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Healthy General Tso’s Chicken is simple, flavorful and perfect for a weeknight dinner.  It’s a lighter take on the classic American take-out dish and will be loved by both kids and adults. It also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!

Healthy General Tso’s Chicken

We are big fans of the fake-out take-out recipes here, but this lighter General Tso’s Chicken might be our new favorite! It uses wholesome ingredients and simple instructions and we are pretty sure the entire family will love it! General Tso’s is typically made by deep frying breaded chicken and then coating it with a pretty sweet sauce. While we still wanted to have some crispness to the chicken, we wanted to avoid frying it and we wanted to keep the sauce free of refined sweeteners and gluten while still maintain the same taste as traditional General Tso’s.

We use a few different ingredients (such as coconut aminos and gluten-free hoisin) to help achieve the same taste but made healthier. Serve General Tso’s Chicken with your favorite side, but we suggest cauliflower rice and if you’re feeling like you need some extra veggies in your life some broccoli would fit right in here.

What You Need to Make It

We turned to a few different products to help us keep this dish free from soy, refined sweeteners and gluten, which you will notice below. We used the Coconut Secrets brand of hoisin (which traditionally contains gluten) and coconut aminos, which is a soy-free soy sauce substitute. If you can’t find the gluten-free hoisin, feel free to use a gluten-free teriyaki sauce (we also recommend the brand Coconut Secrets for that). We do recommend using both honey and coconut sugar to get a similar taste to traditional General Tso’s.

  • Chicken Breast
  • Scallions
  • Arrowroot Starch
  • Salt and pepper
  • Avocado Oil
  • Ginger and Garlic
  • Coconut Hoisin Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar 
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Honey
  • Sesame oil
  • Bird’s Eye Chili (or crushed red pepper)

What can you serve with this Lighter General Tsos?

We served ours with cauliflower rice, but it would also go well with:

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5 from 12 votes
Healthy General Tso's Chicken is simple, flavorful and perfect for a weeknight dinner.  It's a lighter take on the classic American take-out dish and will  loved by both kids and adults. It also happens to be  be gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes


  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast diced into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3 scallions sliced thin and whites and greens separated
  • 1 ” piece ginger peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup coconut hoisin sauce see note for substitute
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried bird’s eye chili or crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cauliflower rice for serving
  • Sesame seeds for garnish


  • Cut chicken into 1" pieces and place inside of a large bowl with arrowroot starch and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat the chicken fully.
  • Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Once hot, brown chicken on both sides, in batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken and set aside. To the pan add the white parts of the scallion, ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add in the coconut hoisin, rice vinegar, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Increase heat and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Once the sauce has boiled and thickened up, add back the chicken and cook through until hot, about 1 more minute.
  • Serve chicken immediately with sauce from the skillet over cauliflower rice and top with green parts of the scallions and sesame seeds.


  1. Traditional hoisin sauce contains gluten. There are some brands out there that are free from gluten such as Coconut Secrets brand. If you can’t readily find a gluten-free brand, feel free to substitute teriyaki sauce.
  2. Despite this recipe calling for a lot of “coconut” products, this does not at all taste like coconut!


Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 478kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 48gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 900mgFiber: 5gSugar: 20g
Course: Dinner
Author: Lexi

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This has become a great substitute for the not so healthy fast food version available near us. I no longer order out when we are in the mood for Chinese food.

  2. This is really good! I admittedly am not hardcore “clean” in the kitchen so I used coconut oil, corn starch, and regular soy sauce. I skipped the sugar entirely and used 2 tablespoons of honey. I used about 1lb of chicken and threw in a head of broccoli and half a red bell pepper I never to use up in the last step. I love finding ways to add more fresh veggies and this turned out great.

  3. Being the bad meal planner that I am I went into this intending only to substitute regular hoisin sauce for the coconut version since I couldn’t find it locally but then I realized I was out of coconut aminos and never had arrowroot starch to begin with. I substituted low sodium soy sauce and cornstarch and it was still amazing, this will be one of my go-to recipes going forward. I might even try it with the correct ingredients next time. 🙂

  4. Just wondering if anyone has tried this using cornstarch instead of arrowroot. I thought I had some arrowroot in my pantry but I don’t.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonite for the hubby and me! So delish! We had it with quinoa and broccoli as a side. I feel like I had something healthy and satisfying. Just as good as going out, maybe better! Minus the dishes.Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    I have tried many General Tso’s Chicken recipes. Finally, I have found a keeper. It has the perfect amount of spice. Husband approve. This delicious recipe will be going into our meal rotation. Thanks for such a fabulous recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed this one. I made a couple slight changes. I used 2 tablespoons of arrowroot rather than 1/4 cup. Next time I will use only 1 Tablespoon because it was really thick. Also, I used brown sugar as a sub for coconut sugar. We sprinkled with cashews and it was delicious. Thank you.

    1. I think it might be a little hard to translate to the IP, and even might take longer! If you give it a try though, let us know how it goes!

  8. 5 stars
    This turned out amazing! I really enjoyed the entire process, from sourcing the ingredients, to putting them together, to taking every single bite! I used a bit of red onion instead of the white ends of scallions. I did this because my scallions are growing in a pot and I didn’t want to pull them out of the soil. I used the green parts of the scallions and lots of sesame seeds, and I served it with steamed broccoli instead of cauliflower rice. Now I can’t wait to have guests over for Chinese New Year! Thank you! This is the first recipe I’ve made from your page. I’m a fan!

  9. thank you for lightening up this recipe, I haven’t had it in such a long time since I’ve been in a diet for such a long time! Nice to have a homemade version that’s not full of mystery ingredients and sugar