Healthier Kung Pao Chicken

Happy Friday! It was a beautiful morning here in New Hampshire, so I headed out to a trail for my run.

I ran my best time yet for a 5k distance outside (though not by much!). I’d love to be able to be under 31 minutes. I think I can do it if I work at it – I’m only a minute away after all! I really need to push myself to not take walk breaks outside because I know I’m capable of running the whole thing. Hopefully next time I’ll have a better time and there will be less bugs. I think I swallowed (well, inhaled) at least a dozen! Ick!

As it’s Friday and many people resort to takeout on Friday nights, I wanted to share the latest homemade Chinese takeout I made – Healthier Kung Pao Chicken!

This is most definitely one of the easiest Asian recipes I’ve made. Luke and I both thought it was just as good as Kung Pao Chicken from a Chinese restaurant, and it’s so much healthier for you. You can make it in the time it takes to wait for your order to be delivered, so it’s just as fast!

First, chop your veggies and your chicken.

Heat the sesame oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.

Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes, until it begins to brown.

In the meantime, whisk together the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.

When chicken begins to brown, add the sauce and bring it to a boil.

Then add the asparagus and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with rice or another grain.


Healthier Kung Pao Chicken

Adapted from Cooking Light

Serves two with some leftovers for lunch.


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced (about 3/4 cup diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek chile paste
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped (about 1/3 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus (1 inch pieces)
  • crushed peanuts for garnish, optional


  1. Chop your onion, pepper, asparagus and chicken.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onions. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  3. Add the chicken and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the chicken begins to brown.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the water, soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, minced ginger and chile paste in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  5. When chicken is lightly browned, add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil. Then add in the chopped asparagus and red pepper.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the veggies reach your desired tenderness.
  7. Top with crushed peanuts (optional, I don’t like them).
  8. Serve with rice or another grain of your choice and enjoy!

*Note – this recipe is very customizable. You can easily add in more veggies or use completely different veggies.

This entry was posted in Asian, Fitness, Gluten-free, Recipes, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Healthier Kung Pao Chicken

  1. Ewwww the bug eating is such a drawback of running outside! Last night doing a quick run by the lake, I’m pretty sure I ate a few myself. Great time though! Are trail runs really hilly up by you?

    • Caroline says:

      There are a lot of hilly trails, but I’ve been sticking with the flattest trail I can find! Once I can run a 5k outside with no walk breaks, I’ll add in some hills. Hopefully the first 5k I do isn’t loaded with hills!

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