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This Healthy Kung Pao Chicken recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy this classic Chinese dish. Made with a sweet and savory homemade hoisin sauce, this gluten free chicken recipe will be a family favorite!

I love ordering authentic kung pao chicken when we get Chinese takeout. The sweet and tangy sauce is my favorite, but it’s not the healthiest. That’s why I was determined to create a healthy kung pao chicken recipe that I could enjoy at home.

multiple images and text of Healthy Kung Pao Chicken for pinterest

This filling recipe is satisfying and packed with nutritious vegetables and protein-rich chicken breasts. You are going to love this healthy kung pao chicken recipe!

Where’s the recipe?

Here at My Crazy Good Life we have readers of all levels of comfort in the kitchen. Whether you’re just starting out or are a pro, we want you to feel confident when you make our recipes.

To best serve all of our readers, we write our posts with lots of information. In the article below, you’ll find ingredient information, detailed cooking instructions, recipe tips and tricks, as well as healthy eating plan calculations.

If you’d like to skip past all of that, go ahead and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find our easy to print recipe card for Healthy Kung Pao Chicken.

Ingredients in Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

  • Brown rice: I use brown rice because it is less processed than white rice. It also has a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus I just like the taste. You can use your favorite type of rice for this recipe, just note that the healthy eating plan calculations, nutrition facts, and cooking instructions will be different. Some other great rice options would be basmati or jasmine rice, fried rice, even cauliflower rice would be delicious.
  • Coconut aminos: this is one of my favorite soy sauce alternatives. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can use low sodium soy sauce or gluten free tamari. Regular soy sauce works too, it just contains a lot more sodium.
  • Honey: I love using honey as a sugar replacement. While honey and sugar are both carbohydrates composed primarily of glucose and fructose, honey offers trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. It can also help alleviate allergies.
  • Ginger: fresh ginger is what I use to make this kung pao chicken taste authentic.
  • Peanut butter: using peanut butter helps to give the kung pao sauce that sweet and savory flavor.
  • Rice vinegar: use plain rice vinegar to make the kung pao sauce. If you can’t get ahold of rice vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar.
  • Sesame oil: sesame oil comes from sesame seeds, giving it a nutty, distinct flavor that goes hand in hand with Chinese cuisine.
  • Garlic: fresh minced garlic adds much more flavor than garlic powder.
  • Sriracha sauce: sriracha sauce is so delicious and is what makes this a sweet and spicy sauce. If you’re looking for even more heat, add some crushed red pepper flakes or dried chili peppers.
  • Chicken: for this recipe I use boneless skinless chicken breasts because it provides more protein than chicken thighs. One boneless skinless chicken breast contains 54 grams of protein, whereas boneless skinless chicken thighs have just 13.5 grams.
  • Corn starch: this is needed to help thicken the kung pao sauce
  • Bell peppers: for this recipe I use one red bell pepper and one green bell pepper. You can choose your favorite variety.
  • Broccoli: I love adding broccoli to stir fry recipes. Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.
  • Cilantro: I use fresh cilantro as a garnish to top this homemade kung pao chicken recipe. It adds a fresh flavor and bright pop of color to the finished dish.
  • Green onions: I love topping stir fry dishes with green onions.
  • Peanuts: Adding unsalted roasted peanuts as a crunchy garnish adds a great texture to this healthy kung pao chicken.
ingredients needed to make Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

How to Make Healthy Kung Pao Chicken in the Instant Pot

  1. First start by cooking your rice. To do that, spray the inner pot with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse and drain your rice, and then add it to your pot.
  2. Next, add water to the pot, then close and lock the lid and turn the steam release to handle to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (high) and set the cook time for 20 minutes. (If you have a Keep Warm button, turning it off after cooking will help prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.)
  3. When the cook time is complete, allow the rice to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then quick release the remaining pressure.
  4. Remove the cooked brown rice and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, honey, ginger root, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and sriracha sauce to make your kung pao sauce. Whisk to combine.
  6. Rinse the inner pot then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add diced chicken and sauce to the pot, then stir to coat the chicken pieces in the sauce.
  7. Close and lock the lid, then turn the steam release handle to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (high) and set the cook time for 10 minutes. When the cook time is complete, quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  8. Select Sauté and use a spoon to move the bite sized pieces of cooked chicken to one side of the pot. Add the cornstarch to the opposite side and use a whisk or fork to mix the cornstarch into the sauce. (Do not combine the chicken with the sauce.)
  9. Once the sauce thickens and begins to bubble, cook for 1-2 minutes while continuously stirring, then turn off the pot and mix the chicken with the sauce. Add the diced bell peppers and broccoli.
  10. Close and lock the lid, then turn the steam release handle to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (high) and set the cook time for 0 (zero) minutes. When the cook time is complete, quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  11. Mix the vegetables in with the chicken and transfer chicken mixture on top of the cooked brown rice. Serve kung pao chicken garnished with cilantro, green onions and roasted peanuts.
multiple images showing steps to make Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken on the Stove Top

  1. Cook the rice as directed on the packaging, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, honey, ginger root, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and sriracha sauce to make your kung pao sauce. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Add your chopped vegetables to the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they have softened but are not mushy. Remove veggies from the pan and set aside.
  5. Next, give your pan another spray of non-stick cooking spray and then add your diced chicken. Cook the chicken pieces over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, add the kung pao sauce to the pan of chicken pieces. Stir to make sure all of the chicken is coated, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the cornstarch and let simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the cooked brown rice to a bowl and top it with the cooked vegetables, chicken and kung pao sauce. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and peanuts.

Recipe Tips

  • This easy kung pao chicken recipe is perfect for meal prep. Transfer chicken kung pao into individual serving size meal prep containers and store in the fridge for up to 6 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • One of the things I love about this kung pao chicken recipe is that it is so easily customizable. If you prefer to swap out the listed vegetables for others like green beans or bok choy, the recipe will be equally delicious. You can also add extras like yellow onion, red pepper flakes, sichuan peppercorns or black pepper.
Healthy Kung Pao Chicken in glass meal prep container

Healthy Eating Plans

21 Day Fix Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

This Healthy Kung Pao Chicken serves 6 people about 1 1/2 cup servings.

Entire recipe: 12 red containers, 6 yellow containers, 6 green containers, 6 teaspoons

Per serving: 2 red containers, 1 yellow container, 1 green container, 1 teaspoon

Weight Watchers Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Per 1 1/2 cup serving this Healthy Kung Pao Chicken is:

14 2023 Plan Points | 14 Blue Plan Points | 17 Green Plan Points | 9 Purple Plan Points

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken in a white bowl on top of a black plate

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  • Instant Pot Ramen Stir Fry with Chicken in a Bowl This Instant Pot Ramen Stir Fry with Chicken in a bowl is full of flavor and healthy ingredients that are both filling and nutritious. This chicken dish is a favorite in my house.
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Healthy Kung Pao Chicken in a white bowl on top of a black plate
4.67 from 6 ratings
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Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Created by: Becca Ludlum
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Approximate Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Servings 6 people
This filling recipe is satisfying and packed with nutritious vegetables and protein-rich chicken breasts. You are going to love this healthy kung pao chicken recipe!

Equipment

  • Instant Pot 6 qt
  • Kitchen Knife
  • Cutting Board

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp ginger root freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 3 lb chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 red bell pepper medium
  • 1 green bell pepper medium
  • 4 cups broccoli chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, to garnish
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped, to garnish
  • 1/2 cup peanuts roasted & unsalted, to garnish

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  • First start by cooking your rice. To do that, spray the inner pot with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse and drain your rice, and then add it to your pot. 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • Next, add water to the pot, then close and lock the lid and turn the steam release to handle to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (high) and set the cook time for 20 minutes. (If you have a Keep Warm button, turning it off after cooking will help prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.) 1 1/2 cups water
  • When the cook time is complete, allow the rice to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then quick release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove the cooked brown rice and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, honey, ginger root, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and sriracha sauce to make your kung pao sauce. Whisk to combine. 2/3 cup coconut aminos 1/4 cup honey 1 tbsp ginger root 2 tbsp peanut butter 1/4 tsp rice vinegar 1/2 tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp garlic 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • Rinse the inner pot then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add diced chicken and sauce to the pot, then stir to coat the chicken pieces in the sauce. 3 lb chicken breast
  • Close and lock the lid, then turn the steam release handle to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (high) and set the cook time for 10 minutes. When the cook time is complete, quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  • Select Sauté and use a spoon to move the bite sized pieces of cooked chicken to one side of the pot. Add the cornstarch to the opposite side and use a whisk or fork to mix the cornstarch into the sauce. (Do not combine the chicken with the sauce.) 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Once the sauce thickens and begins to bubble, cook for 1-2 minutes while continuously stirring, then turn off the pot and mix the chicken with the sauce. Add the diced bell peppers and broccoli. 1 red bell pepper 1 green bell pepper 4 cups broccoli
  • Close and lock the lid, then turn the steam release handle to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (high) and set the cook time for 0 (zero) minutes. When the cook time is complete, quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  • Mix the vegetables in with the chicken and transfer chicken mixture on top of the cooked brown rice. Serve kung pao chicken garnished with cilantro, green onions and roasted peanuts. 1/4 cup cilantro 1/4 cup green onions 1/2 cup peanuts

Stove Top Instructions

  • Cook the rice as directed on the packaging, and set aside. 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, honey, ginger root, peanut butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and sriracha sauce to make your kung pao sauce. Whisk to combine and set aside. 2/3 cup coconut aminos 1/4 cup honey 1 tbsp ginger root 2 tbsp peanut butter 1/4 tsp rice vinegar 1/2 tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp garlic 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add your chopped vegetables to the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they have softened but are not mushy. Remove veggies from the pan and set aside. 1 red bell pepper 1 green bell pepper 4 cups broccoli
  • Next, give your pan another spray of non-stick cooking spray and then add your diced chicken. Cook the chicken pieces over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF. 3 lb chicken breast
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the kung pao sauce to the pan of chicken pieces. Stir to make sure all of the chicken is coated, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the cornstarch and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Add the cooked brown rice to a bowl and top it with the cooked vegetables, chicken and kung pao sauce. Garnish with cilantro, green onions, and peanuts. 1/4 cup cilantro 1/4 cup green onions 1/2 cup peanuts

Notes

Recipe Tips
  • This easy kung pao chicken recipe is perfect for meal prep. Transfer chicken kung pao into individual serving size meal prep containers and store in the fridge for up to 6 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • One of the things I love about this kung pao chicken recipe is that it is so easily customizable. If you prefer to swap out the listed vegetables for others like green beans or bok choy, the recipe will be equally delicious. You can also add extras like yellow onion, red pepper flakes, sichuan peppercorns or black pepper.
Healthy Eating Plans
21 Day Fix Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
This healthy kung pao chicken serves 6 people about 1 1/2 cup servings.
Entire recipe: 12 red containers, 6 yellow containers, 6 green containers, 6 teaspoons
Per serving: 2 red containers, 1 yellow container, 1 green container, 1 teaspoon
Weight Watchers Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
Per 1 1/2 cup serving this healthy kung pao chicken is:
14 Blue Plan Points | 17 Green Plan Points | 9 Purple Plan Points

Nutrition

Calories: 636kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 62.6g | Fat: 14.1g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 549mg | Fiber: 5.3g | Sugar: 15.7g | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 4mg

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Make sure to follow on Pinterest @bludlum and on Instagram @beccaludlum

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