Panda Express is a very popular fast food chain that specializes in American-Chinese food (and some Japanese inspired dishes).
Ordering from Panda Express is very convenient, but you can also recreate these delicious dishes in your own kitchen if you want something healthier and cheaper.
We have put together this list of the best copycat Panda Express recipes for you to try at home.
1 – Firecracker Chicken
Firecracker is a very popular Panda Express dish. The sauce is sweet yet spicy, with tender chicken and colorful bell peppers.
It takes 35 minutes to make this recipe, with tasty ingredients like grapefruit juice, hoisin sauce, honey, and sesame oil. The sriracha adds the spice, as you can add more if you like your food to have a good kick!
2 – Orange Chicken
When people think of Panda Express they think of orange chicken. Tender chunks of chicken, fried in a light batter and tossed in a delightfully sticky citrus sauce- it’s the perfect meal!
This copycat recipe tastes just like the real thing, and you will be surprised at how easy it is to make. You can also adjust this recipe to make it in the slow cooker if you want to.
3 – Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Panda Express also offers Japanese inspired dishes as well as Chinese, and this teriyaki chicken is a great example. The chicken is tender and juicy, with a sticky glaze that is packed with flavor.
This recipe cooks the chicken thighs in the slow cooker, which is very convenient for you if you have a busy day. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare the ingredients first.
4 – 25 Minute Chow Mein
Chow mein is one of the most popular side dishes from Panda Express because it goes so well with everything. You can make your own version of Panda Express Chow Mein in just 25 minutes with this simple recipe.
It’s cheaper, healthier, but tastes just as good – if not better! You can keep any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week, so nothing will go to waste.
5 – Beef & Broccoli
This beef and broccoli is one of the tastiest stir frys that you will ever eat. It is also one of the healthier dishes on the Panda Express Menu. The rich beef and the fresh, green broccoli go together so well.
The ingredients are cooked in an irresistible sauce made with sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce.
6 – Sweet Fire Chicken Skewers
This recipe is similar to firecracker chicken, but served on a skewer instead. This makes them the perfect choice for a garden party or a BBQ cookout to add a bit of Oriental flavor to the mix.
You can make the sauce as spicy as you want by adding more jalapenos and more sriracha. The pineapple juice sweetens the sauce to create a perfectly balanced flavor.
7 – Mushroom Chicken
Mushroom chicken is one of the lowest calorie options on the Panda Express menu, and this copycat version is even healthier.
It only takes 20 minutes so it is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t want to spend too long standing over the stove. The mushrooms are earthy and meaty and the zucchini is fresh and vibrant.
8 – Chicken Potstickers
If you have eaten chicken potstickers from Panda Express then you might be thinking that it would be complicated to try and recreate them at home. This is not the case – it is actually very simple and easy.
They have a delicious chicken and mushroom filling tucked inside a soft parcel. Make sure you grease the steamer rack so that the dumplings come out easily without sticking and tearing.
9 – Black Pepper Chicken
This copycat version of Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken is low carb and is also keto friendly. You don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in this tasty meal. It is packed with lean, tender chicken and healthy celery.
It takes less than 20 minutes to make and is seasoned with cayenne pepper, plenty of black pepper, soy sauce and brown sugar.
10 – Beijing Beef
In this recipe, the beef is marinated and then fried in a light batter before being tossed in a tangy sauce. It has a surprising spicy flavor which is very addictive and will keep you coming back for more.
The beef is cooked with bell peppers and onions, which still have a bit of crunch to add an exciting texture to the meal.
11 – Mongolian Beef
This Mongolian beef is thinly sliced and then seared to make it nice and crispy. You then toss the beef in a savory sauce with a touch of sweetness to it for a flavor that is complex and well balanced.
It tastes just as good as the beef from Panda Express, or even from a fancy Chinese Restaurant, but you can make it at home in less than half an hour.
The sauce is made with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and brown sugar.
12 – Honey Walnut Shrimp
If you love Asian seafood then you have probably tried the honey walnut shrimp from Panda Express. The shrimp are coated in a tempura batter before being fried and tossed in a honey sauce along with some crunchy walnuts.
The texture of the walnuts contrasts the succulent shrimp and the sweetness of the sauce ties all of the flavors together perfectly. It takes 25 minutes to get this delicious dish on the table, so you can whip it up in next to no time.
13 – Crab Rangoons
These tasty crab rangoons are inspired by the cream cheese rangoons on the Panda Express menu, but with an extra tasty ingredient. These crispy parcels are filled with a creamy seafood mixture that is mild yet flavorsome.
You can enjoy them as an appetizer or serve them with steamed or stir fried vegetables for a light main course.
14 – Fried Rice
No Chinese inspired menu is complete with fried rice, and this recipe will teach you how to make it perfectly. The rice is fluffy, a little crispy, and packed full of savory flavors.
It only takes 15 minutes to make and you can serve it on the side of any of the other Panda Express Copycat dishes. Or you can just enjoy it on its own!
15 – Super Greens
Panda Express isn’t known for being healthy, but some of their dishes are actually quite nutritious.
This nourishing blend of kale, broccoli and cabbage in a light sauce is a great side dish to make if you want to add some color and nutrients to your Panda Express Copycat meal.
16 – Egg Rolls
Egg rolls are everyone’s favorite appetizer from Panda Express, and now you can make your very own version at home.
This recipe bakes the egg rolls instead of frying them which means that they are healthier, but they are still crispy and flavorsome.
The filling is made with carrots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, green peppers, green onions, garlic, and chicken. It is flavored with cayenne pepper, brown sugar and, of course, soy sauce.
17 – Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao chicken is the type of dish that everyone enjoys. The sauce is simple, made with garlic and ginger, with a distinctive oriental flavor.
The tender chicken is cooked with bell peppers, crunchy peanuts and soft zucchini so there are plenty of flavors and textures to enjoy. This dish is perfect served with fried rice or even steamed rice.
18 – Honey Sesame Chicken Breast
Honey sesame chicken is a mild dish that is suitable for the whole family. It is similar to orange chicken, but honey is the main flavor. It is served with green beans and yellow bell peppers which make it colorful and also nutritious.
The chicken is coated in a light batter and fried, so it has a crispy outside and a soft and tender middle that is totally irresistible.
19 – Mandarin Chicken
Savory, sticky chicken and sweet, charred pineapple come together in this delicious recipe for Mandarin chicken.
The chicken is glazed with a ginger and garlic sauce and is perfect when served over steamed coconut rice to complement the tropical, sweet flavor of the pineapple.
20 – Wok Fried Shrimp
This shrimp stir fry with chili, onions and bell peppers is a perfect copy of an amazing Panda Express recipe. The shrimp is juicy and succulent which contrasts with the crunchy vegetables.
The sauce is mildly spiced, but you can adjust the recipe if you want it to be hotter.
21 – String Bean Chicken Breast
This is another example of a healthier meal that you can order from Panda Express. But why order it when you can cook it at home in just half an hour?
The chicken is flavored with soy sauce, black bean sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil for a super tasty flavor. The green beans have a bit of bite to them which is great alongside the soft chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Panda Express?
Panda Express is an American fast food chain that specializes in American-Chinese cuisine. It started in the Northern states but there are now over 2,200 chains across the United States. They now offer Japanese inspired food as well as Chinese.
Is Panda Express Healthy?
Panda Express is not known for being healthy. Some of the dishes on the menu are healthier than others – like the mushroom chicken and string bean chicken.
When you make the copycat recipes at home it will be much healthier than eating from Panda Express, as you can control the ingredients.
Why Is It Called Panda Express?
The name was chosen to emphasize the speed of the service, and because pandas are associated with Chinese culture.
How Can You Make Your Chicken As Soft As Panda Express Chicken?
The chicken from Panda Express is extra soft because of a process called velveting, which involves using baking soda to tenderize the meat. You can easily do this at home if you want to.
Cooking your own Panda Express inspired meals is cheaper and healthier than ordering takeout, and will impress your family and friends.
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