Cooking with Oranges

I never thought about cooking with oranges when I was a young wife. Growing up in Ohio, we normally did not have oranges since they do not grow there. It was such a thrill on Christmas morning to arise and find a large basket of oranges under the Christmas tree. This was one of the rare times which we had lots of this fruit to eat. Some years we would have a few for Thanksgiving and on occasion Dad bought a couple to add to his fresh fruit salad. One thing for sure there was never enough to think about cooking with oranges.

Years ago I though oranges were only for eating fresh or squeezing the juice to drink. It was much later that we experienced the wonderful flavor or orange cream sickles and the delicious taste of Hostess orange filled cupcakes. Many years later, after moving to Orlando, Florida, a “whole new world” of the orange entered my life. However to my disappointment, back then Hostess orange filled cupcakes were not allowed to be sold in Florida. It was something about oranges being grown in Florida.

Back in the early eighties, oranges were grown all over Florida. We would ride Clermont to the Citrus Tower. A short ride in the elevator would lift us high in the sky to overlook all the beautiful citrus groves. Today, most of these groves have gone out of business. Most owners have shut down or moved to South America to grow oranges. Back in the “boom years” everyone knew all about cooking with oranges. Every place I went and every person I talked to had special orange recipes. It was very easy for me to accumulate a large collection for cooking with oranges. I was surprised all the different ways to use oranges; appetizers, entrees, soups, salads and of course all kinds of desserts and sweets.

Cooking with oranges can be done in a variety of different ways. You can use fresh oranges; the pulp, juice or peel or a combination. Orange extract and orange flavoring are commonly used in recipes. Sometimes you will see recipes using frozen orange juice, canned mandarin orange sections or orange liqueurs like Grand Marnier. I even have a few recipes which use bottled or canned drinking sodas and orange candies. All these add delicious flavor.

NOTE: If I have oranges which seem to be getting old, I cut them in half and place in a freezer bag in the freezer. It is easy to thaw out what you need when making an orange recipe.


Sesame Chicken with OrangesSesame Chicken with Oranges

Learn how to make sesame chicken with flavorful Mandarin orange peach sauce.

  • 1 Can (16 ounces) sliced cling peaches (Drain)
  • 3 Tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper 
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Can Mandarin orange segments (Drain)
  • 1 ½ Pounds chicken breast (Cut in 1 ½ inch pieces)
  • Cornstarch
  • Cooking oil
  • Sesame seeds

Place drained peaches in food processor; process until smooth and dump in small saucepan.

Add teriyaki sauce, cornstarch, sugar, pepper, garlic and ginger to the saucepan.

Cook and stir over medium low heat until thickened; add oranges and stir until hot.

Set pan off the heat.

Place about 1 inch of oil in a heavy deep skillet or pan; heat until a drop of water sizzles.

Sift cornstarch over the pieces of chicken turning to coat all sides.

Drop chicken in hot oil and cook until all sides are brown; drain on paper towels.

Place chicken in a shallow serving dish; pour warm sauce over the chicken.

Toss chicken pieces to coat with sauce; sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish.

Serves 4 to 6.


Beef and Broccoli Recipe with OrangesBeef and Broccoli Recipe with Oranges

Cooking with oranges adds a great flavor to this beef and broccoli recipe.

  • 1 Pound sirloin steak
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • ¾ Cup fresh orange juice
  • ¾ Cup plum preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 4 Teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 Green onion sliced (Green and white parts)
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • ½ Teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ Orange (Remove white from sections)
  • 1 Head broccoli

Cut broccoli in floweret’s; set aside.

Cut steak against the grain about 2 to 3 inches long and ¼ inch wide. 

Heat oil over high in a large heavy skillet.

Add steak to skillet and stir fry about 2 to 3 minutes; set off heat.

Combine orange juice, preserves, sherry, soy sauce, cornstarch in a small saucepan.

Add the orange peel, garlic, red pepper and green onion to the pan.

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture starts to boil and thickens.

Pour mixture over beef; add orange sections and broccoli.

Toss over heat just until hot; serve immediately.


This is a little different than the typical Mexican caramel flan. Cooking with oranges makes it extra special.

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 6 Eggs
  • Orange slices

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Make a hot water bath by placing a deep pie pan in a slightly larger pan.

Hole the pie pan down so it will not float; fill larger pan with just enough hot water to go around pie pan.

Remove pie pan and place larger pan in the preheated oven while mixing flan.

Place ¼ cup of the sugar in a small heavy pan over medium heat.

As the sugar begins to melt tip and swirl pan until sugar is completely melted.

Syrup should be a clear amber color; carefully pour syrup into pie pan.

Use hot pads to quickly tilt pan so the syrup covers the bottom of pan; set on cooling rack.

NOTE: The syrup will harden quickly so work fast; be careful because it is very hot.

In a large mixing bowl combine remaining ¾ cup of sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, orange peel and eggs.

Beat egg mixture until well blended; pour egg mixture in prepared pie pan.

Place pie pan in the pan of water in the oven; bake uncovered about 25 minutes.

NOTE: Push back of spoon gently in center; it should form a crevice about 3/8 inch deep.

Remove pie pan from the oven and cool slightly on rack; cover and refrigerate until cold.

Run a knife around the edges to loosen flan; cover with serving plate and invert.

NOTE: Scrape all the caramel from the pan on top of the flan.

Cut in wedges to serve; garnish with orange slices.

Serves 6.


When you are cooking with oranges you can make delicious fruit salsas. 

  • 1 Can (11 ounces) Mandarin oranges (Drain and chop fine)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • ¾ Cup shredded low fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2/3 Cup finely chopped pitted dates
  • 1/3 Cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Combine mandarin oranges, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl; set salsa aside.

Place 2 tortillas on large baking sheet; sprinkle top with half of shredded cheese, cilantro and onion.

Top each with remaining tortillas; bake until hot about 5-8 minutes.

Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges; serve with orange salsa.


When cooking with oranges you can create delicious muffins like these.

  • 6 Tablespoons butter (Cut in pieces)
  • 1 ½ Cups sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Cup sour cream
  • ½ Teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 ¼ Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans
  • 3 Tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 2 Tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 375F degrees; coat mini muffin tins with vegetable spray.

In medium bowl cream butter with sugar; beat in the egg.

Stir sour cream and extract into butter mixture.

Sift together the flour, baking sodas and salt; blend into the batter.

Add the pecans, orange peel and juice; mix batter well.

Fill prepared pans ¾ full; bake until pick comes out clean about 15 minutes.

Makes about 36 mini muffins.

ORANGE CAKE RECIPE with orange glaze

You can make delicious cakes when you are cooking with oranges.

  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 7 Eggs, separated
  • 3 Cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup orange juice
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange glaze
  • Candied orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; lightly grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt cake pan.

In large mixing bowl beat on medium speed until creamy.

Slowly beat in sugar until fluffy about 5 minutes.

Beat egg yolks slightly; beat yolks into butter mixture until light and well blended.

Combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with orange juice and water.

Blend after each addition on low speed of the mixer; stir in vanilla.

With clean beaters beat egg whites on high speed of mixer until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into the batter; spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until a pick comes out clean.

IMMEDIATELY place the pan on a double layer of damp towels.

PRESS TOWELS up around the cake pan; let stand like this for 10 to 15 minutes.

Turn cake out of pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

Spoon orange glaze over the cake and top with orange zest.

Orange Glaze

  • 2 Large oranges
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 Cup lemon juice
  • 8 Egg yolks (lightly beat)
  • ½ Cup softened butter

Squeeze juice from oranges; strain out 1 cup of juice.

In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and the 1 cup of juice.

Whish well to blend; cook and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves about 10 minutes.

Stir about half of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; stir yolk mixture back into saucepan.

Cook and stir over low heat until thickened about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in butter until well blended; cool, cover and chill.

Candied Orange Zest

  • 2 Large oranges (Use peel from same 2 oranges for glaze)
  • 1 Cup water
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • Additional sugar

With a zester remove ONLY the orange part of the orange peel; cut in 2 inch strips.

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan; cook until boiling over medium heat.

REDUCE HEAT to low; stir in zest and cook 15 to 20 minutes to 220F degrees on thermometer.

Lift zest from mixture with slotted spoon; spread on wax paper to cool.

Sprinkle zest with additional sugar.


By cooking with oranges this citrus flavor is enhanced with orange juice.

  • 2 Pork tenderloins (Or 1 pork roast)
  • ½ Cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 Cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 Tablespoons rum
  • 5 Minced whole cloves
  • 2 Teaspoons oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper

Place pork in a large glass bowl; combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat.

Cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator overnight turning occasionally.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F degrees.

Transfer pork and marinade to a glass casserole baking dish.

Bake, basting often, until center of pork reaches 150F degrees or until thoroughly cooked.

Let pork rest five minutes before slicing.


When cooking with oranges, all kinds of other seasonings make many flavorful entrees.

  • 6 Chicken breasts halves (Boneless and skinless)
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 Teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 Cup orange juice (Divided)
  • ½ Cup chopped onion
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon crushed whole tarragon
  • 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 Oranges (Peeled and slice crosswise)
  • 1 Avocado (Peeled and sliced)

Pound chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet; brown chicken in melted butter.

Add to chicken the orange rind, ½ cup of orange juice, onion and seasonings.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 50 minutes or until tender.

Move chicken to a warm serving platter; keep warm.

Combine remaining ½ cup of orange juice and cornstarch stirring until smooth.

Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan drippings; cook and stir over low heat until thickened.

Arrange the orange and avocado slices around the chicken.

To serve spoon orange sauce over the chicken on platter; makes 6 servings.