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30-Minute Paleo Hunan Chicken (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free)

This quick and simple 30-Minute Paleo Hunan Chicken with a sweet and sour sauce with a little kick is a lovely tool to change up weeknight meals. Serve it with cauliflower rice or your choice of steamed or fried rice to fit your dietary needs.

Hunan Chicken - 30-minute Hunan Chicken made paleo-friendly. Soy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and delicious!

Have you ever tried Hunan Chicken?

I only recently tried it, and true to my nature, I developed a grain-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free version that tastes authentic and comes together quickly for easy healthy weeknight meals.

Quick Chinese-inspired meals like this are a revolving theme on this site.

My Mango Cashew Chicken, 30-Minute Paleo Orange Chicken, 20-Minute Mongolian Ground Beef have been my most recent favorites.

But let’s dive into this sultry little number.

Paleo Hunan Chicken - soy-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free healthy dinner recipe

What is Hunan Chicken?:

Hunan Chicken is a Chinese American rendition of what would be a typical dish from the Hunan province of China. 

Chili peppers and sweet, tart flavors are used widely in Hunan cuisine, which is where this quick and easy chicken recipe comes into the picture.

Tender chicken and vegetables in a thick, sweet yet tangy spicy sauce, Hunan style chicken is an easy stir fry recipe that we can all make any night of the week.

Hunan Chicken Ingredients:

For the Stir Fry: Chicken breasts, tapioca flour (you can also use arrowroot flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour), broccoli, carrots, bell pepper and avocado oil for cooking. 

For the Sauce: Chicken broth, coconut aminos (or liquid aminos or soy sauce), garlic, ginger, red chili paste (such as sriracha), cider vinegar, coconut sugar (or pure maple syrup or regular sugar), and sesame oil.

This combination of ingredients makes for a meal that covers all the flavor bases. Pair it with side dishes to make a complete meal!

Paleo Hunan Chicken - 30-minute Chinese Hunan Chicken made grain-free, refined sugar-free, and soy-free. Better than takeout!

How to Make Healthy Hunan Chicken:

Prepare the sauce by adding all of the ingredients to a small blender and blend until combined. If you don’t own a small blender, simply mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and stir everything in a mixing bowl.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth

Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and place it in a mixing bowl with the tapioca flour. Stir well until the chicken is well-coated in tapioca flour.

Coat the chicken in tapioca flour

Heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat and allow the skillet to heat up for a couple of minutes. 

When hot, transfer the chicken to the skillet and spread it into an even layer. Allow the chicken to brown for 2 minutes before stirring it and allowing it to brown for another minute or two.

Allow the chicken to brown for a few minutes to become crispy.

Stir in the vegetables.

Stir the vegetables into the stir fry and cook for a few minutes.

Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir well. 

Transfer the sauce to the skillet, stir and bring to a full boil.

Cover the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened but are still al dente. 

Remove the cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes minutes.

Healthy Hunan Chicken - a paleo version of Chinese Hunan Chicken - a spicy sweet and sour chicken stir fry recipe.

Serve the Hunan Chicken with your choice of cauliflower rice, steamed rice or fried rice.

How to Make this Recipe Mild:

While the recipe isn’t overly spicy as written, it does have a small kick to it. If you prefer your food mild, omit the sriracha and the red pepper flakes. While ginger isn’t spicy per se, some folks find it has a bit of a kick, so you can decrease the amount to 2 teaspoons.

On the flipside, if you love spicy food, add more sriracha or a pinch of red pepper flakes to increase the heat.

Healthy Chinese Hunan Chicken - paleo, soy-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free and a fun dinner recipe!

If you love meals like this, you may also enjoy my 30-Minute Sesame Ginger Garlic Broccoli Beef Stir Fry, Salmon Stir Fry with Vegetables, and my Paleo General Chicken.

Paleo Hunan Chicken - 30-minute Chinese Hunan Chicken made grain-free, refined sugar-free, and soy-free. Better than takeout!

30-Minute Paleo Hunan Chicken

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

Sweet, sour, and spicy Chinese Hunan Chicken made paleo-friendly in just 30 minutes! A quick healthy dinner recipe that is soy-free, refined sugar-free, and grain-free.

Ingredients

For the Stir Fry:

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour*
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

For the Sauce:

  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos**
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha or red chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar***
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar****
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce by adding all of the ingredients to a small blender and blend until combined. If you don't own a small blender, simply mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and stir everything in a mixing bowl.
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and place it in a mixing bowl with the tapioca flour. Stir well until the chicken is well-coated in tapioca flour.
  3. Heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat and allow the skillet to heat up for a couple of minutes. 
  4. When hot, transfer the chicken to the skillet and spread it into an even layer. Allow the chicken to brown for 2 minutes before stirring it and allowing it to brown for another minute or two.
  5. Stir in the vegetables.
  6. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir well. 
  7. Cover the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened but are still al dente. 
  8. Remove the cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes minutes.
  9. Serve the Hunan Chicken with your choice of cauliflower rice, steamed rice or fried rice.

Notes

*You can replace the tapioca flour with arrowroot flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.

**If you’re fine with soy, you can replace the coconut aminos with liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce.

***Replace the coconut sugar with pure maple syrup, honey, brown sugar or regular cane sugar if desired. 

****You can use rice vinegar instead of cider vinegar.

Nutrition facts are calculated without any side dishes.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 of 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 454Total Fat 14gCarbohydrates 26gFiber 3gSugar 13gProtein 55g
30-Minute Paleo Hunan Chicken - Tender chicken and vegetables in a thick, sweet yet tangy spicy sauce, Hunan style chicken is an easy stir fry recipe that we can all make any night of the week.

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Lori

Friday 4th of February 2022

This was delicious!! Thank you for a great weeknight meal.

Julia

Monday 7th of February 2022

Wahoo! So happy you enjoy it, Lori! Thanks so much for the follow-up note!

Caroline DeCoux

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

The picture has broccoli, but the recipe says zucchini. Would I use just a crown of broccoli?

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