General Tso’s Chick Peas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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General Tso's Chick Peas (Vegan, Gluten-Free) is a delicious and healthy alternative to general tso chicken or even tofu for those who are avoiding soy.

General Tso’s Chick Peas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

The chickpeas absorbed the flavors of its marinade well, it is quick and easy to prepare. Its delicious served over steamed brown rice and steamed broccoli.


I was inspired by this dish after I made a Jamaican jerked chickpeas, it was too spicy for posting and so I decided to further tweak the recipe. In the meantime, I decided to come up with other dishes.

General Tso's Chick Peas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

How To Make General Tso’s Chick Peas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I had plenty of chickpeas, which had been dried, soaked, cooked and placed in freezer containers for later use.

So I defrosted a container of chickpeas and decided to make different dishes. some roasted fennel hummus, chickpea curry and of course I ended up with this flavorful dish. A definite winner recipe tastes just like Chinese takeout!
I basically marinated the drained chickpeas for 10 minutes. Sauteed garlic, spring onion, and ginger. Add chickpeas, sauce and cook until thickened. So quick and easy to prepare, so delicious served with brown rice.

If you use canned chickpeas, you can reserve a 1/4 cup of liquid to use instead of vegetable broth. Chickpeas are very versatile and you would be amazed by all the different recipes that are out there that used chickpeas.

The water that the chickpea cooks in is called aquafaba and I will be sharing recipes using it shortly. Aquafaba can be used to make meringue, whipped cream, etc.

General Tso's Chickpeas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Try Some Of My Other Tasty Chickpea Dishes

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Categories: ,
Courses: ,


321 kcal / 1342 kJ
8 g
15 g
49 g
Per portion

Cooking Time

23 min
5 min
Ready in:
28 min
4 Servings




  1. In a medium bowl, add chickpeas, liquid aminos, lemon juice and cornstarch. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add garlic, ginger and spring onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly until fragrant. Add chickpeas and stir to coat.
  3. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add to chickpeas and cook stirring gently until sauce thickens. Turn off heat and stir in sesame oil. Serve over steamed brown rice and garnish with spring onions.

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Katie
    June 27, 2020

    The sauce was a teeny bit too sweet for me, but otherwise this was amazing! Definitely glad I tried this and will be making it again in the future!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      June 27, 2020

      Katie, thank you for trying it. Yes make it your own, I had a sweet tooth then. Since doing a dessert cookbook with my daughter, I rarely do sweeteners, so I understand.

  2. Aimee
    June 23, 2020

    Love your receipes!!!!
    Keep them coming :)

  3. Lindsey
    May 15, 2020

    This was delicious!! We added chili garlic sauce to add some spice :) Oh-and maple syrup for the sweetness.

    We loved how the sauce came together and thickened. We did sub arrowroot powder for cornstarch since we had it on hand.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

    Lindsey & Nik

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      May 16, 2020

      Lindsey, I’m so happy you enjoyed it and I love how you made adjustments to make it your own. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

  4. Alexandra
    May 14, 2020

    I just made this for lunch and had to leave a review. How delicious! I will definitely make this again and again.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      May 14, 2020

      Thank you Alexandra for sharing your feedback, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

  5. Claire
    April 28, 2020

    This was excellent. I would recommend reducing the sugar. I cut in in 1/2 and it was still sweet. This is a crave-worthy recipe!

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      April 28, 2020

      Claire I’m so happy you enjoyed it and you made the recipe your own. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

  6. Kimberly
    April 21, 2020

    Just made this tonight. It is delicious…thank you for this great recipe!

  7. Janice
    January 4, 2020

    Absolutely delicious

  8. Larissa
    December 26, 2019

    Absolutely a favorite! My son requests this now!

  9. Sue
    August 21, 2019

    Can this recipe, General Tso’s Chickpeas, be made in the microwave?
    Can water be substituted for the oils?
    I want the Asian tastes of this dish, but I am on a no added oil/fat diet. I also don’t want to heat up my kitchen in the Summer.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 21, 2019

      Sue substitute vegetable broth with oil and I don’t own a microwave so I don’t know. You won’t get the full Asian flavor without the sesame oil.

  10. Dena
    June 11, 2019

    Amazing! I thought this was a crazy idea but it REALLY worked out. I’m so sorry for doubting you :)! This is the first time I’m actually eating American Chinese food in forever. Thank you thank you.
    The only subs I made was rice vinegar for the lemon – since I didn’t have any. And I used aqua faba for the broth like you suggested and I think that is why the sauce is PERFECT. I will only do aqua faba in the future. Also I added some zucchini too for extra veg.
    It’s so great that you can freeze it too!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 11, 2019

      Dena, thank you for your feedbackI’m happy it worked out and you enjoyed it. Hope you try my Sesame Tofu as well. Yes, it freezes well.

  11. Mitchelle
    December 6, 2018

    Im hosting an Asian theme party. Is it possible to prepare this meal in advance as a freeze meal and vaccum seal it?

    Can i add the corn starch on the day of the party and cook it? Any pre-preparation tips you can share with me will really help me manage my time for this party.

    Appreciate your advise, thank-you so much in advance

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 6, 2018

      Mitchelle, it should be fine to make ahead and freeze, thaw in the refrigerator and stir in a little vegetable broth while reheating so the sauce won’t dry out.

      • Mitchelle
        December 10, 2018

        Thank-you so much for replying to my questions:)

        Should i warm it in a slow cooker and add the vegetable broth? or needs to be on the stovetop?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          December 10, 2018

          It should be fine either way.

  12. Lee
    November 30, 2018

    Winner Winner, ChickPea Dinner!!!!

    Due to kitchen stock, had to substitute lemon juice with lime juice, coconut sugar with agave. I also through in broccoli.

    Super Delish!!!!

  13. Judy
    November 18, 2018

    I made this last night and it was simply wonderful!! Easy, tasty and looked every bit as good as it tasted. To make it super simple – I served it over Trader Joes frozen brown rice — 3 minutes to done!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 18, 2018

      Juday that’s awesome, thank you so much for your feedback I really appreciate it. I have never had Trader’s frozen brown rice, I need some for when I’m busy.

  14. Sonig
    October 3, 2018

    Delicious!!! Even my daughter who doesn’t love chickpeas loved it!! ?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 3, 2018

      Thank you Sonig, I’m so happy you and your daughter enjoyed it.

  15. Sally Bishop
    July 14, 2018

    I am trying to cut down on the number of different ingredients I have to keep on hand. I guess I need a list of substitutes.

    Why tapioca flour and not some other flour? This is the only time I have it used in a recipe. If I am not trying to avoid corn would corn starch be as acceptable substitute?

    Why coconut sugar and not some other to add sweetness? I am not fond of coconut .

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 14, 2018

      Hi, Sally I understand, you can use cornstarch instead of tapioca and cane sugar instead of coconut sugar. Tapioca flour is better for people who are avoiding corn due to allergies or it is mostly genetically modified. At one point I didn’t buy cornstarch because most of it was genetically modified but now non-genetically modified cornstarch is readily available here in the supermarkets. Coconut sugar doesn’t raise your blood sugar so it is better for diabetics and at one point I could easily purchase a 5-pound bag at my buyer’s club now it isn’t there so I now purchase organic cane sugar. Basically, my recipes are based on what I purchase and use in my home, I don’t go out of my way to buy ingredients because I rarely go to the supermarket. I live in a rural community of population of 1500, a food desert. I go once a week or more than likely every 2 weeks with my husband. So we buy in bulk.

  16. Kate
    June 26, 2018

    Easy and delicious! Even my two year old loved it.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 27, 2018

      Thank you Kate, I’m happy you and your little one loved it.

  17. Laurie
    April 14, 2018

    I tried this in the fall, loved it, then forgot about it. Making it again tonight! Btw, I substitute honey for the coconut sugar. Trying to avoid sugar and I found a little honey works nicely. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Dolores Neilson
      January 24, 2019

      Laurie, I am glad you are avoiding sugar (aka sucrose). Coconut sugar is unrefined and an entirely different sweetener than refined white sugar. It does not spike blood sugar and healthier than honey. I avoid sugar also…but coconut sugar is the way to go.

  18. philly
    February 15, 2018

    This is very nice.. taste great making it again tomorrow. Thanks

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 16, 2018

      Thanks Philly for your feedback, so happy you enjoyed it.

  19. Plum Berry
    February 1, 2018

    Does the Coconut oil & the Coconut sugar add a coconut taste? The reason I ask is that I have ALL the ingredients EXCEPT those 2. Could I use regular sugar & oil & still get the same results? And maybe add some LITE canned coconut milk? Thank you.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 2, 2018

      Plum Berry, it does not give a coconut taste at all, substitute with any oil and sweetener you prefer. No coconut milk though.

  20. Kendra
    February 1, 2018

    This was so delicious, easy to prepare!

  21. Suzy
    January 31, 2018

    Are you missing Ginger in the ingredient list? Found it in the instructions, but can’t see how much?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 31, 2018

      Thank you Suzy, just updated the recipe so I must have left it out, it’s 1 teaspoon grated. Let me do an edit.

  22. Barbara A.
    November 25, 2017

    The aroma while cooking draws you in, then tasting it seals the deal: this is definitely a delicious and nutritious topping for brown rice. Next time I prepare it, I’ll probably add some vegetables to add to the nutrition factor, though served according to the recipe with a big green salad made for a wonderful, quickly prepared meal.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 25, 2017

      Thank you, Barbara, for your lovely feedback, I’m so happy you enjoyed.

  23. Heather
    November 6, 2017

    Loved this recipe! So yummy and filling!
    Thank you!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 6, 2017

      Thank you for your feedback Heather, so happy you love it!

    • Barb
      November 9, 2017

      I can;t get Bragg’s liquid aminos can I use anything else I live in Canada

      • Michelle Blackwood
        November 9, 2017

        Barb, you can use soy sauce.

  24. Tried & Tested: General Tso’s Chickpeas
    October 26, 2017

    […] I absolutely love Asian food! Chinese take out is the best, but it’s incredibly hard to find vegan take-out food! I found this recipe for a chickpea version of the General Tso’s *insert lame meat here*. If you’d like to try it out for yourself the recipe is from Healthier Steps! […]

    October 19, 2017

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website.
    Thank you, I’ll try and check back more often.

  26. Shelly
    August 26, 2017

    Can you recommend a substitute for the tapioca starch? I assume it’s used to thicken the sauce? Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 26, 2017

      Cornstarch is fine Shelly!

  27. Lauren
    February 26, 2017

    How did you get the meal to look red? Mines tan lol

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 26, 2017

      Lol Lauren, did you use Bragg’s and coconut sugar. Those two alone will give it a dark color plus if you use dark roasted sesame oil.

      • Lauren
        March 7, 2017

        I used braggs and sugar in the raw crystals

        I’m making it as I type and its tan again. I used coconut aminos this time.

        I wonder if it’s tan from using tahini instead of sesame oil.

        Still tastes great tho! Thank you :)

        • Michelle Blackwood
          March 7, 2017

          Hello Lauren, from what you are saying you used sugar in the raw, it is much lighter than coconut sugar. This recipe doesn’t call for tahini though, so I’m not sure if you are referring to the correct recipe. I will have to make it again, I won’t change the photo though since it is the most popular recipe on my site. I took the photo years ago when I was learning photography and didn’t know half of what I now know. So it might have been taken under poor lighting conditions hence the darker results. I haven’t made this recipe in a super long time but I have all the ingredients so I will just have to remake it and send you the photos. I’m happy that it tastes great though, which I prefer to hear. Cheers!

  28. Anne Lukin
    February 25, 2017

    Made General Tso’s chickpeas tonight, only I added a bunch of stir-fried veggies to up the Vegetable content. The salty-sweet sauce is not the healthiest, but sure makes it delicious! Served over rice with a salad. Thanks for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 25, 2017

      I’m so happy you like the recipe, adding stir-fried veggies sound awesome! You could also steam the veggies to cut down on calories.

  29. Anna
    July 15, 2016

    Amazing recipe! Quick and easy, but extremely delicious! I didn’t have soy sauce, but really wanted to make this, so I made a mixture of alceto balsamico, olive oil and pinch of salt and sugar, also added a pinch of cayenne pepper. Still turned out amazing! Thank You for this awesome recipe! :-)

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 17, 2016

      Thank you Anna, for your feedback. I’m so glad the recipe turned out great with the variations!