Temperature of oil should be between 325-350 degrees.
  • Once oil is heated, add chicken pieces. Don't overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook. You want the pieces to be golden brown. When you remove the chicken from the frying pan, place on a plate that you have lined with paper towels. Continue frying chicken until all the chicken is fried.
  • Once all the chicken is fried, remove extra oil from the pan. You want just 1-2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Add orange sauce to the pan and toss the chicken in the sauce. Turn the heat to medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve chicken over white rice. Add green onions and sesame seed (optional).
  • Sides that go well with this meal include fried cabbage and carrots, roasted broccoli, or sauteed bok choy.
Keyword chicken, chinese, Gluten-Free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Gluten free orange chicken

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