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Healthy Kung Pao Chicken (Gluten Free & Paleo)

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Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken is a delicious, healthy dish that is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Made with chicken, vegetables, and a simple gluten free kung pao sauce, this dish is packed with flavor and nutrition. Plus, it comes together in just 30 minutes!

My sister-in-law received two copies of this cookbook called, Cooking Light, for Christmas.

My mom received the extra book from her. I’ve been looking through the book and oohing and aahing at the recipes and the photography.  

The book is not a Gluten Free book; it’s an ordinary cookbook that focuses on light cooking with an emphasis on portion control and weight loss. 

Anyways, I really enjoyed the recipes. I was inspired to create Healthy Kung Pao Chicken from it.

The recipe was a hit with my family. I converted the recipe to a gluten free version. The original Kung Pao Chicken recipe uses soy sauce like many Asian-inspired recipes. 

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken on a white plate.
Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

I am still trying to find the elusive coconut amino acids. I have searched health food store after health food store and I still cannot find coconut amino acids in Canada. 

I had to use gluten free soy sauce. (A note for newly converted gluten free people, traditional soy sauce is gluten free but the cheaper commercial version is not gluten free).

The first time I made Paleo Kung Pao Chicken I deboned all of the chicken thigh meat. The second time I used deboned chicken breast. 

Deboned chicken thighs were not available at the grocery store.  If you don’t have time or patience use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs.

What is Kung Pao Chicken?

kung pao chicken is a stir-fried dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The dish is often considered a healthier alternative to other Chinese takeout options because it is not fried and does not have as much sauce.

Kung pao chicken is easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients, and it is a great way to get your family to eat more vegetables.

You can always add more vegetables to it like broccoli and cauliflower.

Tools needed for this recipe

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients

How to Make Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, and sauté onions for 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, and then add the chicken. Cook chicken until it begins to brown.

Combine ¾ cup of cold water and the next 5 ingredients. Add the water mixture to the skillet; bring to a boil. Wait for it to thicken and continue stirring.

Once it is thick add the bell peppers and snow peas. Cook for two minutes or until the vegetables are crispy/tender. Sprinkle the finished dish with peanuts, sliced almonds, or another nut.

*Note if the sauce does not appear thick enough add more arrowroot. Take a little of the sauce out of the pan and mix with more arrowroot then add the mixture to the whole sauce and stir to mix.

How to Store Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

Store kung pao chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Gluten Free Kung Pao Chicken

This recipe is gluten free as long as you use a gluten free soy sauce.

Keto Kung Pao Chicken

To make this recipe keto you need to switch the coconut palm sugar for erythritol. Instead of arrowroot, you can try using gelatin. The gelatin that is used to make jello is great for thickening sauces.

More Gluten Free Dinner Recipes

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Yield: 2 servings

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken is a delicious, healthy dish that is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. Made with chicken, vegetables, and a simple gluten free kung pao sauce, this dish is packed with flavor and nutrition. Plus, it comes together in just 30 minutes!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or oil that is good for high temperatures)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 3 tbsp gluten free soy sauce or coconut amino acids
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1-1 ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 pepper)
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds, peanuts, or another nut

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, and sauté onions for 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, and then add the chicken. Cook chicken until it begins to brown.
  2. Combine ¾ cup of cold water and the next 5 ingredients. Add the water mixture to the skillet; bring to a boil. Wait for it to thicken and continue stirring.
  3. Once it is thick add the bell peppers and snow peas. Cook for two minutes or until the vegetables are crispy/tender. Sprinkle the finished dish with peanuts, sliced almonds, or another nut.

Notes

This recipe is adapted from, Kung Pao Chicken, Cooking Light, by Scott Mowbray and Ann Taylor Pittman, published by Oxmoor House 2012.

If the sauce does not appear thick enough add more arrowroot starch. Take a little of the sauce out of the pan and mix with more arrowroot then add the mixture to the whole sauce and stir to mix.

Arrowroot starch is used to thicken the sauce instead of cornstarch.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 853Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 328mgSodium: 1863mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 15gProtein: 85g

Did you make this recipe?

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DISCLOSURE: Not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader. Ditch the Wheat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only endorse products that I believe in.

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Carol Lovett is the founder of Ditch the Wheat and a Globe and Mail bestselling author of the cookbook, Ditch the Wheat. She has been eating gluten free since 2010. She loves all things food, natural living, and spiritual. She's also a reiki master and crystal healer.

Gluten Free Resources

Do you need help with gluten free meals?
I recommend this meal-planning app. It makes cooking gluten free dinners extremely easy and family-friendly.
What gluten free snacks can I eat?
Lots! I have a ton of practical gluten free snack recipes in my cookbook.
How can I eat dessert on a gluten free diet?
You can 100% eat dessert while eating gluten free. Try my dessert cookbook for easy gluten free dessert recipes.
How do I know what is gluten free and what isn’t?
I have a whole section is it gluten free?
How do I make substitutions?
If you need substitution advice I created a ton of resources here.

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One Comment

  1. Hi! I’m not sure how old this post is and where in Canada you are, but I live in Toronto and have seen coconut amino at the local health food store – Herbs and Nutrition.
    The chicken recipe looks delicious – I’m going to try it. Thank you! 🙂

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