Skip to Content

Easy Kung Pao Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Jump to Recipe |

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

No need to order take-out tonight! This homemade easy Kung Pao chicken is even better than what comes in the little white box.

A serving of Kung Pao chicken is placed next to cooked white rice on a white spotted plate.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken

Look, I totally get that it’s tempting to order take-out! Whether you just had a long day or want to relax on the weekends, Chinese take-out usually sounds like a good idea.

What if I told you this recipe for Kung Pao chicken wasn’t just more delicious and fresher than take-out, but it was also incredibly easy to whip up?!

In the time that you spend waiting for your Postmates order to reach your house, you could’ve made a way better dinner!

Tender white meat chicken breast is mixed with fresh bell peppers and crunchy roasted peanuts. When it’s served over warm white rice, Kung Pao chicken really has it all!

Roasted peanuts sit on top of freshly made Kung Pao chicken in a black skillet.

This easy Kung Pao chicken is flavor packed with ingredients like soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic – just to name a few. If bold flavor is what you’re craving, this is definitely the recipe for you.

Ingredients for easy Kung Pao chicken:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Chicken breast
  • Red bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Yellow bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Dry sherry
  • Rice vinegar
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Cooked rice
Chopsticks sit on a white speckled bowl filled with rice and Kung Pao chicken.

How do I make Kung Pao chicken spicier?

If you really want to break a sweat, there’s a few easy ways to turn up the heat in this already pretty spicy entreé!

First, the easiest way to increase the spice level here is with crushed red pepper. By doubling the amount you’re supposed to toss in, you’ll definitely have a much spicier meal.

If you want to get more creative (and WAY more spicy), head to your local Chinese market and grab some Chinese red peppers! Tianjin peppers are extra hot. Just chop up as many as your heart desires, and add them to this easy recipe.

Two servings of rice and Kung Pao chicken are placed on a white countertop next to chopsticks and a small bowl of soy sauce.

How long will it last in the refrigerator?

In an airtight container in the fridge, Kung Pao chicken will stay fresh for up to 4 days.

One thing I really love about this recipe is how well it holds up in the fridge, too. You’re really going to enjoy your leftovers!

If you have the time, reheat this easy meal in the skillet rather than the microwave. That way, the entreé will stay fresh and maintain it’s original texture!

A small bowl of white rice and Kung Pao chicken is ready to be eaten with chopsticks.

Craving more Chinese chicken? I’ve got you covered:

General Tso’s Chicken Ramen

Easy 20-Minute Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

Sesame Chicken

Easy Kung-Pao Chicken

No need to order take-out tonight! This homemade easy Kung Pao chicken is even better than what comes in the little white box.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Julie Chiou
Rate Print


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup (37 g) roasted peanuts
  • Cooked rice, for serving


  • In a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat add vegetable oil.
  • When the oil is hot add in the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and almost fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and add-in bell peppers and onion.
  • Saute until the peppers and onions just start to soften. Add in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken back to pan.
  • In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, dry sherry, rice vinegar, dark brown sugar, cornstarch, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Pour the sauce into the skillet and lower the heat to medium.
  • Cook just until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the chicken and vegetables.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in peanuts.
  • Serve over cooked white rice.

Recipe Notes

To add more vegetables you could easily throw in a 15-ounce packet of stir-fry frozen vegetables. I like the one that includes broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and water chestnuts. This is not super “authentic” but I like that it bulks up the meal.
I typically use low sodium soy sauce.
If you have Shaoxing wine use this in place of the dry sherry.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 307 kcal | Carbohydrates: 15 g | Protein: 28 g | Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 73 mg | Sodium: 452 mg | Potassium: 751 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 8 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Recipe Rating


Friday 13th of May 2022

What can I substitute for the rice vinegar and sherry? If I buy them they will just end up expiring on a back shelf somewhere. I don't like buying ingredients that I probably will not use anymore

Julie Chiou

Saturday 14th of May 2022

you can just substitute with vinegar although i'd adjust to taste - rice vinegar and sherry give a lot more depth of flavor than just straight vinegar. i understand not wanting to buy ingredients you won't use, but i assure you if you buy rice vinegar, many recipes use them in their sauce: