This chicken stir fry recipe is a family-friendly meal with loads of veggies and a fantastic savory and sweet homemade sauce! It's ready in just 35 minutes for a hassle free weeknight dinner.
Why you'll crave it
You can quickly make this wonderfully flavorful chicken and vegetable stir fry in your own kitchen instead of doing takeout! It's really comforting yet a healthier option and simple to cook. Juicy chicken and tender-crisp veggies are smothered in an addictive honey, ginger, and garlic sauce.
Let's talk about that sauce! If you're feeding hungry kids, this is the best chicken stir fry for them since the homemade stir fry sauce is perfectly balanced, and it's just sweet enough but not too sweet for the adults. This sauce is seriously amazing! I can't talk it up enough. You won't ever be tempted to use the store-bought kind again after making this one.
What you'll need to make it
For the stir fry
- Chicken - cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces the same size for even cooking
- Garlic powder, pepper, cornstarch - for seasoning the chicken and getting a good crust on it. The cornstarch on the outside is what makes stir fry chicken special!
- Olive oil - for stir frying
- Onion - I prefer sweet (Vidalia) onion, but yellow works as well
- Broccoli, bell pepper, carrots - the veggie medley I chose
- Rice - jasmine is my go-to, but use whatever you prefer
For the sauce
- Honey - a touch of sweetness
- Ginger - for that bold, zesty quality in any good stir fry
- Garlic - I went for 3 cloves of garlic. Add even more if you're a garlic lover.
- Soy sauce - I used regular, but if you're sensitive to salt, pick a low sodium variety
- Apple cider vinegar - for a little sweet tang. You can use rice vinegar instead.
- Chicken broth - to enhance the savory taste even more
- Toasted sesame oil - be sure to get the toasted variety that you'll find in the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store! It's darker in color and tastes way different than regular sesame oil.
- Cornstarch - a thickening agent
- With stir fries, it's important to prep ingredients ahead of time vs. as you go since once it gets going, you will not have time later on.
- You need to maintain a fairly high heat for stir frying. It's fine to reduce the heat a little if the pan starts to really smoke, but don't be tempted to turn it down too much. Heat is the key to a good sear!
- The second batch of chicken cooks a little faster because the pan is hotter, so be mindful so it doesn't burn.
- If you want a lot of sauce, I recommend doubling the sauce ingredients.
How to make chicken stir fry
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep all ingredients and chop the veggies. Start cooking the rice or noodles if using. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cut the chicken, sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder, and coat in cornstarch.
Cook the chicken in a skillet in olive oil in two batches over medium-high heat until golden. Transfer to a plate. Fry the onions, adding more oil if necessary.
Add in your veggies and cook for a few minutes until still crisp but tender. Return the chicken to the skillet, and pour in sauce. Let it bubble until thickened, and serve!
Tools for this recipe
- I love my 12" Staub skillet for stir fry recipes as it's nice and large and has plenty of room for all the veggies.
- I use my Microplane grater to grate the ginger and always keep fresh ginger in a ZipLoc in my freezer so I can use it when needed. Frozen ginger is also easier to grate!
- Cooking tongs are great for easily turning the chicken and tossing the veggies while stir frying.
- A splatter guard is a game changer for easier clean-up.
- An instant read meat thermometer is the best way to tell whether chicken is cooked.
Substitutions and variations
- I like to keep it as a chicken and broccoli stir fry as the base, but any veggies can be swapped if needed. Snow peas or sugar snap peas would work great, as would baby corn, mushrooms, or even water chestnuts.
- Feel free to thinly slice a carrot instead of using matchstick cut carrots.
- You could swap the chicken breasts for chicken thighs, but they will likely take a little longer to cook and become tender.
- Want to make it spicy? Add a splash of sriracha or some crushed red pepper flakes.
What to serve with this stir fry
- My preference is a white rice like jasmine rice, but you can use your favorite! Brown rice would be delicious too.
- Noodles are another great choice. You can use any kind, but I like rice noodles or Udon noodles.
- I like to just eat it on its own as well. It's got protein and veggies, so you're all set.
Leftovers and storage
- Generally, stir fries keep pretty well in the fridge for a few days in a covered, airtight container.
- Reheat over a low heat in a small saucepan until warmed through. I recommend making fresh rice or noodles with leftovers.
- This recipe probably won't freeze well, and the texture of the veggies won't stay crisp if you do.
I hope you try this simple chicken stir fry. Talk to me in the comments below if you have any questions!
Easy Chicken Stir Fry
- 2 chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/2 medium onion chopped into fairly small pieces
- 2 cups broccoli florets cut into fairly small pieces
- 1/2 bell pepper (I used orange) cut into fairly small pieces or strips
- 1/2 cup matchstick cut carrots
- 1 cup uncooked rice for serving (optional)
- Chopped scallions for serving optional, to taste
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- I recommend prepping your ingredients before you start cooking - once the recipe is started, it goes quite fast. Be sure to cut the veggies into pieces that are bite-size (make sure that the broccoli is cut quite small) so they cook at a similar rate. If serving with rice, I recommend getting it going prior to starting the recipe. Cook rice according to package directions.
- Add the sauce ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together.
- Cut the chicken into 1" pieces and add to a bowl. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and some pepper. Stir to combine. Add the cornstarch and stir/toss until the chicken is coated.
- In a skillet (use a fairly large/deep one if possible), over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces to the skillet (shake off the excess cornstarch prior to adding it to the pan). Don't crowd the pan - I recommend doing 2 batches for best browning. Cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes or so (I flip using tongs to make it easy). Chicken should be golden and cooked through (165F). For the second batch, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Transfer each batch of the chicken to a plate once it's done.
- If the pan looks dry, add a small splash of olive oil (a teaspoon or so), and then add the onions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring a few times.
- Add in the broccoli, peppers, and carrots, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Veggies will be tender-crisp. Cook for a bit longer if you want them softer.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and stir in the sauce (whisk it again quickly prior to pouring it in). Let it bubble until thickened (about a minute), stirring constantly so everything gets coated. Take the pan off the heat. Serve immediately over rice or noodles with scallions sprinkled over top if desired.
- The rice quantity is my suggestion for 4 people, but feel free to make more/less or whatever you usually make for 4 people.
- Fresh ginger is much easier to grate when frozen! I always keep some fresh ginger in the freezer and I use my Microplane grater/zester to easily grate it.
- See blog post for more tips for stir fry success!
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. Nutrition info does NOT include rice.