Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry
This Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry tastes light, fresh, filling and requires only 10 ingredients & one pan to make it happen! Full of golden-brown chicken, crisp asparagus, and a tangy naturally-sweet sauce, it’s the perfect last minute dinner to make any night of the week.
This recipe was originally published with the title “One-Pan Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry”, we’ve changed the name and updated it to improve the post but it’s the same great recipe!
About this Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry recipe
One-pan dinners are pretty much a staple in our house, they’re so easy to get on the table and you can switch up the flavors season to season!
This easy orange chicken recipe tastes like your favorite takeout dish but is naturally gluten free and made with good-for-you ingredients.
The craveable combination of crispy chicken pieces cooked in a thick, delicious garlic-citrus sauce pairs perfectly with fresh, sauteed asparagus spears.
But the beauty of this versatile chicken & veggie dinner is that you can customize it to work with whatever you’ve got.
It works with either chicken thighs or chicken breasts, and almost any green vegetable – so you can enjoy this gluten free orange chicken all year long!
Process & Tips
Simply add your chicken to a hot pan until browned & crispy, toss in your asparagus and pour over your simple sauce.
The coconut oil gives the chicken the most amazing golden brown color, which my family LOVES – if you don’t have coconut oil, though, olive oil will work just fine in this recipe.
But the secret to making this gluten free orange chicken taste like the real-deal is in what I use to naturally thicken the sauce… arrowroot powder!
If you haven’t used this ingredient before, it’s simply a grain-free alternative to cornstarch.
Tossing the chicken in a little bit of arrowroot powder results in crunchy, almost nugget-like, chicken pieces and helps to thicken the sauce naturally.
Tip: Be sure to taste your dish before serving and add additional orange juice, vinegar, or salt to make the sauce exactly how you like it. If the sauce is too thick, simply add additional orange juice or chicken stock to thin it out a bit.
What to Serve with this Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry
Enjoy this orange chicken stir fry with asparagus as-is, or pair with some cooked quinoa, rice or cauliflower rice.
This would also make a fun build-your-own rice bowl dinner!
Simply set out warm, cooked rice along with any of your favorite toppings – like chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, sriracha or chili paste, lime wedges, chopped peanuts or sesame seeds.
Meal Prep Tips & How to Store or Freeze Leftovers
Cooked chicken will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container
This recipe also freezes well, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months
This recipe can be made ahead! Double it for meal prep on busy weeks (or anytime you need to feed a crowd quickly & easily).
Ingredients & Modifications
Chicken breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but boneless skinless chicken thighs would also work great.
Asparagus: If you don’t like asparagus (or if it’s out of season & you can’t easily find it), you can swap in any crisp, green veggie in its place. Green beans, snap peas, snow peas, or broccoli are all great options.
Garlic: I love the flavor that the fresh garlic adds to this simple recipe, especially since we’re using so few ingredients! But you can also use garlic powder in its place if you prefer.
Orange juice: The orange juice adds that signature orange chicken flavor to this dish, use fresh OJ for the best flavor.
Orange zest: My secret to adding extra orange flavor without a lot of extra effort is to put the zest of the orange to good use and add a bit of it into the sauce. Bonus points: it adds some extra color to your finished dish!
Chicken stock: I used reduced sodium chicken stock but you could also use regular chicken stock or vegetable stock if that’s what you have on hand.
White wine vinegar: The vinegar adds a bit of lift and brightness to the recipe when added right at the end after cooking. You could also use lemon juice in its place.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil gives the chicken the most amazing golden brown color and it pairs so well with the other ingredients in this dish. If you don’t have coconut oil, though, olive oil will work just fine in this recipe.
Arrowroot powder: Arrowroot powder comes from the root of an arrowroot plant and is a great grain-free, corn-free alternative to cornstarch. You can find it in well-stocked grocery stores and online. If you can’t find it or prefer not to use it, cornstarch can be used in its place.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
If you like your chicken with a little bit of spice & heat, feel free to add in red pepper flakes to the orange sauce or add a bit of sriracha on top before serving!
This Recipe Is…
Healthy Orange Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry
For the Stir-Fry
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 bunches)
- 2 large garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
For the Orange Sauce
- zest of 1 orange, about 1 tablespoon
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from about 2 oranges
- ½ cup reduced sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder*
- Sprinkle the chicken with 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss together until the chicken is evenly coated.
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until both sides are browned and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. To the same pan, add an additional 1 tablespoon coconut oil and the garlic. Saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden (garlic burns easily, so keep an eye on it). Add the asparagus, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and slightly tender.
- Meanwhile, In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, the orange juice, orange zest, and the chicken stock.
- Add the chicken back to the pan with the asparagus, then pour in the orange juice mixture. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until the stock thickens.
- Off the heat, add the vinegar or lemon juice. Taste and add additional orange juice, vinegar, or salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add additional orange juice or chicken stock. Serve over rice, quinoa, or on its own.