This paleo Panda Express orange chicken recipe is one you’ll love if you’re a big fan of Chinese fast food like me. The chicken has a nice crust on the outside and the sauce tastes just like the original one.

To prepare this recipe I did use an air fryer to fry the chicken. So if you want to prepare this recipe, make sure you have an air fryer available to you.

You can combine this orange chicken with some Konjac Noodles to replace the original noodles, or some cauliflower rice to replace the rice. And if you’re not into having a side, you can just eat this recipe on its own without a side. Whichever way you prefer, this recipe brings out all the Chinese takeaway flavors and is dairy-free and paleo friendly.

paleo panda express orange chicken

For the ingredients

The meat: In this recipe, I used 2 medium-sized chicken breasts. You can also use boneless chicken thighs.

The flour: I used tapioca starch instead of the usual corn starch to cover the chicken in, so it creates that nice crust just like the original panda express orange chicken has. I also used some tapioca starch to thicken the sauce in this recipe.

The spices: For the chicken, I used the basic condiments: salt, pepper, and garlic powder. For the sauce, I used mainly fresh herbs like garlic and ginger to really bring out the flavor. Although this recipe contains some spicy herbs like ginger and chili flakes, it’s not spice at all because the sweetness of the coconut sugar, orange juice, and coconut aminos counter the spiciness.

The orange juice: In this recipe, I used 1/4 cup of a freshly squeezed orange. I prefer using fresh oranges rather than juice from a juice box because the juice boxed orange juices often are concentrated or have added sugar and preservatives.

The coconut aminos: I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Most soy sauce is GMO and can mimic estrogen in the body. A lot of soy sauces also contain MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is a chemical added to enhance flavor. This way you could be tempted into overeating. Coconut aminos taste almost the same as soy sauce and they work as a great healthy natural substitute.

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2-3 servings


For the chicken

– 2 chicken breasts (cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch squares)
– 1/2 cup tapioca starch
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
– 1 egg (whisked)

For the sauce

– 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
– 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
– 1/2 cup coconut sugar
– 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
– 1/4 cup white vinegar
– 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
– 2 tablespoons water
– 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
– some spring onion and sesame seeds to garnish (optional)


  1. Season the cut chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg and cover the chicken pieces in it.
  3. In a separate medium sized bowl, add the tapioca starch, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Mix everything together with a spoon.
  4. Cover the chicken pieces with the tapioca starch mixture and transfer them into the air fryer. Air fry for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. In the meantime prepare the orange sauce: in a large pan or pot, melt the coconut oil on medium-high heat.
  6. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger and chili flakes. Cook for a few minutes and add the coconut sugar, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, water and tapioca starch in listed order. Lower down the heat and let simmer for a few minutes. You’ll notice to sauce will thicken over time.
  7. Add the fried chicken to the sauce and serve with Konjac noodles or any of your favourite sides. Garnish with some spring onion and sesame seeds.


1 serving: 1/3 of total recipe (konjac noodles not included)  | Calories: 348.6 kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Fiber: 3g