When sweet orange glaze is caramelized over chicken it is like heaven for the tastebuds. Pair it with some steamed rice and you have an American Chinese restaurant favorite!
♥ What if I told you that you could make an orange chicken recipe that would taste similar to the orange chicken you could order in a restaurant? Would you try it?
♥ How about if I told you that you could make amazingly flavorful orange chicken in your kitchen for just a fraction of the calories of what you would get in the restaurant? Would you try it then?
Once you take a bite of today’s orange chicken recipe you will be screaming an enthusiastic YES to those questions. Trust me, you are going to want to share this recipe with all of your friends after you taste how good it is!
Copy cat Panda Express orange chicken recipe.
“What are some of your favorite things to eat?”
This is a question I asked my 12 year old son the other day. He listed off a few things he enjoys eating in restaurants and fast food joints. I jotted down his answers and told him I was going to set out to make the things on the list… but make them healthy… and that is just what I did.
Panda Express Orange Chicken is one of his favorite things to eat. It was at the top of his list. While today’s recipe does not tastes EXACTLY like Panda Express (because the chicken is not deep fried), the flavors are so similar that if you are someone who likes orange chicken at Panda Express, you will surely love this recipe! Just ask my son… his vote was the one that counted, after all, and he loved this!
How the Smart Points stack up:
I decided to compare the Smart Points of one serving of this recipe to a kid’s size serving at Panda Express because I felt like the servings sizes might be more comparable. Here is the difference:
- 1 kids-sized serving of orange chicken with white rice at Panda Express: 16 WW FreeStyle SP.
- 1 serving of this orange chicken with cauliflower rice: 3 WW FreeStyle SP.
I mean, sure, You can make 16 points work into your week if you really needed to, but wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy delicious orange chicken for just 3 points and then splurge on a light dessert later?
How to make cauliflower rice.
I know I am a little behind on this, but I finally made cauliflower rice for the first time! I avoided it because I thought it would be complicated. I imagined cooking cauliflower granules in water and then trying to drain the water from it. What I learned, though, is that once you have the cauliflower blended, you just cook it in a little oil for a few minutes. Seriously, that’s it. Turns out, making cauliflower rice is actually EASIER than making regular rice. Who knew!?
My other fear was that no one in my family would eat it after I went through the trouble of making it. Turns out, I was wrong for thinking that as well! They gobbled it right up when it was served with this orange chicken. In all fairness, though, the orange chicken in this recipe is OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD DELICIOUS!
If you are new to making cauliflower rice you may enjoy this short video made by the people at Kitchn that shows you exactly how to make it…
Or you can just buy the cauliflower already chopped and ready to cook.
You may have seen this in your stores already, but in the frozen vegetable section of a grocery store, most stores have cauliflower that is already “riced” for you. There are a few different brands on the market, but all of them should have a picture of cauliflower rice on them and will probably say, “Riced Cauliflower”. They will look something like this:
I had a large head of cauliflower and I was able to get 4 cups of rice out of mine. If you are using a frozen bag of riced cauliflower, you may want to buy two bags, especially if they are small, or just use less “rice” with each serving.
Turn up the heat.
I know most orange chicken recipes have a little kick to them. If you like things spicier you can always add extra red pepper flakes. I only used 1/4 teaspoon because my family tends to like things mild (my kids especially).
Okay, are you ready to go to taste bud heaven?
Here is what you need:
1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 head broccoli
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon light butter
1 large orange, freshly juiced (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup juice)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional
Here is what you do:
Break cauliflower florets off of the core of the cauliflower with a knife or your hands.
Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Try not to fill the food processor more than 3/4 full; if necessary, process in two batches. Process the cauliflower in 1-second pulses until it is broken down into small granules. (If you don’t have a food processor you can grate the florets on the large holes of a box grater.)
In the skillet you used to cook the chicken, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
In a small bowl, mix chicken broth with cornstarch. Add the chicken broth mixture to the pan with the sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
Toss the chicken back in with the sauce. Cook 2-3 more minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve 1 cup riced cauliflower (amount will depend on the size of the cauliflower you used) with 1/2 cup cooked chicken, and broccoli (amount will also depend on the size of the broccoli you used).
Makes 6 servings.
One serving is 1 cup riced cauliflower (more or less, depending on the size of your head of cauliflower), 1/2 cup chicken, and broccoli.
One serving is just 3 WW FreeStyle Smart Points!
Orange Chicken and Cauliflower Rice
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon light butter
- 1 large orange, freshly juiced (about 1/3 - 1/2 cup juice)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional
- Break cauliflower florets off of the core of the cauliflower with a knife or your hands. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Try not to fill the food processor more than 3/4 full; if necessary, process in two batches. Process the cauliflower in 1-second pulses until it is broken down into small granules. (If you don't have a food processor you can grate the florets on the large holes of a box grater.)
- Heat the sesame oil a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the cauliflower rice. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the rice is as tender as you like.
- Break broccoli into a little florets. Begin steaming broccoli. I just boiled ours in water for a few minutes.
- Coat chicken with flour. Melt butter in a large skillet. Cook chicken in the melted butter until fully cooked. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
- In the skillet you used to cook the chicken, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
- In a small bowl, mix chicken broth with cornstarch. Add the chicken broth mixture to the pan with the sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Transfer chicken back in with the sauce. Cook 2-3 more minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
*SmartPoints® calculated by Meal Planning Mommies; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated without Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.