chicken stir-fry in bowl

Perhaps the most important part of your recipe repertoire is the ideas for quick dinners for those nights when you get home tired and hungry. At a rough calculation, you’re likely to experience such situations approximately four nights a week, 50 weeks out of the year, so that’s 200 dinners per year where you’ll be grateful for a no-fuss option, such as a stir-fry.

Recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge created this quick orange chicken stir-fry recipe using chicken breasts and a ready-made mix of veggies, which simplifies things even further. This dish gets its flavor not only from orange juice, but from a generous helping of orange zest as well. Olayinka herself describes this dish as "perfect dinner for the weekdays" and loves that "it is easy to make and tastes delicious." We love this dish because it makes dinner a breeze, packs in plenty of nutrients thanks to the chicken and veggies, and tastes oh so good. If you need a new go-to recipe after a long day at work, give this orange chicken stir-fry a try.

Gather the ingredients to make orange chicken stir-fry

ingredients for chicken stir-fry

In addition to the chicken breasts, you’ll be using a few pantry items to make this recipe: sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, and cornstarch. You’ll also need the aforementioned orange juice and orange zest, a few cloves of garlic, and some mixed vegetables. While Olayinka was able to find a mixture of fresh vegetables meant for stir-fries in her local supermarket, she says you could use a frozen mixture instead. She just explains, though, that in cooking, "It will just need longer allowing the water to be evaporated." Easy enough, right?

Prepare the garlic and the chicken

chicken chunks on wooden board

You’ll begin this dish by peeling and then mincing the garlic. Should you be making your own veggie mix from fresh vegetables, you may need to do a little prep here, too, such as peeling and slicing the carrots or onions.

After you’ve processed the produce, slice the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks — Olayinka made hers about 1-inch chunks. Be sure to wash your hands well after you’ve handled the raw chicken, and you should also wash the knife and cutting board right away so you don’t forget.

Stir-fry the chicken and veggies

cooked chicken in pan

Now, we can focus on the actual cooking! Heat a tablespoon of the sesame oil in a large frying pan or a wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken, the garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for seven minutes. Then, take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside. Add the veggies to the same pan along with the remaining oil. Cook them, stirring, for four minutes, then take them out of the pan and set them aside as well.

Finish things off with a tangy orange sauce

chicken stir-fry in pan

Pour the orange juice into the pan along with the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and orange zest. Mix everything together, then scoop out a tablespoon or so of the liquid and mix it with the cornstarch in a small bowl or cup. Add the cornstarch mix back into the rest of the sauce and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and stir until everything is coated with sauce. Serve the stir-fry hot over rice or noodles. Olayinka says that she loves "the fact that [this recipe] has lots of vegetables in it, also the orange flavor is a good alternative to the traditional stir-fry." And, of course, this dish comes together in just a few simple steps, making it an excellent recipe all-around.

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 10 ounces mixed vegetables
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  1. Peel and mince the garlic.
  2. Slice the chicken breast into 1-inch chunks.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and garlic to the oil along with ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring continuously, for 7 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  6. Add the remaining sesame oil to the pan, followed by the mixed vegetables.
  7. Cook the vegetables, stirring continuously, for 4 minutes, then remove them from the pan.
  8. Add the orange juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, and orange zest to the pan.
  9. Mix the sauce ingredients together, then mix 1 tablespoon of the liquid with the cornstarch in a small bowl.
  10. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the sauce and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  11. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and mix them in with the sauce.
  12. Serve the stir-fry while it’s hot.