This post was originally published on September 3, 2018 and was updated on August 7, 2020. This chicken and veggie stir fry recipe is the best! It is so easy and so delicious you won’t miss the takeout box. Or bill!
A simple marinade and lots of fresh vegetables make this stir fry recipe a great option for weeknight dinners. As a bonus – the leftovers are great to take to work for lunch!
Ingredients for Chicken Stir Fry
- Chicken – boneless, skinless breasts
- Veggies – a fresh variety of whatever you like!
- Marinade – soy based with a touch of sweetness from brown sugar and honey!
- Rice – white, fluffy, classic
The best stir fry marinade
While I’m not opposed to using a jar of marinade or a store-bought condiment, I have been working on this stir fry sauce for years now and it is, quite simply, perfect. It’s made with pantry staples and boasts the classic flavors of Chinese takeout. There’s soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Brown sugar and honey add just a touch of sweetness. It works so well for both a marinade and stir fry sauce. This recipe makes enough to lightly coat all the chicken and vegetables without drowning the dish and making it soupy.
Cooking Chicken for Stir Fry
There’s something special about chicken in Chinese takeout. So moist, so flavorful, so perfectly cooked! I’ve found a way to recreate the flavor at home. Here’s how:
- Cut and trim the chicken breasts. Cut off any leftover pieces of fat or connective tissue and discard. I like to cut my chicken into 1-inch cubes.
- Marinate the chicken. For at least 30 minutes. Longer is even better. The marinade soaks into the meat and not only adds flavor but creates a tender piece of protein.
- Easy does it. The chicken needs to be cooked. Not seared, not scorched. Low and slow is the way to go. If your pan isn’t big enough to hold all of the chicken, work in batches! I know we all wish that the chicken and veggies could go into the pan at once and all cook perfectly together. But, unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way! Cooking the veggies first followed by the chicken is the best route to go for at home stir fry recipes.
How to make stir fry
- Make the marinade. Just whisk everything together. It’s that simple. If you’re feeling adventurous – add some red pepper flakes!
- Marinate the chicken. Get it all up in there. Stir it up and let it soak in. At least 30 minutes. Longer if you’ve got the time.
- Cook your veggies. In just a little bit of oil. Start with the veggies that will take longer to cook – the broccoli, the carrots. Then the peppers and onions. Finish with the peas! Remove them from the pan to a glass bowl.
- Make the rice. While all this is going, make a big pot of rice. I am notorious for burning rice. Or making it all gummy and gross. I’m working on it. I have learned that 1 cup of rice to 1 ¾ cups of water is perfect. And always rinse your rice. Always.
- Cook the chicken. Low and slow. It’ll take 5 – 7 minutes per batch. As the chicken finishes cooking, add it to the bowl with the vegetables.
- Save the sauce! Cook down the marinade into a thick and silky sauce that will perfectly coat the chicken and veggies. Stir the veggies, chicken, and sauce together and spoon over rice. Top with a few sesame seeds if you’re looking for a little crunch.
- Dine in. Enjoy this restaurant quality stir fry in less time than it takes to wait for Chinese food delivery.
Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
For the marinade/sauce:
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
For the stir fry:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into cubes
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 large carrot peeled and sliced thin
- ½ small red onion sliced thin
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
- 1 cup fresh snow peas
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Whisk all ingredients in a large glass bowl and set aside.
- Add chicken to marinade and stir to coat, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes. (I like to chop all my veggies while the chicken hangs out.)
- Meanwhile, heat 2 TBSP of your preferred cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in broccoli and cook for 1 – 2 minutes before adding the remaining vegetables. Cook for an additional 5 – 7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from pan to a large bowl and add an additional TBSP of oil to the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from marinade and cook in pan for 5 – 7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and place in the same bowl with the veggies.
- Pour remaining sauce into pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by a little more than half or until desired thickness is reached. Pour warm sauce over chicken and veggies and stir to coat. Serve with prepared rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.