Panda Express Orange Chicken in Air Fryer (Copycat)

I think you’re going to LOVE this simple and skinny remake…Maybe even more than beloved Panda’s Orange Chicken. It has a yummy homemade sauce and the chicken is made skinny in an air fryer. Each serving has 322 calories, 6 grams of fat. Serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice.
If you don't have an air-fryer, no problem. I've included baking instruxtions, below.
Panda Express Orange Chicken in Air Fryer (Copycat)

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Can you bake the chicken in the oven?
Yes. Following these instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking pan with olive oil spray or any cooking spray
  • Place chicken on the baking pan. Spray top of chicken with olive oil spray. 
  • Bake chicken for 10 minutes. Turn over, spray with a little more olive oil spray. Bake an additional 7-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked and golden brown.
  • In the meantime, in a small saucepan, mix together all sauce ingredients. Simmer for about 7-10 minutes until heated and flavors combined.
  • Remove chicken to a bowl and pour the heated sauce over chicken. Mix with a rubber spatula to coat chicken well. Add to a serving plate. Sprinkle sesame seeds all over top.
Food Facts
Panda Express Orange Chicken is their signature dish. It’s crispy chicken, wok-tossed in a sweet and spicy orange sauce. One serving has 490 calories and 23g fat.
Shopping Tips
Ginger, from a jar, can be found in the produce section of your supermarket. It’s usually displayed in the same section with garlic, in a jar. It will keep in your refrigerator for several months.
WW Freestyle SmartPoints 7-Blue
WW SmartPoints 10-Green
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving
322 calories, 6g fat, 2g sat. fat, 112mg chol, 28g protein, 40g carbs, 1g fiber, 404mg sod, 22g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle Points
164 calories, 0g sat. fat, 2g protein, 22g sugar


Panda Express Orange Chicken in Air Fryer (Copycat)

Panda Express Orange Chicken in Air Fryer (Copycat)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 322 kcal


  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup barbecue sauce
  • cup orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon ginger from a jar, see shopping tips
  • A little garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for topping


  • Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees. Coat inside basket with olive oil spray.
  • In a small shallow bowl, add the egg and beat well. In another shallow bowl, combine cornstarch and flour.
  • Dip chicken pieces into egg, then cornstarch/flour. Add pieces to air fryer basket. Place against each other. It’s ok to overlap chicken pieces a bit. Spray top of chicken with olive oil spray. Cook for about 10 minutes until chicken is no longer pink inside. No need to turn chicken over while cooking.
  • In the meantime, in a small saucepan, mix together all sauce ingredients. Simmer for about 7-10 minutes until heated and flavors combined.
  • Remove chicken to a bowl and pour the heated sauce over chicken. Mix with a rubber spatula to coat chicken well. Add to a serving plate. Sprinkle sesame seeds all over top.
  • Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice, or steamed shredded cabbage. Leftovers freeze great.
  • Makes 4 servings. Each serving, ½ cup rice and 1 cup orange chicken


Serving: 1.5cupCalories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 28gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 404mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gBlue Smart Points: 7Green Smart Points: 10Plus Points: 8
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. My husband and I both loved this recipe! It is definitely a keeper. I brought the points down a tad more by using sugar free marmalade. Next time I make it I think I will triple the sauce ingredients so there will be more sauce to go over some rice. I also chopped up some cabbage and carrots and onions and sauteed that mixture in a skillet until softened, but still crunchy . It was a great meal, thanks so much for a great recipe!

  2. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback Kathy! I’m so delighted you and your husband enjoyed this recipe. Love what you did with it!
    All the best,

  3. Which bbq sauce do you use? They’re all so different so I’d like to use one that’s as close as possible. Thx!

  4. My 2 favorites are Sweet Baby Rays original or Bullseye bbq sauce. Have fun Shelly!
    My best,

  5. Yes Jeana, you can easily substitute corn starch for flour. Use half as much cornstarch as you would flour. So for this recipe use 2 tablespoons.
    All the best,

  6. Hi Nancy,
    Great recipe.
    I made a few changes
    1. used gluten free flour ( husband with celiac disease) needed a few more minutes in the air fryer
    2. used sugar free orange marmalade( thanks to the other comment)
    3. G Hughes sugar free barbecues sauce ( sweet and spicy)
    4. doubled the sauce
    It was incredible over cauliflower rice.
    thanks for all your hardwork in developing the recipe

  7. Thanks so much for sharing what you did Lisa. So glad all of your changes worked out and you enjoyed it!
    My very best wishes,

  8. I made in the air fryer for first time when finished the chicken was cooked but was still coated with the flour outer layer. Chicken shouldn’t have the flour still there when cooked? Who’s made this and had same issue or how do I fix. Regularly frying in oil the flour not there when finished

  9. Ashley, mine had some flour still showing after I cooked the chicken in the air fryer. It easily gets covered up once you mix it with the sauce. It doesn’t alter the taste at all.
    That said, next time you try it, you could use less flour and cornstarch. Try 3 Tablespoons of each instead of 1/4 cup of each.
    All the best,

  10. No program Valerie. You can cook the chicken in a large nonstick pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray or heat a little oil before you add the chicken. Cook on each side for about 4 minutes. Be sure to turn the chicken pieces over after 4 minutes to cook the other side.
    All the best,

  11. Happy New Year Nancy! First review and first time using this recipe (followed to the T) with new 6qt Gourmia air fryer… hubby is happy ;). Used 1.2# of boneless chicken breast, Sweet Baby Rays sweet & spicy BBQ sauce, store brand marmalade. Served over rice. Plenty of spicy bite, but I’ll use a touch more orange marmalade next time to equal out bbq sauce a touch (just because I love orange). Great crunch as sprayed with olive oil per recipe. No changes, just eat more! Love tge air fryer technique… so forgiving! Thanks again!

  12. Thanks so much, Molly! I love your review. I’m so happy you have a new air fryer and tried it with my recipe!
    I use mine almost every day.
    Have fun with it!
    Wishing you all the very best in this new year,

  13. Lynne, you could thin it out with a little water or chicken broth. You probably won’t need much. Start with 1 tablespoon and add a little more, if desired.
    My best,

  14. Although I haven’t tried it, Jessica, I think ground ginger could work. I’d use 1 tsp.
    Best of luck,

  15. 5 stars
    I’ve been using your recipe for about a year. It’s outstanding! Doing a triple batch tonight for a family dinner. Serve with TJ’s fried rice. Perfecto!

  16. Such great news. Thanks, Mark! And, I’m going to give TJ’s rice a try, next time I make it.
    All the best,

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