Easy Stir Fry Kung Pao Chicken Recipe: A Low-Fat Diabetic-Friendly Recipe by Ann Marie Patitucci

Easy Stir Fry Kung Pao Chicken Recipe: A Low-Fat Diabetic-Friendly Recipe

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2022, 37.3 million Americans (11.3 percent of the U.S. population) have diabetes. This statistic only includes those with a diabetic diagnosis; there are millions of additional Americans who have not yet been diagnosed.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that diabetic patients follow these nutrition guidelines:

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods.
  • Limit the amount of unhealthy fat you eat (especially trans fats).
  • Limit the amount of salt you eat (notice the unsalted ingredients in the recipe below).
  • Instead of breading and frying your food, consider broiling, roasting, grilling and steaming options.
  • Keep sweets to a minimum.

Of course, it’s not always easy to stick to a diabetes meal plan (or any meal plan, for that matter), but delicious diabetic-friendly recipes can help, like this one for stir-fried kung pao chicken. Stir frying is healthier than other methods because the tender-crisp vegetables maintain more nutrients than vegetables that are boiled. Stir frying also requires only a small amount of oil, which keeps the fat content low.

Serve this easy kung pao chicken recipe with brown rice (the Mayo Clinic recommends substituting white rice with brown rice.)

Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry plus 1 tablespoon (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 3 slices fresh ginger, peeled and smashed (about the size of a quarter each)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons dry roasted unsalted peanuts

Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a bowl, combine chicken, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sherry and cornstarch. Stir until you can no longer see the cornstarch. Add sesame oil and stir until chicken is lightly coated.
  2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, broth, chile garlic sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon sherry. Set aside.
  3. Place a flat-bottomed wok or skillet (12 to 14 inches) over high heat. Heat it for just a couple of seconds, then swirl in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add ginger and stir fry for about 10 seconds, or until fragrant. Add chicken in an even layer, pushing ginger slices to the sides of the pan if needed. Stir fry the chicken until lightly browned but not quite cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, then red and green bell peppers. Stir fry for 1 minute. Transfer chicken back to the pan along with the reserved sauce. Season with salt and cook about 1 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Then remove from heat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

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These are great eating guidelines for anyone, not just diabetics. Love this recipe, thanks.
We have diabetics in our family and you do need to use the food as medicine mentality!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Yes! I know I need to do better at thinking of food as medicine!

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