Panda Express Orange Chicken Made Skinny

orange chicken
It’s the most popular dish at Panda and the most fattening. This skinny remake is amazingly delicious! I actually like my remake better since it’s much lighter, includes many vegetables and still has a lovely orange flavor.  Best part…No guilt when you eat it!  I did start with a bottle of their delicious orange chicken sauce but added some fresh orange juice to cut the calories. In addition, I’m cooking the chicken in a pan lightly coated with flour and cooked in a tiny amount of oil, instead of deep frying. This fabulous remake is served over healthy brown rice!  One skinny serving, including brown rice. 390 calories, 4 grams of fat and 12 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. Cut the points to 8 by serving over steamed cabbage instead of brown rice. I can’t wait to hear what you think about this dish…Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes, includes cooking brown rice

Ingredients for Orange chicken:

¾ cup raw brown Basmati rice or regular brown rice. (you’ll need 2 cups cooked rice)

1½ cups water

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

1 egg white

¼ teaspoon salt

Black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons oil, divided

⅓ cup flour

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

2 cups cabbage, shredded

1 cup scallions, chopped

1 cup Chinese pea pods, sliced

½ cup carrots diced

Ingredients for Sauce:

½ cup Panda Express Orange Sauce, see shopping tip

¼ cup orange juice

1 tablespoon water

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. To cook rice: Add ¾ cup brown Basmati rice and 1½ cups cold water to a medium size pot.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer about 40 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is cooked.  If using an other type of rice, cook according to package directions.

2. In the meantime, prep all vegetables and make the sauce. Set aside.

3. To cook orange chicken: Place chicken pieces in bowl. In another small bowl, mix together egg white, salt and pepper. In another small shallow bowl, add flour.

4. Dip all chicken pieces into egg mixture and lightly coat with flour. Add to a plate.

5. Coat a large nonstick pan with cooking spray.  Heat 1 teaspoon of oil.  Add chicken pieces and cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes.  Coat chicken with cooking spray and using a fork, turn over.  Cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken to a clean plate.

6. Coat same pan again with cooking spray and heat another 1 teaspoon oil.  Add garlic and veggies and stir fry about 2 minutes, until softened.  Add back chicken and pour in sauce.  Heat over medium heat for a few minutes until chicken is hot.  Stir often.

7. Serve over ½ cup rice, if desired

Makes 4 servings. Each serving, ½ cup rice and 1 cup orange chicken

Food Facts

Orange Chicken is the most beloved dish at Panda Express but probably one of the least healthy entrees on their menu. The dish features battered boneless chicken pieces stir-fried in a wok with a sweet and tart orange sauce.

Happily Panda Express does have several healthier choices. Look for the dishes that say WOK SMART. All these entrees are 250 calories or less per single serving.

Shopping Tip

Most supermarkets sell bottled Panda Express Orange Sauce. You’ll find it in the Asian section or international section. In addition, you can buy the bottled sauce right at Panda Express!

Skinny Facts: for 1 cup serving without brown rice

270 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 55mg chol, 27g protein, 34g carbs, 3g fiber, 339mg sodium, 21g sugar

Weight Watchers SmartPoints 8 (without brown rice)
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
7 (without brown rice)

Weight Watchers (old points) 5 (without brown rice)

Weight Watchers SmartPoints
12 (with brown rice)

Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 10 (with brown rice)
Weight Watchers (old points) 7 (with brown rice)

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup serving with ½ cup brown rice
390 calories, 4g fat, 1g sat. fat, 55mg chol, 29g protein, 61g carbs, 4g fiber, 339mg sodium, 21g sugar