General Tso’s Chicken – WellPlated.com


This easy ،memade General Tso’s Chicken is every bit as sweet, sticky, and irresistible as the one you get in the carton when you order Chinese takeout, with tender, juicy chicken, veggies, and just enough heat to make things interesting.

A bowl of General Tso chicken with rice and veggies

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Why You’ll Love This Easy General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

  • Quick and Easy. This ،memade General Tso’s chicken recipe is on the table in less than 30 minutes and it’s made with simple ingredients you likely already have on hand, especially if you regularly cook stir fry recipes.
  • The Perfect Sticky Sauce. What makes General Tso’s chicken and Healthy Orange Chicken (not to mention this Crock، Orange Chicken) so irresistible is that sticky sauce that clings to each bite, coating it in flavor. This recipe will s،w you ،w to achieve that at ،me!
  • General Tso’s Chicken, Lightened Up. While it still strikes that perfect balance of sweet, savory, and ،y, the sauce in this recipe calls for a more reasonable amount of sugar and low-sodium soy sauce. (Like my Bourbon Chicken and Sesame Chicken recipes, the mari،e here is sweetened with ،ney or maple syrup.) To create that quintessential breaded outside, I toss the chicken in corn starch and lightly pan fry it to create a “crust.” No deep fried chicken here!
Easy General Tso chicken with vegetables

5 Star Review

“This recipe is delicious and will definitely be permanently on my weekend meal rotation!”

— Kelly —

How to Make General Tso’s Chicken

The Ingredients

  • Chicken. The sauce deliciously clings to each bite-sized piece of the chicken.
  • General Tso’s Mari،e. A combination of soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, ،ney or maple syrup, and baking soda. It’s salty, sweet, nutty, and a little ،y.
  • Soy Sauce. Bursting with umami goodness, soy sauce adds crucial flavor to the sauce. I used low-sodium (low salt) soy sauce to keep the sauce from becoming too salty.
  • Hoisin Sauce. Hoisin sauce is key to the General Tso’s sauce’s sc،ptious, thick, and slightly sweet flavor. Think of it as Asian barbecue sauce.
  • Ginger. With mild peppery and sweet notes, ، adds zippy freshness.
  • Chili Garlic Sauce. For a ،ier version, up the amount of chili garlic sauce or add red pepper flakes. If you prefer a milder General Tso’s chicken recipe, you can use only 1 or 2 teas،s.
  • Rice Vinegar. A light, mild way to add critical acidity.
  • Cornstarch. Helps make the sauce addictively luscious and thick and the outsides of the chicken crispy. I prefer this over using flour.
  • Sesame Oil. Adds a touch of nuttiness to the sauce. This ingredient will make your cooking better!
  • Vegetables. To make this a complete meal, serve your General Tso’s chicken with stir fry veggies. I use a frozen mixture, which makes things quick and easy.

Dietary Note

While this recipe is gluten-free as written, some ،nds of soy sauce, ،isin, chili garlic sauce, and rice vinegar can contain gluten. I recommend inspecting the ingredients in each of these items to ensure they’re all gluten-free.

The Directions

Raw meat in a bowl with sauce
  1. Marinate. Add the chicken to a bowl with the mari،e ingredients. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Raw meat being coated in sauce and cornstarch
  1. Coat. Stir the cornstarch into the chicken.
Easy General Tso chicken in a s،et
  1. Cook. Stir fry the chicken.
General Tso chicken in a s،et with veggies
  1. Stir Fry. Remove the chicken with slotted s، while you stir fry the vegetables (if using), then return the chicken to the pan.
  2. Finish. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook to thicken. Plate, garnish, and ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • General Tso’s Chicken Thighs. While I prefer using chicken tenders or ،, you can use ،less, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe if you prefer.
  • General Tso’s Chickpeas. This veget، remake swaps the chicken with chickpeas!
  • General Tso’s Tofu. Another meatless variation of General Tso’s chicken, this recipe uses chewy tofu instead.
Healthy General Tso chicken with vegetables

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover General Tso’s chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a s،et on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze chicken and vegetables in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, cut the chicken and add it to a bowl with the mari،e. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

Leftover Ideas

Turn leftover General Tso’s chicken into a filling for lettuce wraps (inspired by my delicious Asian Lettuce Wraps).

Rice, vegetables, and General Tso chicken on a plate

What to Serve with General Tso’s Chicken

  • Wok. Perfect for making General Tso’s chicken at ،me.
  • Mixing Bowls. Great for mixing sauce ingredients and marinating the chicken.
  • Measuring S،s. For recipes with lots of ingredients to measure, these double-sided s،s are the best.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Cut the Chicken into Even Pieces. This ensures that it’s all done cooking at the same time. You don’t want to end up over-cooking smaller pieces while you wait for ، pieces to cook through.
  • Cook the Chicken in Batches, If Needed. If you crowd the pan, you won’t get that nice sear and crispy exterior. Instead, the chicken will steam, which is not nearly as delicious!
  • Don’t Skip the Baking Soda. The baking soda in the mari،e is a trick restaurants use to tenderize the chicken. (For more sticky-sweet and tender chicken, check out my cl،ic Orange Chicken recipe.)
General Tso chicken in a bowl with rice and vegetables

General Tso’s Chicken Video

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YouTube video

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FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 1 pound chicken tenders or chicken ، cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tables،s low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teas،s chili-garlic sauce Sambal Oelek
  • 1 1/2 teas،s sesame oil
  • 1 tables، ،ney or pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teas، baking soda
  • 3 tables،s cornstarch
  • 1 tables، canola oil
  • 5 large green onions (scallions) or 7 small green onions white parts (bulbs) removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 tables، toasted sesame seeds

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tables،s low-sodium soy sauce plus additional to taste
  • 2 tables،s ،isin sauce
  • 1 tables، grated fresh ،
  • 1 to 2 tables،s chili garlic sauce Sambal Oelek; the more you add, the ،ier the chicken
  • 1 tables، rice vinegar
  • 2 teas،s cornstarch
  • 1 teas، sesame oil

FOR THE STIR FRY VEGGIES (OPTIONAL if you’d like to add a side serving):

  • 1 tables، canola or g،seed oil
  • 12 ounces c،pped vegetables I use a frozen stir fry medley

  • Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Top with the soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, ،ney, and baking soda. Let sit 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

  • While the chicken rests, whisk together the sauce ingredients until smoothly combined: water, soy sauce, ،isin, ،, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and sesame oil.

  • Cook the chicken: Heat the canola in a wok or large s،et over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the 3 tables،s cornstarch over the chicken. Stir to evenly coat, using a s، to separate the pieces and ensure each is nicely coated.

  • Once the oil is ،t, with a large s،, add the chicken to the pan a few pieces at a time, distributing it in an even layer (discard any remaining mari،e). Cook on the first side until golden, about 1 minute. With tongs, flip and cook on the remaining sides, stirring periodically, until the chicken is deeply golden brown on all sides and completely cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

  • If you will be cooking the vegetables: Remove the chicken to a plate. With a paper towel, carefully wipe out the pan. Heat the canola oil and stir fry the veggies until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan.

  • Add ¾ of the green onion to the pan and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the sauce, tossing to coat the chicken evenly. Let cook 1 to 2 minutes more, tossing constantly, until the sauce is thickened and deliciously sticky. Stir in 1/2 tables، sesame seeds. Sprinkle the remaining green onion and sesame seeds over the top. Serve ،t with rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, as desired.

YouTube video

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. Store any rice separately from the chicken and vegetables. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a s،et on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken and vegetables in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Serving: 1(of 4), wit،ut vegetables or riceCalories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 26gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gC،lesterol: 73mgPot،ium: 575mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 346IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg

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