Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is deliciously spicy and sweet, a fan favorite and all time best seller from California Pizza Kitchen that you can make at home.
Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti from California Pizza Kitchen is my go to every time we go there for dinner (this is pretty often you guys, it is just down the street!).
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 ½ 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).
Some tips and tricks for this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti:
- Swap it out for shrimp, tofu or pork.
- 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.
- If you’d like to lighten it up even more add in two spiralized zucchinis. You won’t notice the flavor difference but you’ll cut the calories significantly per serving.
- Make the sauce ahead of time and the dish will take way less time in the future. I make a quadruple recipe and freeze the other portions in flattened ziploc bags until I’m ready to make another batch.
Looking for more Asian recipes?
- Crispy Sesame Chicken
- Chinese Honey Chicken
- PF Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken
- Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken (Copycat)
More California Pizza Kitchen:
Tools Used in the making of this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti:
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Wok: The best way to cook quickly and over high heat for Asian dishes, this wok is the perfect stir fry pan.
Sesame Oil: The flavor of sesame oil in this dish is unmistakeable and not really able to be substituted. Some Asian grocery stores will try and sell less expensive options that aren’t actually sesame oil, so just be sure the one you’re buying is authentic sesame oil.
Chinese Dried Chili Peppers: These add a ton of flavor, just don’t eat them! You add them towards the end of the cooking time and they add a nice low heat to the dish.
- 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
- 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
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 tablespoons cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon salt until blended but not frothy.
TO BRING THE DISH TOGETHER:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook a minute shy of al dente.
- In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the ¼ 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.
- 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.
- Add in the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the bowl.
- Top with extra chopped scallions.
Some of the original photos from when I first made this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti for the blog two years ago!:
This was absolutely delicious and a real winner with my husband and I. I did however, because I’m a wooz with anything spicy, I only used 2 TBLSP of the chili sauce and half of the chilies. Will be making this again, however I will add more chicken as I like a meatier pasta. Thank you for the great recipe.
Absolutely a winning recipe, and yes: certainly restaurant quality!
It makes a ton of food, which is wonderful frozen for another couple of meals for the two of us.
Thank you for your many fantastic recipes! They are exceptional, every time.
I wanna make this with shrimp do I still put them in the egg white and cornstarch mixture?
No, you don’t have to when using shrimp. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe of Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti. It was fabulous. All four of us loved the dish and will make it again and again. I will add more peanuts (because we like them in this a lot) and I added 3 tablespoons more sugar, as we like it a bit sweeter. Other than that, the recipe was made exactly as you did. I was also wondering if a tablespoon or two of peanut butter would make a nice addition to this? I haven’t tried it, but was wondering. I liked it also as it left us with some leftovers to have the next day. Thanks again. It is a favorite recipe.
I’m glad you enjoy it so much. If you want to add peanut butter you’ll need to add more rice wine so it’s not too think. Enjoy!
Do you have the actual CPK recipe without modifications available to share?
I linked the cookbook that has the copycat recipes listed in the post above.
What is the point of the corn start and egg step?
It’s part of their recipe, creates a breading for the chicken. I’ve made it with and without this step in the past, healthier without it, but I love the flavor of the breading.
Just made it. We loved it. Can you freeze leftovers?
Yay!! So glad you enjoyed it. You can freeze this for up to 3 months.
Hi, I just wanted to clarify it calls for red wine vinegar and not rice wine vinegar? Thank you.
Yes, it’s red wine vinegar. Enjoy!
What a great dinner we had tonight — definitely worth the effort. The only changes I made was to leave out the red chile peppers and I reduced the amount of chili garlic paste to 2 tbsp. vs. 3. Delicious and a definite repeat at our house.
This was fantastic (I used popcorn chicken instead to save time). We had left overs, and decided to try it on pizza! I made more sauce, added a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese then topped it with the pasta. My husband claims this is by far the best (if not messiest) pizza he’s ever had.
I love cooking spicy food like this! I love Chinese food!
This was very tasty. I cut down the spice in the sauce by about half and that was perfect for my family. I made a lot of broccoli to go with it and sauteed some tofu in a bit of oil plus about a quarter cup of the sauce that was simmering. It took about 30 minutes to make the meal and I was pretty much working on something non-stop for those 30 minutes. Not a difficult meal to make, just lots of steps especially if you add in a veggie and protein. If you want to keep it simple, then you can just do the sauce and maybe a bag of microwaved veggies and it would still be yummy.
Thanks for dropping by to let me know! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Definitely should have used low sodium soy sauce….the overall dish was very tasty but overly salty.
Made this for dinner tonight it was amazing. we have enough for 2 more meals it really makes
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Why not eat the dried red chili peppers? That’s the best part. Do not afraid.
Hi this looks amazing!! Thanks for the recipe! This might be a silly question, but I was wondering if you used pre-cooked chicken? Or is it raw? Thanks in advance!!
Not a silly question at all! Glad you asked.
The chicken is raw in the beginning and you’ll be mixing it with the egg white-cornstarch mixture and cooking it in the skillet. Hope you enjoy it!
You have a great blog. Its like finding a treasure case of my fav recipes. I cnt wait to try this one.
What would be a close, non-alcoholic substitute for sherry and rice wine vinegar for this recipe?
I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog!!
There isn’t any alcohol in rice wine vinegar so you’ll be fine with that. As far as the sherry, it would be ok to just leave out all together.
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