Make it a fake-out take-out night with this Easy Chicken Stir-Fry recipe. This one-dish dinner comes together quickly with chicken, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cabbage — in less than 30 minutes!
Serve it alongside Baked Rice and Quick Potstickers with Dipping Sauce for a fun, Chinese-inspired dinner. Leftovers are fantastic the next day and can even be frozen for an Easy Lunches Freezer Cooking Session.
When I was a child, my family would go out to eat on a weekly basis. In our then-tiny little Santa Clarita Valley, there were few chain restaurants; most dining establishments were locally owned and family-run. Dad would often decide that we were going to Lui’s Chinese Kitchen for dinner.
It seems we were always waiting in restaurants — hungry. At Lui’s they would bring you a pot of tea — with real leaves — and a bowl of chow mein noodles. It was all we knew of Chinese food, but we loved it.
We would choose two or three different entrees as well as both kinds of rice that would be served “family style”.
Why Make This
It’s a way to control ingredients for allergies. If you love Chinese-American take-out, but aren’t able to enjoy it out due to food allergies, you can still enjoy it at home, making it yourself.
This chicken stir fry is super easy quick to prepare. From start to finish it should take you less than 30 minutes — and it will be delicious.
You can use this base recipe to clean out the veggie drawer. I use cabbage, mushrooms, and red bell peppers because I love those vegetables. Feel free to switch things around if you like. You can also use pea pods, bean sprouts, thinly sliced carrot, or broccoli. Go with what you got and Shop Your Kitchen to Save Money.
Here’s what you need to make this easy chicken stir fry:
soy sauce – Providing a saltiness and umami flavor, soy sauce is key to many Asian-inspired dishes. Keep in mind that it usually contains gluten. If you need this dish to be gluten-free, be sure to buy a soy sauce marked gluten-free. If you need this dish to be soy-free, you can use coconut aminos.
cornstarch – Cornstarch helps thicken the sauce as well as give the chicken a silken texture. Don’t leave it out.
dry sherry – While rice wine is more typical in authentic Chinese cooking, dry or cooking sherry is an easy-to-find alternative.
chicken stock or broth – This helps give flavor and body to the stir fry sauce. You can make your own chicken stock, buy it in the carton or box, or mix up an approximation with bouillon.
chicken breast – I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breast in my stir fry, but you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. In a pinch, you can also substitute pork loin or round steak into this stir-fry.
black pepper – Pepper adds a nice kick to the sauce.
oil – A neutral cooking oil is best for chicken stir fry, such as avocado or canola.
stir fry vegetables – I like to use mushrooms, red bell pepper, onion, and green cabbage in this recipe, but you can also use sugar snap peas, snow peas, shredded carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts, sliced celery, or broccoli florets.
sesame oil – This oil is for flavor, so a little goes a long way. Add it near the end in the finishing sauce.
toasted sesame seeds – These are an optional, but fun garnish to top off your chicken stir fry.
Here’s how to make this easy chicken stir fry:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon EACH of the soy sauce, cornstarch, and cooking sherry. Add the chicken to the bowl. Stir gently and season to taste with black pepper. Set this aside and save the other sauce ingredients for later.
2. In a large nonstick skillet heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and accumulated juices to the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a covered dish.
3. Add the mushrooms and onion, to the pan. and cook until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown slightly, about 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and bell peppers to the pan. Stir the chicken back into the mixture.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chicken broth, sesame oil, and the remaining tablespoons of soy sauce, cornstarch, and sherry. Blend this cooking sauce well and add it to the skillet with the chicken. Simmer until thickened, about two minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice.
This is a great dish to make ahead and freeze. Cool the stir fry and divide into meal-size portions in labeled containers or ziptop freezer bags. Chill completely in the fridge prior to storing in the freezer. The dish should be good for up to 6 weeks frozen.
Stir fry is a great dish to serve leftover the next day. Always store leftovers within 2 hours of preparation in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, vent the lid and heat in 30 second intervals in the microwave until hot. If heating on the stove top, place the stir fry in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until hot.
This chicken and vegetable stir fry can be served over rice or noodles. If using noodles, cook soba, ramen, or rice noodles according to package directions, drain well, and add then to the finished stir fry and sauce in the pan. Toss gently and serve.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- soy sauce – $0.20
- cornstarch – $0.04
- dry sherry – $0.28
- chicken stock – $0.15
- chicken breast – $3.78 ($1.89/lb)
- black pepper – $0.02
- oil – $0.02
- mushrooms – $1.00
- red bell pepper – $1.00
- onion – $0.45
- green cabbage – $0.50
- sesame oil – $0.36
While your costs may vary depending on where and how you shop, you can expect to pay about $7.80 for a large batch of chicken stir fry or $1.30/serving!
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
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Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp dry sherry
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast , chopped
- black pepper
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 red bell pepper cored and chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage can also use coleslaw mix
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling
- rice (cooked) for serving or noodles
- In a mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon EACH of the soy sauce, cornstarch, and cooking sherry. Add the chicken to the bowl. Stir gently and season to taste with black pepper. Set this aside and save the other sauce ingredients for later.
- In a large nonstick skillet heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and accumulated juices to the skillet and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a covered dish.
- Add the mushrooms and onion, to the pan. and cook until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown slightly, about 7 minutes. Add the cabbage and bell peppers to the pan. Stir the chicken back into the mixture.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the chicken broth, sesame oil, and the remaining tablespoons of soy sauce, cornstarch, and sherry. Blend this cooking sauce well and add it to the skillet. Simmer until thickened, about two minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice or noodles.
This post was originally published on March 9, 2015. It has been updated for content and clarity.