If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your local Chinese Restaurant, then you’ll love this crispy Air Fryer Orange Chicken! With crispy chicken and a tangy orange flavor, this meal will quickly become a family favorite.

Close up of orange chicken in a bowl.

Making food in the air fryer simplifies busy weeknights and makes for fast and delicious meals. Especially when we’re talking about chicken recipes. We’ve got our Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, Air Fryer Pickle Brined Chicken Wings, and now our fake out take-out Orange Chicken! If you’re looking for restaurant-quality orange chicken without leaving your home, this recipe is for you.

Overhead shot of two bowls of air fried orange chicken with sides like rice and broccoli.

What Is Orange Chicken In the Air Fryer?

Imagine you’re favorite take-out dish in a simple step-by-step air fryer recipe. This healthier option for Orange Chicken Recipe uses very little oil compared to deep frying, making it the perfect healthy alternative.

The air fryer is the perfect tool for cooking orange chicken as the hot air circulates the meat like a convection oven, resulting in super crispy skin with a juicy interior. Plus, the air fryer cooks food in a fraction of the time, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy days! 

Ingredients for orange chicken in the air fryer on a counter.

Air Fryer Orange Chicken Recipe Ingredients

This recipe comes together quickly, so have all your ingredients measured out and prepped before you start to help things run smoother.

For the air fried Chicken:

  • Chicken breast – cut into cubes.
  • Soy sauce
  • Grated ginger
  • Corn starch
  • Panko bread crumbs or pork panko

For the Sauce:

  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Grated ginger
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Orange zest
  • Brown sugar or erythritol monk fruit ‘brown sugar‘ blend
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sriracha
  • Cornstarch
  • Cold water
  • Sesame seeds – for garnish.

How to Make Orange Chicken in the Air Fryer

Remember, cooking times and results can vary based on your specific air fryer model, so it’s a good idea to monitor the cooking process and make adjustments as needed for your homemade Air Fryer Orange Chicken.

First, toss those chicken pieces into a big glass bowl. Pour in the soy sauce and grated ginger, give it a good stir, and let it soak for about 10 minutes.

A bowl of chicken with orange slices and a spoon.

Now, once they’ve marinated, sprinkle in the cornstarch and give it a toss. After that, toss in the breadcrumbs until coated.

Chicken pieces in a bowl with cornstarch.

Place the chicken cubes in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may have to do two batches. Air fryer for 6 minutes at 380 degrees F, then shake halfway through and cook for another 6-8 minutes until it’s cooked through.

Chicken pieces in an air fryer next to orange slices.

While the chicken is cooking, grab a saucepan and throw in some olive oil and garlic. 

Now, add in the ginger, orange juice, zest, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha. Whisk it and bring it to a simmer while you stir.

Small pan filled with sauce ingredients.

In a small bowl, mix up the cornstarch slurry (cornstarch and water) and toss it into the saucepan. Keep whisking on low heat until things get a bit thicker, then take it off the heat.

When the chicken is golden brown, toss it into a bowl and pour the tangy orange sauce over the cubed chicken. Mix it up, sprinkle some sesame seeds, and maybe throw in a couple of orange slices for fanciness.

Orange chicken in the air fryer basket cooked to golden brown.

Serve it over rice with some broccoli if you’re feeling extra green.

Crispy air fryer chicken pieces being coated in orange sauce.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Cutting Chicken: Make sure to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. This helps achieve that golden-brown perfection in every bite.
  • Coating Chicken: When coating the chicken with the cornstarch mixture, ensure each piece is fully coated. This step is key to getting that crispy exterior we all love.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Give the chicken pieces some space to cook evenly and reach that ideal golden-brown goodness.
  • Cooking Time: Cooking times may vary, so keep an eye on the chicken. The internal temperature should reach a safe level, and the pieces should be crispy and golden.
  • Sauce Consistency: Simmer the orange sauce until it slightly thickens. This helps it adhere perfectly to the crispy chicken, giving you that sticky and flavorful coating.
  • Fresh Orange Flavor: For the best orange flavor, use fresh oranges. The zest and juice combined create a tangy and vibrant citrusy taste.
  • Extra Crispiness: Want extra crispiness? Coat the chicken pieces generously in the cornstarch mixture and make sure they are not overcrowded in the air fryer basket.
  • Storage Tips: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. To maintain the crispiness, reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes – it’s like enjoying it fresh.
  • Experiment: Feel free to experiment with the recipe. Adjust the spice level, try different side dishes, and make it your own for a personalized and delicious experience.
Air fryer orange chicken in a bowl with rice and steamed broccoli.

What to Serve With Homemade Orange Chicken

Serve the air fryer orange chicken with your favorite sides. Some great options are rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or veggies, like this easy Roasted Green Beans Recipe.

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover orange chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you want to freeze the chicken, make sure to freeze the sauce and the chicken separately for best results. Freeze the chicken for up to 4 months and the sauce for up to 3 months. 

To reheat:

  1. Place the orange sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it heat up until thawed.
  2. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket and cook for 5-7 minutes at 390 degrees F. 
  3. Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve with your favorite sides. 

MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES

This air fryer orange chicken recipe is a game-changer for busy nights or when that Chinese takeout craving hits. With crispy bites, a sticky orange glaze, and a fraction of the effort of deep frying, it’s a winner.

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

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Air Fryer Orange Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Air fryer orange chicken in a bowl with rice and steamed broccoli.
Sweet, sticky orange chicken cooked to crispy perfection in the air fryer for way better than takeout results in just 20 minutes. So easy and delicious!

Ingredients  

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tbsp panko bread crumbs or pork panko

For the sauce:

  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions 

Cook the Chicken

  • Place the chicken cubes in a large glass bowl and add the soy sauce and grated ginger.
  • Stir to combine and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Once marinated, add the cornstarch and toss to coat.
  • Then add the breadcrumbs and toss to fully coat.
  • Place the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry for 6 minutes at 380 degrees F then toss the chicken and air fry for another 6-8 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. (You might have to do two batches)

Make the Sauce

  • While the chicken is cooking, place a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil to preheat.
  • Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Add the ginger, orange juice, zest, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sriracha.
  • Whisk to combine.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer while stirring.
  • Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the saucepan.
  • Whisk over low heat while adding the cornstarch mixture.
  • Simmer for a few minutes then remove from the heat.

Toss and Serve

  • Once the chicken has cooked, transfer it to a bowl and add the sauce.
  • Toss to combine.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and orange slices.
  • Serve with rice and broccoli, if desired.

Notes

  • Cutting Chicken: Make sure to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. This helps achieve that golden-brown perfection in every bite.
  • Coating Chicken: When coating the chicken with the cornstarch mixture, ensure each piece is fully coated. This step is key to getting that crispy exterior we all love.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Give the chicken pieces some space to cook evenly and reach that ideal golden-brown goodness.
  • Cooking Time: Cooking times may vary, so keep an eye on the chicken. The internal temperature should reach a safe level, and the pieces should be crispy and golden.
  • Sauce Consistency: Simmer the orange sauce until it slightly thickens. This helps it adhere perfectly to the crispy chicken, giving you that sticky and flavorful coating.
  • Fresh Orange Flavor: For the best orange flavor, use fresh oranges. The zest and juice combined create a tangy and vibrant citrusy taste.
  • Extra Crispiness: Want extra crispiness? Coat the chicken pieces generously in the cornstarch mixture and make sure they are not overcrowded in the air fryer basket.
  • Storage Tips: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. To maintain the crispiness, reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes – it’s like enjoying it fresh.
  • Experiment: Feel free to experiment with the recipe. Adjust the spice level, try different side dishes, and make it your own for a personalized dinner.
Remember, cooking times and results can vary based on your specific air fryer model, so it’s a good idea to monitor the cooking process and make adjustments as needed. Enjoy your homemade Air Fryer Orange Chicken!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: air fryer
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR CORNSTARCH IF I DON’T HAVE ANY?​

​If you’re out of cornstarch, you can use potato starch or arrowroot powder as alternatives.

DOES THIS RECIPE PAIR WELL WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE?

Yes! If you want to keep things low carb, pairing this meal with cauliflower rice is a great idea!

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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