Healthy Chinese Chicken Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Chinese chicken recipes including Chinese fried chicken and General Tso's chicken. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Kung Pao Chicken with Bell Peppers

Here's an easy chicken recipe you'll definitely want to add to your dinner repertoire. A quick marinade tenderizes the chicken and infuses flavor in this healthy version of a take-out favorite. Adding a little oil to finish the marinade coats the chicken and helps keep it from sticking to the pan.

Classic Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Rating: Unrated
3
Classic sesame noodles become a healthy meal with lean chicken and tons of veggies in this quick recipe for Asian noodles. Be sure to rinse the spaghetti until it's cold, then give it a good shake in the colander until it's well drained. Are you a spiralizing pro? Swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie “noodles” for the cooked pasta.

General Tso's Chicken

Rating: Unrated
6
In this healthy version of a General Tso's Chicken recipe, we cut the fat and sodium in half from the original version by not frying the chicken and by using half as much soy sauce in this Chinese-takeout favorite. Serve with steamed baby bok choy or sautéed spinach and steamed brown rice.

Dan Dan Noodles with Chicken & Baby Bok Choy

In this Asian dan dan peanut noodle recipe, Chinese black vinegar lends authentic flavor to the creamy sauce. If you can't find baby bok choy, use about 1 pound of mature bok choy sliced into 1- to 2-inch strips. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, such as sriracha, if desired.

Sweet-&-Sour Chicken Drumsticks

Rating: Unrated
1
Chicken drumsticks stay deliciously moist when grilled--even with the skin removed. Minty sweet-and-sour dipping sauce adds a refreshing twist to “ordinary” grilled chicken. Make it a meal: Serve with brown rice and slices of fresh pineapple.

Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad

Rating: Unrated
9
This delicious Chinese-inspired salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an addictive orange, sesame, ginger and soy combination--you may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.

Sichuan-Style Chicken with Peanuts

Rating: Unrated
10
The piquant Sichuan Sauce (which doubles easily) works well with almost any stir-fry but particularly enhances dishes with meat, fish and poultry. When stir-frying chicken, always spread the pieces in the wok and let them cook undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. This allows the chicken to sear and prevents sticking. To smash the ginger, use the side of a cleaver or chef's knife.

Three-Cup Chicken

While there are dozens of variations on this classic Taiwanese Three-Cup Chicken recipe, the “three-cup” in the title refers to the fact that this healthy chicken recipe is almost always made with equal parts soy sauce, Chinese rice wine and rice vinegar (and usually sesame oil). The sauce for Three-Cup Chicken develops a wonderfully pungent flavor from toasted Sichuan peppercorns and star anise; look for them in Asian markets or online from penzeys.com. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.

Velvet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy

Rating: Unrated
5
Velvet chicken is a classic Chinese cooking technique that keeps the meat juicy and succulent, and the chicken stays creamy-white rather than getting browned as in most stir-fries. Baby bok choy is about 3 inches in length and stir-fries quickly. If you can't find it, use regular bok choy cut into 2-inch segments.

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Brown Rice

Rating: Unrated
4
In about the time it takes to order and pick up Chinese takeout, you can make this much healthier version of sweet & sour chicken. Our version loses all the saturated fat that comes from deep-frying, along with the extra sugar and salt. If you prefer, use tofu instead of chicken, and use your favorite vegetables; just be sure to cut them into similar-size pieces so they all cook at about the same rate.

Lapsang Souchong Chicken with Bok Choy

In this healthy chicken recipe, dried Chinese Lapsang Souchong tea lends a smoky flavor to the meat. Look for it near other teas or in the bulk section. Grind it in a spice grinder before using. Serve with steamed brown rice or rice noodles drizzled with sesame oil.

Clementine & Five-Spice Chicken

Rating: Unrated
4
This chicken recipe gets intense, complex flavor from tangy clementines, five-spice powder and pungent Sichuan peppercorns. This dish is a marvel for entertaining: it takes just 35 minutes of prep and a handful of ingredients, but it looks and tastes super-special. Feel free to use mandarins, honey tangerines or oranges here instead of the clementines.

Inspiration and Ideas

Chongqing Chicken

Traditionally, Chongqing chicken is made by encasing the meat in crunchy batter, like popcorn chicken but better. To make it at home, we decided to mimic the effect with a simple cornstarch dredge and just a little oil, sparing you both time and the stress of deep-frying. Practiced eaters focus their chopsticks on the meat, avoiding the many chiles and Sichuan peppercorns that give the dish its tongue-tingling character, but we encourage you to risk the lovely agony.

Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken

Rating: Unrated
4
Hoisin sauce along with pureed tart raspberries makes a wonderful Chinese-inspired marinade and dipping sauce for grilled chicken. Plan ahead: The chicken thighs benefit from marinating for at least 2 hours before grilling.