Air Fryer Orange Chicken is a delicious recipe made from battered and air-fried chicken breasts, served with a zesty orange sauce. It rivals your favorite takeout!
By air frying this Chinese orange chicken you can reduce the calories in a takeout favorite so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it. It’s quick and easy to make with simple ingredients.
AIR FRYER ORANGE CHICKEN
This Air Fryer Orange Chicken is yummy enough for adults, but kids like it too!
Save on your budget by making this Asian orange chicken recipe at home! Plus, by making this dish at home you can tailor the spice level to your family’s preferences.
AT-HOME TAKEOUT RECIPE
I learned how to make it in an effort to have more variety in our dinner menu and to eat at home more often. It’s not as simple as most of my air fryer recipes but it’s worth trying out!
If you love the orange sauce that is slighty sweet with a bit of heat, you can enjoy it at home! You can serve it alone, with your favorite rice, or with noodles!
The leftovers are pretty delicious too!
The convenience of having fast food you can make at home is great, as well as saving money and calories versus ordering takeout. But, the best reason to try this Air Fryer Orange Chicken recipe is that it tastes amazing!
MORE AIR FRYER CHICKEN RECIPES
If you’re looking for more great air fryer recipes for dinner, try one of these chicken recipes:
You can find a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. But here is the list of the ingredients you will need to make this air fryer chicken recipe.
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- Zest of one orange
- 2 cups cooked white rice (for serving)
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER CHICKEN
This recipe makes four servings and takes about 15 minutes to prep. Total cook time depends on the size of your air fryer. Each batch of chicken takes about 10-15 minutes in the air fryer.
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes (about 1-1.5 inch cubes). Try to be as consistent in size as you can so they will cook more evenly.
Heat the air fryer to 400°F. Some air fryer models require you to preheat before cooking. If yours requires this, be sure to preheat it to 400°F.
Dip each piece of chicken in the flour, then the eggs, then the panko breadcrumbs. Tap the chicken a bit to knock off any excess coating. You want the chicken pieces coated but not caked with coating.
Brush each piece of chicken with oil, then place it in the air fryer basket.
You can also use cooking spray and spray one side of your chicken after coating it. Then be sure to place the chicken piece in the air fryer with the sprayed side down. Then spray the sides facing up.
Only place one layer of chicken pieces in the air fryer basket at one time. There needs to be space for the hot air to circulate around the chicken.
Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes, removing the basket halfway through the cooking time to toss. Continue cooking in batches until all the chicken is cooked and golden brown. Cooking time may vary depending on your air fryer model.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce by combining the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ground ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, cornstarch slurry, and orange zest in a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove the sauce from heat when thickened.
Toss the cooked chicken in the sauce, then serve over white rice.
CAN I USE CHICKEN THIGHS TO MAKE ORANGE CHICKEN IN AIR FRYER?
Yes, you can.
But, make sure to cut the chicken thighs into small pieces and remove the skin from each piece before drenching them in the batter. The cooking time will be a little longer as well because darker meat takes longer to cook.
WHAT DOES ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE TASTE LIKE?
The orange sauce coating the chicken is a tangy, sweet sauce that is similar to a glaze or barbecue sauce.
This recipe for Air Fryer Orange Chicken uses easy-to-find ingredients and combines them with pantry staples.
You can also adjust the amount of heat in your sauce with the amount of crushed red pepper. Add more if you’d like more spice and keep it mild by using less. You can also add a bit of Sriracha to your sauce if you like the flavor.
We keep it fairly mild around our house because it’s very family-friendly.
HOW DO I REHEAT AIR-FRIED ORANGE CHICKEN?
You can warm the leftover chicken in the oven at a low temperature. I recommend 250°F for about 15 minutes.
To reheat the sauce, place it in a saucepan and warm it over low heat on the stovetop. Stir often to keep from scorching or sticking to the pan.
You can also reheat orange chicken in the air fryer. Heat the air fryer to 350°F. Heat the chicken for 4 minutes. The sauce will be sizzling hot and the chicken pieces crispy.
CAN I FREEZE AIR-FRIED ORANGE CHICKEN?
Yes, you can also free this air fryer chicken recipe.
If using this recipe to make it ahead of time or to serve at a later date, cool it completely after cooking. Then store in freezer-safe containers or gallon-sized freezer bags for up to 3 months.
When ready to eat, reheat in the air fryer at 350°F for about 5 minutes until heated through and crispy again.
HOW LONG CAN I STORE LEFTOVERS?
Yes, you can! If using this recipe for Air Fryer Orange Chicken to make ahead of time or to serve at a later date, cool it completely after cooking. Then store in freezer-safe containers or gallon-sized freezer bags for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, reheat in the air fryer at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until heated through and crispy again.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK AIR FRYER ORANGE CHICKEN?
It takes 10-15 minutes to cook each batch of chicken. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to split the chicken into more or fewer batches. That would impact your total cook time.
WHAT IS ORANGE CHICKEN SAUCE MADE FROM?
The orange chicken sauce gets its tangy flavor from a mixture of soy sauce and orange juice and other pantry staples.
The heat in the orange chicken sauce comes from the crushed red pepper.
IS GENERAL TSO AND ORANGE CHICKEN THE SAME?
The difference between General Tso and Orange Chicken is the sauce.
The orange chicken sauce includes orange flavor provided by the orange juice and orange zest.
General Tso sauce uses hoisin sauce to add flavor. Good hoisin sauce has a balance of sweet and salty flavor and a lot of the soy flavor.
WHAT IS THE ORANGE ZEST USED FOR?
Orange zest adds a subtle and unique flavor to the sauce.
You can’t beat the brightness of the orange zest flavor when added to this dish.
CAN YOU COOK ORANGE CHICKEN WITHOUT AN AIR FRYER?
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can saute or pan-fry your Chinese orange chicken instead.
Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- Dip each piece of chicken in the flour, then the eggs, then the panko breadcrumbs.
- Brush each piece of chicken with oil, then place it in the air fryer basket.
- Heat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, removing the basket halfway through the cook time to toss.
- Continue cooking in batches until all the chicken is cooked.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce by combining the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ground ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, cornstarch slurry, and orange zest in a saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat when thickened.
- Toss the cooked chicken in the sauce, then serve over white rice.