General Tso’s Chicken

general tsos chicken
Essentially, this recipe is just a homemade hoison sauce kicked up to your personal level of preferred spiciness, with the addition of red pepper flakes and/or sriracha or chili garlic sauce.

I wanted a combo of General Tso & Cashew chicken, but yeah, there are no cashews anywhere to be seen in the pic because…I didn’t have any. I went foraging in the cupboards for ’em, but all I could find were almonds, macadamias (pictured) and some long forgotten pistachios–which turned into my late night snack. As delicious as pistachios are, I hate them for the fact that you munch along happily, then look down at the bowl of shells you’ve amassed and hang your head in the shame of evidence presented below you.


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • oil for the pan
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium, wheat-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (+ sriracha or chili garlic sauce for extra spiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
  • nuts (cashews, macadamias), for garnish


Get out a storage/serving container.

Slice chicken into thin strips. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute chicken, in batches, until browned and cooked through. Place in storage/serving container.

Add stock to the saute pan and whisk to get up all the browned bits. Turn the heat down to medium. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Whisk, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir chicken back into the pan, making sure everything is coated in sauce.

Serve topped with chopped green onions and nuts.

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  • Reply
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    November 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    This sounds delicious – I love that the recipe calls for sunflower seed butter I bet that makes the sauce really yummy =)

  • Reply
    November 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    You should call this Paleo Tso’s Chicken :p

  • Reply
    November 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    My husband was just gushing about how much he loves General’s Chicken. Definitely adding this to our list 🙂

  • Reply
    Busy Paleo Mom
    November 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    My husband will be so pumped when I make this!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Powered ginger??? That is a typo I hope.

  • Reply
    Maggie Cain
    December 4, 2012 at 10:39 am

    General Tso’s chicken is my favorite off-limits meal, and this completely blows the standard commerical, cloyingly sweet, deep fried mess out of the water. The sauce is complex-tasting and so wonderful. I swear that I will never just pour the sugared stuff out of a bottle onto my food again. Thank you thank you!

    Advice – don’t be shy about letting the liquid boil down to a nice sticky gooey carmel-y sauce. I used a cast iron skillet to be sure it wouldnt’ scorch. I also used light-tasting molasses rather than a full flavor one.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Made this tonight, subbing stuff I had for stuff I didn’t- almond butter instead of sunbutter, honey instead of molasses and used some of the Asian minced garlic in chilli oil I had to hand instead of the chili flakes which I didn’t.

    Also stir fried some zucchini & mushrooms before adding the (cooked) chicken drumstick meat.

    Good grief, total Chinese Chicken bliss, will be making this one again for sure-do you think tomorrow night would be soon?

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I can’t wait to make this! Also, where did you get the bowl in the picture?? It’s adorable.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Wondering i you the nutritional break down…thank u …this recipe looks amazing!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Dominique Jermyn
    December 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I would like to do this recipe in January during my Whole30, but Molasses isn’t allowed during the Whole30. Are there any sugar-free alternatives to the molasses in this recipe, or would it be as good without the molasses?

  • Reply
    January 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Had this for dinner. Great flavor! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Diana Cote
    February 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I only have almond butter, would that work for this?

  • Reply
    February 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    This is so yummy! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Trying the unrolled cabbage dish next.

  • Reply
    Liz N.
    March 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Megan, I made is tonight and it is my new fave! I can’t get enough of it. Pairing it with cauliflower fried rice is just the perfect pairing! Who needs regular Chinese takeout when you have this delicious version? Can’t believe I waited this long to make this recipe.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I made this last night and it was amazing! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    This got a re-do from my 13.5 yo son!! He is the pickiest eater on the face of the Earth…unless it is processed to the max…and comes out of box with large amounts of HFCS!! Thank you!! I may convert him yet!! Myself….so happy that I can have Chinese food without the MSG migraine!!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Sooo good!! Thanks for sharing.

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