Ground Kung Pao Chicken (1 Pan!)

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Ground Kung Pao Chicken with chopped zucchini, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts in Panda Express copycat sauce and done in 20 minutes!

Ground Kung Pao Chicken with chopped zucchini, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts in Panda Express copycat sauce and done in 20 minutes!Ground Kung Pao Chicken was the logical next step after we started making Ground Orange Chicken.

Just like the Ground Orange Chicken the crisp texture the chicken has because we brown it well before breaking it apart is amazing and it still has that amazing Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Sauce that we all love.

With the use of ground chicken and finely chopped vegetables this dish literally takes 20 minutes to make, and that is at a leisurely pace.

In fact the sauce in this recipe is authentic and released by Panda Express. Sometimes they release them in obscure places like the Spicy Cashew Chicken that was only shared on a morning show on a local broadcast or this sauce recipe which was shared in a local news story about a location opening up in Honolulu in 2007. Sometimes being an internet detective pays off!

20 minutes to make this Ground Kung Pao Chicken with Panda Express Copycat Sauce!

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Set your rice to cook in the rice cooker, start cooking the chicken, and wash and cut up some broccoli to steam in the microwave (glass bowl, a bit of water and a wet paper towel over the top for 3 minutes). By the time the rice is done cooking, so is dinner.

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The WHOLE FAMILY loved this Ground Kung Pao Chicken! Plus the veggies were so finely minced they were hidden!

Tools Used in the making of the Ground Kung Pao Chicken:
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.
Large Frying Pan: I use this Cuisinart for most of my non cast iron cooking unless I am going with a stainless steel option, then I choose my All Clad.
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
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.
Rice Wine: Adds an authentic flavor to the sauce, in a pinch if you absolutely can’t find it you can substitute white wine, but it will make it taste slightly different.

Recipe

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Ground Kung Pao Chicken

5
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese
Ground Kung Pao Chicken with chopped zucchini, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts in Panda Express copycat sauce and done in 20 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 1 red bell pepper minced
  • 1 large zucchini minced
  • 1/4 cup diced green onion white part only, in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cooking wine (I used white wine)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 ounces dry roasted peanuts crushed

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Heat wok/skillet on high heat 10 seconds, you want that pan to be nice and hot!
  2. To a large pan add 1 tablespoon canola oil and ground chicken.
  3. Cook until a good crust forms before breaking apart, then finish cooking by breaking it apart with a spatula and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan, add the other tablespoon of canola oil, red bell pepper and zucchini.
  5. Cook on high and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just caramelized and slightly cooked.
  6. Add the crushed red pepper, green onions, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, sesame oil and cooked ground chicken.
  7. Stir for 2-3 seconds and immediately add the wine, soy sauce and water mixed with cornstarch.
  8. Bring it to a boil for a minute or so until the sauce has thickened.
  9. Garnish with crushed peanuts if desired.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

Save Recipe
The WHOLE FAMILY loved this Ground Kung Pao Chicken! Plus the veggies were so finely minced they were hidden! Made with Panda Express Copycat Sauce!
Ground Kung Pao Chicken with chopped zucchini, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts in Panda Express copycat sauce and done in 20 minutes!
20 minutes to make this Ground Kung Pao Chicken with Panda Express Copycat Sauce!

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Categories:

Chicken Main Course Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Recipe Worldly Foods

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Comments

    1. Really it’s just a personal preference. There’s so much flavor in the sauce that you could put whatever you like in it. Props to you for grinding your own chicken!!

  1. This was a nice change from the usual Asian fare I cook up at home. Even my picky spouse loved it! I simply subbed another bell pepper for the zucchini 🙂 I will be making this again, already craving it…

    Rating: 5
  2. Hey. Avid reader and lurker. I wanted to say – I love this recipe idea and I did make it, while making it very much my own, and thought it was fantastic. But I can’t help but tell you: you have the vegetable oil listed twice in two separate quantities in the ingredients list. And you have the crushed red pepper listed twice in both the ingredients and the instructions. And in your notes, you talk about rice (shoaxing) wine but in the ingredients you call it cooking wine (white wine). I definitely had to think through this one before I prepped it. Thought you’d want to know.

    Rating: 5
    1. Melissa, thank you so much! I meant to take all reference to the shoaxing wine out because I get a ton of emails asking how necessary it is and one about how they’ve only ever used it in one of my recipes, but part of me wants to stay authentic. Talk about being conflicted. Also thanks on the duplicate glitch. That was two drafts combining from rounds of recipe testing. Thanks for catching that error!

  3. Was tasty but felt was spicy but bland. Not sure where I may have gone wrong but my sauce was NOWHERE near as dark or “sticky/thick” looking as the pictures. Bummed. 

    1. That is a bummer! Did you change any of the ingredients or adjust the cooking method? Fee free to email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert.com if you’d like to troubleshoot more.

  4. I agree with Rosemarie but I like things pretty saucy so I just added some sweet chili Thai dipping sauce, a few more dashes of hot sauce and a little more soy sauce to counteract too much sweetness.  We thought it was delicious!