General Tso’s Chicken is saucy, juicy and crispy. The signature sauce is thick and loaded with flavor. If you are a die-hard orange chicken fan, you must try this dish! Make it all in one dish in the comfort of your home for a sweet and spicy treat!

General tsos chicken served over a bowl of white rice

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Hi there! My name is Natalya and I run the blog Momsdish. If you already follow me, you know I can’t get enough of easy meals that require simple ingredients. My family loves ordering in Chinese takeout, but lately, I’ve been having a blast recreating my favorite dishes at home.

Not only is homemade “takeout” healthier, but you’ll save money. That’s a win-win in my book. Let’s get started!

General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken is a Chinese-American dish of fried chicken pieces that are breaded and tossed in a tangy sauce. This dish is very similar in style to sesame or orange chicken. But, like in much of Chinese food, it’s the sauce that makes each dish unique.

Typically, General Tso’s Chicken is served with a bed of steamed rice and a side of steamed broccoli. If you want to make a full spread of takeout favorites, try your hand at making some chow mein too. Don’t forget the chopsticks!

General Tso’s Chicken in a pan

How to Make General Tso’s Sauce:

The sauce for General Tso’s chicken is so simple to make with pantry staple ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water, sugar, and some corn starch to thicken the sauce. Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.

How to Prepare General Tso’s Chicken

Don’t be intimidated about making your own General Tso’s Chicken! It’s so easy, you’ll never call it in again. Follow these easy steps to nail it every time:

  • Cut chicken into 1-inch size cubes. Toss the chicken with corn starch.
  • Cook your chicken until all sides are golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Saute garlic, ginger and pepper flakes in the pan.
  • Add the sauce and bring to a simmer then add chicken.
  • Toss the chicken, making sure to evenly coat each piece. Serve hot to hungry people!

Step by step of making General Tso's chicken

Tips for the Best Tso’s Chicken

  • Prepare ingredients ahead of time. This recipe will have you moving fast. Prep all your ingredients ahead of time so you can add them on the fly.
  • Adjust the Spice. Add more or less red pepper flakes according to your spice preference.
  • Use Fresh Ginger and Garlic. It might be tempting to use the powdered stuff, but great Chinese food is defined by the freshest ingredients.
  • Opt for Low Sodium Soy Sauce. I always purchase low-sodium soy sauce just in case I want to tweak the salt levels before serving. It’s just perfect for this recipe, as it also calls for hoisin, a salty, and garlicky sauce used frequently in Chinese cooking.
  • Chicken Thighs Bring the Most Flavor. Chicken thighs make for the juiciest pan-fried chicken. I find chicken breast tends to be too dry for this recipe.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan. Cook chicken in small amounts or use a very large pan. Be sure to give the chicken a good stir here and there to prevent it from sticking.
  • Use a non-stick pan. The coating can be a bit delicate, so use a non-stick to ensure it stays intact.
    • Hot Tip: Serve and enjoy General Tso’s Chicken immediately. The sauce tends to absorb into the crispy outer layer, leaving it a bit soggy if it sits around too long.

A bowl of General Tso’s Chicken with rice

More Asian-Inspired Dishes:

  • Beef Stir Fry: This simple stir fry is perfect for a hectic weeknight with a sneakily high serving of veggies.
  • Chicken Stir Fry – easy, saucy and loaded with veggies and cashews
  • Chicken Fried Rice – a genius way to use up leftover rice and frozen vegetables
  • Yakisoba Noodles: This quick-and-easy noodle dish is always on my rotation.
  • Lo Mein: Your vegetarian friends will love you. These noodles are great hot or cold.
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

4.93 from 643 votes
Author: Natalya Drozhzhin
General tsos chicken served over a bowl of white rice
General Tso’s Chicken is a Chinese takeout go-to. Make it all in one dish in the comfort of your home for a sweet and spicy treat!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 servings
  • 2 lb chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup extra light olive oil, for frying, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger, from a 2-inch piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, or 1 Tbsp grated or finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or added to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, optional for garnish

General Tso's Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  • Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Toss chicken in batches with cornstarch, tapping off the excess. Set dredged chicken on a platter and set aside.
  • In a separate dish, combine all the ingredients for your sauce and whisk to combine.
  • Preheat a non-stick skillet with oil. Cook chicken in 2 to 3 batches, sauteeing until golden on both sides and cooked through then remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil as needed. Leave at least 1 Tbsp oil in the pan.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Sautee for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the sauce to the skillet and bring it to a simmer while stirring. Let it simmer for 1 minute to cook off the vinegar a little. Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce or rice vinegar to taste if desired. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Serve garnished with sesame seeds if desired.

Nutrition Per Serving

386kcal Calories18g Carbs20g Protein26g Fat6g Saturated Fat5g Polyunsaturated Fat13g Monounsaturated Fat0.1g Trans Fat111mg Cholesterol502mg Sodium290mg Potassium0.4g Fiber7g Sugar163IU Vitamin A0.5mg Vitamin C20mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
General Tso’s Chicken Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
386
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
26
g
40
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
13
g
Cholesterol
 
111
mg
37
%
Sodium
 
502
mg
22
%
Potassium
 
290
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
18
g
6
%
Fiber
 
0.4
g
2
%
Sugar
 
7
g
8
%
Protein
 
20
g
40
%
Vitamin A
 
163
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
0.5
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
20
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: general tsos chicken
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 386

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya is a food blogger who founded Momsdish.com to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Ukraine, Natalya was inspired by the amazing dishes that were prepared using simple ingredients. Natalya is most notably known for making cooking approachable for any person.

Read more posts by Natalya

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Amanda Lynelle Roberts
    March 20, 2024

    Tasted great! Maybe just a little less soy sauce, I used what the recipe called for but it was still pretty salty. Overall, we loved it.

    Reply

  • Fatima
    March 15, 2024

    This recipe was really good and it turned out really well. I made it for me and my family and they all loved it

    Reply

    • J
      March 27, 2024

      How much soy sauce should be used? For those who said it was too much

      Reply

  • Rhea Rigoroso
    March 5, 2024

    Hi Natasha! I made this recipe and it was very yummy and everyone loves it. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and I always love following your recipes and you’re really awesome. Keep up the good work Natasha. ❤️🙏

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 5, 2024

      Hi Rhea! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback.

      Reply

      • Christine
        March 26, 2024

        Soooo good. Next time I make it I may add a touch of brown sugar to the liquid but my kids and husband (and I) gobbled it up!! Love all your recipes!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 26, 2024

          Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Christine!

          Reply

  • Elizabeth
    March 3, 2024

    Perfect. I followed the recipe exactly. Next time I may double the sauce. It was so good I wanted more!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 3, 2024

      I’m so glad you loved it, Elizabeth!

      Reply

  • Laura
    March 1, 2024

    I always love your recipes but for MY taste this was not the GT chicken taste I’m use to. Too heavy of a soy sauce taste and not sweet. My husband loves soy sauce and he enjoyed it

    Reply

  • Christine Goyette
    February 14, 2024

    I want to make this delicious looking recipy but was wondering if I can deep fry the chicken instead of pan fry ?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 14, 2024

      Hi Christine! I’m sure that would work too if you wanted to use fried chicken and then continue on with the recipe as instructed for the sauce.

      Reply

  • Sarah
    February 5, 2024

    We made this for dinner last night and were super impressed! Very easy recipe to follow, so glad I found it!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 5, 2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sarah!!

      Reply

  • Mari
    January 30, 2024

    Hi Natasha, I would like to make this recipe today but I don’t have any rice vinegar on hand, I have white, apple cider, red and balsamic, could I use one of those instead and would it change the taste much?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 30, 2024

      One of our readers shared this comment “I made this tonight and it was fabulous. I didn’t have rice vinegar so I used white vinegar and decreased it to 3 TB. Also didn’t have fresh ginger so used ground. This is a great recipe!” Hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Kim Taylor
    January 27, 2024

    I made this yesterday, and I was amazed that it was actually better than any General Tso’s Chicken that I have ever had at anywhere at a restaurant. My sister also tried it, and said that it was the best she’s ever had. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 27, 2024

      Hi Kim! That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Nancy
    January 23, 2024

    EXCELLENT!!! My husband doesn’t usually like chicken, but he thoroughly Loved this dish Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 23, 2024

      That’s great to hear, Nancy!

      Reply

  • Pam Rogers
    January 19, 2024

    This recipe was great but made some changes – honey instead of white sugar. Key to the recipe are the garlic and ginger with red pepper flakes sautéed with the sauce. Going in, I wasn’t impressed with the taste of the sauce but it magically changed after the saute and thickened. It all turned out great!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 19, 2024

      Hi Pam! Thank you for sharing that with us. I’m glad you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Mina Khaziran
    January 17, 2024

    I generally love the recipes here but this is one I’ll never make again! No one really cared for it.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 17, 2024

      Hi Mina, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s a poplar one on our site. Did you change anything or make any substitutions?

      Reply

  • Olga
    January 5, 2024

    Hi Natasha!Did you change the recipe recently?I made this recipe at least 10 times and my husband loved it!He is a very picky eater.But today after I made this recipe both of us were disappointed.It didn’t taste the same.I did follow the recipe as usual.We loved the old recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 5, 2024

      Hi Olga, we updated this recipe in January of 2023. We discovered a significant oops in the measurements so I had to update. There was 6 times the amount of hoisin sauce which made it crazy salty. That’s really the only difference in quantity of sauce though (about 4 1/2 Tbsp so it shouldn’t have made a significant impact on amount of sauce). I hope that helps.

      Reply

      • Olga
        January 8, 2024

        Natasha,thank you for your quick response.It has to be a mistake on my side then because I cooked this recipe at least 5-6 times last year.I thought it was changed again but it looks like I did something wrong.I will make it next month again!

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          January 8, 2024

          No worries, hope you get it right on your next try. I recommend reviewing the recipe again just to be sure you didn’t miss anything.

          Reply

  • Silvia
    January 2, 2024

    OMG, We loved this!!! It was just as good, if not better than what I have ordered. I followed it exactly except that I substituted 3 tbsp regular soy sauce with 2 tbsp water for the low sodium soy sauce. Thank you so much Natasha.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 2, 2024

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Silvia!

      Reply

  • Anneliese Gomez
    December 14, 2023

    Hi ! I plan on making this tomorrow, can I use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch? Thank you! I enjoyed your chicken fried rice recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 15, 2023

      I haven’t tested that substitution to advise. If you do an experiment, we’d like to know how it goes!

      Reply

  • Livia Schneider
    December 11, 2023

    Hi Natasha! Just wondering if you think this recipe would still work with chicken breast instead of thighs. Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 11, 2023

      Hi Livia! Yes- it will work, it just will be more dry since chicken breast is leaner.

      Reply

      • Mary Weinberger
        April 4, 2024

        What about velveting the chicken breast beforehand? It’s the technique the Chinese restaurants use to make their chicken breast tender and juicy.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          April 4, 2024

          I imagine that may work Mary. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

          Reply

  • Brandon
    December 11, 2023

    This recipe is fantastic, but I prefer the version that came before it was updated at some point! I was thought I was going insane when I was mixing the sauce and none of the proportions seemed to match up to the memories of making this recipe dozens of times in the past.

    Keep up the amazing cooking, Kitchen Staff!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 11, 2023

      Thank you for sharing. Glad you like it!

      Reply

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