Low-FODMAP ‘Copycat’ Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe; Gluten-free, Dairy-free

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Oh how I miss the Orange Chicken at Panda Express!  Last month I was traveling to Arizona with my family and we ate at Panda Express no less than 4 times that trip.  I am used to packing low-FODMAP snacks (check out my low-FODMAP travel tips blog for the inside scoop) and was not complaining about having steamed rice with my Happy Jerky.  But I did wish I could have a huge plate of that orange chicken instead of a tiny taste.

I turned that loss into gain for us all.

Once home, I worked on creating this amazing low-FODMAP Copycat Orange Chicken Recipe.  It is healthier than fast food, with a fresh home cooked flavor, but maintains that crispy, sweet, orange flavored goodness that Panda’s version has.

But to be fair- this is not, by definition, a ‘healthy’ meal choice.  If you are looking for a lighter chicken dinner for your family, then check out my low-FODMAP Grilled Lime Chicken, or my low-FODMAP One Pan Italian Chicken and Vegetables.

This low-FODMAP Orange Chicken is fried in oil to be crisp outside and tender inside.  It is coated with orange flavored sauce, sweetened with sugars.  It tastes like chicken candy.  I love it.

low-FODMAP close up orange chicken

Save it for special occasions, but don’t deny yourself this amazing low-FODMAP Orange Chicken, if like me, you were feeling deprived!

You may also love my low-FODMAP General Tso’s Chicken and low-FODMAP Sweet and Sour Chicken.  Or check out over 200 more low-FODMAP recipes on the blog.

Be healthy and happy,

Rachel Pauls, MD

Low-FODMAP ‘Copycat’ Panda Express Orange Chicken; Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Although this recipe has not been tested, a single serving should be low-FODMAP based on the ingredients

Serves 6

Prep time 15 min

Cook time 30 min

Total time 45 min


For low-FODMAP breaded chicken pieces:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (about 1.5 lbs); chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
  • Canola or other preferred oil for frying
  • Chives or scallion tips, optional for garnish

For low-FODMAP Orange Sauce: (makes about 1.5 cups sauce)

  • 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (for tips on shopping for infused oils see my low-FODMAP recipe swap blog)
    • Infused oils with onion and garlic are safe to eat on the low-FODMAP diet, as the FODMAPs will not absorb into the oil.  This is not true for water based products and these spices!
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on desired spice level)
  • ½ cup soy sauce, gluten-free if necessary (I use low-sodium)
    • I have also made this with 1/4 cup soy sauce for a less salty version
  • ½ cup vinegar (white vinegar, apple cider or rice vinegar); confirm gluten-free if necessary
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar (if you like a very sweet sauce, increase to 6 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp orange zest (about 1 medium orange)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from the same orange)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil


For low-FODMAP Fried Chicken Pieces:

  • In a medium bowl, mix eggs, salt, and pepper
  • In a second medium bowl, add 1 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
  • Heat canola or olive oil (for frying) in a wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Working in small batches, dip chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then the cornstarch mixture and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Do a few pieces at a time for maximum crispness
  • Discard oil and clean wok

For the low-FODMAP Orange Sauce

  • Place your wok back over high heat and add 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds
  • Add red pepper flakes then stir fry for a few seconds
  • Add soy sauce and stir again
  • Add vinegar and continue to stir to combine ingredients well
  • Place 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp cornstarch in a cup and stir to combine well (creates a ‘slurry’)
  • Add the cornstarch/water slurry to the pan and stir
  • Heat until the sauce has thickened on medium low heat
  • Add corn syrup and brown sugar
  • Add orange zest and orange juice
  • Allow to thicken to desired consistency
  • Stir in sesame oil

Assemble the low-FODMAP Orange Chicken

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