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

4.63 from 8 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

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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

Nutrition

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. 3 stars
    Disappointing. The sauce was minimal and I only used half of the chicken but full amount of sauce. Needs double the sauce and what little there was never really thickened. If you look at the first picture, note how glossy the chicken is. None, nada. The chicken has some sauce on it based on that picture. Nope, nada.

  2. 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

  3. 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!!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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