Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

07.26.2016

Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry — A hearty chicken stir fry packed nutritious veggies. It’s tossed with a flavorful, spicy sauce and finished with peanuts for a nice crunch. Serve with white, brown or cauliflower rice.

Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry in metal skillet with wooden spatula

Healthy Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry

It’s been a few months since I’ve made a stir-fry, and summer is the best time to make them so here we are! A quick and flavorful stir-fry that’s perfect for those fresh summer peppers and snow peas. Plus it’s an entree your whole family will enjoy!

There are so many things I love about this stir fry, but first off let’s talk about the peanuts. Those to me are the highlight of this healthy stir-fry (which may seem funny because they’re just a finishing touch), but I just can never get enough of that peanuty crunch on Asian food. Addictive!

Which is why I used 1/2 cup — let’s not be skimpy, right? Another thing I love is the sesame oil and sambal oelek; the first brings loads of flavor while the second gives it that crave worthy heat (and you better believe I was spooning plenty more over my serving).

There is plenty of sauce in this chicken stir fry, because aren’t saucy stir fries the best? The Szechuan sauce is slightly weet, slightly salty, perfectly spicy, and the sesame oil adds so much flavor!

Just don’t leave out the cornstarch. Even though it’s a small amount, it has strong thickening properties and the sauce would be like water without it.

And of course I love the fact that everything is cooked in one skillet and that I already have most of the ingredients on hand at all times (the only thing I don’t always have on hand are the veggies, everything else is a staple in my house).

So while it does look like a long ingredients list, don’t worry! You probably have most of it too. If you like Asian food, then this Szechuan chicken stir fry is one to add to the rotation.

It’s deliciously saucy, perfectly hearty, it makes for a great weeknight meal, and of course, it will leave you wanting more!Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry atop white rice in a dark bowl

Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry Ingredients

For the Szechuan sauce, you’ll need:

  • Chicken broth
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Sambal oelek
  • Rice vinegar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch

And for the healthy chicken stir fry, you’ll need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Yellow onion
  • Fresh ginger
  • Garlic
  • Red and yellow bell peppers
  • Snow peas
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and rice (for serving)

Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry in metal skillet

How to Make Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry

  • Whisk together all the Szechuan sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Add diced chicken to hot skillet and cook until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate.
  • In the same skillet, sauté onion, ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add bell peppers and snow peas and sauté another 2 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over veggies and cook until slightly thickened.
  • Stir in chicken and cook until warmed through.
  • Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds, green onions and peanuts.

Can I Use Ground Chicken in This Stir Fry Recipe?

Ground chicken would also work! You’d still need to brown the chicken and transfer it to a plate while the veggies cook, though.

Can I Use Another Sweetener in the Sauce?

Yes, honey would give you a similar flavor and wouldn’t overpower the sauce.

Can I Use Flour Instead of Cornstarch to Thicken the Sauce?

I wouldn’t recommend doing that, because you’d need more flour to do the same job. Cornstarch really is best in this healthy chicken stir fry.

close up of Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry topped with peanut and scallions

Tips for the Best Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry

  • This Szechuan chicken stir fry is great for meal prepping. Store the rice and stir fry mixture separately and reheat throughout the week!
  •  Add more or less sambal oelek to the chicken stir fry, depending on how spicy you want it to be.
  • Be careful not to over cook the chicken, as you don’t want it to dry out.

More Stir Fry Recipes You’ll Love:

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Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

A hearty stir fry packed with tender chicken and nutritious veggies. It's tossed with a flavorful, spicy sauce and finished with peanuts for a nice crunch. Serve with white, brown or cauliflower rice.

Servings: 5
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sambal oelek (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch

Stir Fry

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, sliced from top to root
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced into short strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/3 cups diagonally sliced snow peas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and prepared rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. For the sauce: In a small mixing bowl whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal oelek, rice vinegar, sugar and cornstarch until well combined, set aside.
  2. For the stir-fry: Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Add chicken, season lightly with salt (about 1/4 tsp) and cook, turning occasionally until chicken has cooked through (center should register 165), about 6 minutes. 
  4. Transfer to a plate. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in skillet.
  5.  Add onion, ginger and garlic and saute 1 minute. Add in bell peppers and snow peas and saute 2 minutes. 
  6. Whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet over veggies. Cook and stir until sauce has thickened and veggies are tender, about 2 minutes. 
  7. Toss in chicken and warm through, season with salt if needed. Serve warm over rice topped with peanuts, green onions and sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

  • Recipe source: adapted from Cooking Light
  • This Szechuan chicken stir fry is great for meal prepping. Store the rice and stir fry mixture separately and reheat throughout the week!
  •  Add more or less sambal oelek to the chicken stir fry, depending on how spicy you want it to be. 
Nutrition Facts
Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 372 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 954mg41%
Potassium 793mg23%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 1310IU26%
Vitamin C 115mg139%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chicken Stir Fry, Szechuan Sauce
Calories: 372 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

13 comments

  • Janet: Delicious! YOu are right I wanted more. I didn’t have plain roasted peanuts so I used what I had in the cupboard, honey roasted peanuts. We like sweet so it was all good. February 7, 2017 at 4:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Janet! Thanks for your review! February 7, 2017 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Kristin: Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! I only used 1T of the sambal oelek and it was the perfect amount of heat for us. I also threw in a bunch more veggies that I had in the fridge (broccoli, carrots). Definitely a new favorite and better than take-out! August 30, 2016 at 11:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed this Kristin! Thanks for your comment! August 30, 2016 at 8:58pm Reply

  • Sharon Gray: I made this tonight – with all my own vegetables from my garden. It was delicious!!!! Thank you!! August 29, 2016 at 6:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Home-grown is the best! Thanks Sharon! August 31, 2016 at 10:39am Reply

  • Beverley Press: Jaclyn I’m a huge fan of stir fry and love making it from scratch so thank you xoxo July 30, 2016 at 3:01am Reply

  • Paige Flamm: This stir fry looks amazing! I need this in my life asap!

    Paige July 28, 2016 at 11:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Paige! July 28, 2016 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Maria: Made this tonight and really enjoyed it. I added some bok choy as I had it and it’s a family favorite. Will definitely make this again. Thanks. July 27, 2016 at 6:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you enjoyed it Maria! Thanks for the great review! July 28, 2016 at 1:31pm Reply

  • Denise: Looks amazing! What is sambal oelek and where do you find it? Thanks! July 27, 2016 at 11:16am Reply

  • Georgia: I love a good stir-fry in summer! Might have to try my hand in making this one! Thanks for the recipe! July 27, 2016 at 12:30am Reply

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