orange cashew chicken in black pan with black sesame seeds in a small white bowl

20 minute dinner brought to you by this insanely delicious and easy paleo orange chicken! A simple sauce with no sugar added, paired with juicy chicken and crunchy cashews.

Happy Wednesday! Every day this month feels super jam packed, so I’m resorting to all my favorite super simple meals! This orange chicken comes from a recipe on my old site, with just a few tweaks to make it even better than before! It’s one of those meals where you’re like “wait…how is something this easy SO good!?” And healthy 😉

No Sugar Added Paleo Orange Cashew Chicken in a bowl with parchment paper

The sauce is made from healthy, simple ingredients:

  • Coconut aminos
  • Juice of an orange
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Tomato paste
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Red pepper flakes

The chicken gets coated in tapioca flour (or starch; you can sub arrowroot starch here!), then sautéed quickly before simmering in the delicious sauce with the cashews. Don’t skip the tapioca (or arrowroot), as it helps to thicken the sauce!

You honestly won’t believe there is no sugar added to this sauce! It’s got the most perfect natural sweetness, and SO much flavor. I’m in love!

We love to pair this with jasmine rice. I make mine in the Instant Pot in 5 minutes, then toss in some steamed broccoli!

Making rice in the Instant Pot:

What you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • sea salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot with a quick stir. Lock the lid in place, then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off for the 5 minutes, allow to sit and naturally release pressure for 5 minutes. Press the pressure release button to release any remaining pressure, then serve!

The Instant pot I have is linked here. I love it so much, especially for basic meal additions like this rice!

I am so excited for you guys to try this easy 20 minute dinner! This will totally be a new staple for you if you’re forever obsessed with takeout style meals like me!

Enjoy! xx

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No Sugar Added Paleo Orange Cashew Chicken

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 34 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner


Super simple no sugar added orange cashew chicken! 



For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Juice of 1 orange 
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger minced 
  • Few good cracks of black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

For the chicken:

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil 
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews

For garnish: chives or green onion, sesame seeds 


  1. Whisk all ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Toss the chicken pieces in the tapioca starch until evenly coated.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the avocado oil, then stir in the chicken and season with 1/2 tsp sea salt. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through (about 9-12 minutes).
  4. Add the sauce and cashews. Reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer until sauce slightly thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Serve with fresh chives and sesame seeds (optional).

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Lunch + Dinner, Paleo, Recipes


Dec 11, 2019

No Sugar Added Paleo Orange Cashew Chicken

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Colleen says:

    I made this and shared with my boyfriend. He told me over 15 times how good it was and it was “the best thing I’ve ever made him” (I cook all the time so that was a serious compliment). Trying to limit takeout, so this is the perfect solution. Going into our rotation for sure. Oh I didn’t have cashews so I used slivered almonds and it totally satisfied.

  2. Rachel says:

    This tasted way better than any takeout I’ve ever had.

  3. Izzy says:

    I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it! Thank you Mia! It’s so easy to make and I will for sure be making it more often.

  4. Michelle says:

    SO MUCH FLAVOR wow!! I made this with some vegetarian friends for dinner & we simply replaced the chicken with baked cauliflower. Literally every recipe I have tried from this blog has knocked my socks off

  5. Lisa says:

    Wish I could give this more stars!! We loved this! It didn’t lack flavor at all and I added extra veggies, PERFECTION!

  6. Jackie says:

    I seriously make this recipe at least once per week! So delicious and satisfying! My go to chicken recipe ????

  7. Melody says:

    We have a house full of little picky eaters (with food allergies), but any of Mia’s recipes are easily devoured by all of us no promvlem! I’ve never cooked with citrusy before and was SO happy I tried this recipe! My husband and kids were licking their plates!

  8. Sarah says:

    Honestly never thought I would make homemade orange chicken. I thought it was generally an unhealthy, guilty pleasure. BUT this recipe is amazing! My boyfriend and I both love it and make it almost every week. You won’t be disappointed by this!

  9. Abby says:

    So good & easy!! A healthy twist on take-out favorite. I can’t wait to try the tofu version!

  10. Allie says:

    This recipe is delicious and an amazing alternative to getting take out. I will definitely be making this recipe again. So quick to make and great as leftovers too!

  11. Amber says:

    Y’all… you will NOT be disappointed. This recipe is so delicious! I’ve made multiple times for family and friends and it has been a favorite! It’s now a constant dinner rotation.

  12. Maria D. says:

    I’ve made this recipe 3x times in the last month and shared it to a handful of friends/family members. It’s going to be a forever favorite!

    Love how fresh it tastes, doesn’t weigh you down like the take out version.

    I’ve also successfully made it with chicken thighs, with whole wheat flour instead of tapioca starch, and Thai Lime & Chili Cashews from Trader Joe’s. It’s basic and flexible enough and I always have the ingredients on hand!

  13. Natalie says:

    So delicious!

  14. Jena says:

    A weeknight staple in my house. So tasty!

  15. Stephanie C says:

    Wow! Wow! That’s literally all I can say! Just made this tonight and it was amazing! The hubby went back for seconds so that’s always a good sign. Such an easy weeknight recipe. Definitely adding it into our rotation! Thank you Mia for your easy and delicious recipes!

    • Mia Zarlengo says:

      This truly makes me SO happy!! Thank you for the sweet note Stephanie- so happy you and your hubs enjoyed it 🙂

  16. Karina says:

    This was such an easy and DELICIOUS recipe!!! Thank you Mia for giving us such easy and nutritious options!!

  17. Natalie says:

    Absolutely loved this recipe, so quick and easy. I saved the extra sauce and I’m going to try to use it to top some baked salmon with it tonight.

  18. Lindsey Keller says:

    This dish is so insanely good!! I really love how Mia is a big sauce person, because you can take simple meat and veggies and add a bomb sauce and boom – you’re meal just went from a 3 to a 12. I tasked my boyfriend to make me this one night – he added a side of white rice & broccoli as well. 10x healthier than takeout Chinese. I love this dish!!

  19. Julia says:

    Can I sub tamari in for the coconut aminos? If so, do you think it would still require 1/3 cup?

    • Mia Zarlengo says:

      Hi Julia,

      Tamari is very salty compared to coconut aminos, so I don’t recommend subbing it here since it’s a decent amount!

  20. Lillie says:

    This has to be one of my favorite recipes ever. It really does taste like something you would get at a restaurant! The best part is how surprisingly easy and quick it is too. My boyfriend also loves it! I’ve made it three times in the last week so it’s safe to say I’m obsessed. 🙂

  21. Kianna says:

    Finding a good-clean orange chicken recipe is really hard. There’s always something missing. HOWEVER, this one was a 10/10. All the flavors there, sweet and savory with a slight spice. I used thighs in the recipe in place of breasts. Best orange chicken ever. My whole family was blown away. Thank you Mia ????

  22. Lisa P. says:

    This is in our regular rotation. It is so good and tastes better than takeout with no guilt! It’s super easy and quick and usually I will make some cauliflower rice or regular rice blend and a green on the side. It’s the best cashew chicken recipe I’ve tried, and so much healthier!

  23. Sam says:

    Sooooo good! Super easy to make and has become a weekly meal for us! Love it!

  24. Jessica Foley says:

    I have made this so many times and it is very much loved by anyone I make it for.

    Question though: if I don’t have any ginger on hand — any suggestions for what I could substitute ??

    • Mia Zarlengo says:

      Yay so glad- thank you so much!! You could leave out the ginger if it comes down to it- maybe add a little extra garlic for more flavor!

  25. Jonah says:

    This tasted so good— just like my favorite takeout spot but guilt-free and great, healthy ingredients. I’m so thankful to have found this to put it in my rotation of staple dishes.

  26. Betty says:

    I made this for dinner tonight for the first time with a few substitutions, I used olive oil instead of sesame oil and white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar since that was all I had on hand and it turned out so good! I will be making this again!

  27. Chelsea says:

    Made this last night, and holy cow!!! Cannot get over how flavorful the sauce is! So good and love how quickly it all came together!

  28. Nikki says:

    We make this about once a week now… it’s SO delicious, packed with flavor, and sooo easy to make! Can’t beat it!

  29. Christina says:

    This is one of my favorite recipes of all time! I make it at least once every week or so. I made it for my family during quarantine and they are equally obsessed with it. Thank you for sharing all your great recipes and talent!

  30. Noelle says:

    A-MAZE-ING!! This recipe is super easy and so delicious! The sauce is to die for. Definitely making again!

  31. Donna says:

    How do I substitute in the tofu for the chicken on this recipe. Do I bake tofu separately in little cubes & then add at end. I don’t put tapioca or arrowroot on the tofu do I!?

  32. Stephanie says:

    This was a big hit in our house! My only changes were to use cornstarch (because that’s all I had -#quarantinecooking) and to add an extra juiced orange, but I think I just overdid the tomato paste and needed the extra sweetness to balance it. We will definitely add this to our regular rotation!

  33. Carly says:

    Mia, you seriously NEVER disappoint in your recipes!!!

  34. Kayla says:

    SOOO GOOD!!! Seriously tastes amazing!

  35. Laura says:

    Making this for the second time tonight. So delicious!!

  36. Meg Domzalski says:

    I just made this recipe for the first time and it is fabulous! I like it better than restaurant orange chicken which is always too sweet IMHO. Hubby loved it too. This is definitely going into the rotation!

  37. Saba says:

    I love how Mia makes so many Asian-inspired dishes. Being gluten-free, I miss a lot of the soy sauce-based dishes I can no longer have at restaurants. This orange cashew chicken did NOT disappoint!! It was super tasty, used many of the pantry staple ingredients Mia uses in other recipes. I served mine with some jasmine rice, cashews, and sautéed broccoli. Delish!

  38. Grace says:

    Made this for the family for dinner and it was a HUGE hit! Super easy, so tasty and such great leftovers!

  39. corinne says:

    i never really rate recipes…. but this was insane. i was very skeptical of an asian dish with tomato paste, but it worked so well somehow? and was so perfectly sweet with only the juice of an orange? definitely becoming a staple in my house, you are a genius!!!!

  40. Emmy Metzler says:

    This recipe is so easy and always turns out SO good. Plus it’s great for meal prep or when you’re craving Chinese food and want to be a little healthier!!

  41. Alana says:

    Love this recipe! If we do not have an Instapot, any ideas for how to bess cook the chicken?

  42. Cassie says:

    The best homemade orange chicken I’ve ever made! Solid ingredients too!

  43. Michelle Tara Lazoff says:

    Absolutely love this recipe!!! My boyfriend loves Chinese food and he says this tastes just as good and it’s “amazing! Thank you for this! This recipe served us 2!

  44. Bailey O. says:

    If you haven’t made this yet, it is a MUST! While the recipe is healthy, it still tastes like my favorite guilty pleasure. My boyfriend, who is notoriously against healthy substitutes, absolutely loved this dish. 10/10 will add this to my regular routine!

  45. Becca says:

    My best friend has made this several times so it was time for me to make it! It did not disappoint. My husband was jealous when I said I ate the leftovers for lunch. It’s going to be a staple in our home.

  46. Laura says:

    Made this for the first time last week – amazing! Planning to make again for some friends and wondering whether the sauce can be made a few hours in advance and put in the fridge? Is there any reason why this wouldn’t work? Other than separation (easy to re-whisk, but hoping to get the prep/clean-up done ahead of time)

  47. paige says:

    sooo good and super family friendly!! A crowd pleaser for sure!!

  48. Madison Taylor says:

    This is my favorite dinner!! Asian flavors are my favorite and this dish DELIVERS! Thank you Mia!!!

  49. Jaime says:

    Such a great and easy recipe!

  50. Cate says:

    This is the one recipe that I always ordered take out for and was too intimidated to make… until now. Also coconut aminos will definitely be a staple in my pantry now. Thank you!!!

  51. Grace says:

    oh my gosh this is one of the best recipes I have ever made. This is a fan favorite for everyone in my family! I’m showed all my friends this recipe and they love it as well. It’s so yummy. You NEED to make immediately. Thank you you Mia!!❤️

  52. Hayley says:

    This chicken recipe is a staple for me! I make a huge batch and eat the leftovers throughout the week. Never thought I could sauces this good and feel good after!

  53. Kelsey says:

    This meal is so good!! I haven’t been able to eat any Asian takeout due to soy allergies, and this felt like I was treating myself!! I could eat it every week (and basically have been). Quick and easy too!

  54. Emily says:

    So unbelievably delicious and has become a quick and easy dinner that is both healthy but doesn’t feel like you’re depriving yourself. Its truly amazing that this dish has no sugar and is as delicious as it is. Once you make this recipe 2-3 times, it will become a no-brainer for a quick after work meal!

  55. Stephanie says:

    Amazing! My boyfriend and I eat this at least twice a month. So flavorful and goes amazing with baby broccoli and white rice.

  56. Bianca says:

    Amazing! In my weekly rotation

  57. Mallory says:

    We make this recipe at least once a week! Even my husband who is a picky eater loves it so much! Honestly so much better thank takeout!!

  58. paige says:

    very good!!

  59. Cheryl says:

    Can I use olive oil in place of the avocado oil?

  60. Jessie says:

    a fan favorite! This did not disappoint. We loved it! Simple sauce that could pair with many different proteins.

  61. Andrea says:


    Could you replace the chicken with cauliflower for a vegetarian option? Would you make that portion of the recipe the same way (tapioca starch,etc) if so? Thank you!!

    • Mia Zarlengo says:

      Hi, I am not sure about that option but I have a tofu version on the blog! Just search tofu in the search bar 🙂

  62. Tracy says:

    I made this with air fried tofu in place of the chicken, and I cut up some broccoli and added that to the sauce when it was simmering. The whole family loved it!

  63. Emily C says:

    Definitely don’t miss the sugar – the sauce is sticky and sweet and amazing!! Highly recommend topping with scallions for more flavor!

  64. Kayle says:

    So good and so easy!

  65. Abby says:

    Seriously THE BEST homemade orange chicken i have ever made!! Crowd pleaser everyone loves it!!!

  66. Amanda says:

    Amazing, quick and fresh! Sooo good

  67. Megan says:

    Mia you are brilliant! This recipe is so delicious and extremely easy to make. I made it for my fiancé and I – he completely devoured it and went for seconds. Orange chicken has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, but to have this healthy version is amazing.

  68. Paige says:

    Mine is much uglier but the taste is amazing!! ????❤️ I didn’t have cashews, so I subbed in walnuts and it’s yummy. Served mine over rice and sautéed kale.

  69. Kristal says:

    I thought I would make this for meal prep this week, however I had some for lunch and had to share with my family and now it’s all gone. This is INCREDIBLE!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!! It will be on repeat weekly.

  70. Beth says:

    One of my favorite’s from Mia! Such a staple meal in my house. Anytime I hear Trader Joe’s frozen orange chicken mentioned I tell someone they HAVE to make this instead.

  71. Rose says:

    Have made this a few times and it is amazing! I was never a huge fan of orange chicken. I always find it to be a little too sweet for my liking but this one is ???? Definitely a must try if you haven’t tried it yet! And it’s so much fun to make!

  72. Kailee says:

    So incredibly easy and so freaking tasty! Love that it’s such minimal ingredients and easy to pull off in a hurry. Love love love!

  73. Sarah says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight and WOW so good. So much flavor! Adding this to our regular dinner rotation!

  74. Talena says:

    Made this for dinner and put it over cauliflower rice. Everyone loved it and it was delicious!!

  75. Chloe says:

    Orange chicken is my favorite but eating it at a restaurant is impossible since going gluten free – Thankfully I found this recipe! It’s delicious and easy. I’ve made it so many times I’ve lost count!

  76. Sarah says:

    SO GOOD! Very easy and delicious week-night meal for our house! Love the simple ingredients we always have on hand.

  77. christine says:

    We love this recipe! Our son has to stay away from starches as well, and it still works if I just reduce it a bit 🙂 He eve asked for it for his birthday dinner!


    I’ve enjoyed this as a dinner guest before but never made until tonight – so delish and so easy!! Def going on my “meals I can make for company” list.

  79. Audrie says:

    favorite staple recipe of mine now! I make this all the time!

  80. Lex says:

    One of my fav weeknight go tos!

  81. Elizabeth says:

    One of the best at home orange chicken recipes!

  82. Kinsley says:

    This recipe is so easy and a favorite!!

  83. Ruth says:

    One of the first dishes I made gluten/dairy free and still my favorite. Nobody knows it’s gluten free and always loves it. You can sub out the cashews if a nut allergy and it still tastes amazing.

  84. Emily Fabbri says:

    So good! Better than Chinese takeout and guilt-free! Just beware — my husband said I should “just cook this from now on anytime we are craving Chinese.” Make at your own risk, or better yet just don’t share any with your husband to begin with!

  85. Olivia says:

    Such a simple easy delicious recipe that turns out perfect every time- regularly send to others since I can be confident it will turn out no matter who is making it!

  86. Annie M says:

    A simple and delicious staple in our house!

  87. Claire P says:

    My favorite orange chicken recipe- comforting and delicious without making you feel the weight of typical Chinese food. This is a staple in my house… husband approved!

  88. Kiera Kennette says:

    I have made this recipe countless times, it’s always delicious and I find myself wanting to make it soon after without being sick of it. I share it with all my friends and family and they love it too!

  89. Molly says:

    My FAVORITE recipe. We make this almost weekly. It’s delicious

  90. Lisa Grant-Brown says:

    This is in my regular rotation, it’s a perfect weeknight meal and easily impressed guests!

  91. Cortney says:

    Best orange chicken recipe!

  92. Sam says:

    This orange chicken is TO DIE FOR.

  93. Kaitie Kim says:

    I have made this too many times to count.. love this recipe so much ! So easy and tasty and healthy !! 10/10 must make for all the orange chicken lovers !!!

  94. Rose Darcy says:

    Quick, easy, and delicious with ingredients I already have in my kitchen! The whole family loved this recipe.

  95. Lindsay says:

    SO easy and SO yummy

  96. Kathy says:

    This is SO good! Really satisfies the Chinese food cravings I have frequently. It feels so good to make something nourishing instead of eating out. I double the sauce and add extra red chili flakes. Very easy to make.

  97. Kimberly says:

    This dish is awesome! I made it as written, but did add about a tablespoon of honey. There was plenty of sauce to also cover the rice and broccoli I served on the side. My entire family loved this! Thank you!

  98. Holly says:

    I’ve made this recipe probably a dozen times and it always turns out perfect. Everytime my family and I have it we talk about how it’s better then take out and it’s actually made with real ingredients.

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