Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe combines tender chicken thighs, a colorful mix of vegetables, and an easy marinade – all served over rice. So delicious and way better than take-out!
If you’re like me, you’d rather make your own Asian take-out, which is why I’ve got several other recipes for you to try, like my Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry or my Better-Than-Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice. I also love to make a big batch of Weeknight Spicy Fried Rice for meal prep!
Chicken Stir Fry
If there is one meal that I started out cooking, it’s definitely chicken stir fry. When Mike and I were first married, I nearly wore out my wok that we received as a wedding gift. I also made extra large batches to serve to company (mostly family) on occasion.
So this recipe is rather nostalgic. It’s not the exact one I used, but it is similar and I consider it to be no-fail. Just three main components – 1) the chicken, 2) the marinade, and 3) the veggies. You’ll also want to serve it over rice of your choice. We prefer white, but often make brown rice to up the health component.
- Chicken – Chicken thighs are perfect for this recipe, because they don’t dry out easily.
- Veggies – You can choose any veggies you like, but I went with carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, and snow peas. Every time I make this, I change it up!
- Oil – I used sesame oil to sauté the chicken and veggies, but olive oil or canola works too.
- Seasonings – Just kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Asian Marinade – A combo of lower-sodium soy sauce, lower-sodium chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, oyster sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic
- Cornstarch – I added equal parts of cornstarch and cold water to the mixture, to thicken slightly. This is optional.
How to make this easy chicken stir fry:
- Prep chicken. Slice the chicken thighs in bite-sized pieces. Place in plastic storage bag and sterilize your surfaces.
- Make marinade. In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients – the soy sauce, chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and minced garlic and ginger. Whisk together and pour about 1/4 cup into the bag with the chicken. Set the remaining marinade aside.
- Chop veggies. Prep all the veggies, chopping the carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli. Set aside.
- Cook chicken. In a medium stock pot (or wok or large cast iron skillet), heat to medium-high heat with some sesame oil. Add the chicken to the pan and sauté until nearly cooked though, approximately 8-10 minutes. You will continue cooking later in the process so the chicken doesn’t have to be cooked completely. Remove the chicken (and marinade) to a separate bowl.
- Cook veggies. Add a little more sesame oil to the pot, and add the veggies, along with some salt and pepper. Cook until slightly softened (don’t over-cook!), about 5-6 minutes.
- Combine. Add the chicken back to the pot, along with the remaining chicken marinade. Add in the cornstarch and water mixture (optional, but helps to thicken), and stir. Simmer until everything is cooked to your liking and is slightly thickened and piping hot.
- Serve. Serve the chicken stir fry over cooked rice of your choice, with some toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of pure sesame oil.
To make this on a weeknight:
- Prep in advance. On a Sunday or the day before, slice the chicken, prep the veggies, and whisk up the marinade. Then place it all the refrigerator for later.
- Ready to cook. On any weeknight, make some rice and heat up a pot (or wok) . Start cooking and you’ll be ready to eat in 30 minutes.
- Enjoy. This is why prepping in advance helps weeknight meals come together. You can enjoy home-cooked meals at home with little fuss.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs? You can use chicken breast, but be careful to avoid over-cooking them. Chicken thighs stay tender, even if you cook a little longer than they need, which is why they work so well in this recipe!
- What is the best oil for stir fry? I use sesame oil for this stir fry, but you could try peanut oil or canola oil as well.
- How do I thicken the stir fry? Use cornstarch to thicken. I usually mix a couple of tablespoons with water and then add all of it to the stir fry. You’ll want to let it simmer awhile after adding the cornstarch.
- Can I meal prep with this recipe? YES, you can certainly meal prep with this delicious stir fry. Just make extra rice and layer it with the stir fry in small containers.
Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe
- 2 ½ pounds chicken thighs – cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 large carrots – julienned
- 2 medium bell peppers – one color, sliced
- 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups snow peas
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
For the sauce:
- 3/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
- 6 Tablespoons lower-sodium chicken broth
- 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 ½ Tablespoon chili paste
- 1 ½ Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger – minced
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch – mixed with 2Tablespoons water
- cooked rice – to serve
- pure sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds – to serve
- Prep the chicken. Slice the chicken thighs in bite-sized pieces. Place in a storage bag.
- Make the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, oyster sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic and ginger. Stir well, and pour 1/4 cup into the storage bag with the chicken. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Combine 2 Tablespoons cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of cold water.
- Begin cooking. In a large cast iron skillet (or wok, or medium stock pot), heat to medium-high with a bit of oil. Use a tongs to remove the chicken from the bag (shaking off marinade) and place in skillet to cook.
- Cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes, or until nearly done. It should read 165 degrees on a digital thermometer. Remove the chicken (and juices/garlic/ginger) to a separate bowl.
- Cook veggies. Place skillet back on heat, and add more oil. Add the veggies (carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, snow peas, and broccoli), some salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes, or until softened slightly. These will also continue to cook later.
- I used about 11-12 cups of veggies, and they cook down quite a bit.
- Then add the chicken back to the pan, along with the reserved marinade. Add in the cornstarch, stir well, and continue to simmer until thickened and piping hot (approximately 7-8 minutes).
- Serve the stir fry over cooked rice of your choice, with a drizzle of pure sesame oil and some toasted sesame seeds.