Craving for Orange Chicken, but no time to make it. Well let me tell you how fast and easy it is to cook frozen orange chicken in air fryer. These orange chicken are crispy battered tender chicken bites in a flavorful sweet and tangy orange sauce.
This air fryer orange chicken is quick and tasty, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Although it is convenient to order from a Chinese restaurant, this orange chicken is better than take-out in my opinion, as you get to eat it in no time while hot and crisp. Also, it is cheaper and saves you a trip.
You can enhance the flavor by adding a few simple ingredients like bell pepper, green onions or sesame seeds.
Once in a while, I store a few boxes of my favorite frozen food so when pressed for time or not in the mood to cook from scratch especially after all the cooking during the holidays, I have something I can quickly prepare.
For some household, frozen food is convenient to have especially for busy moms, dads or even single people after a long day at work. They can easily put food on the table and feed their hungry family.
How to cook air fried frozen orange chicken
Place a single layer of frozen battered chicken in the air fryer basket and set the temperature at 400 degrees F and cooking time between 10-12 minutes. Note: I usually set it to the lowest cooking time with PRE-HEAT disabled and in the process, I can increase the time as needed.
Halfway through cooking, air fryer will remind you to turn the food, if that feature is enabled. Note: Shake the basket or flip each chicken quickly with non-metal tongs.
Put the basket back and continue cooking. Meanwhile, heat the orange sauce.
Once chicken is done. Mix it with the orange sauce. That’s it!
Tip: Some battered chicken are smaller in size and will cook faster than others. Pull the basket 2 minutes before it is done cooking and check. Remove the smaller pieces if already cooked.
Note: I used Sam’s Club Member's Mark Orange Chicken. This cooking instructions will also apply to Costco Crazy Cuizine or Trader Joe’s orange chicken.
How to heat the orange sauce
If you are not cooking the full package, estimate how much sauce to use. Put it in a big bowl and heat in the microwave for a minute or until hot.
If cooking the full package, another way to heat the sauce is placing the plastic packet in hot water. It will thaw and warm the sauce.
Another way to warm the sauce is on the stove. On a non-stick pan, pour defrosted sauce over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, stir-in chicken until sauce caramelize perfectly on the chicken. Turn off heat.
- Heat the sauce on stove top over medium-low heat and add chopped red peppers. You can also add green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
- Add it to salad.
- Make lettuce wrap and add some of your favorite vegetables.
- Serve it as toothpick appetizers and serve the orange sauce on the side.
- Pair it with white rice and some of your favorite vegetables.
- It is also delicious with steam or stir-fry vegetables.
Wrap leftovers in aluminum foil then store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, open the foil and put in the air fryer.
Set air fryer to 300 degrees, pre-heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Note: It is OK to use aluminum foil in air fryer basket.
Yes, no need to thaw chicken.
How much orange chicken can I cook in air fryer?
I have a 7-QT/6.7 L and the suggested amount is 16 ounces. You have to do it in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
Yes, air fry at the same temperature at 400 degrees and cooking time between 10-12 minutes.
Yes, place it above the crisper tray with the chicken. Make sure foil does not occupy the whole area so air can circulate.
Yes, you can pull the basket while cooking. Cooking time will pause and it will continue cooking once you put back the air fryer basket.
Air Fryer Frozen Orange Chicken
- 24 ounces frozen orange chicken
- 1 small red bell pepper diced (optional)
- Arrange frozen chicken in single layer in air fryer basket.
- Set temperature at 400 degrees F with cooking time between 10-12 minutes. Do not pre-heat. Note: I always cook with the lowest cooking time and add more minutes if needed.
- Halfway through the cook time, remove the basket and quickly turn or toss the food using non-metal tongs. Return the basket to the air fryer to automatically resume cooking.
- Meanwhile, thaw the orange chicken sauce. The quickest way is to submerge sauce packet in hot water.
- Once chicken is done, place chicken in a bowl and pour orange sauce and mix. Note: If you like to add red bell pepper, instructions are under Notes.
- I used Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Orange Chicken. It comes in 2 packages with 24 ounces each bag. You can also cook Costco’s Crazy Cuizine or Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken using the same temperature and cooking time.
- Can I cook 1 serving – Yes, air fry at the same temperature at 400 degrees and cooking time between 10-12 minutes. The images above are only 1 serving.
- Check the capacity of your air fryer. You might need to cook this in 2 batches. Smaller batches are fried more evenly.
- Adding red bell pepper - On a non-stick pan, pour defrosted sauce over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, lower heat then add red bell peppers and stir-in chicken until sauce caramelize perfectly on the chicken. Turn off heat.
- Storing leftovers - Wrap leftovers in aluminum foil then store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, open foil and put in the air fryer.
- Reheat leftovers - Set air fryer to 300 degrees, pre-heat and cook for 2-3 minutes. It is OK to use aluminum foil in air fryer basket.