This Moo Goo Gai Pan is an authentic Chinese Mushroom Chicken made healthier! It’s paleo, whole30 compliant, and can be made AIP friendly.

What is Moo Goo Gai Pan?

Moo goo gai pan is an Americanized version of a Cantonese dish made with mushrooms, sliced chicken, and other vegetables like snow peas, carrots, and water chestnuts. It has a rich sauce made with broth and soy sauce to make an all-around hearty dish that’s still easy to prepare.

This version of moo goo gai pan is gluten-free, paleo, whole30, and AIP compliant while still being true to the original dish, simple, and yummy!

What does Moo Goo Gai Pan Mean?

Moo Goo Gai Pan translates to mushroom & sliced chicken!

The Ingredients for Moo Goo Gai Pan

  • Chicken breast You can also use chicken thigh. You’ll want to slice the chicken into thin, bite-sized pieces to keep it true to how this dish is usually prepared.
  • Carrots & Mushrooms. Mushrooms are the star of the show in this stir fry.
  • Snow peas. Snow snap peas are so delicious in stir-fries! This veggie is whole30 and paleo, but not compliant on the elimination phase of AIP. If you are following AIP and have not reintroduced snap peas, simply leave them out or swap it for something like asparagus or broccoli.
  • Water chestnuts. Water chestnuts add a nice crunch to any stir fry! I haven’t been able to find any without citric acid, so it’s best avoided if in the elimination phase of AIP.

What is in Moo Goo Gai Pan Sauce?

Traditionally, the sauce is made from chicken stock, soy sauce, cooking wine, and corn starch. Here is my version of the sauce to keep it paleo and gluten-free…

  • Coconut aminos. This is the soy sauce alternative for the dish.
  • Chicken broth. This gives more body to the sauce.
  • Arrowroot starch. This is the corn starch alternative that helps thicken the sauce.

How to Make Moo Goo Gai Pan

  • Prep the marinade and marinate the chicken. 
  • Cook the vegetables. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables by heating the avocado oil in a large pan and cook the carrots until tender for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Add the snow peas, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and cook for another 2-3 minutes to soften. Remove from the pan and aside.
  • Cook the chicken. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Add more oil to the pan if needed and set to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the temperature reads 165 F. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Prep the sauce. Combine the broth, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and 1 tbsp of arrowroot starch in a bowl and whisk well.
  • Combine. Add the vegetables back to the pan with the chicken and pour in the sauce. Stir to combine and reheat for 2-3 minutes as the sauce reduces. Add more salt to taste as needed.

How do you make Moo Goo Gai Pan gluten-free?

This gluten-free version of this traditional dish is made with coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, which helps to make it gluten-free. You can find coconut aminos at most health food stores in the same section as the soy sauce, or buy it online!

What pan should you use to make Moo Goo Gai Pan?

Using a wok is great if you have one, but a large stainless steel pan or enamel cast iron pan will also work just fine.

 

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Moo Goo Gai Pan | Chinese Mushroom Chicken (Paleo, Whole30)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This Moo Goo Gai Pan is an authentic Chinese Mushroom Chicken made healthier! It’s paleo, whole30 compliant, and can be made AIP friendly.


Ingredients

Scale

For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)

For the stir fry

  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced into thin bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas (see notes for AIP)
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts (see notes for AIP)
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb ginger, minced
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (omit for whole30)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the chicken and toss to coat in the marinade. Allow to sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables by heating the avocado oil in a large pan and cook the carrots until tender for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Add the snow peas, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and cook for another 2-3 minutes to soften. Remove from the pan and aside.
  4. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Add more oil to the pan if needed and set to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until temperature reads 165 F. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Combine the broth, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and 1 tbsp of arrowroot starch in a bowl and whisk well.
  6. Add the vegetables back to the pan with the chicken and pour in the sauce. Stir to combine and reheat for 2-3 minutes as the sauce reduces. Add more salt to taste as needed.
  7. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Notes

For AIP, omit the water chestnuts and swap the snow peas for broccoli or asparagus.

All nutrition facts are estimates and will vary.

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: one pot meals
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 422
  • Fat: 10.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.3g
  • Fiber: 14.2g
  • Protein: 40.8g

Keywords: mushroom chicken, stir fry, moo goo gai pan

 

This post was originally published in 2019 and the recipe and photos were updated in 2021.

Recipe by Michelle, Unbound Wellness. Photos by Eat Love Eats