We tested frozen Trader Joe’s orange chicken in the air fryer. Our results were great and it’s a game changer! We’re obsessed with the texture and flavor of air fryer Trader Joe’s frozen foods in their stocked freezer aisle. t’s just as good as takeout!

Air Fryer Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken Recipe in a bowl

Air Fryer Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken from Frozen

Air fryer Trader Joe’s Orange chicken is amazing and the best way to reheat one of Trader Joe’s most popular frozen foods. The hot circulating air cooks the already precooked chicken nuggets to perfection. The crust of the chicken is amazing and within minutes it’s perfectly crunchy on the outside and reheated on the inside. All you need to do is to add the heated sauce and your mandarin chicken dinner is complete. Way easier and more budget friendly than take out! 

Air Fryer Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken Recipe in a basket

Video: How to Air Fry Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken

Tips on How to Cook Trader Joe’s frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken in the Air Fryer

  • The good part about this is that the product is pretty consistent. So what ever location you buy the bag at, they’re sure to be the same size. 
  • Make sure to lay the frozen chicken in a single layer for even cooking.
  • All air fryers cook a little differently so you’ll have to adjust timing accordingly. Our timing in the recipe box below talks more about where to start. 
  • The sauce is easily heated on the microwave so that saves a pot to wash. Although the instructions on the bag say that you can heat the sauce on the stove top, we find it easier in the microwave. 
  • Seriously these air fried frozen chicken nuggets are good on their own without the sauce! If you’re kids are craving chicken nuggets these are way better than other brands. The crunchy crust on the outside is so good and seasoned perfectly. 
  • If you want to make it healthier air fry some broccoli, cauliflower or other vegetables after the chicken is cooked. Just make sure the vegetable is of the type and size to cook around the same time as the chicken.
  • All recipe details are in the recipe box below.
  • Pro-Tip: here’s our favorite tools to help make air frying easier:
Evo Oil Sprayer
Evo Oil Sprayer

We LOVE Evo Oil Sprayers. Not the prettiest, but they’re functional and spritz oil great! They don’t clog up like many others we’ve bought. There’s different styles, but all seem to have the same great spray head. Works great for grilling!

8.5" Square Blue Silicone Mat
Perforated Silicone Mat

There are Square Mats & Round Mats. These perforated non-stick silicone mats are used to cook food in your air fryer or steamer to minimize sticking. Holes allow hot circulating air to cook the food & keeps the food from sticking.

Perforated Parchment Paper
Perforated Parchment Paper

Parchment sheets are great for your air fryer or bamboo steamer (food tends to stick most on wire basket or tray). Choose from different sizes, shapes, white and brown (unbleached). Holes allow air to cook food evenly.

Air Fryer Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken Recipe in a bowl
Air Fryer Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken Recipe- AirFryerWorld.com

Air Fryer Trader Joe’s Frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken

Trader Joe’s Frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken has a cult like fan base and for good reason. It is quick, easy and delicious. In the air fryer, it is even more so. The chicken can be cooked in the air fryer straight from the freezer, no need to thaw. Just remove the sauce, air fry the chicken, and heat the sauce in the microwave or stove top while the chicken cooks. For a little added deliciousness, add a handful of chopped cilantro and/or green onion to sprinkle on when eating.
4.67 from 12 votes

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  • 22 ounces (624 g) Trader Joe’s Frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken
  • optional – chopped cilantro &/or green onion , for garnish
  • optional – cooked rice to serve with chicken



  • Place the frozen orange chicken in the air fryer basket and spread out into a single even layer. No oil spray is needed. Set the sauce aside (do not sauce the chicken yet).
    Frozen trader joes mandarin orange chicken in air fryer basket
  • Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for 8 minutes. Shake and flip the chicken pieces over and then continue to Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for another 2-4 minutes or until heated through and crispy.
    Cooked chicken in air fryer basket
  • Warm the orange sauce in microwave for 1 minute or on stovetop for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Toss cooked chicken with as much sauce as desired. Garnish with optional cilantro and/or green onion and serve on cooked rice if desired.
    Tossing sauce with the cooked chicken

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).


YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 320kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 330mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g

Other Sauce Options for Air Fryer Orange Chicken

TJ’s orange chicken recipe is great but we do find that the sauce can be a little on the sweet side. If you don’t want to use the Trader Joe’s sauce packets, you can use other sauces. Just follow the instructions that we have in the recipe box, then you can substitute these other sauce ideas:

  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Ponzu sauce
  • bbq sauce
  • honey mustard
  • chili crunch, chili oil or other hot sauces
  • Sesame seeds
  • drizzle of simple soy sauce
  • some fresh grated ginger
  • dash of black chinese vinegar
  • Serve with fried rice, brown rice or your favorite grain! This is so good, you won’t have any leftover orange chicken.
foods collage in a basket