Kung Pao Chicken

4.84 from 6 votes

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You can make Kung Pao Chicken at home that tastes just like the entree at your favorite Chinese Restaurant. It can be made in a skillet or slow cooker.

Kung Pao Chicken on a blue tray with a side of white rice in the background.

Kung Pao Chicken

I love this Kung Pao chicken! We usually double or even triple this recipe. We used this exact recipe right when we got married, before we had any kids so the original amounts were just right. Last time we made this, we used fresh zucchini, peppers, and green onion from our garden and it made it taste even better. Sometimes we add pineapple to peppers and zucchini to sweeten it up for the kids, but I like it most just how it is. We have also made variations using baby corn (which my kids LOVE) and/or shredded carrots.

Try the Slow Cooker Version

If you want to make an easy slow cooker meal, just saute the chicken and veggies for a minute or two, mix the sauces together and then throw it all in the slow cooker! SO easy and it turns out just as good! Plus, the smell of dinner hanging in the air when you get home is like heaven.

Add Something to the Side

Serving Kung Pao Chicken with rice is the perfect way to round out this dish. And if you’re cooking for a crowd, you definitely want to check out our post about the easy way to make rice for a large group here.

How To Make Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken on a blue tray with a side of white rice in the background.

Kung Pao Chicken

4.84 from 6 votes
You can make Kung Pao Chicken at home that tastes just like the entree at your favorite Chinese Restaurant. It can be made in a skillet or slow cooker.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4


  • Skillet



  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. chicken broth, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. sesame oil and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch/water mixture and mix together. Add chicken pieces to mixture. Toss to coat. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini and peppers and saute for a minute or so (don’t let them get too soft or they will become soggy). Add garlic and saute another minute. In a small bowl, combine remaining broth, soy sauce, oil and cornstarch/water mixture. Stir in chili paste, vinegar and sugar. Add sauce mixture to skillet with the sauteed veggies. Add green onion, water chestnuts, peanuts, and red pepper flakes. Heat sauce slowly over medium heat.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and saute in a medium skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. Add sauteed chicken to sauce and simmer together until sauce thickens. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of chicken broth a little at a time until sauce reaches desired thickness.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 604kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 30gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1395mgPotassium: 779mgFiber: 5gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 1363IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    I am on my way to buy some chopsticks because that is how I would like to eat this chicken dish. πŸ™‚ It looks delicious and so easy to make – just what I need right now!

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great one for families and freezer meal prep! What a great mix of spicy : sweet. Well done on recreating such a classic recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Kung Pao chicken is one of my families favorites. This looks so good and I can see me having to double the recipe for my family. They are going to love this.

  4. making it with the changes of drumsticks/ cubed chicken, 10 green onions/ 5 green onions, baked chicken 35 min. @ 425Β°/ frying it, canned chili peppers rinsed/ bell pepper and chili paste/ kung pao’s Thai chilis, pine nuts and minced raw peanuts/ roasted whole peanuts, and 1 hour marinating/ ~30 min.
    I’m uncertain!

  5. absolutely delicious. However I did make changes based on what I had on hand. I diced onion, carrots, celery and red pepper into tiny cubes. I diced already cooked chicken breast into cubes. I combined all of the wet ingredients into a separate bowl, as well the cornstarch slurry in a seperate bowl. I fried the vegetables added chicken a few mins later and the wet mix and slurry. I suggest decreasing the brown sugar in half a little to sweet for Kung pao. Otherwise omg you will be blown away with this recipe!

    1. 4 stars
      Actually your suggestion in substitutes sounds a little bit healthier (carrot, celery, etc). I am toying around with carrots and Brussel sprouts (my boyfriend loves them and I am not a fan but I can eat when doctored up). Plus I can get rid of a few things that have been sitting (still good but you get tired of looking at it in the fridge already). Thank you for encouraging to go outside the box!

  6. This dish was delicious! Had a good amount of heat – just like Kung Pao should. I’m not sure if it tasted exactly like Kung Pao, but it had a similar flavor that I really enjoyed. I forgot to get scallions, so I skipped those. Did add in the water chestnuts – great addition! I’ve been looking for a make-at-home Kung Pao chicken recipe for years and finally found one that hits the spot. Will definitely be making again! But be warned – this does have some spice that I’m not sure everyone will like. Delicious!!!!

  7. Oh my! This is one of my husband’s favorite meals but last time I searched online for a recipe it was a big failure, so I can’t wait to try this out. I know it has to be good like everything else I’ve tried from your site. πŸ™‚