CPK Best-Seller Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti (Copycat)

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Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!  Hi, my name is Sabrina and I am a cookbook hoarder. I fully admit a fresh stack of cookbooks magically appear in our house on a monthly basis and there is nothing my husband can do to stop it. With all the amazing new books coming out it is hard to keep up. But like a fine wine, sometimes the cookbooks that aren’t so new and shiny and don’t have brilliantly glossy photos can be worthy of hero status too.

This deliciously spicy and sweet recipe from the California Pizza Kitchen Pastas Cookbook is a fan favorite and all time best seller that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste! Sure it takes a few extra bowls and about 30 minutes of prep before you even start cooking, but it is worthy of true hero status. I’d like to nominate myself as a hero too, since I took the recipe and shaved off about half the fat and nobody noticed a bit of difference!

This recipe is almost verbatim the recipe in the book so it is truly authentic. The major differences are in the amount of fat used. It is scary that they want you to add more than double the amount I used (not just add it to fry something, but add it in and keep it in permanently! Sorry CPK I love you and all but I am not about to add 1/2 a cup of oil to this dish. Then I can’t make it part of my weekly rotation!

 To Make the Kung Pao Sauce:
In a saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons cornstarch until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Stir in the soy sauce, sherry, chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar and sesame oil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 20 minutes).
To Make Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture:
In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the 2 egg whites, 2 tablespooons cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended but not frothy.
To Prepare the Pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook a minute shy of al dente.
To Bring the Dish Together:
In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the chicken to the Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture and mix. As carefully as you can, add the chicken and egg white mixture to the pan in one large pancake shape.
Cook until the egg mixture sets. Using a large spatula, carefully flip it over then with a wooden spoon, gently separate the pieces. Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!
As soon as they darken in color (about a minute) stir in the garlic and scallions.  Let the garlic and scallions cook for about 30 seconds (do not brown the garlic, it will get bitter) add the Kung Pao Sauce and toss and stir to coat the ingredients. Add in the cooked and drained pasta and combine with the sauce. If you pan isn’t big enough, combine them in a big bowl. Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!
Add in the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the bowl. Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste! Toss together and serve to the group of people holding empty bowls impatiently waiting behind you. 🙂 Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!

Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!
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CPK's Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti

Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Dinner, then Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 3 tablespoons chili paste with garlic
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil , plus
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast , cut in 3/4-inch cubes
  • 10 -15 whole chinese dried red chili peppers (don't eat these, they are for color and heat)
  • 1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 3 cups coarsely-chopped scallions , greens and whites

Instructions

  1. To Make the Kung Pao Sauce:
  2. In a saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons cornstarch until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce, sherry, chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar and sesame oil and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 20 minutes).
  5. To Make Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture:
  6. In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the 2 egg whites, 2 tablespooons cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended but not frothy.
  7. To Prepare the Pasta:
  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook a minute shy of al dente.
  9. To Bring the Dish Together:
  10. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil for about 1 minute.
  11. Add the chicken to the Egg White-Cornstarch Mixture and mix.
  12. As carefully as you can, add the chicken and egg white mixture to the pan in one large pancake shape.
  13. Cook until the egg mixture sets.
  14. Using a large spatula, carefully flip it over then with a wooden spoon, gently separate the pieces.
  15. As soon as they darken in color (about a minute) stir in the garlic and scallions.
  16. Let the garlic and scallions cook for about 30 seconds (do not brown the garlic, it will get bitter) add the Kung Pao Sauce and toss and stir to coat the ingredients.
  17. Add in the cooked and drained pasta and combine with the sauce.
  18. If you pan isn't big enough, combine them in a big bowl.
  19. Add in the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the bowl.
  20. Top with extra chopped scallions

Recipe Notes

Adapted from California Pizza Kitchen: Pasta, Salads, Soups and Sides Cookbook, available for sale on Amazon (contains affiliate link which will help pay for more cookbooks, but not quite enough for that new pony I want).

Note: I add the peppers in the bowl before tossing because the company we had over were sensitive to spice. This kept it at a true mild heat. I took my serving and crushed a couple of the peppers to kick up the heat on my dish. If you are making it for a group of people who like spice, then add the peppers in with the green onions and garlic.

Dinner then Dessert TIPS  Sick of chicken? Swap it out for shrimp, tofu or pork. Better yet, roast off some zucchini and eggplant and toss them in for a totally different vegetarian alternative. *If you want to go truly vegetarian, swap out the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!

Deliciously spicy and sweet, this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home and with my adjustments enjoy it with about half the calories and ALL the taste!
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