Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

Skinny Kung Pao Chicken made in less than 30 minutes with chicken breast, bell peppers, peanuts and a slightly spicy garlic sauce.

Chinese takeout doesn’t have to mean blowing through your weekly points. We love this Kung Pao Chicken,¬†Beef and Broccoli and our favorite¬†Skinny Sesame Chicken¬†for takeout fake-out meals!

Skinny Kung Pao Chicken Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

Lightened up Kung Pao Chicken is a fantastic dish that’s so healthy won’t believe all that flavor from the sauce and the crunch of the peanuts can be enjoyed on a diet!

Kung Pao Chicken is one of our favorite take out options as it tends to be healthier than most Chinese restaurant options.

Most Chinese chicken options are deep fried, so this stir fry option doesn’t take a lot of work to lighten up while keeping the flavors! In fact even at Panda Express their kung pao chicken is less healthy than you might expect.

Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

How to make Skinny Kung Pao Chicken:

  • To conserve oil, the chicken is cooked without being sliced first.
  • To cut down on the peanuts we split them. Your mouth can’t taste the difference between the crunch of half the peanut vs the two halves still stuck together.
  • We cut back on the brown sugar to just a teaspoon and swapped white meat chicken breasts for the chicken thighs.

Healthier Kung Pao Chicken in bowl with rice

More Easy Asian Recipes:

Tools Used in the making of this Skinny Sesame Chicken:
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Soy Sauce: Only ever use this brand, always in the lower sodium variety.
Sesame Oil: The flavor of sesame oil in this dish is unmistakeable and not really able to be substituted. Some Asian grocery stores will try and sell less expensive options that aren’t actually sesame oil, so just be sure the one you’re buying is authentic sesame oil.

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Skinny Kung Pao Chicken

Skinny Kung Pao Chicken made in less than 30 minutes with chicken breast, bell peppers, peanuts and a slightly spicy garlic sauce.
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 chicken breasts boneless skinless
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 10 dried Chinese chili peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper ¬†thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks green onions whites only chopped into 1" chunks
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts split into halves


  • Add the canola oil to a heavy skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  • Remove from the pan and add in the canola oil, garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, green bell peppers and green onions.
  • Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the water, soy sauce, cornstarch and brown sugar and let the sauce thicken on medium heat.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into thin slices and add it into the pan along with the peanuts.
  • Toss together with the sauce and serve.


Serving: 1/4th recipe | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.1g | Protein: 48.9g | Fat: 13.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.2g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 849mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 2.1g
Skinny Kung Pao Chicken
Healthier Kung Pao Chicken

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a trained professional chef who has cooked for private clients for over a dozen years. Experienced in handling dietary restrictions, allergies and picky kid eaters, she's well versed in coming up with healthy, yet flavorful recipes.


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    1. I’m soo sorry for the late reply, we had a bit of a spam glitch apparently and a ton of messages got archived. I know it’s a bit late, but you can always substitute red pepper flakes. If you want less heat, you could use black pepper and coriander seeds or omit them all together. Hopes this helps if you make the recipe in the future.