Not sure what to do with chicken and vegetables again? Four words: Healthy Chicken Stir Fry. Lean poultry and super fresh veggies perk right up with a hit of honey, garlic, and sesame. Plus, by stir frying you guarantee your produce retains more of their nutrients, so no Chinese takeout guilt. Naturally gluten-free, chicken stir fry goes great with rice, noodles, or just your fork.
I’m going to date myself here…but do y’all remember “Chicken Tonight?” If you were a 90’s kid and you had working parents, then I guarantee at some point someone in your household dumped a jar of “Country French Chicken Tonight” in a skillet and served it over Success Rice.
Maybe it was even among the first dishes you cooked on your own. (Fun fact: “Chicken Tonight” is still alive and well overseas, with new fancy flavors like Cashew Satay. Definitely didn’t have that when I was a kid.)
To this day, I still find myself singing that jingle when I occasionally stare into the vortex of my freezer on days when I didn’t get around to meal prep (happens to the best of us). Because 9 times out of 10, everyone better feel like chicken tonight if I haven’t had time to plan (either that, or brinner). And 9 times out of 10 that we have chicken, it is some variation of this recipe.
Stir fry is simply the best antidote to feeling bad that you forgot there were 3 other people in your house who were counting on you to feed them. It’s fast, it’s easy, it tastes great, and you’re not sacrificing nutrition by running out for fast food or dumping a jar of god knows what (but I know it wasn’t “French”) into a pot.
So perhaps it is ironic then that the to-die-for healthy Stir Fry Sauce I have perfected over years of “Oops! I did it again” emergency stir fry dinners calls for ingredients to be blended by shaking them together in a jar and then poured over chicken in a skillet. Just. Like. Chicken. Tonight.
Who am I to question where inspiration comes from?
Chicken stir fry ingredients
- Stir Fry Sauce: a much healthier alternative to what you’d find in the store, and it doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of flavor. Bonus: it’s super easy and quick to make!
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (or Thigh): cut into even, bite-sized cubes (about 1″).
- Broccoli: go fresh, not frozen – you want it to still have some crunch to it.
- Carrots: cut oblong to match the shape of the pepper for a more balanced bite.
- Bell Peppers: stick with red, orange, or yellow for a milder, sweeter flavor.
- Sesame Seeds: don’t pass these up for flavor and texture – they’re so much more than a garnish.
How to make healthy chicken stir fry
Chicken Stir Fry is a no-brainer. Literally. Pan. Oil. Chicken. Vegetables. Sauce. Stir. (Then throw it all on a starch if you’re so inclined.) It’s almost laughable how easy and satisfying this meal is, especially when you’re using my equally easy-to-make and “Are-you-sure-this-is-healthy?” Healthy Stir Fry Sauce. This meal is as crave-able as it is reliable, so whether it’s planned or in a pinch, no one at the table is going to look at you sideways.
- Heat a 12″ skillet or wok over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken in olive oil until no longer pink.
- Add the vegetables in stages, starting with the veggies that need just a bit more time to cook through!
- Add broccoli and carrots and stir fry 3 minutes.
- Add bell peppers and stir fry 3 minutes more.
- Pour in the stir fry sauce. Simmer until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles.
Tips for a perfect stir fry
- Make sure you get your oil hot – literally sizzling – before you add your meat. Test with a few drops of water.
- If you have a wok, use it. A flat-bottomed skillet will absolutely work, but it distributes heat differently because of the width of the pan. The wok’s slightly conical shape creates a more intense cooking surface.
- Mind the cook time on your veggies. Stir frying is fast, hot, and action-packed for a reason – to keep those nutrients in!
- Be sure to use finely minced garlic for the best sauce texture.
What makes this recipe healthy?
Aside from the lean protein, aside from the fresh veggies, and aside from the homemade sauce with all-natural ingredients and no refined sugar, stir frying is a centuries old method of cooking that calls for high heat, just a bit of oil, and rapid-movement, thus allowing your vegetables to cook, but not cook through, and lose their nutrients.
The recipe is gluten-free with zero modifications, and can be easily make paleo or grain-free.
What to serve with chicken stir fry?
- White Rice or Brown Rice: the classics.
- Cauliflower Rice: keep it paleo and entirely gluten and grain-free with cauliflower rice!
- Egg or Rice Noodles: I find that my kids will at least try any dish with noodles, so this might be the solution to your picky-eater problem too!
- Sweet Potato Glass Noodles: if you try to avoid gluten and grains but miss noodles, these babies are for you!
Can I substitute the vegetables?
Yes! Try diced zucchini, asparagus, red onion, baby bok choy…pick what you love, or what’s available.
Be sure to group like-with-like vegetables when it comes to cooking times. Heartier vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower need a few extra minutes. Veggies with a higher water content (or veggies where you want a little more crunch) like zucchini, bok choy, and bell peppers need less time.
More healthy stir fry recipes
- Extra Veggie Steak Stir Fry
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Healthy Bulgogi (Korean Beef BBQ)
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowls
Did you make this chicken stir fry? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below
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Healthy Stir Fry ChickenPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into strips
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1/4 c coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Combine all stir fry sauce ingredients in a lidded jar or glass mixing cup; shake or whisk to combine and set aside.
- Heat a 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and toss to coat in the fat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 5-6 minutes.
- Add the carrots and broccoli, toss with the chicken and stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the peppers, toss with the skillet contents, and stir fry 3 minutes more.
- Give the stir fry sauce a stir or a shake if the ingredients have started to settle, then pour into the skillet. Give everything a good toss, then simmer until the sauce thickens, the chicken is cooked through, and the vegetables are bite tender, 3-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately over rice, cauliflower rice, or noodles.
- Nutritional information represents stir fry only.
- Storage: store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in-between.