Easy Kung Pao Chicken is packed with tender chicken and vegetables, and ready in under 30 minutes! This one pan dinner has the best sauce and is faster than takeout!
Kung Pao Chicken:
Kung Pao Chicken is a traditional Chinese dish that most of us are familiar with, and this is my quick at home version! It tastes kind of savory, and kind of sweet with some good spice from red chilis! This is one of our favorite take out at home dinners. It’s really faster than ordering in, and honestly tends to have more flavor and be less greasy, in my opinion. The inspiration for this recipe came from my preference to cook at home whenever we can! We make this one at least once a month, it’s a regular like our flavorful Chicken Stir Fry and classic Lo Mein Recipe too! The best part is that this dinner uses ingredients that are really easy to find! You shouldn’t have to make any trips to a specialty store, and may already even have everything on hand to make it! The chicken in this dish is fast because it doesn’t need to be breaded/fried at all! It’s simply seared on the stove with veggies and coated in a seriously mouthwatering sauce!
Kung Pao Chicken Recipe Notes:
- First things first, this recipe calls for dried red chili peppers! You shouldn’t have too much of an issue finding these dried Chinese red peppers at most grocery stores. As you can see, the chili’s I used are pretty small, but they do pack a punch! If you can’t find the small peppers, you can use larger ones and then seed/and cut them smaller. Another great option is to use chili paste/chili garlic paste instead, which is really easy to find in any Asian grocery aisle.
- Let’s talk about the nuts in this recipe! I love using cashews and peanuts because it gives really good texture and flavor! You can use all cashews, or all peanuts if you prefer. Keep in mind, you can leave the nuts out, but it won’t taste quite the same.
- I typically use chicken breast for this recipe because I always have them on hand. You can also use boneless/skinless chicken thighs and chop those up into bite sized pieces as well.
- This recipe is great to make ahead and freeze for later! Or, make a double batch and freeze half! Cook as directed, cool, and then freeze in a large zip-top bag, or whatever freezer container you prefer for up to 3 months. Then, all you need to do is thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating gently on the stove and serving with fresh cooked rice!
Easy Kung Pao Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Green Bell Pepper deseeded and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 Red Bell Pepper deseeded and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Garlic
- 2 teaspoons Finely Minced Ginger
- 10-12 Dried Red Chilis*
- ½ Cup Cashews
- ½ Cup Peanuts
- 1 Pound Chicken Breast, Cut into bite sized pieces
- ½ Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Chicken Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- Sliced Green Onions and Rice For Serving OPTIONAL
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the green and red bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add the garlic and ginger, red chilis, cashews and peanuts and cook for another minute.
- Push the veggies to the side and add the chicken to the center. Cook the chicken through, stirring constantly for about 4-5 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, chicken broth, and cornstarch. Pour over the chicken and bring the sauce to a low simmer.
- Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes before removing the pan from the heat.
- Allow the dish to cool for a couple of minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a bit before serving over white rice and garnishing with freshly chopped spring onions.