30-Minute General Tso’s Orange Chicken is sweet and spicy with a splash of orange. Quick cooking time and prep-ahead options make this the perfect healthy weeknight dinner.
I really wanted to start this post off with a statistic containing nutritional information for the take out version of General Tso’s chicken. Buuut, I take honesty pretty seriously here on Simply Sissom and it wouldn’t be fair. While the nutritional data of this Asian dish is STAGGERING.. my version of “General Tso’s chicken tastes NOTHING like the original.
To start with, it isn’t battered and fried, annnnnnd… the sodium content, well it’s like 1/12 of that of the take-out version.
WAIT… don’t stop reading.
I get it, I’m not exactly selling my version, but give me a chance. I promise to win you over.
5 Reasons My Version is Better:
- It’s Gluten-Free. Typically General Tso’s Chicken is made with Hoisin sauce, which contains gluten. This recipe doesn’t use Hoisin. Subbing liquid aminos for soy sauce elminates this issue.
- It’s not battered and deep fried. I know, off the bat that doesn’t sound like a plus. But, if you dig deep within yourself, you can admit take-out Chinese food has a tendency to put you in a bit of a bloated food coma.
- It has WAY less sodium. Typical Chinese take-out is loaded with sodium. I am always fascinated by the indentations that my rings leave in my finger after I eat it (please say that’s not just me). My version has only a fraction of the sodium (especially if you go with low-sodium soy sauce).
- No guilt. If I had to choose one last meal, it would be Chinese something. It’s my favorite, always had been. With that said, it was always a “special treat.” I use the term liberally since the “special treat” always left me feeling guilty, uncomfortable and wishing I hadn’t indulged. By making my own version at home I get to enjoy the flavors, but also have the option of bumping up the veggies, reducing the sodium and controlling the quality of ingredients used.
- It’s really really good. I promise.
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: This recipe is perfect for prepping. The veggies and chicken can be chopped in advance and stored in the fridge overnight. You can also pre-make the sauce. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Make sure to stir before using.
Make Ahead: Keeping it real.. this recipe tastes best fresh off the stove. With that said. The boys weren’t into this one, so we had a lot of leftovers. I stored 2 individual portions in clear containers in the fridge and ate them for lunch for 2 days. The taste wasn’t as good as it was originally, but it beat having to come up with something healthy to eat for lunch.
Freezer: This isn’t a freezer meal, but you could definitely use frozen broccoli and or red pepper to save a little additional time. I’ve been all about the frozen veggies lately, SO. Much. Easier. Check out my post about How to Stock Your Freezer for Healthy Eating for more tips.
- 1¼ lb. chicken breast, chopped into 1" cubes
- 2½ TBS corn starch
- Olive Oil
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 4 cups broccoli florets, chooped
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced (I use jarred)
- ¼ cup soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 2 TBS rice vinegar
- 2 TBS white vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 TBS orange juice
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 cups quinoa or brown rice, cooked
- Season chicken generously with salt and pepper
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine chicken and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
- In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat add 1 TBS olive oil. When oil is hot, add chicken/cornstarch mixture. Sauce 4 minutes, or until chicken is lightly browned. Add bell pepper broccoli and green onion. Add more olive oil if pan seems dry. Continue sautéing until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender crisp.
- While the chicken and veggies are cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, white vinegar, honey, sesame oil, orange juice and red pepper flakes. Whisk until fully combined. Taste and add additional honey (added sweetness), red pepper flakes (added heat) or salt and pepper as desired. Pour the sauce over the skillet and toss to coat. Allow mixture simmer until it thickens. About 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa.
- If you want your sauce to be thicker, stir in additional corn starch 1 tsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken more when cooled.
- I like to purchase my quinoa and brown rice from the freezer section. It steams in the microwave in minutes, and is always cooked perfectly!
- Looking to cut carbs? Serve this recipe over cauliflower rice instead of brown rice or quinoa. You can find this in the produce and freezer section of most grocery stores. You can also make your own by tossing some cauliflower into a food processor and pulsing until desired consistency is reached.
- Bragg Liquid Aminos is a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce. It’s becoming much easier to find at your local grocery store. It has a taste very similar to soy sauce. I use it in recipes All. The. Time.
- If you go the soy-sauce route, I recommend choosing a low-sodium version
Let’s Be Friends:
- Looking for more healthy whole-food recipes? Check out Simply Sissom on Pinterest. If you like it, follow! New pins are added daily from my favorite bloggers from around the web!
- You can also find Simply Sissom on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Check it out and if you like what you see.. follow!
Posts like 30-Minute General Tso’s Orange Chicken:
FREE: GRAB N" GO BREAKFAST EBOOK
10 Make-Ahead,Whole Food Breakfast Recipes to help mornings go a little smoother and maybe even get you a little bit of extra sleep!