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Fast Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

This Kung Pao Chicken Recipe is savory, saucy, and sensational. It’s one of our favorite healthy and fast chicken recipes for any busy weeknight. This amazing Kung Pao Chicken is doubly delicious over a bowl of fluffy rice. 

kung pao chicken recipe chicken recipes

Healthier Kung Pao Chicken that’s better than takeout

This entire winter, I’ve been dragging my sleepy self out of bed by 6am every Saturday morning for long runs under the fierce Minnesotan weather that has stubbornly refused to lighten up.

Every single time, I re-ask my exhausted brain why I keep doing this to myself.

After moving forward as fast as my Nikes will go for 3 hours on snow and ice, I’m pretty much useless the rest of the day. I end up scatterbrained all afternoon and doing wonky things like drowning my earbuds in the washing machine.

Hubby had me try resuscitating those soaked earbuds by immersing them in a bag of uncooked rice.  And wouldn’t you know…it did the trick. My  earbuds somehow work beautifully again, thanks to rice.

I’m totally not advising anyone to bury their electronics in jasmine rice, but I am giving you something delicious to accompany that rice instead: this awesome Kung Pao Chicken.

This Kung Pao Chicken recipe is one of those chicken recipes that your family will gobble up as quickly as you dish it up. It’s fast, healthy, and way better than takeout…

kung pao chicken recipe chicken recipes

What you’ll love about this Kung Pao Chicken

Here’s why this Kung Pao Chicken recipe is one of my favorite chicken recipes for busy weeknight dinners:

  • It’s fast and healthy
  • It’s boldly, deliciously flavorful
  • It’s loaded with veggies and protein all in one
  • It’s amazing over a bed of fluffy rice
  • It can be made in advance and reheats excellently

Plus, this Kung Pao Chicken recipe happens to be gluten free and dairy free, so everyone can enjoy.

kung pao chicken recipe chicken recipes

You’ll Like this Recipe, too:


Fast Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

This Kung Pao Chicken Recipe is savory, saucy, and sensational. It’s one of our favorite healthy and fast chicken recipes for any busy weeknight. This amazing Kung Pao Chicken is doubly delicious over a bowl of fluffy rice.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 9 mins
  • Total Time: 24 mins

Yield: 4-6 1x


  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 TB regular soy sauce
  • 4 tsp Asian rice cooking wine
  • For the Sauce:
  • 4 TB Asian seasoned rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp regular soy sauce
  • 4 tsp Hoisin sauce
  • 4 tsp toasted sesame oil (Asian aisle of most grocery stores)
  • 4 tsp pure honey
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • To Cook:
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 56 dried chilies
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange) seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cups green onions, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish


  1. Towel dry chicken pieces to remove excess liquid. Place chicken in a bowl and add all Marinade ingredients, stirring until all cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine all Sauce ingredients and stir well until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.
  3. In a large wok or large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until oil is hot. Add chilies, garlic, and ginger, continually stirring 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add marinated chicken and keep stirring until no longer pink in center, 3-5 minutes. Add bell pepper, stirring 1 minute. Add your Sauce, stirring to coat well and heat through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle on the green onions and transfer to serving dish or individual plates. Garnish with roasted peanuts if desired. Serve over cooked white or brown rice.
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: main dish, chicken
  • Cuisine: Asian, Chinese

Kitchen Stuff we Love:

Way Better than Takeout:

30-Minute Asian Orange Beef

asian orange beef

Healthy Garlic Szechuan Shrimp

Asian Sticky Rice

One-Pan Thai Fried Rice (GF)

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

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Recipe rating


    • Wendy Hampton

    I would like to try this recipe and have a question about the chilis. What is the name of the chilis I should use. Or do I just look for a small red chili?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Wendy! If your store carries Szechuan, Tianjin, or Thai red peppers, those are great options. Otherwise, any kind of dried small red chilies will work. Start with 5-6 chilies the first time, in case they are on the spicier side. Increase as needed 🙂 Hope you guys love this dish! 🙂

        • Wendy Hampton

        Excellent! Thanks so much for your help. There were just too many types of chilis and I wasn’t sure which I needed. Appreciate the advice to start with 5-6 chilies also! My husband cannot wait for me to try this! Cheers!

    • miljance93mommysup

    This is one of my favorites!

    • Dia Darling

    This looks good. I don’t like soy sauce so I’d probably mix some other sauce to add more flavor. I love editing recipes for my picky tastes.

    • Jennifer Prince

    That looks so delicious and moist! Sometimes when I cook chicken like that it surprisingly gets dry. I’ll have to try it this way! 🙂

    • Rochkirstin Sioco (@rochkirstin)

    I love kung pao chicken that has a lot of heat and with nuts. It’s the version I grew up with. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns.

    • Emily Fata

    Word to the wise: Don’t read your posts when you didn’t have the chance to eat lunch yet! Haha! I need to get over to the grocery store ASAP to pick up the ingredients to make this. It looks soooo yummy!

    • Kendra

    I love kung pao chicken and always thought it was too hard to make. I have to try out your recipe because it looks so good!

    • Bhushavali

    Looks good. Yeah, when a meal has both proteins as well as minerals/vitamins of veggies, its a best food. Add the carbohydrate from rice or bread, that’s wholesome.

    • Lyosha Varezhkina

    Rice and chicken is probably my favorite combo! very nice recipe!

    • Alicia Taylor at

    OH! I would love to try this with shrimp. It would replace my takeout nights!

    • Holly Lasha

    This looks awesome. I love kung pao chicken…I definitely need to try this recipe.

    • wanderlustbykelley

    Yummy, it does look and sound so delicious! I would change the chicken for a veggie substitute:)

    • Ithfifi Williams / IthinityBeauty

    Oh my goodness this looks so delicous. Its currently snowing here in the UK and that would make for such a warming and tasty dinner, yummy!

    • Thelittlelai: Beyond limits

    Wow, this healthy Kung Pao Chicken really looks luscious with a hot rice on the side. i truly admire those people who really know how to cook. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipe with us, such a kind of you.

    • Angela Ricardo Bethea

    Wow!! This Kung Pao Chicken recipe looks delicious and worth to try. I will definitely try to cook this for my hubby. He would really love this for sure.

    • Rose Mont

    I bet it is better then takeout. I don’t have the Asian rice vinegar or cooking wine. I have only made fried rice so another Asian dish would be fun!

    • alainamonster

    This looks like such a great recipe for busy families like mine. Sure to be a crowd pleaser. Pinned to include in my menu next week!

    • Courtney from Antipodean Adventurer

    Oh my lord this looks so delicious! Kung Pao chicken is one of my favorite dishes and I would always get it at Panda Express in America. Now I’m not in the USA anymore so I’ll just have to make this recipe instead! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • lucicoo

    Omg, this looks so delicious. I know my family would like this so I got to make this for them. Plus is super easy to make.

    • Megan

    Yummmm! This looks terrific 🙂 This looks so quick and easy!

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