Healthy Mongolian Chicken

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Healthy Mongolian Chicken made with a sweet and spicy sauce is just as good as your favorite Chinese takeout and ready in less than 20 minutes.

252 CAL 12g CARBS 5g FAT 38g PROTEIN
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This recipe for Healthy Mongolian Chicken tastes just like your take-out favorite and only has 250 calories per serving. We love it with Healthy Fried Rice and alternate between serving it or this Healthy Mongolian Beef.

Last week I decided I really wanted to make Mongolian Chicken at home since it has long been one of my favorite Asian take-out staples. Then a funny thing happened: I realized I had absolutely no idea what actually was in Mongolian Chicken, outside of the chicken (of course) and green onions. And that led me to think about how I rarely actually know what goes into making so many of the Asian dishes that I love.

I mean there is almost always soy sauce and many times rice vinegar, but I would be hard-pressed to explain what is in lots of Asian dishes, you know? I just know what I like and what I don't like, like most everyone else, I assume.

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It's a good thing I was really craving this dish because that made me set off to find out what made Mongolian Chicken so yummy. And, it turns out, like so many Asian dishes, it actually isn't too complicated.

Traditionally it is made with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, a touch of chili paste, and then some combination of hoisin sauce or oyster sauce. Then, the thin slices of chicken are coated in cornstarch and flash-fried in oil in a wok. Yummy, right? However, not so healthy since that requires quite a bit of oil, and not the good kind.

With that knowledge, I decided to make my Mongolian Chicken with ground chicken instead since it is healthier, easier, more affordable, and doesn't require a quick-cooking wok. It still has all the flavors you love about Mongolian Chicken, but with about half as many calories. We call that a win-win-win-win-win-win in our house.

Can I Make Mongolian Chicken in the Slow Cooker?

The short answer is yes! However, I think it would be easier to cube the chicken for the slow cooker rather than chop it. To make this Mongolian Chicken in the slow cooker:

First cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Add them to a Ziploc bag, along with the cornstarch. Shake this cup to evenly coat the chicken in the cornstarch (if you don't have enough to coat, you can add another teaspoon of cornstarch). Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Mix together the rest of the sauce ingredients (except for the green onions). Add this mixture to the slow cooker on top of the chicken. Set to low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Add chopped green onions during the last 30 minutes to hour of cooking. Mix and serve.

Mongolian chicken with green onions in a soy based sauce.

Ways to Serve Healthy Mongolian Chicken

This chicken dish goes great over the usual grains — rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa. Challenge yourself to mix it up with a new grain this time if you want to get creative!

I'd add veggies to this dish as well. Steamed broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, snap or snow peas, mushrooms, or cabbage are all great veggies that go well with Mongolian Chicken. (You can also often find pre-mixed bags of Asian veggies in the freezer or produce section of your grocery store.) Make the veggies up on the side while your chicken cooks or add them to the chicken dish (you'll have to double the sauce).

Try adding veggie noodles as your base. Zucchini, sweet potato, carrots, and other summer squashes make great veggie noodles.

This dish would go great over a noodle too, like spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or an Asian noodle like udon, cellophane, or ramen.

What is Mongolian sauce made of?

Mongolian beef or chicken is served in a lot of Chinese and Chinese-American restaurants. It usually contains beef or chicken and a savory brown sauce. The sauce is typically made with hoisin and soy sauces and some sort of spicy pepper and green onions. From there, there are almost too many different variations to count as to how to make this sauce.

I, like many Asian restaurants, like to experiment until I find one that is perfect for me. That's why mine also includes rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. I also like to add just the tiniest bit of sugar to make it a tad on the sweet side and to help balance out the spicy. You could also leave out the sugar or use Stevia if you are worried about your sugar consumption.

Healthy Mongolian Chicken made with ground lean chicken, green onions, and a soy and garlic sauce.

What does Mongolian Chicken taste like?

Mongolian Chicken is both savory and sweet, and a bit spicy. All the oils together really make the flavors of this dish sing. The ground chicken makes for a great texture as well (though you could substitute chopped chicken breast as well if you like). You could also marinate this chicken for a little more depth of flavor.

The Recipe
Healthy Mongolian chicken in a bowl with green onions on top.

Healthy Mongolian Chicken

252 CAL 12g CARBS 5g FAT 38g PROTEIN
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  • 3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, minced (more to taste)
  • 2 tsp. sugar (leave out for low carb)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Asian chili garlic paste (or Sriracha or red pepper flakes)
  • 1.33 lbs 99% lean ground chicken
  • 12 green onions

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Mix together the soy sauce, hoisin, and rice vinegar.

Sauce for Mongolian chicken being made with soy and hoisin in a bowl.

Add in the garlic and ginger.

Mongolian chicken sauce with garlic and ginger being added to soy sauce.

Add the sugar, cornstarch, and chili paste. Stir until smooth.

Healthy Mongolian sauce being made with sugar being added to soy sauce.

Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks.

Lean ground chicken being cooked in a skillet.

Add the green onions and sauce.

Green onions and Mongolian sauce being added to chicken in a skillet.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens and green onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Top with additional fresh green onions if desired.

Mongolian chicken with green onions in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 252
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 106mg
Sodium 783mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 6g
Protein 38g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
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