This Healthy General Tso’s Chicken recipe is a paleo and gluten-free spin on the Chinese restaurant classic! Perfect for dinner or as leftovers for lunch!

Get your takeout fix with my healthy General Tso’s Chicken recipe!

looove Chinese food. But haven’t actually been to a Chinese restaurant or ordered Chinese food in over four years.

Why?

Well, I simply haven’t found a restaurant that doesn’t load their sauces with GMOs, rancid vegetable oils, high fructose corn syrup and MSG. And if I ate all those things in one sitting, my stomach might explode. And I’m just not up for it.

So I make my own. One of my favorite Chinese restaurant takeout-fakeout recipes is this healthy General Tso’s Chicken!

What is General Tso’s Chicken?

One of the great things about living in America is American-Chinese cuisine! In particular, this finger-licking good sweet and spicy Chinese chicken dish called General Tso’s Chicken.

It used to be called General Ching’s Chicken and was created by Chef C.K. Peng in Taiwan during the 1950s. He then introduced this dish in NYC where it became a huge hit. It wasn’t until the 80s that General Ching’s Chicken started being called General Tso’s Chicken. The rest is history.

It does not really exist outside of this country but we all at least suspect that anything PF Chang’s serves isn’t “authentic Chinese”. So call it what you want though, there is no denying that it is still downright tasty!

The unfortunate part is that General Tso’s Chicken is usually made with ingredients that aren’t healthy, including huge amounts of cheap soy sauce, then sugar, more sugar, cornstarch, and probably some more sugar for good measure.

This is my healthy alternative to PF Chang’s chicken recipe:

Why you will love this Healthy General Tso’s Chicken :

I remember loving General Tso’s chicken as a kid. I couldn’t remember the exact flavor so I took a look at some recipes. I came up with my own version of paleo General Tso’s chicken and I think it hits the spot.

  • The sauce is plenty sweet, a bit spicy and tangy, just as you’d expect it to be.
  • The chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside – without being deep-fried.
  • You can serve it over rice or cauliflower rice but it’s also a really delicious topping for your favorite salad.

How to make healthy General Tso’s Chicken:

It’s actually really easy to make General Tso’s Chicken at home and while it may seem like there are a lot of ingredients, you probably have a lot of them already. Ketchup, balsamic, garlic, etc. They’re all pretty common. And they make amazing Chinese food.

Traditional General Tso’s Chicken is deep-fried and breaded. We take a short cut and use tapioca flour for breading the chicken. Then, we pan-fry the meat in coconut oil instead of the harmful seed oils that are typical.

While you’re cooking the chicken, add the coconut oil, sesame oil, ketchup, coconut sugar, coconut aminos and balsamic to a pan and heat up.

Add the arrowroot and stir continuously until it thickens. Once thick, add the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Toss the sweet and sticky sauce with the chicken. Sprinkle scallions or sesame seeds on top.

Tips for making this Paleo General Tso’s Chicken recipe:

  • Choose chicken that is organic and grass-fed with no hormones.
  • You can use arrowroot in place of tapioca for the chicken. I am pretty sure potato starch would work as well.
  • I kept the sauce pretty mild but you can always adjust the spice level to suit your preference by adding some hot sauce or crushed red pepper.
  •  I served my Paleo General Tso’s Chicken over rice but cauliflower rice or even cauliflower fried rice would work really well too. Leftovers would be delicious over sautéed greens or paired with a slaw.

DID YOU MAKE AND LOVE THIS HEALTHY GENERAL TSO CHICKEN RECIPE? GIVE IT YOUR REVIEW BELOW! ? AND MAKE SURE TO SHARE YOUR CREATIONS BY TAGGING ME ON INSTAGRAM!

Paleo General Tso’s Chicken

I remember loving General Tso’s chicken as a kid. I came up with my own version healthy version! Try my paleo General Tso’s chicken – I think it hits the spot.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: healthy general tsos chicken, healthy paleo chicken dinner, paleo Chinese chicken
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 1097kcal
Author: Dani

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil this kind has no coconut flavor

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder you can add more if it doesn’t thicken
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger minced
  • scallions to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  • Dredge the chicken in the tapioca flour, making sure it’s coated.
  • Cook on all sides until golden brown and crispy.
  • While you’re cooking the chicken, in a medium sized pan add the coconut oil, sesame oil, ketchup, coconut sugar, coconut aminos and balsamic.
  • Let it heat up.
  • Add the arrowroot and stir continuously until it thickens.
  • Once thick, add the garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  • Toss the sauce with the chicken.
  • Sprinkle scallions on top.

Notes

 
  • Choose chicken that is organic and grass-fed with no hormones.
  • You can use arrowroot in place of tapioca for the chicken. I am pretty sure potato starch would work as well.
  • I kept the sauce pretty mild but you can always adjust the spice level to suit your preference by adding some hot sauce or crushed red pepper.
  •  I served my Paleo General Tso’s Chicken over rice but cauliflower rice would work really well too. Leftovers would be delicious over sautéed greens or paired with a slaw.
Paleo General Tso's Chicken - craving takeout? Make this easy chicken dinner instead! It's healthy, gluten-free, Chinese food that's perfect for dinner or as leftovers for lunch! #paleorecipes #chicken
Paleo General Tso's Chicken - craving takeout? Make this easy chicken dinner instead! It's healthy, gluten-free, Chinese food that's perfect for dinner or as leftovers for lunch! #paleorecipes #chicken

16 Comments

  1. How is this Paleo, when it includes sugar? Coconut sugar is still sugar.

    • dani Reply

      There’s fruit in sugar too. Doesn’t mean it’s not paleo.

      • Sugar is a natural ingredient in the foods our ancestors ate…. It is totally Paleo if it’s not processed….and used with discretion of course….great recipe…!!!

  2. Do you think you could mix the sauce ingredients together and put the chicken in the crockpot instead?

    • dani Reply

      Probably but don’t dredge it in the flour. Skip that step because then it will be a soggy, weird mess.

    • dani Reply

      They have a slightly different flavor profile. You could possibly try 1/4 tsp or less. You can also store peeled fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it straight from frozen each time you need a small amount.

  3. So many misconceptions regarding “sugar”. As individuals we need to do a little research, to understand definitions. That being said….what kind of ketchup are you using? I’m sure there are friendly recipes for it, and I haven’t looked yet, but I know most commercially made ones include high fructose syrup. This recipe sounds worthy of trying!

    • CHEPPY Paulus Sprague Reply

      I PERSONALLY MAKE AND USE MY OWN KETCHUP.. NO EXTRA ANYTHING.. JUST DELISH..MY FAMILY (we have alot alot of allergies) LOVES IT 🙂

  4. how much oil are you suppose to put in the pot before you put the chicken in?

  5. Made with a ketchup without high fructose corn syrup and are over riced cauliflower, just because and my family LOVED IT!!! Even my son – very picky.

    Thank you so much!!!

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