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Kung Pao Chicken

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A delicious Asian dish that’s perfect to serve with rice, noodles, or even to stuff sandwiches.

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A horizonal shot of the Kung Pao Chicken dish being served in a white bowl next to a white napkin.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao Chicken is a Chinese restaurant take-out favorite for my family. We love the sweet and sour flavor of the Kung Pao sauce that packs a small kick from the Sichuan peppercorns.

This is a great dish to whip together for a last-minute weeknight dinner. And is typically served with mountains of jasmine rice. However, you can enjoy the Kung Pao Chicken in sandwiches or with noodles.

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A Full overhead shot featuring all of the ingredients in the Kung Pao Chicken recipe.

Kung Pao Sauce

Making the Kung Pao sauce is very easy and involves ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or Asian market. In my Kung Pao sauce, I used the following ingredients. Please feel free to sub out ingredients you have on hand.

Sauce Ingredients

Fresh Vegetables: Bell peppers, garlic, green onions, and ginger.
Spices and Sauces: sesame oil, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, sesame oil, peanuts, and brown sugar.

Kung Pao Sauce Steps

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A small bowl with oyster sauce being added to the soy sauce.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A small bowl with brown sugar being added.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A small bowl with corn starch being added.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Kung pao chicken sauce ready to be added to dish.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A white bowl with the raw chicken ingredient.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A white bowl with raw chicken and a special sauce used in the recipe.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Raw chicken in a bowl with the kung pao sauce ingredients.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Raw chicken inside of sauce being set aside before it's cooked.

Recipe Notes

  • I love to serve this over rice or with noodles.
  • If you want to bring the heat up add 1 Tsp red pepper.

Common Kung Pao Chicken Questions

Do I need to marinate my Kung Pao Chicken?

No, you do not need to marinate your chicken pieces in the kung pao sauce. This recipe was developed to help make your weeknight dinner’s a breeze.

Is this an authentic Kung Pao Chicken Recipe?

No, this recipe is a westernized version of the original Kung Pao Chicken dish in China. While the original dish packs more of a punch with the heat, this recipe is a more mild version of the original dish

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Upclose shot of the finished Kung Pao Chicken dish displaying the red bell peppers, chicken pieces in the savory sauce.

Can I add more vegetables?

Of course! Please feel free to add in any of your favorite vegetables that you and your family love.

What Chicken should I use?

I prefer to use chicken thighs in my recipes, however, you can use chicken breast or tenderloins. Simply cut up the chicken pieces into the recommended size in the recipe card.

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Overhead shot of brown sugar and ginger root.

Is Chinese food unhealthy?

I believe that any cuisine can be healthy so long as you are conscious of how you prepare the dish. Opt to add low sodium soy sauce and other ingredient alternatives to make this dish lighter, yet still, keep its delicious flavor.

What does Kung Pao taste like?

Kung Pao sauce has a strong flavor that is sweet, sour, and savory. Typically made to be very spicy, this recipe allows you to control the heat index making it perfect for families.

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Up-close shot of the Kung Pao Chicken dish showcasing the fresh vegetables used in this dish along with the chicken in a savory sauce.

If you love stir-fried chicken then you will love this easy Chinese take-out-inspired Kung Pao Chicken recipe. Simply add the chicken as instructed in the recipe card and then stir fry it with the sauce. Then serve with your favorite side dish!

Love Asain-inspired recipes? Try some of my other Asian dishes on my site such as my Vegetarian Korean Noodles, Filipino Chicken Adobo, Pressure Cooker Filipino Leche Flan, and Thai Green Curry Noodles.

Kung Pao Chicken Cooking Steps

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Adding the previously set aside chicken to the preheated skillet.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Cooking the chicken in a skillet until it is cooked through.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Adding the fresh cut red bell peppers to the cooled kung pao chicken in the skillet.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Adding garlic to the kung pao chicken skillet.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Adding the premade sauce set aside earlier to the kung pao chicken skillet.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Letting the fresh cut vegetables and chicken simmer together in the skillet.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Cooking the peanuts in the kung pao chicken skillet.
Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Closeup of the finished Kung Pao Chicken dish being scooped up with a large spoon.
Yield: 4

Kung Pao Chicken

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Up-close shot of the Kung Pao Chicken dish showcasing the fresh vegetables used in this dish along with the chicken in a savory sauce.

Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. A delicious Asian dish that’s perfect to serve with rice, noodles, or even to stuff sandwiches.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound chicken breasts, diced
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 ½ Tbsp cornstarch
  • ⅓ Cup soy sauce
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tsp ginger, minced
  • ½ Cup peanuts
  • ¼ Cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil optional

Instructions

  1. In a bowl combine the diced chicken with 1 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Toss to coat and set aside.
    Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Raw chicken inside of sauce being set aside before it's cooked.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the soy sauce, with the water, oyster sauce, brown sugar and remaining cornstarch. Stir until everything is well combined. Set aside.
    Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Kung pao chicken sauce ready to be added to dish.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, around 5 to 7 minutes.
    Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Cooking the chicken in a skillet until it is cooked through.
  4. Add the peppers, garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, and ginger, and continue cooking for 5 more minutes or until the bell pepper is softened.
    Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Adding garlic to the kung pao chicken skillet.
  5. Add the sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, cook until the sauce has thickened, around 4 minutes. Add the peanuts and green onions and cook for 4 more minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve topped with more green onions.
    Better than Chinese takeout, make this Kung Pao Chicken at home. Closeup of the finished Kung Pao Chicken dish being scooped up with a large spoon.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1443mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 42g
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