Chicken Stir Fry Recipe (The Ultimate Weeknight Meal!)

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ELIZABETH

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Chicken Stir Fry is made with a colorful array of fresh veggies and coated in an easy stir fry sauce. It’s healthy, easy to make, and full of irresistible flavor!

Want to hear the best part? It’ll be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes.

Seriously, once you start making stir fry at home, you aren’t going to want to stop.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good take-out meal as much as the next gal.

However, with all the denatured oils, sodium, and excess fats, most take-out stir fry dishes are not exactly the healthiest of meals.

But not to worry! Whenever you’re craving that signature Asian-inspired umami flavor, this chicken stir fry recipe gets the job done (in a totally guilt-free way).

Chicken stir fry is a delicious and kid-approved way of enjoying a nutrient-dense meal and cleaning out the fridge.

Whenever I take a peek in the fridge towards the end of the week and realize how many veggies I still have that need to be eaten, stir fry is my go-to fridge cleanout meal.

I love making chicken stir fry with fresh bell peppers, onion, broccoli or cauliflower, green beans, celery, carrots, and hot red pepper. That being said, you can really use any veggies you have laying around!

This chicken stir fry recipe is one of my favorite mom hacks.

Between the beautiful colors and delicious stir fry sauce, your kids won’t even remember that they were once self-proclaimed veggie haters!

I love serving Chicken Stir Fry over a bowl of brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. You could also serve it atop these Easiest Ever Healthy Thai Peanut Noodles.

Trust me, you’re going to fall in love with this quick and easy weeknight meal.

Key Ingredients

To make this mouthwatering stir fry, you’re going to need the following key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts. A few boneless, skinless chicken breasts will do the trick, just make sure they’re chopped into bite-sized pieces. Feel free to swap them out for chicken thighs or flank steak.
  • Veggies. I like to use onions, bell peppers, green beans, celery, broccoli, carrots, and garlic. However, feel free to use 4-5 cups of any veggies you have at home.
  • Fresno or hot red pepper. I love the small amount of heat that hot peppers bring to this dish, but you can leave them out if you aren’t a fan of spicy food.
  • Tamari. Tamari tastes super similar to soy sauce, though it is brewed without wheat so it’s gluten-free. I like using tamari because it typically has fewer additives and preservatives, and I don’t taste much of a difference.
  • Honey. This helps to give the sauce a thicker texture that allows it to coat the chicken and veggies while adding a subtle sweetness to the dish.
  • Toasted sesame oil. Toasted sesame oil is an unrefined, hand-harvested specialty oil that is made from toasted sesame seeds. Because it already has a developed flavor, you don’t want to cook with toasted sesame oil. Instead, it is the perfect finisher for the stir fry sauce.
  • Dijon mustard. This works as an emulsifier in this dish, which means it helps blend the oil and water together to create a cohesive stir fry sauce. It also helps the sauce coat our stir fry mixture.

How to Make Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry is beyond easy to make. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. To a small bowl, add tamari, honey, toasted sesame oil, Dijon mustard, and water. Whisk the ingredients together and set aside. If you prefer a thicker sauce, whisk a tablespoon of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) with 2 tablespoons of cold water until it is dissolved and makes a slurry. Then, add the slurry to the sauce mixture.
  2. Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1½ tablespoon of avocado oil, EVOO, or another healthy cooking oil of your choice, and cook the chicken. Stir every 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Add another 1½ tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the chopped veggies. Sauté 4-5 minutes until cooked through. They should be tender but not soggy. Covering the pan will trap moisture and heat if necessary, depending on your climate. You can always reduce heat to medium if they are cooking too quickly.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic and fresh ginger. Cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant and soft.
  5. Return the heat to medium-high, then return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir until all of the chicken and vegetables are covered. It’s okay if there is a little liquid in the pan from the chicken and veggies.
  6. Let everything simmer for 3-5 minutes, reducing heat if necessary and stirring a few times.
  7. Serve as is or atop a bowl of rice or quinoa, if desired.

Stir Fry Tips and Tricks

If you’re looking to make the absolute best batch of Chicken Stir Fry, here are my top tips and tricks:

  • Prep your ingredients. Once the heat is on and the pan is hot, things start moving quickly. Stir-frying is all about adding ingredients to a pan sequentially, so you don’t want to waste time slicing chicken and chopping veggies! Prepping your chicken and veggies ahead of time will save you from stress during the cooking process.
  • Use a wok or a cast-iron skillet. If you have a wok, now is the time to use it. Woks retain heat wonderfully, making them the ideal pan for stir-frying. If you don’t have a wok, opt for a cast-iron skillet with high sides.
  • Cook your aromatics on low. The one exception to using high heat when stir-frying comes into play when you’re cooking aromatics. In this case, ginger. When it’s time to add the grated ginger, make sure to reduce your heat to low. Otherwise, it will burn and taint the flavor of the stir fry.
  • Make it your own. Consider this stir fry recipe to be a rough guideline that you can easily customize to make your own. Stir fry tastes fantastic made with just about any fresh veggies you have in the fridge, or you could swap out the chicken for another protein like steak, shrimp, or even tofu.
  • Add a garnish. I love adding garnishes to give the dish an extra pop of color and flavor just before serving it. Some of my top picks include fresh herbs, microgreens, sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper.

How to Store Leftover Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry is one of those recipes that is super easy to double, and I absolutely recommend that you do.

Leftover chicken stir fry tastes great on its own, atop salads, in wraps, or in Asian-inspired grain bowls.

If you know you’re going to be saving some for later, I recommend storing the sauce separately. (But if it’s already mixed up, don’t sweat. It will still taste just as yummy.)

From there, seal up your leftovers in an airtight container or bag and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

If you’d like to store them for longer, you can freeze them for up to 2 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this chicken stir fry recipe:

What can I add to stir fry for flavor?

The homemade stir fry sauce ensures this dish tastes great on its own, but if you’re looking to mix up the flavor there are definitely a few things you could try.

Instead of using a salty sauce, you can flavor your stir fry with herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro.

Alternatively, you could add in some additional spices like cumin, coriander, or cardamom.

What is the best cut of chicken for stir fry?

Chicken breasts or chicken thighs are both great options for stir fry, just make sure they are boneless and skinless.

For extra tender chicken, you could try “velveting” it by coating it in baking soda, as well as splashes of tamari (or soy sauce), rice wine, sesame oil (regular, not toasted), and cornstarch before cooking it.

The baking soda tenderizes the chicken by breaking down its fibers and will leave you with chicken that is as tender as your favorite take-out chicken.

How do I thicken stir fry sauce?

If you want to thicken your stir fry sauce, then I recommend making a slurry.

All you have to do is whisk one tablespoon of arrowroot powder (or corn starch) with two tablespoons of cold water.

Stir until the slurry is fully combined, then add it to your stir fry sauce.

Feel free to repeat this step as many times as necessary until you reach your desired consistency.

More Asian-Inspired Recipe Ideas

If you liked this stir fry recipe, try these delicious meals next:

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Chicken Stir Fry (The Ultimate Weeknight Meal!)

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  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Chop, saute
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Description

This chicken stir fry recipe is easy to make, loaded with nutrients, and bursting with delicious flavor. Serve it on its own for a low-carb meal or pair it with white rice for a healthier twist on a classic take-out dish!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Stir Fry Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (OR healthy cooking oil of your choice)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 chicken breasts), cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces, OR, 1 lb flank steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped into large 1-inch pieces
  • 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, seeded & chopped into large 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, ends removed & chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 1 handful from the bin)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large or two small orange carrots, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces
  • One thinly sliced Fresno or hot pepper for heat, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1/2-inch knob of ginger, grated (more or less to taste)

Quick Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons Tamari (or low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Optional: For a thicker sauce, add: 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or corn starch) whisked with 1.5 tablespoons cold water (the water should be cold) to make a slurry; make sure the arrowroot is fully dissolved, then whisk into the sauce right before using (see #5 in recipe.)

Instructions

  1. To a small bowl, add tamari, honey, toasted sesame oil, Dijon mustard, and water. Whisk the ingredients together and set aside. If you prefer a thicker sauce, whisk a tablespoon of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) with 2 tablespoons of cold water until it is dissolved and makes a slurry. Then, add the slurry to the sauce mixture.
  2. Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1½ tablespoon of avocado oil, EVOO, or another healthy cooking oil of your choice, and cook the chicken. Stir every 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Add another 1½ tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the chopped veggies. Sauté 4-5 minutes until cooked through. They should be tender but not soggy. Covering the pan will trap moisture and heat if necessary, depending on your climate. You can always reduce heat to medium if they are cooking too quickly.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic and fresh ginger. Cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant and soft.
  5. Return the heat to medium-high, then return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir until all of the chicken and vegetables are covered. It’s okay if there is a little liquid in the pan from the chicken and veggies.
  6. Let everything simmer for 3-5 minutes, reducing heat if necessary and stirring a few times.
  7. Serve as is or atop a bowl of rice or quinoa, if desired.

Notes

Protein Swap: Not in the mood for chicken? Try swapping it out for flank steak, shrimp, or tofu for a vegetarian stir fry option.

Veggie Swap: You’ll need 4-5 cups of chopped veggies, so feel free to use any of your favorites. You can use the ones I’ve used in this recipe or switch it up based on what you have at home.

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I teach you how to be healthier without extremes, so you can live more and obsess less.

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