Kung Pao Chicken {A Delicious, Asian-Inspired Dish!}

Kung Pao Chicken combines tender chunks of chicken, crisp peppers, and onions in a flavorful sweet and spicy sauce. Top with peanuts for some extra crunch! 

This easy dish is perfect served over rice and garnished with green onions!

Bowl of Kung Pao Chicken over rice, garnished with green onion.

What is Kung Pao Chicken?

Kung Pao chicken is a sweet and spicy stir-fry dish that originated in the Szechuan province of China. It’s made with chunks of chicken, veggies, peanuts, and of course, chili peppers (add a little or a lot).

Kung Pao chicken is a full meal in itself and chock-full of fresh veggies and tender chicken. This homemade, stir fry can be on the table in less than an hour. Perfect for a busy weeknight!

Overhead image of ingredients to make Kung Pao Chicken on a baking sheet.

What is Kung Pao Sauce?

This is the best recipe for Kung Pao sauce because it can be made as mild or spicy as you like it!

Tangy and full of flavor, this sauce is chock full of savory ingredients like soy sauce, chicken stock, and Hoisin, all blended together in one multi-purpose sauce! Perfect on rice and noodles, too!

Spicy or Mild

This recipe uses chili flakes as most kitchens have them on hand but you can add your favorite chilies. Add a little or a lot.

Overview of Kung Pao Chicken in a frying pan with chicken, green onions & sauce on the side.

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken

This simple recipe will make you wonder why you’ve been getting takeout all this time!

  1. Marinate chicken, and whisk together sauce ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Cook chicken about three-quarters of the way through and remove from skillet.
  3. Cook veggies adding the chicken and sauce back to the pan until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through.

Top with peanuts and green onions, and serve over a bed of rice or noodles.

How to Thicken Stir Fry Sauce

  • If your stir-fry sauce is too thin, just make a slurry to thicken it up!
  • The ratio for a slurry is 1:1, equal parts water and cornstarch.
  • Mix water and cornstarch together first, then add the slurry to Kung Pao sauce while whisking.

What to Serve With It

This easy dish can be made as spicy or mild as you like and is perfect served over a bed of white rice or ramen noodles!

But for a crunchy addition, try topping it with an easy Asian slaw or starting with a crispy appetizer of egg rolls! For some extra veggies add Sesame Ginger Bok Choy or Stir Fry Veggies.

Overview of Kung Pao Chicken in a frying pan.

Satisfying Stir-Fry Recipes

Did you enjoy this easy Kung Pao Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

A serving of Kung Pao Chicken over rice

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken & veggies are covered in a savory Asian-Inspired sauce, topped with peanuts & green onions!
Course Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 226
Author Holly Nilsson



  • 1 pound chicken thighs boneless skinless , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Stir Fry

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper 1/2″ diced
  • 1 green bell pepper 1/2″ diced
  • 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 3 dried red chilies
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • In a bowl combine chicken, soy sauce and cornstarch. Let marinate while you prepare the sauce.
  • In a small bowl whisk together all sauce ingredients and set aside until ready to use.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • Add chicken and cook just until browned, about 75% cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet.
  • Add more oil if needed and add red and green bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes or just until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Add the chicken and sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  • Stir in green onions and peanuts and serve over rice.


Calories: 226 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 917mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 871IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Kung Pao Chicken in a pan in a bowl with rice and with writing
Kung Pao Chicken in a frying pan with writing
Kung Pao Chicken with text
Kung Pao Chicken with writing
kung pao chicken in a bowl with writing
Kung Pao Chicken in served over rice with writing

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