Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

Paleo Kung Pao! An absolute favorite that I always double for breakfast leftovers. I first saw this dish on iheartumami.ny’s Instagram and have been making my own version ever since. I love her Asian-inspired Paleo dishes. Ingredients like chili peppers, scallions, garlic, lemon peel, red pepper, Aleppo pepper and coconut aminos are bound to satisfy….and guess what…it’s also Whole30 compliant!  Here I’ve used chicken cutlets that are pounded and marinated. I stir-fried them with spicy peppers, scallions, green onions and toasted pine nuts. I keep the cutlets whole and make sure not to overcook. This dish would also be lovely with broccolini and Chinese greens, so change it up with your own favorites. Perfect when you are feeling a little bit deprived, it’s the kind of dish I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of making the following day.


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Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This dish is a great way to have your favorite takeout food turned paleo!





  • 11/2 lbs chicken cutlets
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Fresno pepper, diced tiny (can substitute red pepper flakes or another fresh spicy pepper)
  • 5 dried red chili peppers
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • 2 T toasted pinenuts


1. Marinate the chicken by combining 4 Tbsp coconut aminos with arrowroot powder and an egg. Whisk until combined and smooth. If it gets clumpy, then blend. Using a container or two that fit the chicken snugly but not overlapping, pour half of the mixture in the container, place chicken over it, and pour remaining half of mixture over chicken. Place in refrigerator.

2. Prepare garlic, fresh red chili pepper and scallions. Set aside.

3. Make the stir fry sauce by combining 2T coconut aminos and 1 teaspoon rice vinegar  stir fry ingredients together and set aside.

4. Turn oven on to warm, or your lowest setting. Place a sheet pan or platter in the oven to warm for the chicken. Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil over high heat. With a tong, pick a piece up and pan fry about 2.5 minutes a side. Remove and place in the pan in the oven. (When the chicken rests it yields a lovely juice and you will use this later in the recipe.) If the frying pan starts to to burn, rinse and start again, adding oil each time.

5. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil then add minced garlic cloves, Fresno or spicy pepper, dry chili pepper, black pepper, lemon zest and a small pinch of kosher salt. Lightly stir-fry the ingredients until fragrant, about 5-10 seconds. Remove and set aside.

6. Place chicken back in the pan on the stovetop and pour the red pepper lemon garlic mixture over it. Then add stir fry sauce and any of the chicken jus collected on the platter. Add to dish and simmer, letting the chicken finish and the sauce thicken. Then toss in the scallions and the pine nuts and stir. Wonderful served on cauliflower rice.

Keywords: paleo kung pao, homemade takeout

10 thoughts on “Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

  1. This recipe is missing information. The pine nuts aren’t in the ingredient list. There is rice vinegar in the ingredient list, but not in the instructions. You don’t realily explain what the stir fry sauce is (I assume this is where the vinegar would come in). I wasn’t sure, so I ended up using the left over marinade as a sauce, which didn’t work at all the egg stated to cook immediately, and it just turned into a weird froth.

    Good flavors, though. I think cooking the peppers longer in the correct sauce would improve things, and maybe make it spicier.

    1. sorry and thanks for catching that . i’ll look at this and update it in the morning .. The Instagram stories are still up and at a minimum would help you better understand it. it’s a quarter cup of pinenuts thrown at the end. Thanks for the feedback and sorry about that

  2. This looks so good I wish I made it yesterday so I can eat it RIGHT NOW!!! I don’t have pine nuts but I do have pistachio nuts … hmmm I wonder if those would be yummy?

  3. You made everything look so delicious. I’m mouthwatering just looking at the photo. Thanks so much for your love !!

  4. How long can you leave the chicken to marinade?

  5. I made this for dinner last night and it was a huge success! As I browned the chicken, when the pan started to stick, I deglazed it with a little water and added all the drippings and flavor to the resting chicken. Amazing! I also did not have time to marinated for more than an hour, can’t imagine how great it would have been if I had. But honestly,, this chicken was bursting with flavor. Thank you!!

    1. Wonderful

    1. This is what I love hearing… Make a double batch.

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