Sweet, citrusy, and much better than takeout, this Keto Orange Chicken doesn’t taste like diet food! This low carb orange chicken recipe comes together quickly and is perfect for a weeknight dinner the whole family will love! At 7.7g net carbs, it’s keto + paleo + gluten-free.
Why you will love this Keto Orange Chicken Recipe
- It’s easy to make! The steps are: batter and fry the chicken, make the sauce and drizzle it over the chicken. I’d recommend making a vegetable side dish like broccoli or cauliflower rice to compliment it.
- It’s SO tasty! The orange sauce has tonnes of flavour, and you can even enjoy it over fish or grilled chicken. I did a little experiment when brainstorming how to cook Orange Chicken keto-style, and ordered orange chicken from my local chinese takeaway. The sauce was horrendous! Somewhere along the lines of fanta orange syrup. Making your own sauce is, by far, the way to go, whether you’re on a keto diet or not.
- There is no gluten and minimal carbs: The batter consists of coconut flour, egg, and almond flour that gets toasted for an extra crunch. No plain flour here! The carbs come to 7.7g net carbs per portion. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
- It’s family friendly. There is no extra spice in this recipe, the chilis that you see pictured are just an optional garnish. The sauce is sticky, tangy and sweet. Kid’s love this!
Key ingredients for Keto Orange Chicken
- Nut flours: I used both coconut and almond flour in this recipe. I firstly coated the chicken in the coconut flour (along with egg wash), and then toasted the almond flour to make it crunchier before dipping the chicken in it for a second coating. I’ve tried using just coconut flour but found that it completely absorbed the sesame oil when frying and I didn’t want to keep adding more sesame oil. The almond flour creates a barrier so the oil isn’t as absorbed.
- Egg: I used egg to support the batter, as you do with regular fried chicken or chicken nuggets. It helps the almond flour “breadcrubs” to stick better to the chicken.
- Chicken: Chicken breast cut into small 1″ pieces is ideal for this recipe. You want the pieces to be small so that it cooks all the way through.
- Orange: Yes, there is real orange in here! I added 1/4 cup of orange juice plus orange zest. The total carbs from the orange in the whole recipe comes to around 7g net carbs, split between 4 portions.
- Sweetener: I used Nkd Living’s Stevia & Erythritol blend (affiliate), which is a 1:1, sugar:sweetener blend.
- Coconut aminos: I love coconut aminos. This ingredient is kind of like soy sauce, with less salt and a little more sweetness. It tastes great in this recipe.
- Sesame oil: I fried the chicken in sesame oil because the flavour really adds to the dish. I tend to use sesame oil in all of my Chinese cooking. It’s traditionally quite common in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine.
- Herbs & Spices: The rest of the flavour comes from fresh ginger & garlic, plus chinese 5 spice, salt and pepper. Optionally, you could add 1/2 tsp of chili powder to the coconut flour if you like a little heat.
How to make Keto Orange Chicken
Click through this story for all of the steps!
Tips for cooking Keto Orange Chicken
- Marinate: Marinating the chicken isn’t necessary but it does add so much more flavour! I usually prep the chicken and marinade in the morning and let them sit in the fridge until it’s time to cook.
- Small pieces of chicken: Make sure to cut your chicken pieces up small so that they cook through and aren’t pink at the end.
- Golden chicken pieces: The chicken is cooked when the coating on the outside turns golden brown. To double check that it’s cooked, slice the thickest piece of cooked chicken down the middle and check for doneness. Add any back to the oil if you think they’re under-cooked.
Is Panda Express Orange Chicken keto friendly?
No, it’s not. In fact, it has 49g net carbs per portion according to their website. That is over double the recommended 20g net carb per day for the keto diet to be successful.
Can I eat orange during keto?
One whole orange has 13g net carbs so I would say that is off-limits, however, cooking with orange juice and zest spreads the carbs out to all portions, like in this keto orange chicken recipe, essentially splitting one orange between 4 people.
Will eating an orange kick me out of ketosis?
Eating a single orange will not kick you out of ketosis, however, you’ll need to stick to very low carb or zero carb foods the rest of the day like cheese, eggs, and meat so that you don’t go over your carb limit.
Is orange chicken high in carbs?
Regular orange chicken either from a takeaway or homemade tends to have all-purpose flour-coated chicken and lots of sugar in the orange sauce, both of which are very high in carbs and not keto-friendly.
More keto dinner recipes you will love
- KETO CHICKEN WINGS
- KETO CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
- BRAZILIAN CHICKEN STROGANOFF
- THE BEST ROASTED TURKEY
- WHOLE ROAST BBQ CHICKEN
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- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tsp garlic granules or powder
- 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 lbs chicken breast, diced into small 1" pieces
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chili powder, optional
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp orange zest, I used the zest from 1 orange
- 4 tbsp coconut aminos, 1/4 cup
- 4 tbsp orange juice , 1/4 cup, I used the juice from 1 orange
- 1.5 tbsp sweetener of choice *see notes
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Oil for frying:
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- Finely dine the chicken to 1 inch pieces.
- Place all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl or ziplock (including the chicken) and marinate it for at least 30 minutes (optional but recommended).
Fried Chicken Pieces:
- In a large pan on the stove over medium heat, add the almond flour and toast it until golden, about 5 minutes. Once toasted, remove it from the pan and place it into a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix the coconut flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder (if using) together.
- In the 3rd bowl add the eggs and almond milk. Whisk them together until they are well combined.
- Wipe out the large pan (if there is any excess almond flour) and begin to heat up the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- With a fork, pierce one piece of chicken. Dip it into the coconut flour first coating it completely, then coat it with the egg mixture, before a final coating of the almond flour.
- Place it into the hot oil and allow it to cook, flipping over after 5 minutes, and remove when the entire coating is golden. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.
- Place the cooked chicken pieces on a paper towel-lined plate or dish.
- Heat the sesame oil up in a small pot over medium heat.
- Add the ginger, garlic, and orange zest and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and garlic is beginning to turn golden brown.
- Mix in the coconut aminos, orange juice and sweetener, and stir until the sweetener is dissolved.
- Sprinkle Xanthan gum over the sauce and whisk until it dissolves and the sauce is thick.
- Pour the sauce over the orange chicken after plating, instead of mixing it all together. This helps to keep the crispy coating intact.
- Serve with riced broccoli or cauliflower, and garnish with spring onions, fresh chilis, and/or toasted sesame seeds.
*I used Nkd Living's Stevia & Erythritol blend which has a 1:1 sugar ratio.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 25.9g||33%|
|Saturated Fat 3.4g||17%|
|Total Carbohydrate 10.6g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 2.9g||10%|
|Total Sugars 2.1g|
|Vitamin D 8mcg||40%|
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Unsaturated Fat: 0g