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Kung Pao Chicken

close up over head shot of Kung Pao chicken in a dish
Our Kung Pao chicken recipe is the perfect easy meal for a weeknight dinner. Juicy chicken and bell peppers are coated in a homemade ginger and garlic sauce for a flavorful dish that cures the craving for Chinese takeout.
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Table of Contents
  1. KUNG PAO CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS KUNG PAO CHICKEN RECIPE
  3. STORAGE
  4. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  5. JUMP TO RECIPE

This easy, homemade Kung Pao chicken recipe is so delicious. The combination of tender chicken, and crunchy vegetables that have been smothered in a tangy, flavorful sauce is truly irresistible. Serve over a bed of steamed rice, and you have a completed meal that the whole family will love.

If you’re looking for a couple more Chinese takeout inspired chicken dishes, be sure to try these two. Both this Crockpot Orange Chicken and this Firecracker Chicken recipes are bursting with tangy flavors and super easy to make!

close up shot of Kung Pao chicken on a white plate

MORE CHINESE RECIPES:
Shrimp Fried Rice | Chicken Lo Mein


KUNG PAO CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

Kung Pao chicken raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need: 

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry, divided 
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided (plus more as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste 
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic paste 
  • 1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 3 green onions, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 8 to 10 chiles de árbol
  • ½ cup peanuts

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

Vinegar: You can substitute apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar in place of the dry sherry.

Ginger and Garlic: You can substitute finely minced fresh ginger and garlic in place of the ginger and garlic pastes.

Peppers: You can use any combination and color of bell peppers for this recipe! Orange and yellow would work, too.

Red Chile Paste: You can substitute red chile paste if you can’t find the peppercorns and/or dried chiles, but their distinctive flavors are really nice in this dish.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS KUNG PAO CHICKEN RECIPE

FOR THE MARINADE

STEP ONE: Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks and pat dry with a paper towel.

STEP TWO: Whisk together 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water to make a slurry. Whisk until marinade is thoroughly combined.

Kung Pao chicken process shot

STEP THREE: Add chicken pieces to marinade and toss to combine. Set aside in refridgerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

Kung Pao chicken process shot

FOR THE SAUCE

STEP ONE: In a medium bowl whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, sugar, rice vinegar, ginger paste, garlic paste, sichuan peppercorns, and remaining cornstarch/water slurry. 

Kung Pao chicken process shot

PRO TIP: There is some mild-medium heat and spice in this dish, mainly from the chiles and the sichuan peppercorns. For more heat, saute the peppercorns and/or the chiles for a bit longer before adding to sauce. 

STEP TWO: Remove stems and seeds from the bell peppers and discard. Discard white parts of the green onions.

STEP THREE: Cut bell peppers into 1 inch chunks and slice green onions into 1 inch sections.

Kung Pao chicken process shot

FOR THE CHICKEN

STEP FOUR: Drain marinating chicken and discard liquid.

STEP FIVE: Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add drained chicken and saute until browned on all sides and the meat is white and cooked all the way through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

COOKING THE SAUCE

STEP ONE: Add 1 more tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet. Add bell peppers and dried chile peppers. Saute for 1 minute.

STEP TWO: Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet with the peppers and onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Kung Pao chicken process shot

STEP THREE: Add cooked chicken, green onions, and peanuts to the pan and saute to warm all ingredients through.

Kung Pao chicken process shot

STEP FOUR: Serve immediately.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: This makes for a great freezer meal, and can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

close up shot of Kung Pao chicken in a dish

Next time you’re tempted to order from your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant, you might want to think twice. With this simple and delicious Kung Pao chicken recipe, you can make your own flavorful dish, right from the comfort of home. This will definitely hit the spot and it’s even better than takeout.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up over head shot of Kung Pao chicken in a dish

Kung Pao Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Our Kung Pao chicken recipe is the perfect easy meal for a weeknight dinner. Juicy chicken and bell peppers are coated in a homemade ginger and garlic sauce for a flavorful dish that cures the craving for Chinese takeout.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry divided (you can substitute with apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce divided
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil divided (plus more as needed)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste or finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic paste or finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 3 green onions plus more for garnish if desired
  • 8 to 10 chiles de arbol
  • 1/2 cup peanuts

Instructions
 

For marinade

  • Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks and pat dry with a paper towel
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water to make a slurry. Whisk until marinade is thoroughly combined. 
  • Add chicken pieces to marinade and toss to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

For sauce

  • In a medium bowl whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, sugar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger paste, garlic paste, sichuan peppercorns, and remaining cornstarch/water slurry.
  • Remove stems and seeds from the bell peppers and discard. Discard white parts of the green onions.
  • Cut bell peppers into 1 inch chunks and slice green onions into 1 inch sections.

For cooking the chicken

  • Drain marinating chicken and discard liquid.
  • Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add drained chicken and saute until browned on all sides and the meat is white and cooked all the way through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

For cooking the sauce

  • Add 1 more tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet. Add bell peppers and dried chile peppers. Saute for 1 minute. 
  • Pour sauce mixture into skillet with the vegetables (peppers and onions) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens. 
  • Add cooked chicken, green onions, and peanuts to the pan and saute to warm all ingredients through.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 953IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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