An easy homemade version of the famous Chinese takeout, General Tso’s Chicken. Baked General Tso Chicken is made to dump and bake. Chicken breast, broccoli, and a quick sauce are baked together to make an easy, healthy, and fresh weeknight meal!
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Easy General Tso Chicken Recipe
This easy weeknight dump and bake General Tso Chicken recipe was such a huge hit in this house! Inspired from our usual takeout order I wanted to make something that was as easy as possible and a little healthier to satisfy my family in-between our takeout orders!
According to a quick google search the average calories in a takeout order of general tso’s chicken is about 1,577…
I am all about the occasional indulgence BUT it probably isn’t a great idea to have that all that often. So I worked on this healthier version cutting out a lot of the unhealthy parts (aka deep frying) in order to cut that calorie count in half.
So what exactly is in my Baked General Tso Chicken?
This recipe can be broken out into three easy parts:
First off my recipe calls for chicken breasts, lean and full of protein these will be cut into cubes for easy eating.
Next broccoli. One of the ways to make this dish healthier is not necessarily taking away but ADDING. Adding a large dose of vegetables not only adds good nutrients it also solves the problem of having to make a side dish!
Last the sauce.
The sauce is definitely the trickiest part. Even though general tso chicken tends to be spicy the sauce is still dependent on sugar to balance it out. So I played with different levels of sweet, tangy, and spicy until I found a nice balance. Now yes this sauce still has sugar in it but I tried to keep it light at only half a cup.
Another tricky part of the sauce was getting the consistency right. To me part of the allure of takeout it the thick sauce that really coats the chicken! So I played around with cornstarch until I got a thickness I was happy with.
Lastly the sauce needed to be spicy but also mellow enough to serve to young kids. So I used sriracha to get just enough flavor, so the recipe as written is definitely not hot spicy, my 4 year old eats it like crazy and he is not a fan of spice. BUT if you don’t have a 2 & 4 year old you are trying to please I recommend adding in additional heat, I recommend adding in some red pepper flakes. Besides red pepper flakes you could also add in a number of different asian hot sauce like hoisin or more sriracha.
So these three components are quickly added together in a baking dish and cooked in the oven and you are all set. Besides making rice you will have plenty of time to do other things (like clean up the prep) while dinner bakes!
Ingredients and Instructions:
For this recipe you will need:
- chicken breasts
- broccoli florets
- brown sugar
- rice vinegar
- tomato paste
- soy sauce
- ground ginger
- minced garlic
- Optional: red pepper flakes or other hot sauce
*Keep scrolling for a full list of ingredients in the recipe card below
Now let’s see how easy this is to make!
Start by preheating your oven to 425ºF and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish (or similar size).
Now cut your chicken breast into 1 inch pieces.
Add the cut chicken and broccoli florets to the baking dish.
(Note on the broccoli, do yourself a favor and buy the precut bag!)
Now to make the sauce, in a mixing bowl add the brown sugar, rice vinegar, tomato paste, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and cornstarch (and red pepper flakes if using). Whisk together until the brown sugar and cornstrach are incorporated. Pour sauce overtop the chicken and broccoli.
Toss chicken and broccoli in the sauce until the sauce is mixed throughout the dish. Transfer to to oven.
Cook 15 minutes. Then carefully toss the contents of the baking dish, really making sure the stir up the sauce on the outside edges.
Cook an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Remove from oven and let rest uncovered for about 5 minutes before serving. Normally I would suggest covering a chicken dish to let it rest but not this one, because we are looking for a really thick saucey dish covering it will cause the sauce to become too thin.
This Baked General Tso Chicken is best served with rice. Check out my Foolproof Method to Cooking Rice on the Stovetop! Or to keep this really healthy you could also serve with cauliflower rice or brown rice!
Questions, Tips, and Tricks
Make it spicy to your level:
As written this sauce should be mild enough for everyone in the family. If you are like me I prefer it a little spicer and I recommend adding red pepper flakes to achieve the level of spiciness you enjoy!
Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
I think the broccoli is such a perfect pairing with general tso’s but you could certainly add more or different vegetables. Sliced onion, cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans would all go well in or with this dish!
Is General Tso Chicken and Orange Chicken the same thing?
Easy answer, NO. They are very similar though. These dishes tend to have the same base of chicken and similar sauce but general tso’s tends to be spicer where as orange chicken tends to be sweet with a heavy orange flavoring.
Other recipes you might like:
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Ground Pork Stir Fry
- Korean Ground Turkey & Rice Bowls
- 20 Minute Chicken Stir Fry
- Quick & Easy Pork Fried Rice
- 3 pounds chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- Optional: ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish (or similar size).
- Cut chicken breast into 1 inch pieces. Add the cut chicken and broccoli florets to the baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl add the brown sugar, rice vinegar, tomato paste, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sriracha, and cornstarch (and red pepper flakes if using). Whisk together until the brown sugar and cornstrach are incorporated. Pour sauce overtop the chicken and broccoli.
- Toss chicken and broccoli in the sauce until the sauce is mixed throughout the dish. Transfer to to oven.
- Cook 15 minutes. Carefully toss the contents of the baking dish, really making sure the stir up the sauce on the outside edges. Cook an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Remove from oven and let rest uncovered for about 5 minutes before serving. Best served with rice.
For serving with rice check out my post: Foolproof Method for Cooking Rice on the Stovetop
Normally I would suggest covering a chicken dish to let it rest but not this one, because we are looking for a really thick saucey dish covering it will cause the sauce to become too thin.
As written without the red pepper flakes this recipe is pretty mild to please the entire family, if you are looking for spice make sure you add in the red pepper flakes or more sriracha!
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Serving Size:1/6 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 73g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.
Lauren, The Schmidty Wife