Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kung Pao Spaghetti (California Pizza Kitchen Copycat)

Are y'all California Pizza Kitchen fans?

I must admit that I've only dined there once, and it was a long time ago with a large birthday party (ie, pizzas were ordered for the table so I never saw a menu). We have one close but it's also located near a ton of other great restaurants so we always end up dining elsewhere.

I always assumed pizza was the main event there but evidently, they also serve unique pasta dishes! When I first came across this recipe, I got it in my head that it was a Cheesecake Factory copycat because it's really similar to something you'd order there from their massive menu. But turns out, it's from California Pizza Kitchen - and it's SO tasty!

Taking the classic flavors of a traditional Kung Pao Chicken and putting it in pasta is pretty darn brilliant. My inner carb lover rejoices when anything is over pasta! The dish comes together quickly and is actually fairly lean, thanks to non-breaded/fried chicken. You could sub in any protein you wanted (or nothing at all) and it'd be just as delicious.

This was a hit at our house and I hope it's one at yours, too!

Kung Pao Spaghetti
1 lb dried spaghetti
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, dry sherry, red chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (light on the salt since the soy sauce will have salt) and then cook, in batches, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer cooked pieces to a plate and set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.

Stir in the prepared sauce and peanuts. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Add the cooked and drained pasta, green onions, and cooked chicken to the pan and mix well. Serve immediately.

Source: Damn Delicious


  1. This sounds delicious and easy enough to substitute rice noodles if one wishes. There will be pinnage! ;)

    1. Oooh, rice noodles would be delicious! Thanks for the pin :)

  2. I've never been to California Pizza Kitchen, but this looks like a good reason to go! :-)
    Visiting from Mandy's Recipe Box.

  3. Looks yummy, will have to give this a try! Where did you find the red chili paste with garlic?

    1. Danielle, I usually find it in the international aisle - near the Asian foods. It's in a small jar and the stuff is bright red LOL.


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