This Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken is a perfect copycat recipe! The sauce is super easy to make using pantry staples.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – use any neutral cooking oil like canola or avocado oil.
- Chicken breasts – boneless skinless chicken thighs would also work for this recipe.
- Cornstarch – potato starch or arrowroot can be used instead.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Yellow onion – substitute for white onion or red onion.
- Celery – substitute for another vegetable of your choice like bok choy, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli and more.
- Red pepper – use any colour bell pepper of your choice.
- Scallions, sesame seeds & chili flakes – swap out for other garnishes of your choice or leave these off altogether.
Stir fry sauce
- Hoisin sauce – oyster sauce would be the best substitute here.
- Soy sauce – coconut aminos or tamari are the best soy sauce substitutes.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic is best but jarred minced garlic can be used in a pinch.
- Black pepper – the black pepper is the star of this dish but you could also try using green or white peppercorns (although the flavour will be different).
- White rice – you can use any variety of rice of your choice for this recipe.
- Butter – margarine would also help make the rice nice and moist.
- Salt – to taste.
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How to make black pepper chicken
Step 1: Season and coat the chicken.
Mix ingredients together for stir fry sauce, then cook rice in a rice cooker. Season chicken with salt & pepper, then toss in cornstarch.
Step 2: Brown the chicken.
Add olive oil to a large skillet over high heat, then add chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
Step 3: Sauté the vegetables.
Add onion, celery and red pepper, sauteeing another 4-5 minutes until veggies soften.
Step 4: Add in the sauce.
Mix in stir fry sauce.
Step 5: Stir to combine.
Cook another 2 minutes until it thickens.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy!
Serve chicken over rice and garnish with scallions, sesame seeds and chili flakes. Enjoy!
Making it keto friendly
The easiest way to make this Panda Express black pepper chicken recipe low carb is to not serve it with rice. Instead, use more vegetables and turn it into a delicious stir fry.
Here are some ideas for delicious, healthy, low carb veggies to add to the chicken:
- Spiralized vegetables like zucchini or sweet potato noodles
- Shredded sauteed cabbage
- Zucchini or yellow squash
Another option is to replace the white rice with cauliflower rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Black pepper is a lighter and healthier chicken dish. It’s made with chicken breasts and veggies in a black pepper sauce, typically served over white rice.
Panda Express black pepper chicken is a little bit spicy and tangy, with lots of garlic flavour. Because the spice comes from the black pepper, it’s not too overwhelming.
This black pepper chicken Panda Express copycat has 417 calories per serving.
Storing and reheating
You can store this Panda Express black pepper chicken in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. I recommend storing the rice separately to keep everything as fresh as possible.
When you’re ready to enjoy, sprinkle some water over top to prevent the chicken and rice from drying out, then microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. You could also reheat the black pepper chicken in a pan on the stovetop.
Freezing this recipe
This black pepper chicken Panda Express copycat can be frozen for up to 3 months in airtight glass containers or Ziploc bags. Since the vegetables in it are firm, they won’t get mushy when they thaw, although you will need to store the rice separately.
Let the dish defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat as normal. Serve with some fresh or reheated rice and dig in!
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Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red or green pepper, chopped
- Scallions, sesame seeds & chili flakes, for garnish (optional)
Stir fry sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Mix ingredients together for stir fry sauce, then cook rice in a rice cooker.
- Season chicken with salt & pepper, then toss in cornstarch. Add olive oil to a large skillet over high heat, then add chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add onion, celery and red pepper, sauteeing another 4-5 minutes until veggies soften. Mix in stir fry sauce, then cook another 2 minutes until it thickens.
- Serve chicken over rice and garnish with scallions, sesame seeds and chili flakes. Enjoy!
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Comments & Reviews
Love this recipe and go to it time and time again❤️
Wendy G says
Whole family loves it,
This was super yummy!