Panda Express Mushroom Chicken

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Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes!

Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce.Panda Express Mushroom Chicken with quickly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms and tender chicken breast makes a delicious quick Chinese “takeout” meal you’d be happy to eat every night and that your scale won’t exact it’s revenge on your for it!

Update: Over the last year we have made this recipe the original way and with small variations while taste testing against the original. Lots of Panda Express visits, lots of testing (think Monica trying to recreate Phoebe’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe) and I think I’ve gotten to the point where we can call this a spot on copycat!

Panda Express has been a go to take out lunch since I was a kid. Orange chicken, beef and broccoli and chow mein had been my go-to order until I turned 21 and started becoming more aware of my calorie intake. When I started looking at the nutritional facts I felt a little sick. I had no idea such a small amount of orange chicken could pack in so much fat and calories.

So I did a bit more research and you can enjoy Panda Express with FAR less fat and calories by choosing different “entrees.” My new go to became Panda Express Mushroom Chicken, beef and broccoli and steamed vegetables. I think that clocked in around 60% less calories! I did miss the taste of the orange chicken, but to be honest the mushroom chicken (which I normally would not have chosen) was DELICIOUS!

It took me a fair bit of searching and a few failed tries at making a dish that reminded me of the original but this recipe has been our go-to for a couple of years now and has been universally enjoyed.  The best part is, the recipe is so incredibly easy, you can throw it together in as long as it takes to make rice to go with it! I do have to add a disclaimer though, this is not a *spot* on recreation. The balsamic is a little strong so you can taste it. But it does taste a lot like it, so until I do more research this is the best I’ve got if you are looking for a copycat for Panda Express Mushroom Chicken!  Yep, I have been working on this recipe all year and it’s gotten an update!!

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Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce.

Recipe

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Panda Express Zucchini & Mushroom Chicken

5
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese
Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into thin bite sized slices
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms , sliced (white mushrooms are authentic to the recipe, but I love crimini)
  • 1 medium zucchini , cut in half lengthwise, then in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • sesame seeds , for garnish (optional)

Instructions

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

  1. Toss the chicken with cornstarch.
  2. Heat the canola and sesame oil in the pan.
  3. Add chicken and cook on medium-high until browned on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove chicken from the pan, and turn the heat up to high.
  5. Add in the mushrooms and zucchini and cook until they start to brown.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger and cook/stir for 30 seconds.
  7. Cook for another 2-3 minutes as vegetables soften a little.
  8. Add the chicken back in and stir to coat.
  9. Add in the soy sauce, sugar and rice wine vinegar and stir to coat.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: calories

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

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Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce.

Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce. dinnerthendessert.com
Panda Express Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce. dinnerthendessert.com
Panda Express Zucchini and Mushroom Chicken in just 20 minutes! You'll be sitting down to dinner faster than you could drive there and pick some up and come home! Lightly sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in a soy ginger and garlic sauce with a splash of vinegar.

 

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Comments

  1. These look delicious! You always post the best recipes, and this is no different. I can’t wait to try it.

        1. Sorry I don’t have the nutritional facts for recipes on the site but I know there are a lot of free resources on the internet from when I’ve cooked for clients with low calorie diets.

      1. I tried your recipe and I followed exactly even though I was a little apprehensive and I loved the sauce and I thank you for that. but there was far too much corn starch the chicken ended up being breaded which was not at all like Panda. All I can guess is maybe you left a lot of the corn starch in the bowl so less ended up in the pan. If I made it in the future I would cut it down to 1.5.

        1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Was the chicken small enough pieces? The times I’ve found I have leftover cornstarch is when I cut bigger chunks and don’t have enough pieces to coat. But I am glad you enjoyed the dish! We love making this at home too.

  2. I haven’t been to Panda Express in a long time, but this was definitely the dish I used to get there! Can’t wait to make it at home!

  3. Wow this looks amazing. We don’t have panda express near me, so I’ve never tried anything from there but this? Is a must try!

  4. I’m kind of crazy for mushrooms. They are my favorite way to add a little flavor and meatiness to my meals. Can’t wait to make this one.

  5. I love mushrooms and chicken together. That looks like a great dinner for some night this week.

  6. I am totally a Panda Express fan and especially love their vegetables. I can not wait to try your healthier version, which already trumps over the original in the appearance category!

    1. Thanks Marcie! Once I got over my orange chicken addiction I really did start to appreciate how good their vegetables are.

  7. This looks so good Sabrina. My mouth is watering just looking at your picture. I am definitely going to have to try this.

  8. Yum, this sounds so good right now! I haven’t tried this combo at Panda Express but I’d love to make it for myself.

  9. My husband is addicted to Panda Express. We have one in the mall over in the city and its just so so. Recently they opened a stand alone right across the street and it has some really great items. I love that it is fresh and I can tell them exactly what I want in it.

  10. You know whats crazy…I literally almost went to Panda Express today! I love when I can replicate aa favotie food item so thanks for this!

  11. It looks like there are some type seeds picture in the dish but not reflected in the ingredients; I assume, but we know how assume is spelled : -), that since sesame oil is used that they are sesame seeds?

    1. Yes! Sorry about that, they are sesame seeds. I use them for a garnish! I will add them to the recipe, thank you for reminding me. They were a last minute addition.

  12. Delicious! I made the mistake of using a small skillet for the chichen so cramped it with the chicken pieces so they weren’t as crunchy I I thought they were suposed to be, but tottaly my fault. Still they were nice and smooth and juicy inside and the sauce was wonderful!

    1. Rita, I am so glad it worked out well for you! Sometimes when I am too lazy to wash a pan and I have to use a smaller one I just do the chicken in batches. Then at the end I toss it all carefully in the sauce 🙂 I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  13. I have made this for my family now,twice. They love it! my 6 year old says it’s her new favorite dish. Mine too. Great recipe!

    1. Gloria, you made my day! Anytime I can get the little ones to enjoy something I feel like I have won the lottery!

  14. I made this today and it was absolutely DELICIOUS, I doubled the recipe because I have a large family and it came out perfect..everyone LOVED it..no leftovers. Thank you for posting this, can’t wait to try more recipes. Your blog is in my favorites 🙂

    1. Awww, that’s so sweet! You totally made my day! I’m so glad you made it and then came back to tell me about it! I look forward to seeing you around the site!

  15. Yum! This was sooo good! I had a slight problem with the chicken sticking (I used a high heat oil blend instead of canola and my pan was not nonstick) but once I pried off what I could and added the veggies (and a teeny bit more oil), the bits of stuck chicken all came up and just added to the flavor! This was a big hit with my 2&4 year olds. And we didn’t even have it over rice. Just plain yummy on its own. Thanks for the recipe! It’s a keeper. :o)

  16. I made this last night and loved it! I added about two tablespoons of sugar before mixing one last time and serving. The vinegar smell was pretty potent before adding sugar, so I was afraid my boyfriend wouldn’t like it. He loved it! We had enough for leftovers which I am munching on now. Even our yellow lab was circling the table! Thanks for the yummy Panda inspired recipe! I think next time I will use a high quality soy sauce so my sauce isn’t so dark! Awesome recipe!

  17. Made this tonight, and loved it!! I added maybe 1/4 tsp of cornstarch to the sauce at the end, to thicken a bit. I’ll be making this one again, thanks! =)

  18. Made this tonight, everyone in my family loved it! Kids and all… I think cashews or onion would add a nice crunch too.. Fantastic and easy to make.. Thank you!

  19. We are getting zucchini out of our garden now. So can’t wait to try this. Just a question, I do not like Balsamic Vinegar. I noticed it is only 2 TBS. What is that for? Is it for flavor? Does it end up tasting like BV? I am willing to try it as is. Just curious if it is essential.

    1. So sorry, this comment got snared in the spam filter! I’ve since edited out the balsamic vinegar from the recipe after more and more (delicious!) recipe testing 🙂

  20. My family LOVED IT!!! Thank you it tastes just like Panda Express! I left out the mushrooms being that I’m allergic but doubled the zuchini, and added onion powder.

  21. Yum, I loved this recipe. I am a vegetarian and used tofu pieces and it was still wonderful. And it cooked so fast; I found myself being done cooking and scratching my head thinking, “that’s it?”. So simple for a busy night or any night, definitely give it a try, you will not be disappointed!!

  22. I wrote to you awhile back complementing you on your fabulous recipes. At that time, I had not actually cooked any, I just loved reading them. Yes, there are people who purchase cookbooks just to read them.? A friend had an over abundance of home grown zucchini, immediately,, I thought Copycat Panda Express Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini. It came out absolutely delicious. Now, I’m hooked. No more reading, Next, Walnut Shrimp. Thank you, for a great blog.

    1. I’m so glad you started cooking my recipes and enjoyed the result! I look forward to hearing about which ones you try in the future!

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Sorry I don’t have the nutritional facts for recipes on the site but I know there are a lot of free resources on the internet from when I’ve cooked for clients with low calorie diets.

  23. What is rice wine vinegar? I have rice wine and rice vinegar, but I have not seen rice wine vinegar. Which one did you use?

    I made this with balsamic before and it was great, just wondering about your new change.

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Sorry I just found a huge number of comments over the last three months that was snared in the spam filter and I am trying to follow up with each one now even though in your case I am way too late to help. I actually loved the version with the balsamic vinegar but it wasn’t as authentic as this version is. You can use rice vinegar in place of rice wine vinegar (I use the Roland brand, but the difference is minimal).

  24. My husband and I loved this recipe! I just pulled it up again for dinner tonight and see that it’s changed and the balsamic is removed. We really loved that flavor! Is there any place I can find the old recipe?

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Sorry I just found a huge number of comments over the last three months that was snared in the spam filter and I am trying to follow up with each one now even though in your case I am way too late to help. I LOVE the balsamic vinegar version too, but to make it more authentic I did more recipe testing and made a couple of swaps. Swap the rice vinegar for two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. You can also omit the sugar. 🙂

  25. I’m confused, directions in print say add soy and blasamic vinegar. Directions in recipe says soy, rice wine vinegar and sugar..

    1. I updated the recipe after some tinkering to use rice wine vinegar instead of balsamic. I fixed the directions in the print. Sorry for the confusion!

    1. So sorry, I updated the recipe after some tinkering but forgot to update the text of the post. The recipe now uses rice wine vinegar, not balsamic vinegar.

  26. Thank you so much for this copycat! Oh my gosh…YUM!
    I was wondering what kind of pan you used? My silver fry pan ended up coated with the browned chicken juice/cornstarch and sticking to the bottom. Let’s just say it did not look like your beautiful chicken. Should the chicken be kinda dry when adding. ( Mine was kinda juicy before adding the cornstarch)
    Then when I added the veggies on high it started to burn the coating stuck to the bottom so I grabbed another fry pan and dumped the veggies in it. That worked good but I missed all the luscious browned goodness from the first pan.
    When I added the ginger and garlic to stir fry, there was too much liquid in the pan but I didn’t worry about that and just heated.
    I want to figure out the right pan and method because this isn’t the first time my chicken ends up stuck! I would be so grateful for your help!!!
    I absolutely love trying to figure out a recipe as well, I feel like a mad scientist and it is soooo rewarding when you get a win!
    This one is just amazing and I have 1 less zucchini to use from the garden!
    Thank you so much again! Love, love, love!!!

    1. I use All-Clad non stick pans as a general rule unless I am using my trusty slow cooker or I am cooking something that requires a gentle heat or a braise where I will have plenty of liquids. If you find it sticking I would suggest removing the food, deglazing with just a bit of water/stock and scrape up those bits, they are full of flavor.

      The chicken should be pretty dry too, but also worst case scenario, use just enough to coat the bottom of your pan. Cooking in a regular (not non-stick) pan is definitely on the harder side, you need more liquid, more protection for the food. To be on the safe side always start with enough oil in your pan to coat the bottom and deglaze as you go.

      If you ever want more kitchen help or have questions about a recipe feel free to email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert.com 🙂

  27. I made this once with the original recipe where it calls for balsamic vinegar. It was good , but I didn’t fall in love with it. So ,yesterday , I made this updated recipe and it was amazing! Thank you for your awesome copycat recipes, Sabrina!

  28. Made your recipe tonight, so good. I just had a quick taste. It reminds me so much of the Panda version. We just moved to a super small town that doesnt have any of the chain restaurants that was everywhere lol. On the plus side, we save money on going out and these copy cat versions are so much healthier and made fresh as opposed to packaged and frozen. Thank you for a delicious recipe

  29. I’ve made this twice now, and both times I’ve had to toss out my zucchini because the vingear is totally overwhelming. Everything else turns out fine, and I follow the recipe exavt. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hey Amber, not sure this is a pretty popular recipe on the blog, but I am happy to troubleshoot with you on here or via email? contact @ dinnerthendessert.com Did you use the ingredients as written in the recipe card or make any substitutions?

  30. I was so excited abt this cuz I live far from a Panda Express but I cld taste the vinegar. I used rice vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar, wld that have been the issue?

  31. Thanks for the recipe. We just finished it for dinner and everyone enjoyed it. We really liked the sauce and I will double that the next time.

      1. Hi, I’ve made this several times and it’s fantastic and was going to make it again tonight but don’t have corn starch so what do you suggest for an alternative?

        1. Do you have rice flour? If not I say just go with a very light dusting of all purpose flour. It may be slightly thicker but shouldn’t alter things too much.

  32. Will be making this tonite for the first time for my family. Quick question- can I make this using shrimps since I will be making your tried and popular Kung Pao chicken. Just avoiding making two dishes with chicken. Pls let me know, thanks..

  33. I can’t find the words to fully express how glad I am to have stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. Everyone at the table can’t believe that YOURS TRULY made it. Omg! Winner!!!!

  34. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but while cooking the chicken the corn starch is not doing much for the chicken but rather sticking to the pan bad. The chicken doesn’t brown, just cooks…. Suggestions?

    1. Did the chicken sort of absorb the cornstarch or was it like a totally white layer over the chicken? You may also just have a pan that tends to need a bit more oil, so I would add a bit more oil if needed. I’m so sorry for the delay your comment accidentally ended up in the spam filter and I just saw it tonight.

  35. I made this yesterday and followed the directions exactly. Wow – this tasted exactly like Panda Express. It was so good! Thanks!

    1. You totally made my day! I’m so glad you made it and then came back to tell me about it! I look forward to seeing you around the site!

  36. Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve made it twice already. The first was exact but I could taste the soy too much. The second time I substituted 1/4 C teriyaki and skipped the sugar since there was plenty in the teriyaki and I think it was even closer. Would you try it out and let me know what you think?

  37. This is phenomenal! I doubled the sauce and added chopped red onion, red peppers and pineapple chunks. Because of these additional ingredients I had to pump up the oven temperature and allow for extra cooking time. It was worth it. I also tried the mushroom chicken recipe. Also wonderful. Thank you so much, I don’t think I’ll need to go out for Chinese food anymore. You have a gift. 🙂

  38. This is phenomenal! Thank you so much, I don’t think I’ll need to go out for Chinese food anymore. You have a gift. 🙂

  39. I made this recipe tonight and it was sooooo good! Taste better than a Panda Express! Will definitely make again! Thanks for the recipe!!

    Rating: 5
  40. I made this for dinner tonight and EVERYONE loved it!!! Even my picky Teenager I will definitely keep this recipe Forever. Thank You !!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks Tricia! Picky Teenagers are the hardest to win over at times so I’m excited to see this meal passed the test 🙂

  41. This tuned out deliciously! I didn’t have zucchini so I subbed green bell peppers and followed the rest of the recipe exactly.  Super quick and tasty recipe – Its perfect! Thanks very much.

    Rating: 5
  42. Hey! I have yet to try this recipe but the feedback you have gotten is amazing! I was wondering what type of rice wine vinegar you recommend? Seasoned, unseasoned, natural? And would plain rice vinegar work the store doesn’t have it? Thank you!!

    1. Plain rice vinegar is totally fine. 🙂 Whatever you can source, as long as it is rice vinegar is great. Just don’t sub a different kind of vinegar altogether.

  43. Cooked this tonight and I was amazing! I’ve been craving Panda Express every since I left England, and now I can have it at home!! WooHoo! Thank you so very much for the recipe! Xx

    Rating: 5
  44. Oh mama, this was GOOD.  It takes a while for me to repeat a dish since we like a good bit of variety around here but I wanted this one again like as soon as we finished dinner! Sooo yummy – thank you! Cant wait to check out more of your recipes!

    Rating: 5
  45. I made it and it was good but did not seem as sweet as the Panda version. It made me wonder if you used seasoned rice vinegar. I know they make one that contains sugar and I usually buy the one specified unseasoned. If my vinegar is right I just need to alter the sugar to bring it into line with what I get at my Panda. I also added some water to get a little sauce as mine all cooked up to just coat the meat and veggies but none standing in pan.

    Rating: 4
  46. Delicious recipe! I did alter a bit by using broccoli instead of zucchini but otherwise followed the recipe. Definitely a keeper for my family!?

    Rating: 5
  47. We loved it!!  Used Brags Aminos instead of soy.  Also, one of the times added onions to it as well!!  Delish!

    Rating: 5
  48. I made this tonight and it was a hit! I used tofu instead of chicken and added bell peppers. Never had it at Panda Express, but I can’t imagine it’s any better than this! This will be on permanent rotation at my house!

    Rating: 5
  49. My husband and I made this last night and it was absolutely great!  Hubby went back for 2nds and finished it off.  Yum, yum!

    Rating: 5
    1. It’s a hard flavor to replicate but the closest would be to use peanut oil. You can always use any other nut or seed oil but it just won’t be as bold of a flavor as sesame. Enjoy!

  50. I’ve been making this recipe for the last two years and I LOVE it! I just checked back because I haven’t made it in a while and I see you changed the balsamic for rice wine vinegar. I like the balsamic better! Still good but after I tasted I went back and added the balsamic and let cook for a few minutes before eating. Either way, an AMAZING recipe!!

    Rating: 5
  51. This was so good. I found it searching for zucchini and mushroom because I had some to use up, I was not expecting to find something that will be added into my regular rotation. Some of the ingredients I don’t keep on hand regularly so I had to substitute (sesame oil and rice vinegar) but I’ll be picking those up just for this recipe. Thanks for sharing and for continuing to update as you’ve tweaked the recipe.

    Rating: 5
  52. One word and even that’s not enough- AMAZING! I have a big family so I always cook in big quantities. I quadrupled this recipe and I’m so happy I did, it’s to die for!!! I served my with noodles. So yum!

    Rating: 5
  53. I was waiting for my chicken to Brown and it never really did. So my chicken ended up being a little tough. I guess chicken doesn’t brown in 2-3mins.

  54. This was spot on. Tasted exactly like the Panda! I used coconut oil instead of Canola. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  55. Excellent! I live on the coast in South America and I crave some old familiar favorites – especially Asian food like PExpress – this dish in particular. I followed exactly and it was WONDERFUL. I’ll invite some Expats and Ecuadorian friends over to enjoy this tasty dish.(I, too, was skeptical, but it really tasted like I flew back to the states and got that red box of veg and chicken and perfect sauce. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  56. This was really good and easy!! Made the brown rice recipe and I will definitely use it for brown rice every time. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Rating: 5
  57. This was really good. I had to make more because I have a family of 6 so I had to triple the recipe for my brood. But everyone gobbled it up. The zucchini cooks fast so next time I will start with mushrooms and then add the zucchini because i like it better when its al dente. and I added some carrots for more veggies. The family loved it! Thanks for sharing it.

    Rating: 5
  58. This was fantastic!! Doubled recipe and saved leftovers for 2 adults and 2 teenagers for the next day.

    Rating: 5