How To Reheat Orange Chicken: Air Fryer Method & More

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Orange chicken is a popular Chinese food that many enjoy. It matters how you do it to get the best taste and crunch when reheating. While the microwave is an easy choice, using an air fryer or heating the orange chicken in the oven often gives the best result, making it feel freshly cooked.

How To Reheat Orange Chicken: Air Fryer Method

Using air fryer is the best way to reheat leftovers. You can learn how to reheat steak in the air fryer, too.

  1. Preheating the Air Fryer: Always preheat the air fryer before reheating the orange chicken. This helps get the best crispy result for popular Chinese food.
  2. Setting the Right Temperature and Time: Set the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for leftover orange chicken. Place the chicken inside and cook for about 8–10 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it’s hot inside. When the chicken is ready, it should be warm throughout but not soggy.
  3. Tips for Achieving the Crispiest Outcome
  • Don’t crowd the air fryer. Place the orange chicken in a single layer to help it heat evenly. While using air fryer, consider wrapping chicken in foil is better or not.
  • If you store orange chicken with its sauce, separate them before reheating. This can prevent the chicken from getting too wet and losing its crunch.
  • Halfway through cooking, shake the basket or turn the chicken pieces to ensure all sides get crispy.
  • Once reheated, garnish your orange chicken with sesame seeds for a fresh touch.

Remember, the key is watching and ensuring your chicken dish becomes crispy without overcooking. Air fryer is a smart method to ensure crispy dish, not only orange chicken mentioned in this blog but also other dish like chicken sausages. You can find more information about how to air fry chicken sausage here.

You can use air fryer to reheat orange chicken
You can use air fryer to reheat orange chicken

Alternative Reheating Methods

Using the microwave: pros and cons

If you’re thinking about how to reheat orange chicken quickly, using the microwave is often a go-to method. First, place the orange chicken in a microwave-compatible dish. If your chicken is frozen, you can microwave it for 20 minutes on a medium setting, checking at intervals. For non-frozen chicken, set your microwave to reheat for about 2-3 minutes.

However, while the microwave gets your chicken ready to reheat quickly, it might not give you that crispy chicken finish. The orange sauce can be reheated separately in the microwave. A plus is that you can have it garnished with sesame seeds after reheating for some added texture.

Oven baking method: achieving even reheating

Using the oven is a good way to reheat orange chicken and keep it crispy. Place your chicken in an ovenproof dish and set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake until the chicken is heated through, usually 15–20 minutes. This method might take longer than the microwave, but it tends to keep the chicken more crispy.

Stovetop: quick reheating tips

For those who prefer not to use the air fryer or microwave to reheat, the stovetop is another way to reheat your leftovers. Simply heat a pan over medium heat, add the orange chicken and a little orange sauce, and stir occasionally until the chicken is ready. This method offers a good balance between speed and keeping your chicken crispy.

In all methods, remember that the key is to reheat your orange chicken without overcooking or drying it out.

Tips For Reheating Leftovers

Safety tips for reheating leftovers
Tips for reheating leftovers

How long is orange chicken good for in the fridge?

  • Store your orange chicken in an airtight container after cooking or buying it, like from Panda Express. It’s usually good for 3–4 days in the fridge.

Tips for storing and reheating

  • Always prioritize caution when figuring out how to reheat the orange chicken.
  • Store your orange chicken in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
  • Place a paper towel on top of the container before sealing. This helps absorb extra moisture so the chicken doesn’t become soggy.
  • Before you reheat your chicken, give it a smell. Don’t reheat and eat it if it smells odd.
  • When it’s ready to eat, you can place the orange chicken in an air fryer for a crispy finish.
  • Using an ovenproof dish is another great option if you don’t have a chicken in an air fryer. Just ensure it’s heated all the way through.

Signs your orange chicken shouldn’t be reheated

  • Strange or off-smelling smell.
  • The chicken looks dried out or has a weird texture.
  • If the chicken has been left out of the fridge for too long.

Serving Suggestions Post-Reheating

Now that you know how to reheat orange chicken, let’s dive into the perfect ways to plate it and enhance its flavors.

The best side dishes to accompany reheated orange chicken

Not only reheat orange chicken; there are many things to serve with orange chicken.

  • Steamed Jasmine Rice: Fluffy and aromatic, jasmine rice pairs wonderfully with the tangy sauce of the orange chicken, soaking up any extra sauce and creating a balanced bite.
  • Spring Rolls: Opt for vegetable- or chicken-filled spring rolls with a crispy, golden-brown wrapper. The crunch of the spring roll combined with its warm filling offers a contrast to the sweetness of the orange chicken.
  • Noodles: Go for thin chow mein noodles, stir-fried with soy sauce, ginger, and honey. Toss in some sliced green onions and bean sprouts for added texture and flavor.
  • Stir-Fried Vegetables: Consider a vibrant mix of broccoli florets, julienne carrots, and thinly sliced bell peppers. Sauté them in a dash of sesame oil with minced garlic until tender-crisp. The freshness of the veggies will complement the richness of the orange chicken.
'Stir-Fried Vegetables' is one of the best side dishes with orange chicken
‘Stir-Fried Vegetables’ is one of the best side dishes with orange chicken

Sauce touch-ups for enhanced flavor

  • Fresh Orange Zest: Grate the outer peel of a washed orange to get the fine orange zest. Sprinkling this over your reheated orange chicken can add a fresh citrus aroma and intensify the orange flavor.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: Lightly toast white sesame seeds in a pan until they’re golden and aromatic. Sprinkle these on your chicken for a nutty taste and a delightful little crunch.
  • Soy Sauce or Teriyaki Drizzle: A gentle drizzle of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce can deepen the flavors if the chicken feels a tad dry or needs a salty kick. The saltiness will complement the sweet and tangy orange sauce, making each bite more savory and juicy.


How do you reheat Panda Express orange chicken in the air fryer?

To heat this chicken, set your air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and let it warm for 5–10 minutes. This gets it hot and keeps it crunchy.

How do you reheat leftover Chinese chicken?

To warm up leftover Chinese chicken, like General Tso, turn your oven to 350 degrees F. Put the chicken on a tray with some parchment paper or foil. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning it over once. Take it out when it’s hot.

How long can I store leftover orange chicken in the fridge before reheating?

You can store leftover orange chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days before reheating. Be sure to check whether it still has good quality or not

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