This Easy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry is one of our go-to meals when it comes to simple weeknight dinners. Lots of tender crisp veggies and chunks of seared chicken are combined in a classic stir-fry sauce for an excellent, healthy dish your whole family will enjoy!
A basic brown sauce made with pantry staples comes together quickly to coat each bite of this Easy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry.
I would say that this easy chicken & vegetable stir-fry helps me with my weekly meal planning, but in all honesty, it’s more of a life-saving recipe on nights when I haven’t planned anything for dinner, haven’t been to the store, and don’t have a lot of time. It takes very little time to get a stir-fry on the table and it’s got the added bonus of being a good clean out your fridge kind of recipe because you can use any leftover vegetables you’ve got floating around in there! Frozen veggies work great too, and I almost always have a big bag of the stir-fry veggie mix from Costco hanging out in my freezer, just in case.
And, ya know, it’s healthy and delicious, AND my family will eat it, too. Serve it up with rice and set the table with chopsticks. Then enjoy watching your kiddos work on their dexterity while trying to maneuver a piece of stir-fry chicken or broccoli into their mouths with the new utensils before switching to forks if they need ’em.
Honestly, when we have gone through phases of picky eating, sometimes changing utensils provided the incentive they needed to get them eating again! They get so focused on the new tools and the goal of picking up a piece of broccoli or chicken and transferring it to their mouths that they forget they were supposed to be rejecting the food placed in front of them. I know, sneaky, right? It’s a great strategy because you aren’t hiding anything from them but it’s like they just can’t resist.
We bought training chopsticks as stocking stuffers for our kids a few years ago and our 6-year old now handles regular chopsticks incredibly well!
Stir-frying is a Chinese cooking technique where vegetables and proteins are cooked over over high heat in a wok with with a small amount of oil. A wok is great (this is the one I have) but honestly, you can totally make this easy chicken & vegetable stir-fry in a regular, large fry pan.
The only adjustment I would make is to start the tougher vegetables (carrots, peppers, onions) a couple minutes earlier than the others that cook faster. The main reason is that when cooking with a wok, the bottom of the wok gets the highest temperature, so ingredients that cook faster and require lower heat can be pushed up the sides of the wok. The other main benefit (and probably the one I most love about using a wok) is that the deep bowl shape of it allows the ingredients to be stirred quickly without spilling over.
If you have picky eaters, I don’t know a better way to get them to eat their vegetables than to coat them in a delicious, savory (and maybe even the littlest bit spicy, if you opt to include the sriracha sauce in the recipe) sauce! I tend to mix up the vegetables based on whatever I have on hand, but I especially love, love, love baby bok choy, red peppers, broccoli and sugar snap peas. And I always make sure there are plenty of water chestnuts, since they are my favorite thing ever about stir-fry.
Here is an easy list of the vegetables I like to use in a stir-fry. Pick 3-5 and just aim for roughly 4-6 cups of chopped veggies!
- asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces
- baby bok choy
- broccoli florets (it helps to par-cook in the microwave for 2 minutes with a damp paper towel first to get them started)
- carrot discs
- eggplant, sliced into bite-size pieces
- green beans
- mushrooms, quartered or sliced
- onions, red or yellow, roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
- red peppers, chopped into bite-size pieces
- sugar snap peas
- water chestnuts
- zucchini, sliced into discs or half-moons
I usually go on the high side of the vegetable to meat ratio (around 6 cups of veggies) and the sauce stretches just fine, so no need to worry about adjusting those measurements just because you throw in some extra green broccoli you found floating around the back of your crisper drawer.
Try adding this Easy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry to your menu plan this week! And if you love Chinese food and are looking for other awesome dishes that you can make at home instead of picking up take-out, this Easy Beef with Broccoli is another one of our favorite dinners that I know you will love!
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Salt & pepper
- 4 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon green onions, chopped with green part reserved for garnish
- 2 carrots, sliced into discs
- 1 cup broccoli florets (microwave with damp paper towel for 2 minutes before adding)
- 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped into bite-size chunks
- 3-4 baby bok choy
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 2 cans water chestnuts, drained
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced into discs or half-moons
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sriracha (optional)
- Roasted peanuts, chopped for garnish
- Cut chicken into small, bite-size chunks. Season with salt & pepper. Prepare all vegetables before beginning to cook by chopping into bite-size pieces.
- Heat wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and let sit for 2-4 minutes without moving before stirring to coat the chicken with oil. Saute until the chicken is just beginning to brown, but don't worry about cooking the chicken all the way through yet. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and when hot, add the white part of the green onions and the minced garlic, stirring just until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the vegetables (or any combination of vegetables you like, aiming for 4-6 cups of total vegetables) and season with a little salt. Stir fry for about 10 minutes until veggies are tender but still crisp. If the pan gets too dry, add splashes of broth or water as needed so the vegetables don't burn.
- Return the chicken to the wok with the vegetables and stir together. Push to the outer edges of the wok to create a clear space in the center. Add the stir-fry sauce and wait for it to bubble and start to darken a bit before tossing everything together to coat in sauce.
- Continue to cook until all the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice, sprinkling the stir-fry with the remaining green tops of the green onions and chopped peanuts for garnish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400 Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 72mg Sodium: 1176mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 10g Protein: 29g