Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Recipe (Copycat)

So, what is Panda Express kung pao chicken? This classic Chinese staple dish is a stir fry chicken recipe that has a sweet and spicy flavor combination. Its delicious sauce is made from combining crispy chicken tenders, dried chilis, bell peppers, onion, and celery. All these ingredients make for a spicy-sweet chicken stir fry dish. It tastes especially good with white rice to balance out the strong flavors. Serve with a tasty egg drop soup on the side or follow this chow mein recipe to complete the dish. 

Tips on Making Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken 

This Panda Express kung pao chicken recipe makes for a delicious afternoon and evening meal. It’s easy to make, but you can make it even more delicious and savory with some of our helpful cooking tips.


  • Add cornstarch to thicken the sauce. You can add this while you’re marinating your chicken breasts. Adding cornstarch into the marinade helps thicken the sweet-spicy sauce of the stir fry. It also attaches to the other ingredients better for a more flavorful dish.
  • Add roasted whole peanuts. For a full Panda Express kung pao chicken experience, try mixing in ¾ cup or ½ cup halved roasted unsalted peanuts. Roast raw peanuts for about 3 minutes on an oiled pan over medium heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Turn off the heat, stir for another minute, then transfer to a bowl. Add these when you’re stir frying the chicken with the sauce.
  • Use a low-sodium soy sauce. When cooking Asian dishes, you don’t want your dish to be too salty. Most of the seasonings in this recipe like the oyster sauce and rice wine contain a certain amount of salt in them. That’s why we recommend using a low-sodium soy sauce to avoid making your dish too salty.
  • Substitute white pepper for the dried chilis for a milder sauce. If you dislike the spice, you can omit the dried chilis and replace it with white pepper. You can add a pinch of white pepper while you’re marinating your chicken to replace the spice. 
Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Recipe (Copycat)

How To Make Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Recipe (Copycat)

Make this delicious stir fry kung pao chicken Panda Express copycat recipe. It’s an easy chicken recipe that’s bursting with sweet and spicy goodness made from combining your tender chicken breasts with flavorful seasonings.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red chili fingers, finely minced
  • 12 oz chicken breasts, boneless and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup peanuts, roasted
  • 4 oz bell peppers, of your choice, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 green onion, cut into ½-inch pieces, with tops
  • 4 oz celery, cut into ¾-inch slices
  • 4 tbsp chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp rice wine , or dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated

To serve:

  • ¼ tsp mixed sesame seeds, roasted
  • 1 cup rice, steamed


  1. Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet and add the chicken. Saute for 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  2. Add bell pepper, onions, and celery. Saute until translucent.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and saute for 5 to 6 more minutes.
  4. Serve over cooked white rice and garnish with sesame seeds.


  • Sugar: 4g
  • :
  • Calcium: 11mg
  • Calories: 127kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 36mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Potassium: 297mg
  • Protein: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 417mg
  • Vitamin A: 758IU
  • Vitamin C: 35mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Commonly Asked Questions

Is kung pao chicken healthy?

Yes, it’s a healthy choice to eat for most people. Its main ingredient is chicken and tons of vegetables which have accompanying vitamins and minerals. The lean chicken meat is a good source of protein, especially when you add in the peanuts. Both ingredients make up most of the protein in the dish. The dish is also low in calories and saturated fat. In terms of sodium content, you can easily reduce the sodium level by using low sodium soy sauce.

Can you freeze kung pao chicken?

Yes, you can easily freeze your Panda Express kung pao chicken leftovers. Store it properly in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. Place inside the freezer where it can last for up to 2 months. When ready to consume, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the microwave for 3 minutes or until heated through.

Stir Fry Recipes


Upgrade your lunch and dinner meals with a delicious and flavorful Asian dish. This Panda Express kung pao chicken copycat recipe is the perfect sweet-spicy meal to serve over steamed rice and fried egg rolls.
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