Kung Pao chicken at Chinese restaurants like PF Chang’s and Panda Express is one of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes. While ordering this dish from a local Chinese restaurant on a low carb diet is OK for some, this popular takeout favorite has a higher carb count than most keto dieters prefer.
The good news about a keto diet is you can adapt most recipes to make them keto friendly. Even better news – this delicious keto Kung Pao chicken recipe is a quick dish you can whip up on busy weeknights … especially if you meal prep ahead of time.
Before we chat about how to make this lower carb option, I wanted to let you know this blog contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click through.
I also link to the same resources that helped me lose 100 pounds with a low carb diet. Click through those links so this info can help you too!
Kung Pao Chicken Keto Friendly Ingredients
Low Carb Kung Pao Chicken Main Ingredients:
With a few swaps, it’s easy to make keto friendly Chinese food at home. The main ingredients for one of my favorite Chinese dishes include chicken, peanuts, chopped bell peppers, and zucchini. You’ll also need coconut oil to fry the chicken, plus ground ginger and minced garlic to flavor this keto Chinese food dish.
When it comes to the main ingredient list, do your best to choose organic whenever possible. This is especially important for the vegetables in this recipe since bell peppers fall on the dirty dozen list. This is a list of fruits and veggies that contain the most pesticide residues, so it’s important to choose organic with any produce that falls on this list.
With most keto chicken recipes, you can get away with either chicken breast or juicy chicken thighs.
Once again, I prefer organic chicken either way. If you’re unable to source high quality meats at your local grocery store, check out Butcher Box. We receive a new box of organic, grass-fed meat right to our doorstep every single month.
When choosing nuts for any keto recipe, make sure they haven’t been processed in canola oil. This can be really difficult to find since it seems like all nuts are processed in highly inflammatory seed oils. I order 365 Dry Roasted Peanuts for my keto Chinese recipes, as well as for every day snacking.
Keto-Friendly Kung Pao Sauce:
To make the spicy sauce for this low carb Kung Pao chicken recipe, you need coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and a little bit of chili garlic sauce.
While you can find many of these ingredients at local grocery stores, I prefer to stock up on higher quality ingredients online at Thrive Market. I easily save the membership cost in only 1-2 orders over other online marketplaces.
If you have food sensitivities to any of the ingredients listed above, feel free to make easy swaps. Since any form of vinegar has a tendency to set off a migraine for me, I often replace the rice wine vinegar with lemon juice. Up until recently I couldn’t tolerate peanuts, so I had to leave them out of my low carb Chinese food recipes.
If you don’t love your spicy Kung Pao chicken quite as spicy, cut back on the chili garlic sauce. I use about half of the required amount in this recipe to keep it family friendly. Anyone who prefers a little bit of spice can add extra directly to their servings of keto Kung Pao chicken.
How to Make Low Carb Kung Pao Chicken
Easy Keto Meal Prep:
To make this recipe a breeze, start with some easy keto meal prep. You can even prep the night before, or first thing in the morning, if you need to make dinner in a hurry.
Start by chopping the veggies into chunks.
I typically add green and red bell peppers and zucchini to my Kung Pao chicken, but other chopped vegetables like onions would go well in this dish. If you prep vegetables ahead of time, store chopped veggies in green containers in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
Next, chop the chicken into small pieces and set aside. Smaller chicken pieces will help this low carb Kung Pao chicken recipe cook up quickly.
Here’s a quick tip to make slicing chicken easy: add thawed chicken back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Slicing chicken that is slightly frozen is easier than working with thawed chicken.
Before you start cooking, combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and set aside. The spicy stir fry sauce ingredients include coconut aminos, sesame seed oil, chili garlic sauce, and your choice of rice wine vinegar or lemon juice.
Fry Your Easy Keto Stir Fry:
Once you’re ready to start cooking, melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. After the coconut oil is melted and hot, add in the chicken pieces. Cook in the hot skillet until the chicken is almost fully cooked. Use a wooden spoon to stir the chicken for even cooking.
After the chicken is mostly done, drain any excess water from the skillet. Then stir in the minced garlic, ginger and peanuts. Use a spoon to combine well.
Once the ingredients have been mixed, top the chicken with the chopped veggies. Then pour the sauce on top.
After the chicken cooks for 1-2 minutes, turn the heat down to medium. Allow the Kung Pao chicken to cook until the veggies soften. This should take approximately 3-5 minutes.
Plate a serving size of Kung Pao chicken and then ladle on a little excess sauce to give your chicken a rich flavor. You can garnish your Kung Pao chicken with diced green onions or sesame seeds.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. I typically double the batch of this keto version of Kung Pao chicken since it heats up so nicely the next day.
The Keto Kung Pao Chicken Wrap Up:
Making an authentic Kung Pao chicken recipe at home is so easy … and so delicious! All you need is chicken, fresh vegetables, and a few spices to make the best Chinese food recipes at home.
You can serve this recipe on a bed of cauliflower rice, or as is. With plenty of nutrient dense veggies, I use this as an all-in-one keto meal.
If you’re looking for even more Asian recipes to add to your keto meal plan rotation, you need to try these chicken lettuce wraps. They’re a copycat version of PF Chang’s lettuce wraps, without all of the excess carbs.
Sesame ginger beef is another family favorite when it comes to delicious Asian dishes. This simple keto recipe can be on your dinner table in under 15 minutes! That even includes the time it takes to add these buttery zucchini noodles.
There will definitely be a next time you’ll want to make this, so share this Kung Pao chicken keto friendly recipe to Pinterest. Please share with your friends on social media too.
Keep scrolling for the recipe card and nutrition information.
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Kung Pao Chicken Keto Friendly Version
More Easy Chicken Recipes from Eating Fat is the New Skinny:Print
Kung Pao Chicken
A quick & easy keto friendly kung pao chicken recipe.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: Recipe Serves 4 1x
- Category: Keto Dinner Recipe
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Keto / Low Carb
- Diet: Diabetic
- 1 lb chicken
- 1–2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- ¼ cup peanuts
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice or rice wine vinegar
- Chop chicken into small chunks
- slice peppers and zucchini into chunks
- Combine the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and mix well
COOK THE KUNG PAO CHICKEN:
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet until melted and hot. Once melted add in chicken. Stir on occasion while the chicken cooks.
- Once the chicken is almost fully cooked, drain any excess water. Then stir in the minced garlic and ground ginger. Stir to combine well and then stir in the peanuts.
- Top the chicken with chopped veggies and sauce. Heat over medium heat until the veggies have softened. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
- Add a serving to your plate and top with excess sauce.
- Serving Size: Recipe Serves 4
- Calories: 335.4
- Sugar: 8.5
- Sodium: 665.8
- Fat: 14.4
- Saturated Fat: 5.1
- Trans Fat: .1
- Carbohydrates: 10.8
- Fiber: 1.9
- Protein: 38.3
- Cholesterol: 96.4
Keywords: Kung Pao Chicken Keto Friendly, Kung Pao Chicken Low Carb Recipe, Keto Chinese Recipes