Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken

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    Take-Out, Fake-Out: Lightened Up General Tso Chicken from

    It’s so hard sometimes to pick and choose what to post on certain days. Thankfully I have you all on Facebook to help me out :) You guys were clearly craving the take-out, fake-out over the cookies I had wanted to post! Ask and you shall receive! This lightened up version comes from the book I talked about last week, Comfort Food Makeovers by America’s Test Kitchen. The numbers on this dish before ATK’s makeover was crazy! 910 calories, 45 grams of fat, and 5 grams of saturated fat. After? 490 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of saturated fat. What a difference, huh?!

    So, speaking of my Facebook page..let’s just say, when it rains, it POURS. Did any of you follow along with what happened last night? I’m sure 95% of you received that Pinterest email about my Holy Yum Chicken. What a bunch of drama. I seriously have the best fans and readers. You all came up to bat for me with the negative comments and messages. I can’t thank you enough for understanding and realizing this was all beyond my control.

    It really irks me that people jump to conclusions and have their own assumptions about everything without getting the facts first. Ever heard that quote, “be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ? Well, so many people don’t really know what’s going on in my PERSONAL life and to add what happened yesterday on top of it, just really put me to the tipping point. Seriously, newsflash: this isn’t the end of the world. There are countless of tragedies going on in the world right now (re: OK tornadoes, wars, etc.) and for people to freak out at me over a recipe?! Really people, perspective…

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy the recipe below. It’s become one of Jason & I’s favorite! :)

    Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken

    Enjoy this lightened up version of General Tso's Chicken! You'll love this way more than the takeout version!
    Prep Time: 20 mins
    Cook Time: 15 mins
    Total Time: 35 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 492kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    • Vegetable oil spray
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 large egg whites
    • 5 cups Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal, finely crushed
    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless, chicken breasts, trimmed of all visible fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 2/3 cups water
    • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup apricot jam
    • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 2 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tsp canola oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


    • Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, top with wire rack, and spray rack with oil spray.
    • Spread flour into shallow dish. Whisk egg whites until foamy in second shallow dish. Spread corn flakes crumbs into third shallow dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg whites, then coat with corn flakes, pressing gently to adhere. Lay on prepared wire rack.
    • Spray chicken with oil spray. Bake until chicken registers 160 degrees and coating is brown and crisp, about 12-15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, whisk water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin, cornstarch, and vinegar together in a bowl. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in soy sauce mixture, bring to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
    • When chicken is cooked, return sauce to simmer over medium-low heat. Add cooked chicken and toss to coat. Serve with steamed white or brown rice.


    Source: Comfort Food Makeovers, America's Test Kitchen
    Nutrition Facts
    Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 492 Calories from Fat 63
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 7g11%
    Carbohydrates 63g21%
    Fiber 2g8%
    Sugar 19g21%
    Protein 41g82%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
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    Recipe Rating


  • Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    I missed the pinterest, sounds like a good thing. People get too crazy on the internet. But on a happy note this looks fabulous- I bought the cookbook a few months ago and have only made the lightened up choc chip cookies- they were good but I think I would rather eat a real one. This however still looks really tasty!

  • Gaby says:

    one of my fav take out options!!!!

  • Nikki @Seeded at the Table says:

    Why do some people’s kids have to suck? Seriously. lol

    On a better note, I’ll have to try out this lightened version (and get my hands on that TK cookbook!!)

  • kelley {mountain mama cooks} says:

    Looks delicious. Sorry you had such a debacle with Pinterest and your chicken dish. Readers are mostly often but can be so tough when we get something wrong. I feel you on so many levels! Can’t wait to try this at home. Way better than the take out version!

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says:

    Oh girl, I missed the Pinterest thing, but it sounds just awful! People can be so cruel, especially online when they can hide behind their screens. You have so many supporters out there!

    This chicken looks so awesome! I love when you do these posts!

  • janina conuel says:

    Looks yummy! Do you by chance know where I can find the nutritional information? House of diabetics… Thanks. :)

    • Julie says:

      Hi Janina – Unfortunately, no. There are many reasons as to why I don’t post nutritional information on my recipes, one of which is that I simply do not have the time to do this. Also, I’m not a registered dietician or nutritionist so for me to give any sort of nutritional information would be incorrect and inaccurate. There are also many differing factors when it comes to nutritional information and since I do not have the knowledge in this, I do not feel comfortable posting this sort of information. If you must have this information, there are many calculators out there (free and paid) that can help you with calculations. A simple Google search would pull up some of these calculators, but again, I’m not endorsing them as I do not know how accurate they may be. Sorry and hopefully you can still make this!! :)

  • Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This looks scrumptious :) I love general tsos chicken!

  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says:

    Absolutely delicious recipe! I only needed about 2.5 cups of crushed corn flakes cereal, but it was every bit amazing! Even my 11 month old loved it! :D Thank you Julie!

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    One of my favorites for takeout Chinese but I always feel so guilty after eating. This seems like a great alternative that I’m going to try.

    PS. Love your blog, now added to the reader, love your words – they make me smile and laugh. :)

    • Julie says:

      Aww thank you :) welcome to the table! I’m so happy to have you here, Pamela!!

  • kaye says:

    THank you so much for this delicious recipe, I will definately try this.

  • Danielle says:

    This looks like another home run! I cannot wait to make this tomorrow. I always look forward to your posts and recipes.

    • Julie says:

      :) enjoy!

  • Julie says:

    Can I fry the chicken instead of baking it?

    • Julie says:

      I’ve never done that before but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m new to Pinning! This recipe is a real keeper! Looks just wonderful!

    • Julie says:

      Glad you found this through Pinterest!

  • Bennie says:

    I made this recipe and sorry to say it didn’t taste all that great. I had hoped it would be terrific but just didn’t have the oomph that the first GeneralTso’s dish had when I first tried it years ago. I wasn’t thrilled with the corn flakes so perhaps I should sub out some corn meal next time instead? And the apricot jam just didn’t make it sweet enough as I like it to be so I know next time to add honey and brown sugar to it. The garlic and ginger was on the money but the sweet factor wasn’t what I expected. Thanks for trying though I’m a tough nut to crack. :)

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the feedback! Sorry you didn’t enjoy it.

  • Barb Karr says:

    You mentioned an oil spray in this recipe. I am new to your recipes. Could you explain what you mean by an oil spray.I want this recipe desperately. It seems I want 80% of your recipes desperately!!Love your blogs.And food recipes.

    • Julie says:

      Something like nonstick cooking spray. Like PAM :)

  • Lo says:

    how many servings does this yield? i can’t wait to try this!

    • Julie says:

      4. Enjoy!

  • Scott says:

    Is the oven temp 475?! I have made this great recipe many times and don’t recall it being that hot. Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Yep, it has always been 475! I even double-checked the cookbook just now.

  • C. Mitchell says:

    I just wanted to express to you my agreement on how people are so eager to be combative, judgemental & hateful.
    Its not just here on your blog- ( as I’m sure I am not telling you anything you don’t already know ), its all over social media.
    Really disturbing how quick folks get angry & lash out these days.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your recipe & goodluck to you! ?

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much for your support!

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime