Healthy Kung Pao Chicken is easy to make, and low in calories, with snow peas, fresh ginger, red bell peppers, green onions, and dry roasted peanuts.Healthy Kung Pao Chicken is easy to make, and low in calories, with snow peas, fresh ginger, red bell peppers, green onions, and dry roasted peanuts.

I love Chinese Food, especially Kung Pao Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork. I do NOT love all the calories those traditional Chinese dishes add to my body, as I eat bite after bite, however!  What’s a girl to do??? How about a recipe for Healthy Kung Pao Chicken?

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page

Where Did Kung Pao Chicken Originate?

Wikipedia describes Kung Pao Chicken as “a classic dish in Szechuan cuisine”. The recipe for Kung Pao Chicken is thought to have originated in the Sichuan province of South-Western China.

This classic dish is commonly believed to have been named to honor Ding Baozhen, a governor of Sichuan Province during the Quing Dynasty. “Kung Pao” literally means “palace guardian”, which has absolutely nothing to do with chicken, but… whatever! All I know is it tastes GREAT!

Where I Found The Recipe For Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

I was determined to search for a slightly healthier version of Kung Pao Chicken…and I found one, in an old back issue of Cooking Light Magazine.  A few very minor changes were made to the recipe, then I prepared this “lighter” version for our dinner tonight. It was delicious!!!!

This healthy kung pao chicken version is not as spicy as some other traditional recipes, including my own recipe (here). If you like your kung pao chicken spicy, simply add additional red pepper flakes to the dish.

Why We Enjoy This Recipe

This healthy kung pao chicken is absolutely full of flavor, a cinch to prepare, and easy on the old wallet! You’ll think you are enjoying some good take out, because the sauce is wonderful, but you won’t be piling on those extra calories. Win-Win!!! I would encourage you to give it a try, and hope you enjoy it! We sure did. Here’s a few pics taken while cooking the dish:

Making Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Chicken breast chunks, green onions and garlic are cooked together in a large skillet until fully cooked through.

Chicken, garlic and green onions are cooked through in a large skillet.

Add Veggies, Sauce and Dry Roasted Peanuts To The Skillet

Once the chicken is cooked through, add snow peas, red bell peppers, dry roasted peanuts and a simple Asian sauce to the chicken. Stir well, to fully combine the ingredients.

At this point, everything is cooking away, and the healthy kung pao chicken is sure smelling good! Let the chicken, veggies and sauce cook for a few more minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cooks, and will coat everything in it’s deliciousness!

Veggies, sauce, and dry roasted nuts are added to healthy kung pao chicken in skillet.

Time To Serve The Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken can be served on a bed of rice (if desired), with additional fresh veggies on the side. Now it’s time to dig in!

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken can be served on a bed of steamed rice.

Hope you enjoy this recipe for healthy kung pao chicken. See the printable recipe below, for all the details! Have a great day, and come back soon!

Looking For More Chinese Food Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few favorite Chinese food recipes include:

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Author's signatureRecipe Adapted From “Cooking Light Magazine”, December 2010 issue and posted at:

0 from 0 votes
Healthy Kung Pao Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Here's a healthy version of a favorite Chinese entree: Kung Pao Chicken, with a touch of "spicy" and a lot of "healthy"!
Category: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: healthy kung pao chicken
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 195 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 Tablespoons green onion , sliced (white and green parts)
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts , cut into 1" pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 -3/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes (If you like it with more "heat", use 3/4 tsp.)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger , minced (or finely grated with micro-plane)
  • 3/4 cup snow peas
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper , sliced in thin strips
  • 2 Tablespoon dry roasted peanuts
  • Optional: Toasted sesame seeds and additional sliced green onion , for garnish)
  1. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil on medium heat.
  2. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook for about a minute, then add the garlic and chicken.
  3. Saute until the chicken is cooked through (about 4-5 minutes).
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Whisk this until the sugar has dissolved, then add this sauce to the chicken.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add the red bell pepper and snow peas.
  6. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes (the sauce will thicken as it cooks). When chicken is heated through and sauce has thickened, remove it from heat.
  7. Serve this dish on top of white or brown rice.
  8. Garnish (if desired) with additional green onion slices and toasted sesame seeds. ENJOY!!
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Kung Pao Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/4 of total))
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 504mg22%
Potassium 384mg11%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 1190IU24%
Vitamin C 49.2mg60%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Healthy Kung Pao Chicken is easy to make, and low in calories, with snow peas, fresh ginger, red bell peppers, green onions, and dry roasted peanuts.




Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

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