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 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).
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.
Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti (CPK Copycat)
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Course: Main Course
- Cuisine: American Fusion
- Author: Sabrina Snyder
- 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
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
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 1/2 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 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.
- 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.
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.
Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: 1160 calories, Calories: 1160g, Carbohydrates: 129g, Protein: 57g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 3243mg, Potassium: 1405mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 16.1g, Vitamin C: 24.3g, Calcium: 13.1g, Iron: 30.1g
All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.
Some of the original photos from when I first made this Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti for the blog two years ago!: