This Mandarin Chicken recipe tastes just like the star dish at your favorite Chinese restaurant. The chicken pieces are cooked in a sweet and sour mandarin orange sauce until golden brown.
What’s in this Mandarin Chicken Recipe?
Make your favorite Chinese food in the comfort of your own home with this delicious Mandarin orange chicken! Made in just 35 minutes, this chicken dish is perfect for busy nights when you want something tasty yet effortless.
- Chicken: I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but thighs also work.
- Vegetable Oil: The perfect high smoke point neutral oil for cooking.
- Orange Juice: Adds delicious citrus flavor.
- Soy Sauce: Adds a salty and umami flavor.
- Brown Sugar: Sweetens the sauce.
- Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce.
- Garlic + Ginger: Adds an earthy and zesty flavor.
- Black Pepper: Enhances the spice.
Pro Tip: Try your best to cut the chicken into equal-sized pieces so that it cooks evenly.
Variations on Mandarin Orange Chicken
To make this chicken spicier, try adding some chili flakes or sriracha. You can also make it zesty but not too spicy by adding more freshly grated ginger.
Add some crunch by stirring in some cashews or peanuts!
Mandarin chicken is a Chinese dish consisting of chunks of chicken stir-fried in an orange-based sauce.
Mandarin chicken is sweeter and richer than orange chicken, but their base flavor profiles are very similar. Orange chicken is usually deep fried, while mandarin chicken is not.
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can also use thighs.
Yes, you can freeze this dish for up to 3 months.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop set over medium-low heat until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Freeze this chicken in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
We love how this mandarin chicken tastes with steamed white rice, broccoli, sliced green onions, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, but it’ll taste fantastic on its own!
Mandarin Chicken Recipe
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce (see note)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For Serving (optional)
- Steamed rice
- Sliced green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet set over medium-high heat, then add the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until the chicken is browned and mostly cooked.1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, and black pepper in a bowl until well combined.⅓ cup orange juice, ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1½ tablespoons cornstarch, 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir to coat. Allow the contents of the skillet to come to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve hot with rice and broccoli; garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.Steamed rice, Broccoli, Sliced green onions, Sesame seeds
- Soy Sauce: For a gluten-free alternative, use tamari or coconut aminos.
- You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts.
- Try your best to cut the chicken into equal-sized pieces so that it cooks evenly.
- Feel free to adjust the sauce until it is to your personal tastes.
- Take care not to overcook the sauce or it could become thick and gluey.
- Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.