June 19, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

Baked Orange Chicken (Air Fryer or Oven)

3 min read


Ditch the deep fryer in favor of a top-rated recipe for Baked Orange Chicken (made in an air fryer or the oven!) that’s light, crispy and tossed with the best homemade orange chicken sauce.

Baked Orange Chicken atop white rice in a bowl with chopsticks

Step aside, 30-Minute Mongolian Beef. Take a seat, Pad Thai with Chicken. And move on out, Chicken Pot Stickers. There is a new takeout-fakeout favorite in town and it goes by the name of Baked Orange Chicken. I repeat, Baked Orange Chicken, which can be whipped up in either an air fryer or the oven in just minutes.

As in, no deep-frying. No standing over a cauldron of hot oil. And best of all, no messy cleanup!

A top-down view of a plastic bag containing chicken nuggets and flour next to a bowl containing an egg wash and a shallow dish containing breadcrumbs

Baked Orange Chicken Recipe with Orange Marmalade

This easy orange chicken recipe stars homemade chicken nuggets that are air-fried or baked until golden brown and crispy, and then tossed in a DIY orange chicken sauce. The base of the sauce is a perfect sweet and savory balance of orange marmalade and hoisin sauce, with plenty of fresh garlic and ginger.

Chicken nuggets atop an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet

How Long to Cook Orange Chicken In an Air Fryer

If the air fryer is your cooking method of choice for this recipe, there’s only two simple numbers to remember: 400° for 15 minutes.

Homemade orange sauce being poured over baked chicken in a clear bowl

There are two essential air-frying tips for orange chicken success:

  • Flip the chicken nuggets once during the halfway mark to ensure they get a golden-brown crunch on all sides.
  • A spritz of cooking spray at the start and at the halfway mark guarantees crispy perfection.
A top-down view of air fryer orange chicken in a clear bowl

Now it’s time to pick your sides! Choose from fried rice, chow mein noodles or veggies for the ultimate takeout-inspired meal whipped up in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Chopsticks resting on the edge of a bowl that contains Air Fryer Orange Chicken and atop white rice

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To cook the chicken in an air fryer:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Arrange a portion of the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, then coat them with cooking spray.

  • Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, flipping them once halfway through, until they are cooked through. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining chicken pieces.

To cook the chicken in the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it with cooking spray.

  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces.

  • Add the flour to a sealable plastic bag then add the chicken and seal the bag. Shake the bag until the chicken is coated all over.

  • Add the eggs to a shallow dish and whisk them until combined. Add the breadcrumbs to a second shallow dish. Remove each piece of chicken from the bag, shake off any excess flour, then dip it in the eggs then breadcrumbs and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the coating process with all of the chicken pieces and arrange them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake the chicken pieces for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them once halfway through, until they are golden brown and fully cooked.

Make the sauce:

  • Add the sesame oil and olive oil to a small saucepot set over medium-low heat.

  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Add the hoisin sauce, orange marmalade, soy sauce and crushed red pepper flakes (optional), and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

  • Remove the chicken pieces from the oven or air fryer and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the sauce to the bowl and toss until combined. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you’d like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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