Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken on a plate with a green napkin

So, I’m sick. Like really sick. Like when you feel so badly, that you just lie on the couch all day staring into space and are completely useless. That kind.

Sickness aside though, I have to share this recipe with you! It’s been a while since I last shared a Chinese dish. That’s because the last three I have tried were horrible and I just wouldn’t do that to you guys. Chinese food can be tricky to master. The sauces have to be just right, not overly sweet, and the chicken has to have the right texture.

Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken on a plate with a green napkin

We love General Tso’s chicken in this house, but I don’t love the fact that it’s fried and contains a ridiculous amount of sodium. This version lightens things up a bit by cooking the chicken in cornstarch with minimal oil and the sauce also got a makeover with less sodium. It’s just sweet enough thanks to the addition of apricot jam. Both myself and my husband really liked this one. I brought some leftovers for lunch the next day and it was still really good (maybe even a little better!). And that is saying a lot for me because I am really weird about reheated chicken.

Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken on a plate with a green napkin

Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken on a plate with a green napkin
Yield: 4-6 servings

Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Lightened Up General Tso's Chicken - Forget the take-out and make your own, healthier General Tso's chicken at home!


For the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • up to 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger


  1. In a mixing bowl, add the diced chicken, corn starch, salt and black pepper. Stir together until the chicken is well-coated in the corn starch.
  2. In a non-stick 12-inch skillet, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken, turning the pieces over every so often for about 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin, apricot jam, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sriracha, and the water.
  4. Place the skillet back onto the heat. Add the remaining vegetable oil for the sauce. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for about 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce mixed and whisk until the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked chicken back in with the sauce and toss to coat. Serve over rice or vegetables. Top with sesame seeds and/or sliced green onion if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 818mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 37g