Easy chicken stir fry made with skinless and boneless chicken breasts, lots of vegetables and a homemade sauce. This meal comes together very easily and quickly. Serve it over rice or noodles, or even on its own for a lighter meal.
I love stir fry! They are so versatile, and they are are a fantastic way to use up lots of vegetables. Even the novice cook can easily make a stir fry. They are a quick and easy way to get a fantastic meal on the table. I particularly love this recipe because it does not rely on a bottled sauce, which are often full of sugar and salt.
For the sauce
Chicken broth – Although you can use homemade chicken broth, I use prepared chicken broth to make this meal easier. I usually find a brand that offers a no salt or a low salt option – that way I control the sodium that goes into the meal.
Water – Regular tap water works great here.
Soy sauce – If you are watching your sodium levels, select a soy sauce that is low sodium.
Cornstarch – A great thickener! Heat helps to activate the cornstarch so once you add the hot pan, stir regularly.
Honey – I like to use locally produced honey, or Greek honey. The flavour of honey varies greatly depending on where it was made.
Sesame oil – This edible oil comes from sesame seeds and I love the flavour that it adds to dishes. A little goes a long way.
For the stir fry
Chicken breasts – I use skinless and boneless chicken breasts to make my stir fry. If your chicken breasts come with the tenders attached, you can remove them and reserve them to make another meal like these chicken fingers.
Olive oil – I use Greek olive oil almost exclusively; nothing beats its depth of flavour.
Butter – I use unsalted butter
Broccoli florets – These are the tree parts of the broccoli. Broccoli florets have an amazing ability to soak up sauces and flavours. They are great in stir fry.
Carrots – Use medium size carrots that you peel and cut into pieces.
Red pepper – The various colours of peppers actually taste different. I like to use red peppers here because of their flavour, but also the pop of colour.
Zucchini – Wash your zucchini, but leave the peel on.
Mushrooms – Any mushrooms will work here but I usually use basic white button mushrooms because they are easy to find and tend to be the most inexpensive option.
Onions – Regular yellow onions work great here. Their flavour is mellow when fried, and the caramelize really nicely.
Ginger – Ginger comes from a flowering tropical plant and it is the root that is used in cooking (and medicinally as well). It has a distinct and delicious flavour, almost spicy.
Garlic – A staple of so many savoury recipes! Ginger adds a lot of flavour to savoury meals like this one.
Cashews or peanuts – Either of these will add protein, crunch and flavour to your stir fry.
Green onions – Also called spring onions the peppery but mild flavour of these onions add a freshness to your finished meal.
How to make
If you want to have a really easy time making this chicken stir fry then all you have to do is prepare your ingredients ahead of time. This meal is loaded with vegetables, and they all have to be chopped. Have them ready and once you start cooking it will be super simple.
Prepare your sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Pound your chicken breasts so that the entire breast is uniform in thickness. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your large pot or wok and add the breasts. Cook on medium heat, turning breast to brown both sides. Cook until the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165 degrees or until the juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the pan, set aside, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
To your pan add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter. Add the vegetables and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until the vegetables become slightly caramelized.
While your vegetables are cooking cut your chicken in cubes. Add the chicken pieces to your vegetables in the pan.
Next add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more, stirring often. Add the cashews (or peanuts), add the sauce and stir to combine. Let simmer until sauce thickens and everything is combined.
Serve on top of a bed of rice or noodles; Garnish your stir fry with chopped green onions or sesame seeds if you like.
- Use maple syrup instead of honey in the sauce.
- Use 4 to 6 (depending on the size) boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts.
- Use different vegetables. Although you want to keep the same amount of vegetables (generally speaking) you can choose to include different vegetables than the ones listed in the ingredients. Other options could be cauliflower florets, sugar snap peas, green or orange yellow peppers or even diced eggplant.
Cooking tips and helpful hints
Follow these tips and helpful hints to make the most amazing chicken stir fry. Although this is an easy recipe, it is important to be mindful of a few things!
Cut your vegetables evenly
When prepping your vegetables try to keep them similar in size – this will help you control the cooking time. Also, prepare all your vegetables ahead of time – this will make everything so much easier!
Use the correct pan
Ideally you will have a wok or a large frying pan. However, many people don’t have woks! That’s okay. A large pot, or a large frying pan will work just as well.
Don’t overcook your vegetables
A stir fry should include crisp vegetables. Be sure not to overcook them – you don’t want mushy broccoli and zucchini!
Don’t overcrowd your pan
It is better to cook things in batches if your pan is not large enough to hold everything comfortably. If you overcrowd your pan you will end up steaming your ingredients instead of actually frying them.
Make an easy beef stir fry
Replace the chicken breasts with flank steak, hanger steak or sirloin. Slice your beef into strips, season with salt and pepper and fry it until browned on all sides. Continue with the recipe as described above.
Make a vegan stir fry
Replace the chicken with cubes of tofu. Use one block of firm tofu and press it to remove as much water as possible. Coat the tofu with cornstarch and fry it until crispy on all sides. Continue with the recipe as described above. If you are following a vegan diet and not eating honey then replace the honey with maple syrup.
What to serve with
Stir fry is typically served with rice or noodles. You can use any rice, but i like to use plain white rice, or rice noodles.
Frequently asked questions
What are 3 top tips for making a great stir fry?
The first is to use high quality ingredients. The second is to cook your protein and vegetables separately, and combine them only when everything is fully cooked. The third tip is to add the liquid only after all the ingredients are cooked, and combined.
What is the top trick for making an easy stir fry?
Here meal prepping is key! If you have all of your vegetables prepared ahead of time, and cut into similar size pieces it will make this recipe so much easier.
What is the best thing to serve with stir fry?
Sometimes I serve stir fry without anything else, but if I want a more substantial meal I will serve some plain white rice or rice noodles.
How to store
If you happen to have leftovers they can be kept in the refrigerator and reheated in the microwave.
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This recipe will serve 4 people. The recipe can easily be halved, or even doubled.
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Easy chicken stir fry
- large pot or wok
- Meat thermometer optional, but useful
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
For the chicken stir fry:
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 chicken breasts, kept whole skinless and boneless
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups brocoli florets
- 1 red pepper, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
- 227 grams white mushrooms, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Prepare your sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
- Pound your chicken breasts so that the entire breast is uniform in thickness. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your large pot or wok and add the breasts. Cook on medium heat, turning breast to brown both sides. Cook until the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165 degrees or until the juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the pan, set aside, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.3 tbsp olive oil, divided, 2 chicken breasts, kept whole
- To your pan add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter. Add the vegetables and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until the vegetables become slightly caramelized.1 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 cups brocoli florets, 1 red pepper, cut into small chunks, 1/2 onion, chopped, 1 carrot, diced, 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered, 227 grams white mushrooms, sliced
- While your vegetables are cooking cut your chicken in cubes. Add the chicken pieces to your vegetables in the pan.
- Next add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute more, stirring often. Add the cashews (or peanuts), add the sauce and stir to combine. Let simmer until sauce thickens and everything is combined.4 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced, 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Serve on top of a bed of rice or noodles; Garnish your stir fry with chopped green onions or sesame seeds if you like.