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Overhead view of a plate with healthy orange chicken, rice, orange wedges and steamed broccoli on a white background

Healthy Orange Chicken (Gluten-Free, Paleo-Friendly)

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS! It’s gluten free and easily paleo. See the notes for the simple swaps!

**ALSO: Recipe nutrition facts do not account for low sodium tamari/soy sauce. The sodium count is actually less the listed amount**



For the chicken: :

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)
  • 2 Tbsp. low sodium gluten free tamari (or soy sauce/coconut aminos)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or other high-heat oil)

For the sauce: :

  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (use best quality)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium gluten free tamari (or soy sauce/coconut aminos)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot)
  • 1 Tbsp water

Optional Garnish:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Orange zest
  • Sliced green onion
  • Minced cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes



  1. In a large zip-top bag or a small bowl, combine chicken, cornstarch and tamari/soy sauce). Stir or mix until chicken is well coated.
  2. Mix up your sauce (see below), then heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook chicken in batches, careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes on one side, then another 3-4 minutes on the second side, or until crisped and cooked through.
  4. Remove cooked chicken to a clean plate and repeat until all chicken is cooked.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, syrup, and tamari/soy sauce/aminos.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water. Set cornstarch mixture aside.
  3. When the chicken is done cooking, pour the sauce mixture into your pan.
  4. Add cornstarch mixture.
  5. Whisk over medium heat until sauce thickens.
  6. Turn off heat and stir in cooked chicken to coat with sauce.

Garnish with your favorites!



  • Use arrowroot starch in place of cornstarch
  • Use coconut aminos in place of GF tamari/soy sauce
  • Use cider vinegar in place of rice vinegar

PALEO NOTES – I’ve been able to get a good crispy coating using arrowroot (a grain free/paleo-friendly) thickener, but I do find that I REALLY need to keep the pieces of chicken from touching in the pan so they can get a good crispy sear. Arrowroot is also a little more finicky when it comes to thickening sauces. If it boils too long, it can actually lose it’s thinking powers, so as soon as your sauce starts to thicken, be sure to take it off the heat and mix in your chicken. If it’s just not thickening, you can sometimes get away with adding a second round of arrowroot mixed with water. Lastly, you for sure want to use cider vinegar in place of the rice vinegar and coconut aminos in place of the GF tamari or soy sauce.

CORNSTARCH VS ARROWROOT. If you read the note above, you’ll know that arrowroot will absolutely work in this recipe, but it will be more finicky to work with. Cornstarch is REALLY reliable and will give you restaurant-quality sauce every time. If you avoid corn products or need a grain-free option, I suggest arrowroot.

IF NOT GLUTEN FREE/PALEO: You can absolutely use soy sauce. I recommend low-sodium.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Main Dish, chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian, Take-out

Keywords: orange chicken, orange sauce, paleo orange chicken, gluten-free orange chicken, healthy orange chicken