Real Life Paleo

Paleo P.F. Chang’s Recipe Recreation Round-Up

There’s a famous chain restaurant out there that somehow provides the impossible: gluten-free Chinese food.

I know that it’s hard to believe, but it’s completely true! With soy sauce (first ingredient: wheat) serving as the base for nearly every dish, we had pretty much given up on ever eating Chinese again. But P.F. Chang’s not only has an extensive and surprising gluten-free menu, but the food is quite delicious as well! In fact, our kids loved it so much we made a recreation of their Egg Drop Soup last year.

Of course, their gluten-free menu is still riddled with seed oils and sugar though. So, while dining with Paleo Spirit and The Domestic Man, we brainstormed with Russ the idea of making these dishes even more paleo friendly in the future. And finally nine months later, we’ve organized a full round up of PF Chang’s recreations! It was your recommendations that brought about this team-effort post, thank you! At the bottom of this post, you’ll get to see our contribution: Mongolian Beef!


We asked many people to contribute to our round up in hopes that some very special dishes would come out of this project. We were certainly not disappointed! Man, this paleo community delivers! If we’ve missed your favorite dish, comment and petition your favorite blogger to give it a shot!

PFC Paleo Recreation RoundUp hosted by PaleoParents

Although quite of our friends wanted to join-forces to recreate the entire menu, many of them just weren’t able to given the time constraints and competing commitments. However, if you know of more recipes we should list already or see more posted in the future, we’d love to link up – so let us know! If you want to link up, just use the awesome graphic created by the ever talented Alex Boake to your post with a link to this post and we’ll add you to this epic round-up!


Alex from Alex Boake Illustraion & Comics shares Lemon Chicken!


Joshua from Slim Palate makes Shrimp with Garlic Sauce!


Brent and Heather from Virginia is for Hunter Gathers serve up Ginger Chicken with Broccoli!


Michele from Nom Nom Paleo makes some real tasty Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice


Russ from The Domestic Man managed to make the infamous Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Vanessa from Healthy Living How To dishes something you can’t even get gluten-free at the restaurant: Kung Pao Chicken


Sean from FreeRange Human makes delicious Mu Shu Pork with Homemade Hoisin Sauce


Simone for Zen Belly makes a unique and flavorful Pad Thai!

And now for our contribution: the sweet dish we always order when we go, Mongolian Beef!


For those who are interested, I used the secret ingredient that also makes the Asian Short Ribs from Beyond Bacon absolutely irresistible in this recipe as well!

Mongolian Beef


  • 1 1/2 lbs. sirloin, flank steak or other stir frying beef, cut into 1/2" by 1" slices
  • 1/4 C tapioca flour or arrowroot powder
  • 1 C lard for frying plus 3 TBSP lard for sauteing (or coconut oil, but will change the flavor)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 C coconut aminos
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 1/4 C palm sugar
  • 1/2 C green onions, cut into 1-2" pieces


  1. * Add flour to a bowl and lightly dredge each slice of beef, tapping off extra flour. Do not over bread, this should be just a light dusting, which helps thicken the sauce later. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1 cup of lard over medium high heat.
  3. Cook beef in batches until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to towel lined plate.
  4. In a separate pan, heat 3 tablespoons of lard over medium heat until melted and hot. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 90 seconds.
  5. Pour in coconut aminos and water and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in molasses and palm sugar until dissolved. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  7. * Add cooked beef and onions and stir to coat. Continue to cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Serve over cauliflower rice as part of a large paleo Chinese food feast!


* Because of the high heat with sugar we don't recommend a lot of activity for kids with cooking; however, there's a lot of prep they'd be perfect to help with! Our kids happily ate this (leaving the green onions for Matt & I) several times as we tested this recipe, so next Friday night avoid take out and eat Asian with the whole family at home instead!


We hope you enjoyed this round-up of completely paleo-friendly Chinese dishes, inspired by P.F. Chang’s favorites! If you make them, please let the authors know what you think. Perhaps we can convince our friends to take on more restaurant favorites a couple of times a year. What do you want to see?

You Might Also Like

  • Everyday Maven

    Nice!!! I am excited about these dishes. I can’t say I am huge fan of P.F. Chang’s but I love Asian food and have been missing it a lot since starting to eat Paleo. Off to check them out now…

  • Jennifer

    Thanks so much for putting together this inspiring roundup! I was just getting ready to make ‘Gather’s’ General Tso’s chicken….now I’m thinking I’ll make a whole Chinese spread….YUM!

  • Amelia Dodson

    So excited about this. I cannot wait to try your Mongolian Beef. Looks so good and not too difficult. I went through a period where I made Nom Nom’s cauliflower fried rice several times a week. At first, I would make two batches at a time — one with my husband’s beloved brown rice (I created THAT monster back when I was all about whole grains). However, after tasting “my” version with the cauliflower, he deemed it superior and now prefers the cauliflower! It got to the point where I was pissed that he was eating all of “my” food. True story.

    I will be working my way through all these delicious looking recipes. I LOVE Chinese food and really miss it. Discovering PF Chang’s was a revelation because I don’t get totally wrecked by it but I know it’s not the best.

    • Katherine

      I love the “my” food comment. I am in the same boat. I would make something paleo for me and “poof” it was gone. Now everything is paleo and there are no arguments about my missing lunches.

      • Amelia Dodson

        Too funny. I’ve found the best way to get my husband to try/adopt new foods is to deem them “mine”. He steals my ghee all the time and calls it the “good butter”.

  • Elizabeth Eldridge

    Oh…. this is SO happening this week.

  • Guest

    Molasses and sugar, no thanks…some of us are doing this for serious health conditions….sugar of ANY kind feeds tumors and contributed to diabetes. How about learning to love stevia?

  • Christina Proulx

    This looks awesome! Will be fun to make for a special meal some time, My kids love the crispy orange chicken we used to get at chinese restaurants, but it’s super not healthy of course! So we don’t eat it anymore. Will be great to have some alternatives to try.

    • Primal Palate’s General Tso’s is also amazing, very similar to crispy orange 🙂 Their recipe is in Gather

      • Christina Proulx

        ooh, thanks! I’ll check that out.

  • Jennifer Willey

    Thank you!!!!!!

  • Brent Schrader
  • Kristin W.

    Made this last night and it was amazing. My entire family loved it. I think it is the best Chinese dish I have made ever! Thanks.

  • Judy

    Oh man…I am suddenly STARVING!!! I will definitely be trying all of these recipes out. Thank you!

  • Shannon

    We just had your Mongolian Beef for dinner and YUM! Thanks for creating it and sharing it! 🙂

  • paleonic

    This looks super yummy. I will make it tomorrow for sure.

  • Elizabeth

    This was amazing!!!! We paired it with Against All Grain’s Ginger & Garlic Broccoli & it was fantastic!

  • Hello there, I just found your blog via Pinterest! I’m following a healthy lifestyle, although I’m not doing Gluten-Free, but I do avoid all processed foods and grains, except for the once a week occasion of pasta, and sushi.

  • Mike S

    How is palm sugar paleo? Sugar is sugar right?

  • Paola Guillen Pass

    This beef is delicious, it is the second time I make it, my whole family loved it.thank you, thank you.

  • Orangetinny

    Thank you! My fiancé and I just started Paleo 2 days ago and this was the first meal I’ve cooked. It was so delicious. It made us feel like we can do it if we can make food this great. So happy to not be discouraged on my first try!!!

  • Laurie

    BRAVO! What a fabulous dish this was. I will absolutely be adding this to the dinner rotation! The only thing I will change is based on our personal taste-adding crushed red pepper and reduce the amount of sugar.
    THANK YOU THANK YOU for such a fun dish!!! We didn’t want it to end 🙂

  • kpereira

    You have to really be a big fan of molasses to enjoy this dish. It completely takes over every flavor in the dish.

  • Melody

    Can’t wait to try this! I make a similar recipe…paleo spicy garlic honey sesame chicken 🙂

  • Teresa

    Can I use ghee instead of lard? Same thing, right?

  • Is it really necessary to do tapioca flour or arrowroot flower? Can you explain the difference?