Gluten-Free Orange Chicken

This Gluten-Free Orange Chicken will completely satisfy your chinese takeout cravings! The chicken is tender & crispy then coated in the most delicious sweet and spicy homemade orange sauce.

gluten-free orange chicken (2)

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken

I love making gluten-free versions of takeout foods that aren’t safe for our family to eat anymore. After we made our Honey Ginger Asian Meatballs a couple months ago, my son immediately asked me to create a recipe for one of his favorite Chinese dishes-Orange Chicken! 

We can’t get enough of this healthier version of a takeout favorite! If fact, I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the last month trying to get pictures for this post, but my family devoured it every single time before I could get a photo!

First, let’s talk about this grain-free crispy chicken!

My kids LOVE this chicken with or without any sauce. It’s super simple to make and gets that crispy coating you crave!

Brush the chicken with mayo, then coat with a mixture of tapioca flour and baking soda. I prefer brushing the chicken with mayo instead of an egg wash. I find that the coating sticks to it better and helps create the crunchiest chicken nuggets. If you are opposed to mayo for some reason, go ahead an use an egg.

Next, you can either bake these nuggets or cook them on a stovetop skillet. I’ve had great results either way and have written instructions for both methods below. My kids, however, definitely choose the skillet method saying that the chicken comes out much crispier.

Crispy Gluten-free chicken

How to Make the Homemade Orange Sauce

This orange sauce is sweet & spicy and has incredible flavor. You only need a few staple ingredients to make this delicious sauce, and it only takes a matter of minutes!

  • Orange Juice
  • Honey
  • GF Soy Sauce/Coconut Aminos(Soy Free)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Tapioca Flour

Simply place all ingredients in a pan over medium heat. Add a tapioca flour slurry to thicken the sauce and you’re done!

gluten-free orange chicken 3

Toss the crispy chicken with the orange sauce then serve with your favorite sides. Rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa are all great options. Adding a side of steamed veggies such as broccoli, green beans or carrots is always a good idea too!

Garnish your Gluten-Free Orange Chicken with chopped green onions, sesame seeds and orange zest if you feel like getting fancy!

Let’s Eat!

gluten-free orange chicken
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5 from 4 votes

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian Inspired
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, orange chicken
Servings: 4
Author: Thriving Gluten Free


Crispy Chicken

  • 2-3 Chicken Breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup Mayo
  • 1 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Avocado Oil

Orange Sauce

  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • ¼ cup GF Soy Sauce or coconut aminos for Soy-Free
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Tapioca Flour mixed with 3 tbsp water to create a slurry


  • Green Onions
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Orange Zest/Slices


How to Make the Crispy Chicken

  • Mix together the tapioca flour and baking soda in a large ziploc bag.
  • Brush your cut chicken pieces with mayo to coat on all sides. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Place chicken in your ziploc bag and secure closure. Shake chicken until fully coated with tapioca mixture. Add more into the bag if needed. The thicker the coat, the crispier the chicken will get.
  • From here you can either saute chicken in a stovetop skillet or bake.


  • Heat a generous amount of oil to med-high heat. Add chicken pieces to hot oil and brown on all sides. Do not overlap. Remove from pan and let cool on a paper towel lined plate.


  • Preheat oven to 450°. Place a baking sheet in the oven while it's heating up.
  • Brush 2 tbsp oil across the hot baking sheet. Add your chicken pieces to the baking sheet(do not overlap!) and bake on the lower rack of your oven for about 10 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip each piece. Bake 10 minutes longer until browned and crisp.

How to Make the Orange Sauce

  • Heat a large stove top skillet on medium heat.
  • Add orange juice, GF soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger & red pepper flakes. Heat until simmering and then add the tapioca slurry. Lower heat and stir frequently until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Mix cooked crispy chicken into the sauce until well coated.
  • Garnish with diced green onions, orange slices/grated orange zest, and/or sesame seeds. Serve with rice/cauliflower rice or quinoa and a side of steamed veggies such as broccoli, green beans or carrots.
Tried this recipe?Mention @thrivingglutenfree or #thrivingglutenfree!

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  1. Kim Freidline

    Can I use something else instead of the apple cider vinegar? I have an apple intolerance.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was fun to make and better than takeout! So nice to get good Chinese food at home! The chicken came out crispy and the orange sauce so flavorful! Loved it and will make again!

  3. Can you substitute the tapioca flour for a different gluten free flour ? If so what would you suggest ? Tapioca flour isn’t sold at the stores near me.

    • Hi Teirdra! If you can’t find tapioca, go ahead and use cornstarch. I chose to use tapioca for a grain-free/corn free option but cornstarch should work just as well! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    AMAZING. Tastes exactly like orange chicken. I did midway run out of tapioca flour but a regular gf all purpose worked great. Definitely recommend.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! I sautéd the chicken for a great crispy crust, until golden on all sides. Our family loved it!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was easy to follow and a huge hit here with my family! I highly recommend trying this. We will definitely be making this again!

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