This Homemade Orange Chicken Sauce is exactly what your Chinese takeout recipes have been missing! Packed with the fresh flavors of real orange juice and zest, it’s a much healthier alternative without any weird store-bought additives. Want it spicier, or maybe a little more sweet? It’s also super customizable and will keep for up to a week!

A spoon scoops out some orange sauce from a bowl.

I am a sucker for convenience. But there are a handful of things that arguably taste SO much better when made from scratch.

And that’s exactly the case with this Homemade Orange Chicken Sauce. It actually offers the best of both worlds. Put in a bit of effort, and you have a sauce that keeps for a week, ready at a moment’s notice to make your at-home Chinese takeout dreams a reality!

Why This Orange Chicken Sauce Is Worth the Effort

  • The flavors are super FRESH from a mix of freshly squeezed orange juice AND zest.
  • The sweetness is subtle and made from healthier ingredients (no corn syrup here!).
  • While the list may seem a little long, the ingredients are super easy-to-find in the Asian food section of your grocery store.
  • You can customize to your taste. Don’t want the spice? Leave it out! Want it sweeter? Increase the amount of sugar added. Have a gluten-free guest? A few simple swaps will make it safe for them to eat.
  • And when it’s all whisked up, store it in the fridge for up to a week until you’re ready to use!
Homemade orange sauce is stored in a glass jar.
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  • Orange. The key to this sauce is fresh oranges! You’ll want both the juice and the zest. You can save time by grabbing a bottle of fresh-squeezed orange juice from the produce section. You’ll still need one orange for the zest!
  • Cornstarch. This is essential to get that thick sauce that sticks to the chicken (or whatever you’re serving it with!). You can also use tapioca starch.
  • Sweetener. Either brown sugar or honey will work to add just a touch of sweetness.
  • Sesame oil. The secret ingredient! Be sure it’s toasted sesame oil for the most flavor.
  • Chili sauce. If you really don’t like spice, you can leave it out. You can use Sriracha instead, or increase the amount for a kick.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Make Homemade Orange Chicken Sauce

Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.

1. Combine the Ingredients

The first step is to mix together all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. You’ll need the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, orange zest, toasted sesame oil, salt, and chili sauce.

To avoid those pesky clumps, heat up the orange juice slightly before adding the cornstarch.

Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients until no clumps remain and all of the cornstarch is dissolved.

Whisking Tip

Sometimes cornstarch does not fully dissolve into the liquid, and you end up with chunks throughout. A quick tip is to warm up whatever liquid you’re mixing it into (in this case, the orange juice) and it will more easily dissolve.

2. Reduce the Sauce

Carefully pour the sauce into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Watch it carefully.

After it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cook the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking the entire time. The sauce should reduce by about half.

3. Serve the Sauce

After the sauce has reduced, it’s ready to enjoy! It is perfect over some crispy chicken (check out this Orange Chicken) and white rice. It would also be delicious on some Air-Fryer Cauliflower.

If you’re saving it for later, let it come to room temperature. Then, store it in an airtight container for up to a 1 week in the fridge.


How do you thicken orange sauce?

The best way to thicken orange sauce is with a cornstarch slurry. Whisk some cornstarch into a warm liquid and mix it into the sauce over heat.

What’s the difference between orange sauce and sweet and sour sauce?

Both of these Asian-inspired sauces are delicious. However, orange sauce has a citrus base while sweet and sour sauce has a tomato base.

What to Serve with Orange Sauce

Don’t stop at just chicken! This sauce is delicious in a variety of dishes.

If you love Orange Chicken, try the sauce over Air Fryer Salmon or Air Fryer Shrimp.

You can also use it with veggies, like Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower or Steamed Broccoli.

Gluten-free orange chicken is served with white rice on a white plate.

More Sauce Recipes

You’ll find it’s so easy to make your own sauces and dressings at home! You might never buy a bottle from the store again.

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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Orange Chicken Sauce

Packed with fresh orange juice and zest, this Orange Chicken Sauce is a healthier and tastier alternative without any store-bought additives.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes
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  • ¾ cup orange juice freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ tsp. ginger paste or finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. chili sauce or Sriracha
  • Green Onions thinly sliced, optional
  • Toasted sesame seeds optional


  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
    ¾ cup orange juice, ¼ cup tamari, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp. ginger paste, 2 tsp. rice vinegar, 1 tsp. orange zest, 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. chili sauce
  • Pour the sauce into a medium-sized saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly. The sauce should reduce by almost half during this time.
  • Serve the orange sauce immediately with crispy fried chicken, or allow it to come to room temperature and store it in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
    Green Onions, Toasted sesame seeds
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes


Prep-Ahead Instructions:
This orange sauce can be made a day or two early.
Storage Directions:
Keep leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. For the best results, thaw the sauce in the fridge, then warm it back up in a skillet.


Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1069mg, Potassium: 149mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 107IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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