This ground orange chicken and broccoli recipe is the perfect quick and easy answer to a takeout meal at home. Best of all it takes less than 20 minutes to make and uses only 1 pot so prep and cleanup are both a breeze! I recommend serving it over brown rice, fried rice, hibachi noodles, or lettuce wraps with a drizzle of sriracha.
I love making takeout style food at home.
And I really love easy one pan dinners that require little-to-no-effort like this one!
This recipe is great because it takes less than 20 minutes to make. And within those 20 minutes, the tender chicken gets coated in the tangy sticky orange sauce while the broccoli is cooked to crunchy perfection. It's amazing!
Compared to traditional orange chicken, this version swaps out the deep fried nuggets for ground chicken.
Sure it's not as crispy and crunchy as the original. But you also don't have to spend time frying chicken or stinking up the house with grease!
I should also mention how great it is that the ground chicken goes directly from the container to the pot -- without cutting, cleaning or touching it. So if you're like me and don't like working with raw meat, you'll definitely give it a try!
And although this recipe calls for chicken, it's super easy to make it vegetarian, too!
You'll just follow the same instructions but swap out the pound of ground chicken for a box of extra firm tofu. You can read more about how to do this below!
What you'll need
For the sauce
- brown sugar
- orange juice
- orange zest
- rice wine vinegar
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
For the main dish
- ground chicken
- garlic cloves
- chopped broccoli
How to make Ground Orange Chicken
Making this ground orange chicken is a breeze. There are just three main steps - 1. Make Sauce. 2. Cook Chicken. 3. Add Broccoli.
To begin, we'll start with the sauce. You'll want to whisk together brown sugar, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, water, orange zest, sesame oil, cornstarch and set aside.
Next, you'll get a large nonstick pan and add the ground chicken. Then turn the heat to medium high and as the chicken is cooking, break it up with a spatula.
After a few minutes and once the chicken is mostly cooked through, add the chopped garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. You don't want the garlic to burn -- you just want it to release it's natural flavors and aromas.
Once the garlic is tender, pour the orange chicken sauce on top and give it a stir. You'll notice instantly notice that the cornstarch starts to thicken and stick to the meat pretty quickly. Once it starts doing that, turn the heat to medium/medium-low.
Now it's time to add the chopped broccoli and ¼ cup water. Give it another stir a sprinkle of salt.
Lastly, put a lid on the pot and let the broccoli steam for 4 minutes until it’s cooked through but still crunchy.
Stir one last time and season with salt to taste.
I like drizzle the orange chicken with sriracha then serving it over brown rice.... but you could also try these hibachi noodles or some fried rice or lettuce wraps if you wish!
How to make it vegetarian
Making this ground orange chicken into a vegetarian dish is quite simple.
Instead of using a pound of ground chicken, we will swap it out for 1 box of extra firm tofu.
As you'd suspect, you'll want to remove most of the moisture from the tofu by either squishing it down or using paper towels to absorb the excess liquid.
Once it's prepped, you'll follow the exact recipe as-is -- except you'll need to add some oil to the pan to cook the tofu before the sauce goes in.
What to serve it with
For tasty side dishes, try this Japanese inspired green bean recipe or this Vegetarian Singapore Street Noodles or this Thai Noodle Salad with Sesame Peanut Sauce. This Miso Pork Ramen is always a good idea!
And if you'd like a vegetarian alternative, try these tofu poke bowls!
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Ground Orange Chicken & Broccoli
For the Sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
For the Main Dish
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups broccoli chopped
- ¼ cup water
- **optional** sriracha, rice, noodles or lettuce wraps**
- To make the sauce, whisk together brown sugar, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, water, orange zest, sesame oil, corn starch and set aside.
- Add the ground chicken directly to a nonstick pan (no grease necessary) and turn the heat to medium high. As the chicken is cooking, break it up with a spatula.
- Once it’s mostly cooked through, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the orange chicken sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it thickens up and turn the heat down to low.
- Add the chopped broccoli and ¼ cup water and stir. Put the lid on the pot and let the broccoli steam for 4 minutes until it’s cooked but still crunchy. Stir one last time and season with salt to taste.
- Serve over rice, or noodles or lettuce wraps with a drizzle of sriracha if desired.