You'll want to devour this delicious Gluten-free Chang's Spicy Chicken! A copycat recipe that features fluffy, battered gluten-free chicken nuggets, delicious all on their own, doused in a special sweet and spicy sauce! This easy-to-make recipe comes together in under an hour!
When we can get out and about, P.F. Chang's is one of my favorite restaurants to visit for a safe gluten-free meal! They take special precautions and I have never had an issue of getting sick when eating there. While they have several options to choose from on the gluten-free menu, my go-to is always the Gluten-free Chang's Spicy Chicken! Chang's Spicy Chicken comes with crispy bites of breaded chicken, doused in a sweet and spicy sauce and it's all served over a bed of rice. It is so delicious!
Since we don't live near a P.F. Chang's, I have to make my own when the craving hits! Enter this copycat recipe! This meal has quickly become a favored dinner request in my house. The awesome thing is it's pretty easy to make and you can make it start to finish in less than an hour. Serve it over a bed of instant pot steamed rice!
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
A few variations of this sauce were tested and all were delicious, but one stood out as the closest to the original. Also, there are a few ingredient swaps you can make to adjust the recipe according to what you have on hand. All of that will be noted in the recipe.
- Broth, Orange Juice, or Water: The sauce with broth or water tastes closest to the original but the version with orange juice was super tasty too!
- Sriracha or Chili Paste: These can be used interchangeably. Add more or less depending on how spicy you like your spicy chicken!
- Rice Vinegar: White vinegar will also work here.
- Gluten-free Flour: Use your preferred 1:1 blend. This recipe has been tested with Namaste Perfect Flour, King Arthur Measure for Measure, and Cup4Cup. They all worked fine but Cup4Cup got pretty gloopy, extra water was needed to thin the batter to the proper consistency.
Making Chang's Spicy Chicken
Step 1: Get your rice started.
Step 2: Dice the chicken and dredge with cornstarch.
Step 3: Make the batter for the chicken by whisking together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and water.
Pro-tip! It should be thin like pancake batter (see picture below). Add more water if needed.
Step 4: Make the sauce.
Step 5: Dip the chicken pieces in batter and fry the chicken bites. You can fry them in a pan or use a deep fryer. Oh man, are those chicken bites good all on their own!
Step 6: Combine some chicken bites with sauce and serve over steamed white rice. Top with a sprinkle of green onions.
Pro-Tip! Toss portions of chicken together with the sauce as you serve it. This way the chicken will stay crispier, even as it sits than if you combine everything together at once.
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Gluten-free P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken
- 2 cups white rice
Breaded Chicken Bites
- 1.5 lb chicken breast
- ¼ cup cornstarch,, plus extra for dusting chicken.
- ¼ cup 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt and pepper
- ½ cup water,, plus more if needed to thin batter to pancake batter consistency.
Spicy Chicken Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 5 cloves garlic,, minced
- ¼ cup diced green onion,, plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup chicken broth,, water or orange juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar,, or white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Oil for frying
- Cook rice using your preferred method. Prepare the chicken and sauce while the rice cooks.
Prep the Chicken
- Dice the chicken breast into 1-inch pieces and lightly dust it with cornstarch.
- Prepare the batter by whisking together ¼ cup cornstarch, gluten-free flour, and baking powder.
- Whisk in the water. The batter should be thin like pancake batter. Add more water if needed to reach this consistency.* Set aside.
Make the Sauce
- In a small saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the green onions and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take care not to burn the garlic.
- Pour in the chicken broth (water or orange juice), brown sugar, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce (or sriracha), sesame oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Add to the saucepan and whisk.
- Allow the sauce to simmer until thick and then turn the heat to low to keep warm, whisk occasionally.
Cook the Chicken
- Heat oil in a deep non-stick pot or deep fryer. Use at least enough oil to cover the chicken.
- Dip a few chicken bites at a time in the batter. Fry in batches until golden brown and chicken reaches an internal temp of 165°F.
- Remove the chicken bites to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt if desired.
- Continue to fry chicken in batches until all of the chicken is cooked.
- Toss individual portions of the chicken with some of the sauce in a small bowl.** Serve the sauced chicken over a bed of steamed white rice. Garnish with green onion, if desired.