Skip takeout and make this delicious Black Pepper Chicken Recipe at home.  One pot meals make dinner so easy and the flavor is amazing in this Chinese black pepper chicken. This copycat panda express black pepper chicken takes only 15 minutes!

Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

Black pepper chicken recipe

Our family loves Panda Express but it can get really expensive when the entire family goes and it isn’t always convenient. I attempted to make this copycat panda express black pepper chicken at home and my kids could not believe how amazing it was! Everyone was pretty impressed with how it tasted!

I love when I can give my family delicious recipes like this one and save money! We also saved time because this entire recipe comes together in only 15 minutes. Even take out usually takes longer than that.

Talk about a win all around.

Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

What is Black Pepper Chicken?

My family loves Chinese chow mein takeout. One of their favorite places to go is to Panda Express. This black pepper chicken is one of their favorite meals to get. I like it since it is naturally gluten-free but full of flavor.

It is a bit spicy and tangy but the delicious garlic flavor has become a family favorite. My kids have even commented that it taste better that at the restaurant. I love recreating copycat recipes.

Since it is so easy to make, it is a quick meal I can throw together before they head out to their weeknight activities.

Ingredients for Black Pepper Chicken recipe:

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Green Pepper
  • Red Onion
  • Celery
  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Minced Garlic
  • Ground Ginger
  • Cornstarch
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Black Pepper
Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

How to make Black Pepper Chicken:

  • First, heat half of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. 
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
  • Then move the chicken to a separate plate.
  • Next add the remaining olive oil to the pan with the bell peppers, celery, onions and garlic.  Cook these ingredients for 5-6 minutes until slightly soft.
close up image of black pepper chicken cooking in a skillet.
  • Then in a separate small bowl, combine the soy sauce, corn starch, oyster sauce, vinegar, black pepper and ginger.
  • Then add the sauce and chicken back to the skillet with the vegetables. 
close up image of black pepper chicken in a skillet.
  • Stir to combine these ingredients.
  • Make sure that you coat the chicken and vegetables with the sauce.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes and the black pepper sauce has thickened.
Close up image of black pepper chicken in a skillet.
  • Next remove from the skillet and top with the sesame seeds.
Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

Tips for the best Black Chicken:

  • It is best to cook chicken hot and fast – Make sure you dice your chicken into small bites. It is best to cook your chicken in a hot skillet and large enough that the chicken cook evenly.
  • If you have a small pan – If you do have a small pan, cook chicken in batches. Try not to over crowd the pan so that you can cook chicken fast.
  • Cook Vegetables Softly – We like to cook our vegetable so that they are soft but still have a little bit of crunch to them.
  • Add sauce when everything is done – Add your sauce when your chicken and vegetables are done. If you add it to soon that it makes the food mushy.
  • Easy Cleanup – We love that everything cooks in one skillet. It makes for an easy cleanup so we can spend more time with family.
  • Add more Vegetables – We like to add in some chopped broccoli and shredded carrots. I am always trying to find ways to get my family to eat more vegetables.

What to serve with copycat panda express black pepper chicken?

Serve over cooked white rice and top with sesame seeds and green onion if you prefer. Did you know that you can also cook rice in the slow cooker?  I like to cook a ton of rice in my crock pot and then freeze it for recipes like this one.

This way I always have some cooked rice on hand for recipes that require it or for a quick side dish in not time at all.

You can also steam broccoli in the microwave for a quick and easy side dish. It is so simple goes great with this recipe.

However, there are lots of bell peppers and onions in this recipe so you really don’t need extra veggies if you don’t want to fix anything else.

Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

A Healthy Meal:

We love this black chicken recipe for many reason.

  • Quick and Easy Meal – We love the fact that it is quick and easy. I have even had my kids help make this meal.
  • Easy Ingredients – I had most of the ingredients already, but just needed to get some fresh vegetables and herbs. Making this a hearty, healthy meal that everyone can enjoy.
  • Naturally Gluten Free – If you are following a gluten free diet or a Keto diet this chicken recipe is perfect for you. You can swab out ingredients to your preference.
Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

A good skillet is a must!

We use a cast iron skillet and it’s perfect for this recipe. I have the Lodge cast iron skillet but you can see all the different brands here. Cast iron is amazing. You can make so many different recipes, include stir fries, and they are great for skillet recipes.

If you are not already cooking with one, you should. They are amazing and the food cooks so evenly. Don’t be hesitant to use cast iron because it really is simple to use and maintain. It cooks the food so evenly and recipes turn out great.

Storing leftovers:

This black pepper chicken is a great meal to prepare for leftovers or your lunch for the week. We think it taste even better after the chicken has time to marinate in the black pepper sauce.

If stored properly in an airtight container, it will take up to 4 days in the refrigerator. I usually will store in individual containers with some rice and it make a perfect lunch for my husband and I.

We just reheat in the microwave and turns out great.

Close up image of black pepper chicken with a serving on a fork.

Copycat panda express black pepper chicken takes just minutes!

This amazing recipe takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy this restaurant style meal at home for much less than take out. You can even substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts.

The sauce is so good and anytime of chicken is delicious. This is a great way to save money or use what you already have.

Give it a try and let us know how it turns out. Our family was seriously impressed with how amazing this meal turned out. Everyone is already asking when we can have it again!

Close up image of black pepper chicken on rice.

One Pot Meals:

If you love one pot meals as much as we do, try these the next time you need an easy meal.

Print this copycat panda express black pepper chicken recipe below:

Black pepper chicken recipe 

4.8 from 10 votes
Skip takeout and make this delicious Black pepper chicken recipe in 15 minutes. Chinese black pepper chicken is the best one pot meal and so easy.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 6
Cuisine Chinese
Course Main Course
Calories 218
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts diced
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Heat half of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Then move the chicken to a separate plate.
  • Next add the remaining olive oil to the pan with the bell peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Cook these ingredients for 5-6 minutes until slightly soft.
  • Then in a separate small bowl, combine the soy sauce, corn starch, oyster sauce, vinegar, black pepper and ginger.
  • Then add the sauce and chicken back to the skillet with the vegetables. Stir to combine these ingredients to ensure that all the chicken and vegetables are evenly coated with the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes and the sauce has thickened.
  • Next remove from the serve and top with the sesame seeds. I served it over white rice. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 218kcal, Carbohydrates 7g, Protein 27g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 72mg, Sodium 1388mg, Potassium 558mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 1g, Vitamin A 167IU, Vitamin C 18mg, Calcium 38mg, Iron 1mg

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More Asian Recipes:

Skip takeout and make this delicious Black pepper chicken recipe in 15 minutes. Black pepper chicken Chinese is an easy one pot meal. Copycat Panda Express stir fry is the best Chinese buffet at home. #eatingonadime #blackpepperchickenrecipe #pandaexpress #chineserecipe #asian
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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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  1. 5 stars
    One of my favorite recipes! I love the flavor, and it tastes way better than take-out!