This easy Gluten Free Orange Chicken is paleo, AIP, and so good! This recipe uses ground chicken which is tossed in a delightfully tangy and sweet orange sauce that comes together in 20 minutes for an easy, quick and delicious meal.
Perhaps like many of you, back in the day I used to really love Panda Express orange chicken. It was a treat I’d get when travelling to the US and this recipe takes me back!
This healthier, paleo and AIP version of orange chicken uses ground chicken for a super quick meal. The sauce is sweet, yet tangy, just like the original, and is completely gluten free.
This dish is the perfect weeknight meal because it comes together in literally 20 minutes. You can prep the sides like cauliflower rice and broccoli while the chicken cooks for the ultimate quick dinner.
Unlike Panda Express Orange Chicken, this recipe doesn’t include a flour or egg coating and involves no frying. The ground chicken is browned as is with garlic, ginger and orange zest before adding the sauce for more of that delicious orange flavor.
Here’s what you need for this easy Paleo/AIP and Gluten-free Orange Chicken:
- ground chicken – you can definitely substitute ground turkey or even ground pork in this recipe
- fresh garlic and ginger – these are the aromatics of the dish and used to season the ground chicken before adding in the orange sauce
- fresh orange juice
- orange zest – this really amps up the flavor of the dish. You’ll want to ensure you only get the outermost layer of the orange and not the pith/white part or the dish will be very bitter!
- maple syrup – this provides the sweetener in the sauce
- apple cider vinegar + coconut aminos – these two create the acidity and tanginess that’s so characteristic of orange chicken sauce
- tapioca starch – this is the thickener for the sauce so that it can coat the chicken perfectly!
- green onions – this is an optional garnish that provides some brightness to the finished dish.
How to make the easiest Healthy Orange Chicken
- Begin by combining your liquid ingredients (orange juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos and maple syrup) into a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat oil on medium heat in a large skillet and add in the ground chicken, salt, ginger, garlic and orange zest. As the meat browns, stir frequently. I like to leave a few clumps of ground chicken together for some texture and to crisp up that way. This is so good once the sauce hits it!
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, lower the heat slightly and add the orange sauce mixture.
- Next up, make your tapioca slurry. To do so, combine tapioca starch and water.
- Once the pot is simmering, stir slurry into the dish until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Garnish with green onions and serve on top cauliflower rice or a carb of your choice and some broccoli for good measure!
Gluten-free, Paleo/AIP Orange Chicken FAQs
Can I make this using a different ground meat?
Ground turkey works really well here! I haven’t tried the dish with ground pork, but think that would be delicious too!
How do I store this dish?
Store this paleo/AIP, gluten-free orange chicken in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this one.
What do I serve with this gluten free orange chicken?
This pairs so well with cauliflower rice and steamed broccoli, both of which you can prepare while the chicken cooks to have everything ready in under 30 minutes.
Here are some other easy and quick AIP dinners you might enjoy:
- Sheet Pan Beef and Broccoli with Mushrooms
- Japchae-inspired Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry
- Beef and Broccoli Rabe
- Chicken Noodle Stir Fry
If you try this easy paleo/AIP and Gluten Free Orange Chicken, I would love it if you would give it a star rating and short review. Also, be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious and using the hashtag #healmedelicious.Print