Baked Kung Pao Chicken

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Delicious breaded chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce with peppers and peanuts hidden throughout. This is WAY better than any takeout you will have!

As you know I am pretty obsessed with Chinese food! My favorite all time recipe is this baked sweet and sour chicken. I mean seriously. It is better than any takeout you will ever have! Since then I have created many versions of this recipe including Honey Sesame Chicken, Firecracker Chicken, Orange Chicken, and I had to create a Kung Pao Version. And let me tell you… this will blow your mind!

Baked Kung Pao chicken over white rice in a bowl.

Baked Kung Pao Chicken

The breading on this chicken is exactly what you would order at a nice chinese restaurant. The technique is spot on and couldn’t be better. My favorite comment that I have gotten about this chicken is, “My husband was checking the garbage because he didn’t believe that I made this. He thought that I ordered take out because it was so good!”  The chicken bakes at a low temperature and it browns the chicken up perfectly and thickens up the sauce. Of course, you can just cook the chicken on the stove and toss it in the sauce, but I love how it comes out of the oven and is so delicious.

This chicken is one of my families favorite chicken recipes to make. They are always requesting it and I love to bake it. It is simple and comes together quickly. Plus the left overs are the best part. I can even make it into a meal plan with some white or fried rice. It makes for a complete meal with vegetables and rice as a side! One of the best chicken dinners your family will love!

Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients:

Kung Pao is one of my favorite kinds. I love how it has just enough of a kick but isn’t too spicy. The peppers and peanuts throughout add a delicious texture and crunch. This dish was absolutely incredible! The ingredients are simple but it is so full of flavor. You won’t even be able to believe how yummy it is when you make it!

  • Chicken: The main ingredient
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Cornstarch: This will thicken the sauce.
  • Eggs: Creates a crispy outside while having a tender inside. 
  • Canola Oil: Crisp up the chicken while cooking the chicken.
  • Soy Sauce: This is the base of the sauce.
  • Vinegar: Adds a little tang in the sauce.
  • Red Chili Paste: Spicy add in.
  • Garlic: minced
  • Brown Sugar: A sweet and sugary sauce flavoring.
  • Cornstarch: A thickener for the sauce as it cooks.
  • Red Pepper: More of the spice
  • Peanuts: Crunchy, sweet and salty texture.
  • Green Onions: Colorful garnish

Let’s Bake Some Chicken:

As soon as I pulled it out of the oven and had my first bite my mind was blown. This is hands down one of the best things that I have ever made. The flavor turned out perfectly and this is going to be a dish that your family will love! Try it out for yourself. You won’t regret it.

  1. Prepare chicken: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat chicken: In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch and then coat in egg mixture. (Yes you dip the chicken in cornstarch first, then the egg.. trust me.) 
  3. Cook chicken: Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  4. Mix sauce together: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, red chili paste, minced garlic, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Pour over chicken and toss to coat. Add the chopped red peppers and peanuts on top. Bake for 1 hour.
  5. Stir the chicken in the sauce: I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

Baked Kung Pao Chicken in a baking pan garnished with peanuts.

Chinese Kung Pao Varieties:

There are a few ways to make this favorite dinner recipe. Skinny slow cooker Kung Pao Chicken is simple to make and the slow cooker does all the work. It makes for an easier way of enjoying this Chinese favorite. Change up the protein and add in some shrimp and this Kung Pao shrimp is awesome! Change up the protein and add in your favorite meat to the recipe and have a few different varieties!

Make it Ahead:

Making this kung pao chicken ahead of time is so simple and will give you extra time that you need for more things to do each day. Have it as a meal prep and plan ahead or a quicker dinner ready in minutes. Enjoy it in more ways than one!

  • Prepare chicken: Cut chicken breasts into pieces then add them to a ziplock freezer bag or airtight container. Place in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
  • Vegetables: Chop and prepare the vegetables and place in a separate bag and add in the refrigerator.
  • Sauce: Mix together sauce and store in a small airtight container. Sit in the refrigerator.
  • Bake together: When ready to make follow the instructions in the recipe card.

Baked Kung Pao chicken in a bowl with white rice and garnished with peanuts.

Chinese Food is the Best:

Baked Kung Pao Chicken

5 from 6 votes
This Baked Kung Pao Chicken is better than takeout! With a delicious sauce that has just enough of a kick and awesome flavor.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 3-4 breasts chicken cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red chili paste like Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • green onions chopped for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture. (Yes you dip the chicken in cornstarch first, then the egg.. trust me.
  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, red chili paste, minced garlic, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Pour over chicken and toss to coat. Add the chopped red peppers and peanuts on top. Bake for 1 hour.
  • I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.


Updated on April 13, 2020 
Originally Posted on March 8, 2016


Serves: 6

Calories325kcal (16%)Carbohydrates42g (14%)Protein6g (12%)Fat15g (23%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Cholesterol82mg (27%)Sodium580mg (24%)Potassium158mg (5%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar10g (11%)Vitamin A764IU (15%)Vitamin C29mg (35%)Calcium28mg (3%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian American, Chinese
Keyword baked chicken, baked kung pao chicken, chicken, kung pao chicken, kung pao chicken recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


I have created this video for you to see the process! You can skip to the kung pao sauce at 5:35 or straight to the baked chicken technique at 6:52!”



Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Tried this recipe for supper last night. Very easy to make and delicious. Will definitely make again. The only change I would like is for it to have more sauce.

  2. I made this dish last night, it was GREAT although it didn’t come out looking like yours at all which I would have preferred! It came out VERY dark with the soy sauce. Any suggestions you can give me so it looks more like yours? My 2 year old wasn’t interested cause of the color, otherwise hubby and I loved it!

  3. Anyone know what type of vinegar you should use? The kung pao stir-fry recipe I make uses balsamic, but this just says “vinegar” so I am almost thinking white?

    1. You can actually use either. Depending on the recipe you look at it will call for either or sometimes both. This recipe is also missing sesame oil and dark soy sauce which is a staple in any other recipe I have seen. I also see most reJo acipes call for Chinese cooking wine, which this also leaves out. This is a very basic American version of actual Kung Pao chicken , which is why I will never buy it as better than take out. It isn’t even real KP chicken, but it is pretty good for what it is, and easy to make.

  4. Do you have to put it in the oven? Does it cook all the way through in the pan? How long do you put it in the oven for? It doesn’t say how long to leave it in the oven.

  5. You should call this scrambled egg chicken. Bc that’s all mine did in the pan. The eggs stuck to the other pieces of chicken in a gloppy mess. Embarrassing to serve to my husband. What a waste of time and ingredients.

    1. Yeah shouldn’t have turned out like that. It is amazing if you get it right. This is one of our favorites. I am sorry it didn’t turn out!

    2. You have to put the chicken in one piece at a time if you don’t you get gloppy mess or if you over crowd the pan. I have made this lots of times. You can not hurry this process.

  6. Wow, great recipe, but I have no idea how many lbs “3-4” chicken breasts are. I had 3 lbs of chicken tenders, which were easy to chop and cook but they filled up the pan for baking and I realized the sauce wouldn’t be enough, so I doubled it. Please always include weights in your recipes since the size of chicken breasts vary so greatly. Thanks!

  7. What do you think about throwing in some zucchini, and at what point would you recommend doing so? I’m used to my Kung Pao being with zucchini, and I love getting that little added veggie in there.

  8. Absolutely loved this one! We did double the sauce as some suggested. And liked it with added pineapple & mandarin oranges also. But this is great just as it is! Chicken is a little challenging if not familiar with breading techniques, but you could substitute breaded chicken fingers instead, perhaps.

  9. This turned out wonderfully…. after take 2. I suggest adding into the recipe that the dipping of the chicken CANNOT be rushed and needs to be individually dipped. A lot of busy people, like myself, will probably think they are being smart by dipping all of the chicken into the cornstarch and then the eggs at once. Luckily, I had extra chicken defrosted and then my husband took over after seeing me in such distress, haha! And my smart (and very patient) husband decided to cook the eggy chicken fully through and will be making chicken breakfast bowls.

  10. Delicious!!!
    I doubled the sauce as was suggested and added some extra veggies (I added some broccoli to the recipe and I think the next time I make I will hold off on adding the broccoli until the last 30 minutes of cooking because it was pretty soft and we like broccoli with a bit of a crunch still). Directions were easy to follow and the ingredients are all things that were in the fridge anyways.

  11. I was looking for something a little different for dinner tonight (my father and husband are getting a little burned out on our usual meals) so I decided to give this a shot. I’m not a super experienced cook, but I’ve learned a lot over the last 18 or so months and figured I could pull this off. #1- It was soooo easy! Like not even a little complicated! #2- It was beyond DELICIOUS!!! We all loved it, we had fried rice and wok tossed veggies with it but I think it could be served with anything. Big time win at my house tonight ? One thing I might advise it to double the sauce, a lot of it cooked down but it gave the chicken a great coating and texture.

  12. This is a favorite in our household, our toddler DEVOURS it and leftovers are just as good! Only change I make is baking it for 45 minutes, but I follow everything else to a T and it turns out perfect every time!

  13. 5 stars
    Excellent! Was delicious. As others have said, don’t hurry the dipping process. The first time I made it I did exactly that. It was still tasty but gloppy. 2nd time– perfect! Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  14. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. Definitely double to sauce though. I usually pair with steamed broccoli and jasmine rice. Making again tonight!

  15. This was delicious. My family loved it! I doubled the recipe and the only thing different I did was pat the chicken dry on paper towel between browning the batches.

  16. 5 stars
    This was excellent, we will make it again and also check out the other similar recipes mentioned in the blog.
    Just a few comments: Needs more sauce. Next time I will increase the liquid because I wanted much more of the gooey goodness.
    I used a red bell pepper instead of a hot pepper, and greatly reduced the sriracha because my wife doesn’t like too much spice. Still worked out great, but maybe more like a sweet and sour.
    Peanuts were great in this and added that crunchy texture.

  17. Made this tonight with the easy fried rice and my family loves it! Turned out awesome and it was super easy. Will definitely be making this more often!!!!

  18. 5 stars
    This was phenomenal! I followed the recipe the way it was written. I did double the sauce though. Absolutely delicious!!

    Thanks for sharing

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