This delicious Asian-inspired chicken stir fry marinade is packed with bold tastes, plenty of bright vegetables, and a wonderful sweet sauce. It's ready in 30 minutes and you won't believe how easy it is to make!
🌟 Why this recipe works
I have been making stir fry recipes for many years now, and I still get surprised at how easy it is to create amazing flavors and colors just by throwing some protein and vegetables into a skillet with a stir-fry sauce.
I am a huge fan of easy and quick 30 minute meals especially when I have a busy schedule. Easy dinner recipes like baked pesto chicken, cauliflower rice stir fry, parmesan pork chops and air fryer chicken tenders definitely save me a lot of time.
However, this marinated chicken stir fry is on another level and much healthier than traditional stir-fry recipes with noodles. It combines a homemade marinade for the chicken that is refrigerated overnight to infuse it, then sautéed, along with fresh vegetables and my easy stir fry sauce.
The stir-fry sauce is made with household Asian-inspired ingredients like soy sauce and sesame oil to give its authentic flavor and brown sugar and rice vinegar for added sweetness. This chicken stir recipe is quick and easy to make and feeds a large family of 6. And, it is cheap like these cheap dinner ideas under $10.
The chicken stir fry recipe is completely dairy & gluten-free and can easily be made to suit vegetarians by swapping the chicken for extra veggies like sugar snap peas, mushrooms, or even cauliflower rice.
🍽 Key Ingredients
The list of ingredients is easy to find in any grocery store and inexpensive to purchase.
Chicken: the recipe uses chicken thighs for protein instead of chicken breast as it holds the marinade better resulting in a stronger flavor throughout the meat.
Vegetables: these fresh and seasonal veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and onion make this chicken stir fry marinade so flavorful and colourful.
Spices: garlic powder, salt, brown sugar and pepper are a must for this recipe.
Liquid ingredients: low sodium soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, rice vinegar and olive oil is all you need.
To make things easier, I sometimes use a small bag of frozen stir-fry veggies when I have them on hand instead of buying fresh vegetables.
🍽 How to make
Learn how to make this marinated chicken stir fry in under an hour with my detailed cooking instructions, recipe variations and cooking tips. This recipe doesn't involve many pots and pans as it combines all ingredients into one wok for simplicity and efficiency.
Prepare the marinade in a bowl with soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir well to combine.
Place chicken thighs into a large mixing bowl and pour just enough marinade over the chicken to coat it.
Tip: pour sauce into a large zip-lock bag with the chicken thighs. Shake the bag well to completely coat the chicken with the marinade and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes or even overnight.
Using a knife, slice the squash, onion, bell pepper, and zucchini into large bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl.
Heat a tablespoon of olive in the skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add the marinated chicken for 5 - 7 minutes until the thighs are cooked through and evenly browned.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, and sauté the chopped vegetables with a sprinkle of salt and pepper until they are crisp and tender. Around 5 minutes usually.
Slice the chicken thighs into strips and add them to the skillet.
Mix the chicken and vegetables together with the reserved marinade and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook for a few more minutes tossing the ingredients to combine with the sauce.
Remove the skillet from the heat and serve the chicken stir fry immediately. Garnish with sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and red pepper flakes
Yummm!!! It is going to smell amazing! You won’t ever have to order takeout again!
💭 Cooking tips
This chicken stir fry definitely tastes better if you marinate ir for at least 30 minutes. Also, this helps to tenderize the chicken meat.
Use a half teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water in a cup to thicken the sauce, if required.
If you want to add extra nutty flavors to the stir-fry, try adding a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil (if you can find it) and a small handful of chopped walnuts.
I sometimes serve the chicken stir fry topped with toasted sesame seeds for an authentic Asian food smell, and they taste delicious when they are roasted.
📖 Recipe Variations
If you want to add some more delicious stir-fry recipes to your weekly menu, take a look at these variations that are easy to make and combine flavorful ingredients.
One pound of seared sirloin steak is combined with the rest of the original components from the finger licking beef stir fry recipe to make this simple yet delicious recipe.
If you love seafood, then this stir-fry will surely delight you! Instead of chicken meat add one pound of shrimp. Yum!
Spicy chicken stir fry
Add some heat into the chicken stir-fry by adding a small piece of chopped fresh ginger, 2 garlic cloves, and half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
What veggies can I use for a stir-fry?
You can use almost all vegetables in a stir-fry apart from potatoes. For vegetables to go with this delicious Asian-flavored chicken stir-fry, I recommend selecting a few of these veggies.
Riced cauliflower, mushrooms, red bell pepper, bok choy, bean sprouts, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini.
How to make toasted sesame seeds?
Add 20 grams of sesame seeds in a dry skillet and roast them for around 3 minutes over high heat, tossing them frequently. Once they start to pop and become fragrant, remove them from the heat and mix them through the chicken stir fry before serving.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ Reheating
I usually scale up this stir fry chicken recipe and store half in the fridge for meal prep during busy weeknights.
Fridge/freezer - Transfer any leftover stir fry chicken to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 2 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the leftovers to cool completely before transferring to the airtight container.
Reheat - Heat a skillet or saucepan with the leftover chicken stir fry and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until hot.
🍳 Related Easy Chicken Recipes
👪 Serving size
This chicken stir fry recipe will serve 6 people and quite easily be scaled up to serve more. I double up on occasions and give some to family and friends.
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Chicken Stir Fry Marinade
- 1 large skillet or wok
- 2 bowls
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Sharp knife
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon Swerve brown sugar substitute
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium sized zucchini sliced
- 1 medium sized yellow squash sliced
- 2 bell peppers chopped
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and extra pepper to taste
- Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar substitute, garlic powder, sesame oil, rice vinegar and black pepper to a small mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
- Place chicken thighs into a large mixing bowl or plastic zipper bag and pour just enough marinade over the chicken to coat it.
- Set aside the remainder of the marinade in an air tight container.
- Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables.
- Slice the zucchini and yellow squash. Chop the onion and bell peppers into large bite-sized chunks, and combine all the prepared vegetables in a mixing bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet.
- Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side until it is seared well and completely cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet, and add another tablespoon of olive oil.
- Pour the chopped vegetables into the heated skillet, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are a crisp tender.
- Slice the cooked chicken thighs into strips, and add them back into the skillet with the vegetables.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and pour in the reserved marinade. Cook for a few minutes tossing the ingredients to coat them well in the sauce.
- Serve the stir fry on its own, or with your favorite keto-friendly side.