Orange Sesame Chicken | The Kitchen Scout (2024)

Do you know that Benjamin Franklin saying, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”? Well, I have another thing to add to that list. Dinner…

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Yes indeed, the dinner bell rings every 24 hours around the world, whether or not you’re prepared for it! Do you sometimes get texts in the middle of the day from someone asking you what is for dinner, perhaps when it’s the furthest thing from your mind and you haven’t even had lunch yet? I definitely did when my kiddos were at home.

I know that while it’s easy for some people to get dinner on the table, it can be more of a challenge for others for any number of reasons. Maybe you’re carpooling your children back and forth to their activities, doing laps around your town in the process. Or maybe you just don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen…again. This time of year seemsespecially busy as the world is waking up from its winter nap and suddenly our schedules are filled with sports, dance recitals, award ceremonies, proms, graduations and a host of other events that accompany the warmer temperatures. For all these reasons, you need a few quick and easy dinner ideas so that you are not left looking like this…

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So, I am going to seek out some quick dinners for the blog that will appeal to the senses, but also go easy on the time commitment. I hope to post several this Spring. In fact, if you have any quick meals that you love and think would make good posts for the blog, please send them to me by clicking on the Contact page in the toolbar. I’d love to share some reader recipes!

So let’s start with this recipe for Orange Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas shall we? It’s a recipe I’ve had in my files from a cookbook by Ellie Krieger. You may remember a recipe I posted for Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups with Herbs and Cheese that was also from Ellie? I really like her recipes because they are big on flavor, easy to execute and generally healthy as she is anutritionist. Orange Sesame Chicken fits into each category and you can cook this recipe in under 25 minutes, less if you do some steps early in the day. Perfect quick meal.

Chicken tenders or sliced chicken breasts are tossed in a little seasoned flour and sauteed until golden brown. A flavorful sauce consisting of fresh orange juice, garlic, soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and cornstarch is added to the pan along with big strips of orange zest for extra flavor. Quick cooking snow peas are tossed in and 3 minutes later, you sprinkle the dish with some toasted sesame seeds and dinner is ready. Skip the sesame seeds if you want and the dish will look like these pictures…

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But they make the dish look pretty and deliver an extra punch of sesame flavor. The recipe instructs you to toast the seeds to enhance their flavor, but you may find previously toasted seeds at some markets. If you do, you’ve saved yourself more time. You can definitely swap shrimp for the chicken if you want. If you do that, just salt and pepper them and skip the flour…

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Orange Sesame Chicken is light, flavorful and much healthier than the fast food alternative you may be tempted to pick up. Just add some quick cooking rice or quinoa, or if times allows my Spicy Sesame Noodles and you have a meal!

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If you have a few dishes like this in your arsenal for a busy weeknight or anytime really, you won’t be caught in your kitchen looking like this…

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See you next week!

Two Years Ago: Summer Vegetable Ceviche


Orange Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas

Yield: 3-4 servings

Dinner can be ready in about 25 minutes if you use chicken tenders in this recipe. You could even prepare the sauce ahead of time, making prep even faster! Serve with your grain of choice. You can omit the red pepper flakes or increase them depending on your preference. You could even swap shrimp for the chicken but just sprinkle them with salt and pepper and omit the flour. You may want to double the recipe for big appetites. Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Ellie Krieger's Weeknight Wonders.


  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenders or boneless breasts cut into 2 inch strips
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 cups snow peas (about 3/4 pound), trimmed


  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a very large skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until they turn golden and begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 4 large strips of zest (careful not to include the white pith) from one of the oranges.
  3. Juice both of the oranges into a medium bowl. Add the garlic, broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, cornstarch, and crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  4. Put the flour, salt, and black pepper into a sealable plastic bag. Place the chicken tenders in the bag, seal and shake to coat.
  5. Heat the canola oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces (discard extra flour) and cook, turning once until browned and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
  6. Add the sauce and orange zest to the skillet and cook stirring, until the sauce begins to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the snow peas and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and discard the strips of orange zest. Serve garnished with the toasted sesame seeds.


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Valerie Kolligian Thayer

the kitchen scout: seeking inspiration in and out of the kitchen

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