The Best General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

The Best GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Way better than from a take-out restaurant!

A bowl of food on a plate, with General Tso\'s chicken

In my efforts to make our favourite take-out meals at home, of course I’d include this Chinese classic. Quite often I make Chicken Teriyaki Dragon Bowl and this General Tso Chicken, both restaurant copycats.

A popular chinese takeout dishes for great reason, it’s the crispy sweet with that hint of spice that hits all the cravings. Plus it’s ready in 30 minutes, it doesn’t take much time at all to make this min chicken dish meal.

Yet as usual, I go somewhat light on the spice factor of this general tso’s chicken recipe. I do this to make this dish more family-friendly in my efforts to please both the kids and adults alike.

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What is General Tso’s Chicken?

One one of the most iconic dishes in North American Chinese restaurants, its sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. You know, all the good stuff we like, including both a sweet sauce and also a tangy sauce.

It is said to originate from the Hunan province of China and is named after a well-respected Chinese military leader, General Tso.

What is General Tso’s Sauce Made Of?

There are many variations, yet the goal is to get sweet, sour, and spicy flavours. The sauce for General Tso’s chicken is typically made of sauce ingredients that include: rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and some corn starch to thicken the sauce.

The variations of General Tsos Chicken recipes basically lie in the method of cooking and the crispy coating.

Which makes sense, because all Chinese food isn’t created equal. So, this is just one among many, yet one that I would personally consider made the right way. It’s one of our favorite dishes to make.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

Our General Tso Chicken has a sweet, tangy sauce with a spicy kick. A delicious recipe for dinner, lunch or leftovers, and is ready in just 30 minutes! This general tso chicken from scratch is so easy to make at home.

A bowl of food on a plate, with General Tso\'s chicken

This is not a deep frying recipe, and I try and use a Wok yet a large skillet (deep skillet) will do as well.

To get that super crispy chicken, you could coat the chicken in the cornstarch and cook before cooking in the sauce. Yet for ease, I add everything together to save a step.

I have found that this gives best results when compared to cook time and hassle. Its what makes this an easy recipe to get this homemade chinese dish.

That being said, let’s dive into making this great recipe and what I consider one of the best chicken recipes.

A plate of food, with General Tso\'s chicken

How to Make General Tso’s Chicken

Check out the printable recipe card below for the ingredients list and steps to make. You’ll appreciate that these are common pantry staples!

To make Chinese general tso chicken recipe, you start with cutting the boneless skinless chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, if you’d like.

A bunch of food on a plate, with General Tso\'s chicken

In a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until the cubed chicken is no longer pink.

It’s done when the pieces of chicken turns a golden brown and you have cooked crispy chicken pieces. This will take about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken breast from the wok and set aside. 

In the same wok, add the hoisin sauce, chicken broth (or chicken stock), brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder, and cornstarch.

Stir and bring to boil, and cook until the cornstarch mixture has thickened. This will take about 5 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken back into the wok with the sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish. Serve this popular chinese dish hot.

how to make general tsos chicken recipe
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Why Add Cornstarch to the Sauce?

Some recipes call for cooking the chicken in a cornstarch coating before cooking the sauce, and that is fine. Yet I find the coating soaks in the sauce anyway after some time, so this step isn’t worth it for me. You’ll still get crispy chicken and a thick sauce with this recipe.

A pan of food, with Chicken and Sauce

Tips For This Chicken Recipe:

  • Make sure the amount of chicken doesn’t exceed the size of your pan. This avoids each piece of chicken from sticking and clumping together when cooking.
  • To increase the spiciness of your chicken, feel free to add red pepper flakes. If you like extra spicy general tso’s chicken and a really spicy sauce, try dried red chili peppers, fresh red chilies or chili paste.
  • Watch the temperature of your oil. If too hot, the outside of the chicken can burn before the inside cooks through. If too cold, the chicken will absorb too much oil and be greasy. The trick is hot oil that isn’t too hot.
  • It needs to be said, the oil will spit. Be careful.
  • Check out the substitutions below for this homemade general tso’s chicken recipe.
A bowl of food on a plate, with General Tso\'s chicken and Rice

What to Serve with General Tso’s Chicken

Like our One Pot Moroccan Chicken Stew, I like to serve this chicken with white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice. This is a great time to try our Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe.

Also serve with some steamed vegetables such as broccoli, baby bok choy, or cauliflower.

Other side dish options include rice noodle, or quinoa.

A bowl of food on a plate, with General Tso\'s chicken

Storage and Reheating

To Store: You can store this chicken dish in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure it’s in an airtight container or well covered with plastic wrap for maximum freshness.

How to Freeze: You can also freeze for up to 3 months. If you make this recipe for freezing immediately, I will advise you to freeze the sauce and the chicken separately for better texture. 

How to reheat general tso chicken: To reheat, you can use the microwave yet it will not be as crispy as it was originally. You could pan fry until heated through to avoid this.

Substitutions:

  • Hoisin sauce: Soy sauce 
  • Brown sugar: 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Ginger powder: 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • Garlic powder: 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
A plate of food on a table, with Chicken and side

For More Asian- Inspired Recipes:

A bowl of food on a plate, with General Tso's chicken and Rice

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

The Best GENERAL TSO'S CHICKEN recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Perfect combination of sweet and spicy, and better than from a take-out restaurant!

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch cubes.
  2. In a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. (about 10 minutes).
  3. Remove from the wok and set aside. 
  4. In the same wok, add the hoisin sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder, and cornstarch. Stir and bring to boil, and cook until the sauce has thickened. ( about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the cooked chicken back into the wok with the sauce—Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion. 
  7. Serve hot.

Notes

  • Serve chicken with steamed vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, or cauliflower. Also great with rice, rice noodle, or quinoa
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 728mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 39g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

A plate of food with broccoli, with General Tso\'s chicken

Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign managed by SJ Consulting. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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When it comes making any great chicken recipe, you need to start with choosing the best ingredients. So when shopping at your grocer, look for that signature Canadian Chicken Farmers logo on the package and get the best chicken.

This logo assures you that you’re supporting Canadian family-owned businesses, our economy, and getting a high quality tasting meat.

Make sure to check out the Chicken Farmers of Canada website for recipes to try, facts about Canadian chicken, and even information right from the farmers themselves.

You can also connect on social media – Facebook: Canadian Chicken, Twitter: @ChickenFarmers, Instagram: @ChickenDotCA and Pinterest: ChickenDotCA.

191 Comments

  1. In the summer, it’s all about the BBQ. Chicken wings in so many different flavours. YUM!

  2. My favourite chicken dish to make for summer entertaining is Grilled Lemon Chicken Kabobs. They are a quick.and delicious dinner!

  3. We make a really nice spicy doritos crumb chicken burger, perfect for pool side fun.

  4. BBQ Chicken flat bread. Just use naan or flatbread, put some BBQ pulled chicken on top, some shredded cheese (mozza is good), a bit of sliced red onion, and whatever else you want, and warm it up.

  5. I like the Mango Chutney Chicken. I think it would be the perfect dish for a summer dinner party. Fresh and something different than the usual bbq.

  6. We like to make chicken souvlaki on the grill. Marinate the chicken with greek spices and wine and oil and grill. With a tzatziki sauce, some rice and salad it’s a great meal for the summer.

  7. Chicken Divan is my favourite chicken recipe for summer & year round entertaining.

  8. I like to make pulled chicken in the crock pot..keeps rhe house from getting hotter in the summer months

  9. I make so many dishes with chicken, it’s hard to pick my one fave! I guess one of my family’s favourites is Kung Pao Chicken! I make this on a regular basis and it’s absolutely delicious! Served over a bed of fresh chow mein noodles. Mmmmmm

  10. My boys LOVES my Mushroom Chicken Breast dinner. The sauce is their favourite.

  11. I love a classic bbq chicken in a good chicken rub! We also love Lebanese style chicken on kebabs.

  12. My favourite summer chicken recipe is skewers on the grill. I love giving them a Greek marinade and serving with potatoes and veggies

  13. I love making a good old fashioned Fried Chicken that I learned from my Godparents maid, an elderly black lady in Louisville, Kentucky. Authentic Kentucky fried chicken

  14. My favorite summer chicken recipe is cooked chicken breasts with VH mango curry sauce over rice. So quick and delicious!

  15. My favorite chicken recipes are chicken cordon Blue and chicken hibachi.. Both so yummy!!

  16. This summer I will be going with my favorite chicken recipe – it’s a very lightly seasoned chicken shishkebob, with red onion, yellow peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and pineapple. Yum!

  17. Chicken bites are easy! In a greased muffin tin, crack one egg into each slot, then add spinach, chicken, feta cheese, and dill. Bake for 20mins at 350.

  18. During summer I love to BBQ chicken breast and then use them in Ceasar wraps. It’s so refreshing and quick

  19. My favourite summer chicken recipe is grilled Greek chicken kabobs. They are so moist and delicious and the whole family gobbles them up.

  20. My favourite is this BBQ receipe for Greek Drumsticks and Potatoes with Tzatziki. Yum!

  21. This receipe sounds really good I will have to give it a try sometime.
    My favorite receipe for entertaining in the summer time is chicken salad wraps served with sliced veggies and fruit on the side.

  22. I like chicken wings and BBQ sauce. Then hot sauce. With corn on the cob and baked potato.

  23. I like a chicken souvilaki . I marinate i inch cubes of chiken in minced garlic, olive oil, several spices. Put on a skewer & chill several hours before BBQing or frying.

  24. My favourite chicken dish for summer is a Chicken Fajita Salad. I cut up a chicken breast and marinate it in lime juice and spices and cook it in a cast iron pan. It is served in a tortilla bowl with grilled veggies, guacamole and we vary other ingredients according to what we have in the fridge. We have this at least 2 or 3 times each month.

  25. We love chicken on the rotisserie with rosemary and lemon halves and garlic shoved in the cavity and some spices under the skin. A family fave!!

  26. I like to put an awesome spice blend on my chicken then a bbq sauce at the very end of cooking as a flavourful glaze.

  27. Would love to try out the Slow cooker Chicken Parmesan recipe! Thanks for all the great recipes 😊 👏

  28. I love making Chicken Feta Burgers for summer entertaining, or Grilled Chicken Wings with Indian Spice Rub.

  29. My favourite summertime chicken recipe is a simple salad with butter lettuce, tomatoes, any other garden vegetables that are ready, topped with grilled chicken
    kebabs.

  30. Tropical Chicken Kabobs , I love Kabobs and the Chicken.ca site has a good few ideas ! Can’t wait to try them all!

  31. I love making any kind of chicken wings, I’m always experimenting. My daughter is currently perfecting a bbq chicken sandwich too.

  32. I love serving my baked cheese, broccoli stuffed, bacon wrapped chicken breasts for entertaining. They look great served on a plate with sides, and it’s so tasty!!!

  33. Summertime is all about the grill! Chicken kebobs are quick, easy, nutritious and look super amazing with all the fabulous colours you can add!

  34. I love easy-peasy chicken & vegetable kebabs in the summer! Anything that doesn’t heat up my house and is so kid-friendly gets two thumbs up.

  35. I love my chicken breast with a bit of seasoning and done on the BBQ with a fresh salad.

  36. I like chicken marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic and oyster sauce.

  37. Summer means bbq chicken for me. Love to either put on the rotisserie with a great spice rub or split and flattened with tons of spice –

  38. I often serve Parmesan Chicken to my guests. I never met anyone who didn’t love it. Needs a nice crisp salad to go with it. Strawberry shortcake for dessert is always a great idea.

  39. I love a good chicken salad with spinach, strawberries, and pecans. Healthy and delicious!

  40. My husband makes BBQ chicken by marinating the pieces in a garlicky marinade, then grilling over med-low heat on a cooking sheet.

  41. I love grilling chicken burgers and loading them with all sorts of vegetables and cheeses.

  42. Greek Chicken Souvlaki, grilled on the BBQ, is my favourite summer chicken recipe

  43. BBQ drumsticks on the grill alongside corn on the cob are one of my favourite summer meals.

  44. i love making my bbq chicken wings or for my grand children chicken fingers. they helped me with all of the ingredients. you are never to young to learn how to cook.

  45. Anything crispy. Most bbq chicken is slimy, saucy, or charred, which I find unpalatable.

  46. I love a spicy version of the general tsos chicken recipe and love chicken souvlaki on the BBQ.

  47. I enjoy chicken skewers on the bbq that have sat in a lemony marinade for a couple of hours

  48. Lemon grilled chicken with tabbouleh or Moroccan grilled chicken with couscous! Definitely something light!

  49. My favourite chicken recipe is the BBQ chicken that I buy pre-cooked at the nearby grocery store. It doesn’t heat up the house and require any effort. The store is just a short drive away.

  50. Ok, this is embarrassing but it’s a longtime family fave and requires the least effort imaginable! A picnic fave is a bucket of the Colonel’s finest. But buy it ahead of time and chill it!! Cold fried chicken! An amazing summertime treat!

  51. I recently discovered Indian fusion. Can’t get enough of butter chicken tacos in naan.

  52. All year long but especially in the summer – any kind of chicken on the bbq! A go to favourite is greek inspired marinated boneless chicken things with some nice grilled potatoes, farm fresh veggies, and some cool tzatziki

  53. I need some better chicken recipes and this one looks delicious. My go to is marinated chicken on the bbq.

  54. I like to make a greek spiced Chicken Kabob to serve with a large Greek Salad for easy summer entertaining

  55. Our family enjoys bbq and picnics with family and friends and grilled chicken satay in skewers is always in the menu.

  56. My favourite chicken recipe is Chicken Thai Salad – penne noodles, red/yellow/orange peppers. red onion, snap peas with a thai dressing. So good!

  57. My favourite chicken recipe for summer entertaining are Slow Cooker Chicken Al Pastor Tacos – who wants to make the house hot with an oven or be busy on the grill when you can use a slow cooker to help make great tacos! 🙂

  58. My favorite summer chicken recipe would probably be lemon chicken on the barbecue. I would like to try that Easy Chicken Curry Recipe. Sounds delicious.

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