Skip to Content

30-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp

Quick and easy Kung Pao Shrimp comes together lightning fast with ingredients you likely already have on hand. If you love shrimp, stir fry, or Chinese takeout, this recipe is for you!

Healthy Kung Pao Shrimp recipe - a quick and easy approach to Kung Pao Shrimp that only requires a handful of basic ingredients and less than 30 minutes!

I posted a Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe and a Paleo Sweet and Sour Shrimp recipe a few months ago, and you all loved them both! I figured I just had to revisit the topic by providing the Kung Pao shrimp counterpart!

If you’re a fan of all things Kung Pao, you’ll absolutely love how simple this recipe is! As one does on a healthy food recipe site, I took creative liberties to swap out some of the traditional ingredients in Kung Pao for ingredients that are cleaner (less-inflammatory).

You probably have everything you need on hand already!

So let’s do it!

What is Kung Pao Shrimp?:

In case you are new to Kung Pao, no sweat. I have info.

Kung Pao Shrimp originates from South-Western China and is a stir-fried dish of shrimp, vegetables, and chili peppers. It is sweet, spicy, sticky and a tad sour, with crispy pan-fried shrimp in a thick delicious sauce. 

Traditional Kung Pao Shrimp calls for cornstarch for thickening the sauce, but I use tapioca flour as a replacement. If you’re fine with using cornstarch, feel free to make the substitution! 

Wine or sherry is traditionally included in the Kung Pao sauce. I go with white wine (like sauvignon blanc), but you can replace it with chicken broth if you don’t cook with alcohol. I do find that a dry white wine gives the dish delicious rich flavor.

I also keep the recipe soy-free by using coconut aminos (you can also use liquid aminos or soy sauce) and pure maple syrup instead of brown sugar. 

30-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp recipe made quick and easy in a skillet. A delicious healthy dinner recipe

When all is said and done, this meal is grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and a take on Kung Pao Shrimp.

Bonus: it’s so easy to prepare, you can make it whenever you please! No marinating or fancy maneuvers necessary…just you, the ingredients, and a skillet! 

BOOM! Kung Pao!

How to Make Kung Pao Shrimp:

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside until ready to use.

In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat.

Transfer the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and nearly cooked through. Add the bell pepper, chilies, and garlic and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.

How to make Kung Pao Shrimp - saute the shrimp and vegetables

Add the remaining ingredients and the sauce and bring to a full boil. Cook, stirring consistently until the sauce is thick, shrimp are cooked through, and the peppers reach desired doneness.

How to Make Kung Pao Shrimp - add the sauce

Allow shrimp to cook and the sauce to thicken

Taste the shrimp for flavor and add sea salt to taste.

Serve with choice of steamed rice, cauliflower rice, or side dish of choice.

Easy 30-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe - this healthy dinner recipe comes together lightning quick!

If you’re into fried rice, consider making my Basil Fried Rice, Kimchi Fried Rice, or Red Curry Fried Rice.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Make it Low-FODMAP by omitting the garlic, green onion, and sriracha (don’t add chilies).
  • To make the recipe Whole30, omit the pure maple syrup and use broth instead of wine.
  • Make it Paleo by using broth instead of wine.
  • In order to make the recipe Low-Carb or Keto, use liquid aminos instead of coconut aminos and omit the pure maple syrup. If you’d like, you can add a couple teaspoons of sugar-free sweetener.
  • Replace the coconut aminos with liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce.
  • Add some heat by incorporating 1 to 2 Thai chilies.
  • Make the recipe very mild by omitting the sriracha.

Easy 30-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe - this healthy dinner recipe comes together lightning quick!

30-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A quick, easy, and healthier take on one of your favorite takeout meals!

Ingredients

Kung Pao Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp white wine
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos or liquid aminos
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha*
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, optional

Kung Pao Shrimp:

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 16 ounces shrimp (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 to 2 red or green chilies, chopped, optional*
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts
  • 3 stalks green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup raw cashews

Instructions

    1. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside until ready to use.

    2. In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and nearly cooked through. Add the bell pepper, chilies, and garlic and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and the sauce and bring to a full boil. Cook, stirring consistently until the sauce is thick, shrimp are cooked through, and the peppers reach desired doneness.

    3. Taste the shrimp for flavor and add sea salt to taste. Serve with choice of steamed rice, cauliflower rice, or side dish of choice.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 of 3
Amount Per Serving Calories 437Total Fat 24gCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 8gProtein 34g
Quick, easy, healthy 30-minute Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe with options for paleo, keto, and Whole30! This recipe requires few ingredients and makes an amazing healthy dinner
Pesto Chicken Omelette with spinach and feta - an easy, delicious, flavorful healthy breakfast recipe
Previous
Pesto Chicken Omelette
Easy Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes - a goof-proof recipe that comes together quickly and easily!
Next
Easy Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe