Tangy Perfection: Crafting a Healthy Air Fryer Orange Chicken Recipe from Scratch

Published on April 30th 2023 by Sarah Leadon.
Last updated on March 4th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Close up view of Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Why make orange chicken the usual way when you can make orange chicken in the air fryer? This air fryer orange chicken is sweet, savory, and tangy. Best of all, it's gluten-free, and it cooks in 15 minutes.

It's made with chicken breasts, cornstarch, seasonings, fresh orange zest and orange juice, garlic, and ginger. This air fryer chicken is delicious and loaded with a robust orange flavor. Serve this air fryer orange chicken with brown rice or garlic fried rice for the best results.

Plus, if you're looking for more air fryer meal ideas, check out our comprehensive guide to air fryer meal prep.

How long does it take to cook frozen orange chicken in an air fryer?

It takes about 12 minutes to cook frozen orange chicken in the air fryer.

Can you put raw chicken in an air fryer?

Yes, you can cook raw chicken in the air fryer. Make sure you cook the chicken to a temperature of 165 °F, and the chicken will be perfectly delicious.

Can diabetics eat orange chicken?

Orange chicken contains a lot of sugar which can raise blood sugar. Therefore, diabetics cannot eat orange chicken. However, since this orange chicken is made with sugar-free sweetener and maple syrup, diabetics can eat it.

How many calories are in a fried chicken air fryer?

This air fryer orange chicken has 231 calories.

Author: Sarah Leadon
Average: 5 (4 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

Click to avoid screen dimming during cooking.

Time & Serves

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
4 persons


Orange Chicken:
  • 1 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch

  • Olive oil spray

Orange Sauce:
  • Zest of 1 Orange

  • 1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice

  • 5 tablespoons Brown Sugar Substitute

  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Grated Garlic

  • 1 teaspoon Grated Ginger

  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder

  • 1 tablespoon Cold Water

  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch


Orange Chicken:

Set the air fryer to 400 °F. Let it run for 5 minutes.

Prepare air fryer

Place the chicken breasts in a bowl, then sprinkle them with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and toss to combine.

Prepare chicken breast with the seasonings

Add the cornstarch and toss to coat it in the cornstarch.

Adding cornstarch to the chicken

Place the chicken breast in the air fryer basket and coat it with olive oil spray. Cook the chicken breast for 3–4 minutes.

Cooking the chicken

Turn the chicken breast over and cook it for 5 minutes until it's golden brown.

Turning the chicken
Orange Sauce:

Place the orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar substitute, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, and onion powder in a small pot and stir to combine.

Prepare orange chicken sauce

Place the orange sauce over medium-high heat and let it come to a boil. Cook the orange sauce for 4–5 minutes, stirring periodically until the sauce reduces.

Cooking the orange sauce

Whisk the cornstarch and water together until combined. Whisk the cornstarch and water into the orange sauce and cook it for 1 minute until it thickens.

adding cornstarch and cook until thickens

Remove the orange sauce from the heat and place it in a large bowl. Add the chicken breast and toss it to coat it in the orange sauce.

Adding the chicken to the orange sauce

Place the orange chicken onto a serving platter, and serve it with rice.

Serving the Air Fryer Orange Chicken
Sarah Leadon

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon

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air fryer orange chicken, frozen, how to make, recipe, homemade, healthy

Merritt (not verified)

Hello. Step one of the sauce says maple syrup but I don’t see that in ingredients. How much goes in?
Thank you.

Permalink 20 Nov 2023

Sarah Leadon

Hi Merrit, Thanks for your question. Two tablespoons of maple syrup goes into the sauce. The recipe has been updated to reflect this.

Permalink 20 Nov 2023

Merritt (not verified)

Thank you. I guessed a teaspoon or two. We tried this recipe last night and it was delicious!!!!! Thank you so much. I shared on my FB. Found it originally on Pinterest.

Permalink 21 Nov 2023

Classic Bakes

Thank you Merritt! We appreciate your kind feedback and sharing it with your friends :)

Permalink 21 Nov 2023

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Sarah Leadon

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon