Orange Chicken: Protein-Packed Deliciousness without MSG

I love me some Chinese takeout. In fact, it was one of my favorite things to eat in high school. The joint halfway between my wife’s house and my house had the “Today Special” that never changed: Orange chicken, shrimp-fried rice, and an egg roll, for $5.95. It was amazing.

But, since neither my wife nor I live with our parents in Chicago anymore, the Today Special is unattainable. Never fear, because I’ve found a recipe that’s not terribly time-intensive, and tastes just as good as takeout.

I love that you can add broccoli, snow peas, onions, peppers, carrots and whatever else you want to really bulk this up. Or, go without. Your call, chef.

Orange Chicken & Veggies

Easy to prepare orange chicken that tastes like your favorite takeout joint, but is healthier.



  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if you need this to be gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 cloves garlic

Sauce (Optional)

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • 1lb chicken (cubed)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 cups chopped vegetables (I use broccoli and snow peas, but peppers, carrots and mushrooms are good too)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (sliced into half-moons)
  • olive oil


Step 1
Blend all ingredients for the sauce in a blender until well-mixed.
Step 2
Heat the sauce in a large skillet over medium-high heat until slightly thickened.
Step 3
Transfer sauce into a heat-proof bowl and set aside. Rinse out the skillet and return to the heat.
Step 4
In a large bowl, season your chicken with salt and pepper, then toss with cornstarch, mixing with your hands until well covered.
Step 5
In a separate pan, boil your broccoli for 2-3 minutes or until cooked (if using fresh. If pre-cooked/frozen, skip to the next step)
Step 6
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions and chicken, cooking 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Step 7
Add the vegetables and cook another 2 minutes or so, until vegetables are well-mixed and heated through.
Step 8
Add the sauce slowly, a few tablespoons at a time, which will allow it to thicken further. Continue until all sauce is used.
Step 9
Serve over hot white rice.


Inspired by this recipe.

Comments are closed.