Healthy General Tso’s Chicken is a lovely dish including baked breaded chicken bites, combined with a tangy, sweet, yet spicy sauce mixture, all served over rice.
This is a Chinese meal you won’t soon forget!
Gather around the table with family and enjoy the comfort of home while you share this great recipe!
It’s easy to gravitate toward basic meals of meat and potatoes, homemade pizza, and barbeque.
Sometimes it’s fun to branch out and try something new! It may become a new family favorite!
There are variations in how this recipe got its name, but it is said to be derived from a Chinese military general from the Qing Dynasty. However, General Tso’s Chicken is popular in American restaurants and you will want to try it at home too!
If you are looking for a light dessert to go with this healthy meal, try my recipe for Easy Strawberry Crumble or Easy Homemade Strawberry Sponge Cake! These light desserts are simple to prepare and a perfect way to complete the meal!
What Is Healthy General Tso’s Chicken?
This is a healthier version of General Tso’s Chicken because the chicken is baked with olive oil drizzled on top, instead of the deep frying in unhealthy vegetable oil.
It doesn’t use the added brown sugar either, but you still get to enjoy that Chinese takeout flavor.
Instead, it is a wonderful blend of crispy chicken with a sweet, spicy, and savory sauce that your family will think you picked up at a Chinese restaurant!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This delicious dish tastes like Chinese take-out!
- Your family and friends will thank you for this unique meal that most people only get to eat at Chinese restaurants!
- As it cooks, the aroma will definitely draw your family to the table!
- This meal combines loads of flavor and perfectly blended textures with a pleasing and filling result!
- Get the crispy fried chicken without having to worry about a put of hot oil making a mess on your stovetop.
Tell Me About General Tso’s Chicken
- Taste- This Chinese food dish is loaded with tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors all in one dish! Serve over white rice, fried rice, or brown rice and drizzle it with dark soy sauce or liquid aminos- the best flavors ever!
- Texture- Crispy breaded chicken is enveloped in a thick sauce with crunchy sesame seeds and green onions as a garnish.
- Ease- I have found that the recipe flows more easily with prep work done ahead of time.
- Time- This recipe will probably take you about 45 minutes from start to finish.
Ingredients For Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
- Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast– The cubed and breaded chicken provides the heartiness of this meal!
- Panko Bread Crumbs– These breadcrumbs provide extra crunch for the chicken coating.
- All-Purpose Flour– The flour is used as a breading for the chicken.
- Buttermilk– Buttermilk helps to tenderize the chicken so that it is moist, and not chewy or tough.
Ingredients For The Sauce
- Water– Water provides the main liquid for the sauce.
- Soy Sauce– This salty sauce is made from fermented soybeans and adds flavor to many Chinese food dishes.
- Peach Jam– The jam adds a delicious sweet sauce flavor.
- Hoisin Sauce– A key ingredient in many Asian dishes, Hoisin is like an Asian BBQ sauce made of soybean paste and other spices.
- Cornstarch– Cornstarch is used to thicken the tangy sauce. Recipes often use a cornstarch slurry, which just consists of cornstarch and water to thicken a sauce.
- Rice Vinegar– Rice vinegar has a distinct taste and is made from rice!
- Sesame Oil– Made from sesame seeds, this ingredient is also used for the sauce and can be used in marinades as well.
- Minced Garlic– Garlic adds wonderful flavor to this meal.
- Fresh Ginger Paste– This adds a savory and spicy taste to the sauce mixture.
- Crushed Red Peppers– These flakes add to General Tso’s Chicken to make it more of a spicy sauce.
- Green Onion– Green onions are used as a garnish on top of each serving.
- Sesame Seeds– Sesame seeds are also used as a garnish but add a nutty flavor and delightful crunch.
Make General Tso’s Chicken in 3 Easy Steps
- Make the chicken bites. After cubing the chicken, apply the breading and bake it in the oven.
- Prepare the sauce. After heating the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a skillet, just add the other sauce ingredients to the mixture until it is thickened.
- Add the chicken to the sauce. Coat the chicken well. Then, using a slotted spoon, serve it over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds! Now you’re ready to enjoy!
Substitutions For Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
- White wine vinegar– You may substitute this for the rice vinegar.
- Gluten free flour– For those who need to avoid wheat flour, gluten free flour may be used instead of all-purpose flour for the breading.
- Gluten free breadcrumbs– This ingredient may be used instead of Panko Bread Crumbs for the breading.
- Broccoli– This healthy vegetable can be used instead of rice if you would like to serve the chicken over the broccoli instead.
- Chicken thighs– This part of the chicken may be used instead of the chicken breast.
Add-Ins For Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
- Broccoli– Broccoli is high in many vitamins and minerals.
- Bell peppers– These red, green, or yellow peppers add a nice crunch to the recipe if you’re looking for added texture, color, and flavor.
- Snow peas– These are a common ingredient in Asian recipes. You can eat the whole pod.
- Spiral carrots– This cut of carrots add a sweet flavor and slight crunch.
- Spiral zucchini– This green type of squash would add another healthy touch to the recipe!
- Orange juice– Add in a splash of orange juice to the sauce and get a tangy twist to this sweet sauce.
Tips For Making the Best Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
- Make sure all of your ingredients are ready to go, as you will need to have a good flow while dipping the chicken in the breading ingredients and assembling the sauce.
- If your family does not prefer the spicy flavor of the sauce, feel free to eliminate the red pepper flakes.
- It is best to use buttermilk rather than milk for breading the chicken bites. It helps to tenderize the meat and gives it a moist and juicy texture.
- As your chicken bakes, be sure to separate each piece on the baking rack so that they get crispy and do not stick together.
- Make sure you drizzle enough oil on your pieces of chicken that they get golden brown when cooked under medium-high heat. If you aren’t sure if they are quite done, take out a piece of chicken, cut it to make sure it’s no longer pink, and taste it to see if you get that simple crunch you look for in with this popular dish.
How Do You Store Leftover General Tso’s Chicken?
Healthy General Tso’s Chicken may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
As with any chicken recipe, I don’t like to let it sit too long before eating it.
How do you reheat this recipe?
To reheat this healthy General Tso’s chicken recipe, set your oven to broil.
Put your crispy chicken pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and let them crisp up under the broiler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the leftovers be stored in the freezer? Yes, it may be stored in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
Since the chicken is not deep fried, is it still crispy? Yes, the Panko Bread Crumbs add a wonderful crispiness to the chicken!
Is General Tso’s Chicken the same thing as Orange Chicken? General Tso’s Chicken is spicier and there is no orange flavor added to it.
Healthy General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
- 1 baking sheet
- 2 mixing bowls
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut to bite sizes
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1½ cup water
- 1 cup liquid aminos, or soy sauce
- ¼ cup peach jam
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons minced garlin
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger paste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 1 bunch green onions, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put a wire cooling rack on top.
- Dredge the chicken by putting the buttermilk, flour, and panko bread crumbs in 3 small bowls. Roll chicken in the flour, then dunk in the buttermilk, and roll in the panko bread crumbs. Place the chicken bites on the wire rack.
- When all of the chicken is coated drizzle olive oil over the chicken and cook it for 15 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks in the oven, make the sauce by heating the sesame oil in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
- While the garlic and ginger cook, whisk the water, soy sauce, jam, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
- Add the water mixture to the skillet and cook until it thickens, whisking often.
- Add the baked chicken to the sauce and stir to coat it well.
- Serve over rice with green onions and sesame seeds sprinkle on top.