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Make Tasteful Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken in Air Fryer!

Do you want to know how to prepare Trader Joe’s orange chicken the BEST way? Use an air fryer! Orange chicken made with this Trader Joe’s air fryer recipe is flavorful and crispy. You will enjoy how simple it is to prepare frozen orange chicken for air frying—it only takes 12 minutes! Check out why Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken is a perennial customer favorite!

Ingredients of Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken

Trader Joe's Orange Chicken ingredients
Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken ingredients

Trader Ming’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, one package.

The bag contains two packets of orange sauce and the frozen breaded chicken. Now that you are curious, what ingredients are in Trader Joe’s frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken? Is the orange chicken from Trader Joe’s white meat?

No, the orange chicken from Trader Joe’s uses dark-fleshed chicken. The following is a list of what is in TJ’s Mandarin Orange Chicken according to the package:

  • Chicken dark meat
  • Water
  • Corn starch
  • A blend of unbleached enriched flour and barley flour
  • Whole eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Green onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

What Makes Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken So Good?

This Chinese meal was expertly caught by Trader Joe’s and packaged as a beneficial frozen food.

Trader Ming’s Mandarin Orange Chicken comprises crispy, battered pieces of dark flesh chicken served with a sweet and sour orange sauce.

If you are curious about the whole ingredients list inside, here is the complete list:

– Battered chicken dark meat chunks: (chicken dark meat, water, corn starch, flour [unbleached enriched wheat flour).

– Barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid.

– Whole eggs, vegetable oil, salt, white pepper, green onion, garlic, and ginger.

– Sauce: (sugar, water, vinegar, light soy sauce [soybean, water, salt, wheat flour).

– Modified food starch, dark soy sauce (soybean, water, straw mushroom extractives).

– Salt, wheat flour, garlic, and green onions.

– Ginger, white pepper, sake, mandarin orange peel.

– Orange juice, red chile, soybean oil.

How To Make Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken In Air Fryer?

Make Trader Joe's Orange Chicken In Air Fryer
Make Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken In Air Fryer

Let us find out how to prepare the orange chicken from Trader Joe’s! The orange chicken from Trader Joe’s does not need to be defrosted. It can be prepared from frozen!

Put the frozen sauce packets in a medium bowl and fill it with water to start. As the chicken cooks, the sauce will thaw out—no need to spill anything on a pot or pan.

Your air fryer needs five minutes to reach 400 F (200 F). Take care when removing the air fryer’s hot trays.

Spread the chicken out in a single layer on two preheated air fryer baking pans. (If you have a small air fryer basket, you might need to cook the chicken in many batches.) Reload the air fryer with the trays.

*** Read more: How To Reheat Quiche In An Air Fryer? – Easy Steps Guide

How To Serve Trader Ming‘s Mandarin Orange Chicken?

You can add green onions, sesame seeds, or even pieces of mandarin orange to this dish as a garnish!

Several excellent frozen fried rice alternatives are also available at Trader Joe’s. You can get chicken and veggie fried rice in the frozen food aisle. Alternatively, you can choose cauliflower rice as a reduced-calorie option.

We strongly advise mixing broccoli and bell pepper right into the orange chicken if you wish to serve this frozen dinner with veggies as a complete meal.

Mixing different vegetables with your chicken can help absorb any extra sauce and work exceptionally well because this frozen orange chicken comes with a generous amount of orange sauce.

Can You Make Orange Chicken Without An Air Fryer?

Of course!

This frozen orange chicken can be baked for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees. However, the fact that the air fryer cooks food half the time is another reason I like it.

If sautéing is your preferred cooking method, you can fry the chicken pieces for 8–10 minutes in a stovetop skillet with cooking oil. To avoid burning, be sure to move the chicken around frequently.

In some situations, a microwave can be an excellent tool. The crisp is the most pleasing aspect of this orange chicken; you cannot get that in a microwave.

Benefits of air-frying Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken

Benefits of air-frying Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken
Benefits of air-frying Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken

– Simple: You may quickly achieve consistent results using (highly processed) air fryer frozen meal recipes. This one can be made by children too! (At least the children are old enough to operate the air fryer.)

– No deep frying is required: Unlike when cooking chicken on the stove, there is no need to add more oil to the chicken.

– Cooks more quickly: Compared to an oven, an air fryer often requires less time to preheat. Additionally, it takes 12 minutes to prepare your chicken (versus 20 minutes in the oven). It is pretty practical.

– As a starter or entrée: This orange chicken works well in both capacities. Put the chicken on a tray with toothpicks for picking up individual pieces to serve as an appetizer. As an alternative, combine rice and vegetables to create a Trader Joe’s orange chicken bowl.

– Dairy-free: Most special diets do not function well with this frozen orange chicken. However, this is a fantastic choice if you want something without dairy.

– This air-fried frozen orange chicken, in our opinion, tastes even better than the oven-baked version.

*** Read more: Healthy Recipe of Waffle Fries With Air Dryer [Step-by-step]

Calories, Net Carbs, Protein

Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken contains 533 calories, 38 grams of net carbohydrates, and 35 grams of protein per serving. Nutritional information is given for a third of the chicken and a third of the sauce. The label recommends eating only one-fifth of the container, which results in 320 calories, 23 grams of net carbs, and 21 grams of protein.

5 Smart Upgrades For Trader Joe’s Most Popular Freezer Find

5 Smart upgrades for Trader Joe's most popular freezer find
5 Smart upgrades for Trader Joe’s most popular freezer find

#1. Play Around With Time And Temperature

There are many advantages to cooking Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken in the oven, including hands-free operation and the ability to roast vegetables on the opposite side of the sheet pan. However, the time and temperature instructions on the packaging leave a little to be desired since some people report their chicken not being crispy enough. There are two simple methods to make this approach better. Bake the chicken for longer or at a higher temperature.

#2. Fire Up Your Air Fryer 

The most well-known trick is to cook Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken in your air fryer. For really crispy results, heat the air fryer to 400°F and cook the chicken for just 10 minutes in the basket. The only drawback is that? The size of your air fryer may require you to cook your chicken in batches. To ensure the airflow necessary for this upgrade, you should arrange the parts in a single layer with some room between them.

#3. Simmer Down The Sauce 

The Mandarin orange sauce is frozen, so according to Trader Joe’s instructions, you should melt it in the microwave to make it liquid enough to coat the chicken. However, even on Trader Joe’s blog, heating the sauce is advised for extra flavor. The basic concept is to heat a skillet or wok on the stove, add the sauce, bring it to a simmer, and cook until reduced while the chicken cooks in the oven or air fryer. After you combine everything, drying out the extra moisture in the sauce will also prevent the chicken from becoming soggy.

#4. Finish Strong 

While the sauce is hot, many devotees like to enhance its flavor; popular additives include ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes, which make the sauce taste more like a fantastic Chinese takeaway. The simmering sauce can be flavored with chopped green onions or sesame seeds, or they can be sprinkled on top of the Mandarin Orange Chicken right before serving.

#5. Turn It Into A Meal

Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken is well-known for being excellent and straightforward to prepare, but it is not precisely a complete meal by itself. Although other variants are arguably more enjoyable, you will most frequently find it served with TJ’s fried rice or over rice. The completed chicken may also be used to make sandwiches that the whole family will like. Prepare some TJ’s brioche buns, pre-shredded coleslaw, and sliced pickles, then top them with the cooked and sauced chicken. Alternately, prepare a pound of pasta, steam some sugar snap peas, and combine the pasta with the sauce.

Served Trader Joe's Orange Chicken with over rice to make a meal
Served Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken with over rice to make a meal

Expert Tips

This recipe is at level 3 (weight maintenance and active lifestyle). Is the orange chicken from Trader Joe’s healthy? With its sweet and fatty combination, this product is a highly processed meal that might be challenging to consume in moderation. The orange chicken from Trader Joe’s is marked on the packaging as having five servings. 

There are a few ways to improve Trader Joe’s orange chicken if you do not want to make it from scratch. The sauce should first be given some fresh orange zest to enhance the orange flavor.

Additionally, be sure to include some vegetables in your dish. The frozen orange chicken from Trader Ming is not strictly intended to constitute a whole dinner. You can increase your feeling of fullness by including some high-volume, low-calorie vegetables on your plate in addition to the orange chicken.

Third, you can think about drizzling the chicken with less orange sauce. The majority of Trader Joe’s orange sauce is added sugar and oil. Sadly, the breaded chicken tends to “suck up” a lot of the sauce; thus, using less may not feel like enough.

*** Read more: Hot Pocket Air Fryer: Best Recipe For Homemade Hot Pocket

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Does Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken Have MSG?

The orange chicken from Trader Joe’s does not include any extra monosodium glutamate (MSG). However, there might (or might not) be a tiny quantity of naturally occurring MSG. 

Because MSG is not stated in the ingredients for either the Mandarin orange chicken or the Mandarin chicken sauce from Trader Joe’s, we can be confident that it has not been added. However, many substances naturally contain MSG (including healthy foods like cheese and tomatoes). Foods that naturally contain MSG may not be packaged with the words “no MSG” or “no added MSG.”

#2. How Long To Put Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken In The Air Fryer? 

In an air fryer heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, air fry frozen orange chicken for 12 minutes (200C). Halfway through cooking, turn the chicken over and rearrange the racks in the air fryer oven (6 minutes).

After cooking, use a meat thermometer to check the chicken. It ought to have attained a safe internal temperature of 165F (74C).

The chicken pieces come in various sizes; if necessary, air fry the more significant portions for a bit longer.

Trader Joe's Orange Chicken needs air frying for 12 minutes
Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken needs air frying for 12 minutes

#3. Is Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken Pre-Cooked?

The chicken underneath TJ’s orange chicken’s breading may be undercooked or raw, even if it looks to be cooked.

To be secure, your frozen orange chicken must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74C). Check a few of the larger chunks of chicken with a meat thermometer. If you can avoid food poisoning, there is no reason to take the chance.

#4. When To Add Sauce?

After using your air fryer, thaw the sauce packets and coat the chicken pieces. The chicken from Trader Joe’s is done cooking. The battered chicken will soak up a lot of the orange sauce, despite how watery it initially appears to be. It is now ready for enjoyment!

#5. What About The Leftovers?

In a closed container, leftover cooked orange chicken can be stored in the fridge for 3–4 days. If the chicken has been coated with sauce, it could lose some of its crispiness.

Try air-frying half of the bag at a time if you know you will not finish it. You can use one of the two sauce packets with the frozen orange chicken to make a half batch. Keep the second sauce packet and frozen orange chicken in the freezer until you are ready to prepare and eat it.

How to reheat the orange chicken from Trader Joe’s? Reheat cooked orange chicken in the microwave for one to two minutes. The chicken’s sweet orange sauce can burn if heated up in the air fryer.

#6. How Much Does Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken Cost?

As of this writing, a bag of Trader Joe’s orange chicken retails for $4.99. Location may affect the price.

#7. Is Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken Gluten-Free?

The Mandarin Chicken from Trader Ming is not gluten-free. Wheat is used in the sauce, and the batter is used to coat the chicken. If you do not want to prepare it from scratch, you might consider serving your preferred GF breaded chicken with gluten-free orange sauce.

#8. Is There Trader Joe’s Vegan Chicken?

Do they have vegetarian orange chicken at Trader Joe’s? Yes! A plant-based substitute for Trader Joe’s Mandarin Chicken is the Chickenless Orange Chicken.

Trader Joe’s Vegan Chicken
Trader Joe’s Vegan Chicken

#9. How To Cook Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken In Skillet?

You can prepare Trader Joe’s orange chicken on the stovetop in a heated skillet with some oil. If you are trying to decide between cooking it in the oven or the skillet, we recommend the oven. Compared to orange chicken cooked on the stove, baking orange chicken requires less care and no oil.

#10. Can You Microwave Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken?

You may reheat the Mandarin orange chicken sauce in the microwave (remove it from the plastic packaging first). However, the chicken should be baked or air-dried. In the microwave, it will lose most of its crunchy quality.

*** Read more: How To Make Crinkle-Cut Fries: Quick And Easy!


Depending on your medical requirements and personal tastes, all of the recipes on this page may or may not be suitable.

The nutritional data is being offered as a courtesy and is an estimate. Depending on the specific brands and products you use, it will vary. Please do not stress yourself too much about the figures since calorie information on food labels can be wildly wrong.

Let’s start a meal!

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