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Keto Kung Pao Chicken – Low Carb Chinese Kung Pao Chicken

Keto Kung Pao Chicken – This low carb kung pao chicken an easy classic chinese restaurant style dish for busy weeknights that is sweet, tangy and spicy combined all together and served with cauliflower rice or zoodles.

keto kung pao chicken

What is Kung Pao Chicken?

Also known as Gong Bao Ji Ding this keto kung pao chicken is a popular Chinese takeout dish that stir-fried with juicy chicken thighs, vegetables, peanuts (or cashews), and chili peppers.

Can You Eat Kung Pao Chicken on Keto?

If you are following me, way back in 2018 I have already shared the traditional kung pao chicken recipe (check that out) which contains 20 grams of carbs and that’s because the sauce contains soy sauce, sugar, and other carb ingredients.

But don’t worry, here I have completely made it a 100% keto-approved dish that is full flavors and tastes the same (even more delicious).

low carb kung pao chicken

Kung Pao Chicken Vs General Tso Chicken

If you keep them side by side, it looks the same, both have the same spice level and both are North American dishes.
General Tso’s Chicken (see the low carb version) is usually coated with a batter then deep-fried whereas Kung Pao Chicken is stir-fried with vegetables, peanuts, and sauce.

Ingredients Substitute

  • Vegetables – I have used zucchini and red bell peppers but you can use bok choy, broccoli, or cauliflower.
  • Chicken – It is recommended to use chicken thighs (for more flavor), instead use chicken breast, steak, or shrimp.
  • Make it Spicier – Add Sriracha, red pepper flakes, or any hot sauces.

best keto kung pao chicken

What to Serve With This Low Carb Kung Pao Chicken?

I love to serve these over some zoodles or a bed of cauliflower rice.

Keto Kung Pao Chicken Instant Pot

keto kung pao chicken instant pot

For the stovetop skillet version, see the recipe card below

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE. Once hot, add oil. Add the chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine all the sauce ingredients. Pour all over the chicken.
  • Close the pot and set the valve to sealing. Press MANUAL mode and set the timer for 4 minutes.
  • Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick pressure release. Open the lid and transfer chicken to a large serving plate.
  • Return inner pot back to the Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE button, add oil as needed. Add bell peppers, zucchini, peanuts, and dried red chili peppers. Cook them for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Make a slurry (xanthan gum with water) and add it to the Instant Pot.
  • Allow the sauce to thicken up. Return the chicken back to the pot and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
  • Done! sprinkle with green onions, sesame seeds, and serve over cauliflower rice.

Keto Kung Pao Chicken Slow Cooker

keto kung pao chicken slow cooker

For the stovetop skillet version, see the recipe card below

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and saute the chicken for about 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy and until lightly browned. (you can also cook the chicken into the slow cooker).
  • Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 1.5 – 3 hours or on LOW for 2.5 – 4 hours.
  • In a small bowl mix the xanthan gum with water and stir into the slow cooker. (about 30 minutes before serving).
  • Toss in the red bell peppers, dried red chili peppers, zucchini, and peanuts, stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up and vegetables are tender and heated through.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over zoodles, cauliflower rice.

Low Carb Keto Kung Pao Chicken

Yield: 4

Keto Kung Pao Chicken (Low Carb)

keto kung pao chicken

This low carb keto kung pao chicken an easy classic chinese restaurant style dish for busy weeknights that is sweet, tangy and spicy combined all together and served with cauliflower rice or zoodles.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


For the sauce

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons liquid aminos ( or coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons water or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons monk fruit sweetener (or erythritol), for sweetness

For the chicken stir fry

  • 3/4 lb chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • Himalayan pink salt and black pepper as needed
  • 1 medium-large zucchini, chopped into halves
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2/3 cup roasted peanuts (or roasted cashews)
  • 2 - 3 dried red chili peppers, to taste (substitute with 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha)
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a wok or a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, once hot, add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, per side or until lightly brown.
  3. Add in the bell peppers, zucchini, and dried chili peppers, cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken, add the peanuts. Turn heat to high and toss everything together.
  5. Allow sauce to reduce and thicken (add xantham gum) the sauce as desired. Add the salt, pepper or additional red pepper chili flakes as per your taste.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.
  7. Serve over zoodles or cauliflower rice.

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Nutrition Information

Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 370Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 68mgSodium 297mgCarbohydrates 10gSugar 3gProtein 24g

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Still Hungry! Try these other low carb keto chicken recipes:

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