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
Gluten Free Orange Chicken (AIP, paleo)
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 3 –4 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Gluten Free Orange Chicken is paleo and AIP and made with ground chicken tossed in a delightfully tangy and sweet orange sauce that comes together in 20 minutes for an easy, quick and delicious meal.
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 3 TBSP coconut aminos
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 TBSP olive or avocado oil
- 1 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1-inch piece ginger, grated or minced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 TBSP orange zest
- 1/2 TBSP tapioca starch + 1/4 cup water
- green onions (for garnishing, optional)
- In a small bowl combine orange juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos and maple syrup and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium heat.
- Once hot, add ground chicken, salt, ginger, garlic and orange zest and brown the meat, leaving clumps of ground chicken together for some texture if desired.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, lower the heat slightly and add the orange sauce.
- Bring to a simmer and then combine tapioca starch and water to make a slurry. Stir slurry into the dish until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat, garnish with sliced green onions and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Mains
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Asian Inspired
Keywords: orange chicken, ground chicken, 30 minute meals, one-pan meal, one-pot meal, easy dinner, orange chicken copycat
Delicious and i usually do not enjoy ground chicken!
just added some honey and some gluten free soy sauce to finish it more to our liking but very easy recipe!
Absolutely delicious! Have to eat AIP now and tried this recipe. Id make this whether AIP or not!! My daughter, 20, helped out and loves it as well.
This is perfect! Deeply satisfying and flavorful!
I agree with the earlier commenter that the scallions are the perfect finishing touch and took Nicole’s suggestion to pair this recipe with a side of steamed broccoli.
My meat CSA was out of ground chicken so I pressure cooked a whole chicken in the sauce, stuck the chicken in the broiler to crisp the skin afterward, and reduced the sauce to eventually pour over the chicken and broccoli combo! It was wonderful.
As always, I look forward to following the recipe exactly when my CSA restocks ground chicken! I cherish Nicole’s recipes as-is and remain grateful for them!
Mary Ellen Skelly
Made this recipe this week and it was soooo good! We will definitely be adding this to our rotation of favourites. Thank you so much. (Also, don’t skip the green onions- they add to the yumminess!)
Easy and flavorful! Great for weeknight meals.
Quick and delicious!
Fast, tasty, and AIP? I couldn’t ask for more
Easy to make and delicious!
Your orange chicken recipe is absolutely delicious! It’s the perfect combination of sweet, tangy and salty in every bite. I’ll definitely be doubling the recipe next time I cook it. Thank you.