Gluten Free Orange Chicken (WAY Better Than Take Out)

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Better Than Take Out: Homemade Gluten Free Orange Chicken // Follow Me on Pinterest

Homemade gluten free orange chicken. There’s no way it could ever be as good as takeout, right?


Orange chicken is one of those dishes that hubby and I get a craving for every now and then.

But, rather than going down the street and eating at Panda Express and loading up on salt, MSG, soybean oil, canola oil, etc., why not make it at home?

It is much easier than I once thought and I don’t know if I want to eat takeout orange chicken ever again!

Served with steamed rice, cauliflower rice, and/or steamed veggies, you’ve got a meal that is sure to satisfy.

Honestly though, the gluten free orange chicken is delicious on it’s own and I often just snack on it by itself!

A Few Notes About this Gluten Free Orange Chicken Recipe

1. You can use whatever flour you have on hand. If you tolerate grains, use your favorite grain-based flour. If you are grain- / gluten-free, use almond, coconut, or your favorite gluten-free mix.

2. The palm shortening (affiliate link) is a great fat for frying because it is very stable at high heats and has a neutral flavor that is not transferred to the chicken. I ONLY buy my palm products from Tropical Traditions because they are harvested sustainably and DO NOT come from Indonesia where habitat and animals are being destroyed.

3. If you don’t want to use corn starch, you can use arrowroot or tapioca. If you do use cornstarch, always make sure it is from organic, GMO-free corn.

4. The key to crispy fried chicken is the process of coating it. You want to do dry –> wet –> dry. In my recipe’s instructions, that would be corn starch/arrowroot –> egg –> flour.

5. Some people have seemed concerned about the amount of sugar in this recipe. Let’s not forget that a dish like this should be considered a treat and is not one you want to consume regularly. I make this dish maybe twice a year.

If you want to reduce the sugar, you can reduce the amount of honey. Since we don’t consume high-sugar foods often, I don’t mind eating extra honey for this meal.

Delicious Obsessions Trusted Product Recommendations for Gluten Free Orange Chicken

I am always asked about my favorite brands, so I want to share with you the places I get my ingredients.

My affiliate partner, Vitacost, has really good prices on some of the ingredients in this recipe. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get a coupon for $10 off your first purchase from Vitacost, and when your order ships, I’ll get a $10 off coupon for referring you. The cool thing about this program is that you can then refer your family and friends through your own link and YOU can get the $10 coupons too! 🙂

Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Vitacost and Thrive Market have better deals. If you like saving money, it’s good to shop around! 🙂

Thrive Market is another exceptional online grocery store. They are like Costco and Whole Foods combined in an online format. They have great pricing on all sorts of natural and organic foods. If you sign up through this link, you will get 15% OFF your first order and I will get a coupon for referring you.

In addition, my affiliate partner, Tropical Traditions, is where I get all of my palm products from (because they are guaranteed to be harvested sustainbly and ethically and DO NOT come from Indonesia). If you make a purchase from them through any of my links, you will receive a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Mountain Rose Herbs is where I get all of my herbs and spices. Because of their exceptional products and customer service, I am happy to support them as one of my affiliate partners. I have tried many brands of herbs over the years and keep coming back to Mountain Rose.

Now, time to dive in! This recipe has a lot of steps, but it is worth it for special occasions. The prep time and sugar content are two reasons why this meal should be reserved for treats and not made regularly. 🙂

Better Than Take Out: Homemade Orange Chicken (Gluten and Wheat Free)
Prep time
Cook time
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I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally use and recommend!
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients, except the corn starch and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, while whisking regularly to keep the honey from burning.
  3. In a small bowl or cup, mix the corn starch with the chicken stock or water. Mix well until there are no clumps.
  4. Slowly pour the corn starch mixture into the orange sauce, while whisking vigorously. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to stir. Once the sauce has reached your desired thickness, you can reduce the heat to low, or turn the burner off. If you leave the burner on, make sure you stir it regularly. I usually turn off the burner and let the sauce stand while I am preparing the chicken. It will stay hot for quite some time! If it has cooled off too much by the time you have your chicken ready, just re-heat over low heat and stir often.
  5. Make Ahead Tip: You can make this sauce in large batches ahead of time and freeze for fast dinners. The key is to prepare the sauce as directed, except do not add the corn starch. Portion and freeze. When you're ready to prepare it, re-heat and add the corn starch as directed above.

  7. In a large frying pan, start heating two cups of palm shortening over medium to medium-high heat.
  8. Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces and dry off.
  9. Place the corn starch in a Ziploc bag and add the chicken. Toss the chicken pieces around until they are completely coated. Like I mentioned above, you don't have to use corn starch. I find that tossing the chicken in corn starch first yields a much crispier breading. If you don't want to use corn starch, you can substitute whatever flour you want.
  10. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together.
  11. In a separate bowl, mix your flour, sea salt, and pepper together.
  12. Remove about ⅓ of the chicken pieces from the Ziploc bag and place them in the egg mixture. Coat each piece of egg and then place in the flour mixture. Coat each piece in the flour.
  13. Shake off any excess flour and place chicken in the hot oil, careful not to overcrowd the pan. I usually fry mine in 3 batches to ensure each piece gets crispy and golden.
  14. Flip each piece and allow to cook until the outside is golden brown. You may need to adjust your burner, depending on your stove. I sometimes have to lower my burner down to medium from medium-high. The pieces should be pretty small, so they will cook through in just a couple minutes.
  15. Remove the chicken from the pan and repeat for the rest of the chicken pieces. If I'm making a really big batch, I'll keep my cooked chicken on a sheet pan in a warm oven.
  16. If you want, when you're done frying the chicken, you can fry the slivers of orange peel. That is one thing that sometimes sets take out orange chicken apart. You get these crunchy bits of fried orange peel and I really enjoy those somewhat bitter morsels. My husband doesn't like them, so this is totally an optional step!
  17. You're ready to serve! We like to just add the sauce over our chicken, rice, and veggies. You can toss the chicken in the sauce if you'd like, but it will get soggy rather quickly.
  18. Enjoy!

What is your favorite Chinese take-out dish? Leave a comment below!

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: Delicious Obsessions is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. This post may contain affiliate links and/or ads. We only recommend products or services that we have personally tried and love. When you make a purchase through any of these links, we earn a small commission on each sale, which allows us to cover a portion of the cost of this site. This has no effect on your sale price and is simply a cost of doing business for the company you are purchasing from. All funds received help with the continued maintenance of this website and free content. You can view it like leaving a tip. Thank you! Read our full terms and conditions here.

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food wellness educator and the founder of the Delicious Obsessions website. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. She began helping her mother cook and bake around the age of three and she's been in the kitchen ever since, including working in a restaurant in her hometown for almost a decade, where she worked every position before finally becoming the lead chef. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.



  1. Sounds delicious!

    Did I miss something? Once the chicken is fried, do you put them in the sauce? Will the sauce make the coating squishy?

    Thx in advance


    Posted 06/15/12

    • Hi Manal – You did not miss anything. I simply forgot to address that. I have added that into the instructions. We like to just pour the sauce over our meal, rather than tossing the chicken in the sauce, because it’s soggy if you toss it. But, if you’re going to eat it all for that one meal, it would be fine. We always have leftovers, so that’s why we keep it separated.


      Posted 06/15/12

  2. Looks yummy! Do you save and re-use your palm oil? And do you know of any good deals on palm oil right now? I want to order some. Thanks!


    Posted 06/15/12

  3. I just tried this recipe, still in the process of finishing the sauce, its been on med-low for about 20-30 min, but adding the corn starch was a catastrophe. It was nearly a solid paste when added to the orange sauce, and now it is sitting in the pot not dissolving


    Posted 07/03/13

    • Hi Brian – Did you mix the cornstarch with some water prior to whisking it into the sauce. Cornstarch can be finicky and you must mix it with water first, then slowly add it to the sauce, while whisking vigorously or else it will get clumpy. If you do end up with clumps, you can always whisk the sauce through a strainer to get it smooth again. Hope that helps!


      Posted 07/05/13

  4. I’ve made this now twice, it’s great!! The sauce is fantastic.


    Posted 07/11/13

    • Thanks Lindsey! Glad you enjoyed! This is my go-to comfort food! 🙂


      Posted 07/12/13

  5. I could kiss you!

    I made this tonight – it took forever, but was so worth it. I had to change a couple things due to what I had on hand, but it’s an amazing recipe. Kudos!

    I’ll be singing your praises for some time to come!


    Posted 02/18/14

    • Wow Lydia, thank you! That really means a lot! So happy to hear you enjoyed! 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 02/19/14

  6. I always hate it when people 2nd guess a recipe by asking if a certain ingredient is paleo, but it is an honest question, not meant to be critical. Is buttermilk paleo? I have been off the dairy since going paleo, but I wasn’t sure if buttermilk was an exception I hadn’t heard about. If not, is there something to use in its place?


    Posted 09/13/14

    • Hi Veronica – Dairy is not considered a “paleo” food. The primal diet allows for dairy if tolerated. Really, it all boils down to eating foods that you tolerate and that create wellness in your body. If you can tolerate dairy, then I don’t see anything wrong with incorporating it into your diet, provided that it’s from a clean, grass-fed/pastured source. I get tired of the “paleo police” who say that the diet has to be followed like a religion. I say experiment with foods, see what works for your body, and then go with that! Don’t worry about putting a label on your diet. 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 09/14/14

  7. Is there any way to print without the ad in the middle of the page?


    Posted 01/07/15

  8. Delish! We made it tonight and it was great. The only thing is that it is rather hands-on and it required lots of attention.


    Jenn Oh
    Posted 03/14/15

    • Hi Jenn! So glad you liked it! Yes, this is a pretty detailed recipe, but that’s good because it keeps us from eating it every night! 🙂 It’s definitely a dish reserved for special occasions in our house! 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 03/15/15

  9. Hi! I was just curious…the recipe says that it serves 4. How big of servings would that be? I have two teenage boys, so trying to decide if I should double the recipe. Also, does the sauce allow for a generous amount per serving?


    Posted 03/23/15

    • Hi Meagan – The recipe only uses 1 pound of chicken, so each serving would be roughly 1/4 pound. Depending on what you serve it with, that might be plenty. We always have lots and lots of steamed veggies to go with it and sometimes rice. That said, you know your boys better than me, so you may feel that you need to double it. The sauce makes a lot. Sometimes I have enough leftover for another round of chicken, unless the people I’m serving it to want it extra saucy. Hope that helps! 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 03/23/15

  10. This looks delicious. However, since we don’t typically fry our foods, I’m thinking that the sauce would be just as wonderful over grilled, broiled, or sautéed chicken! And I love the make-ahead idea for the sauce!


    Posted 05/04/15

  11. Jessica, you always have the best recipes. I can almost always count on yours not having foods that
    are problematic for me. If they do have problem ingredients, there is always an easy substitute. I
    enjoy following your blog and facebook page. I always tell those looking to change their diet that you
    have the most user friendly, easy, and delicious recipes, and that the can find a substitute for anything they miss. Thanks for your excellent work. Rose


    Posted 06/13/15

    • Hi Rose! Thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate them! 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 06/16/15

  12. Made this for dinner tonight after making some of your muffins all day. Like others said, yes, a very exhaustive recipe…it took all 3 of us to help make dinner tonight but it was awesome, def BETTER than take out and I feel so satisfied! This is the first of your recipes I’ve made that left no leftovers…Well, except some leftover sauce. You mentioned the sauce freezes well before adding the cornstarch but what about after?


    Posted 09/24/15

    • LL – Yay! So glad you guys liked it! Yes, the recipe is quite a bit of work, but that keeps us from eating it every day! 🙂 It’s definitely reserved for once in awhile around here. 🙂 You can freeze the sauce after it’s had the cornstarch added. When you re-heat it, it may break (thin out and separate). That’s OK, as you can just add a little more corn starch to thicken it back up. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 09/25/15

  13. I was wondering I can’t use dairy right now. Is there something I could substitute?


    Posted 04/23/16

    • Hi Jenny – You could use coconut milk, almond milk, etc. in place of the cultured buttermilk! Enjoy! 🙂


      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 04/27/16

  14. Made this tonight – great recipe! The only adjustment I made was using only half the honey. And it was sweet enough! Thanks Jessica! This one’s a keeper! : )


    Gail Sauter
    Posted 05/30/16

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