Panda Express’ Mushroom Chicken – Life Above the Cafe

Panda Express’ Mushroom Chicken

A Panda Express copycat recipe!
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Panda Express’ Mushroom Chicken

Mushroom Chicken
Jun 14, 2020




12 mins.

15 mins.


I love stir fry meals and have quite a few recipes for them on my site. They’re a great way to use up veggies that are randomly hanging out in the fridge, and I usually make enough to have lunch or dinner leftovers. Meals for more than one day is a win-win in my book.

This Mushroom Chicken was inspired by Panda Express. I love it because I can chop everything, put on my pressure cooker rice to cook, and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes from start to finish. I haven’t eaten at a Panda Expressin years, but this was the option that I always chose when I did eat there. I love that it has zucchini as well as the tender chicken and mushrooms. If you’re a vegetarian this is a great recipe for tofu or you could even leave out the meat and add other fresh veggies like carrots, peppers, and broccoli.

To make this a Keto friendly low carb meal, serve it over cauliflower rice, or cabbage. I like to use my food processor to make both of those items so that I spend less time chopping, but you can also buy them ready to cook in the produce section.

To have a successful stir fry experience, have every item chopped ahead of time, use a large nonstick skillet or work, or cook the items in batches so that the meat crisps and the veggies don’t steam. I don’t use a lot of oil in my stir fry to keep my cholesterol levels lower. I add it as needed between the batches that I cook. This helps to reduce the calories and greasy mouth taste often found in restaurant stir fry dishes.

Although many recipes call for dredging the chicken in cornstarch, I don’t because I prefer my chicken to be browned on the outside in the oil. If you prefer, then dredge your chicken in an egg wash and then in cornstarch. Also, this recipe has soy sauce and chicken broth which can be quite salty so if needed use the reduced sodium types of these products. I don’t add any extra salt, so I find this to be just right for our family.

I hope that you’ll try this recipe today and leave a comment below. Also, follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram for daily updates.


Stir Fry Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 pack of button mushrooms
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion diced
  • optional – green onion for garnish
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of vegetable oil

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 & 1/4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of ginger (I use powdered)
  • 1 large head of garlic, minced (3 tsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp. of black pepper


Wash and disinfect the produce.  Dice the zucchini up into 1/2 inch pieces.  I quarter the zucchini and then chop the pieces.  Chop the mushrooms in half.  Chop the white onion up into 1/2 inch sized pieces.  If using the green onion for garnish cut it up into slivers.

Use a separate cutting board to cut the chicken into 1 inch bite size cubes.  This has a lot of vegetables and I make rice to accompany it, but if you are feeding a family who likes more protein then use 3-4 large chicken breasts.

Mix the sauce ingredients up in a large measuring cup.  I add the raw garlic to my sauce because it is easy to burn garlic in a stir fry so by adding it towards the end, it cooks without burning.

Have everything close to the stove since the process for stir frying moves quickly.  Also, stir fry recipes work best at high heat, but if you find that your meat or vegetables are cooking too quickly turn the temperature down a bit.

In a large nonstick skillet or work over high heat, add 1 Tbsp. of oil and cook the chicken pieces on both sides until browned.  To achieve this browning without drying out the meat, make sure the oil is very hot before adding the chicken, don’t crowd the pan, and don’t move the chicken pieces around too much.  Once the chicken is browned and cooked through remove it from the pan to a bowl.  My chicken pieces were finished in about 5 minutes

Add 1 Tbsp. of oil to the pan and once it is heated, and add the mushroom halves and cook them until they are browned.  About 2-3 minutes.  Add them to the bowl of chicken.

If more oil is necessary add 1 Tbsp. of oil to the pan and once it is heated, add the white/yellow onions and zucchini.  Cook them until they are your desired level of firm or soft.  My vegetables were ready in 4 minutes.

Once the zucchini and white/yellow onion are finished, add the chicken and mushrooms back to the pan.  Stir the sauce together well to make sure that there are no cornstarch clumps, and pour it into the pan over the meat and vegetable mixture.  Stir it as it comes up to a boil.  The sauce will need to boil to thicken properly.  I used 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch and cooked my stir fry for about 3 minutes to achieve the medium thick sauce that I like.  If you like a much thicker sauce use 3 Tbsp. of cornstarch.

Taste the stir fry and adjust for seasoning.  I don’t add red pepper flakes, but if you like a spicy stir fry you can add red chili flakes (1/4 – 1/2 tsp.) or fresh diced chili peppers.

Plate over rice and sprinkle with fresh green onions if desired.  This would also make a great vegetarian dish by adding other vegetables or tofu and using the sauce.


Additional Photos:

Mushroom Chicken
Mushroom Chicken
Mushroom Chicken
Mushroom Chicken

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