Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry has become an instant family favorite around our house! This quick-fix stir-fry stars tender chicken and assorted veggies tossed in the best garlicky soy sauce. It’s a 30-minute dinner winner!
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When I have to get dinner on the table fast, I usually reach for the ingredients for stir-fry. It comes together quickly, it’s versatile enough to use whatever veggies you might have on hand, fresh or frozen, and it’s a crowd pleaser.
Whether it’s beef and broccoli or teriyaki chicken stir-fry, these Asian-inspired recipes are easy to make and are usually ready in 30 minutes or less — perfect for those nights when soccer practice runs late or you’re trying to get dinner on the table before heading to a meeting.
This chicken stir-fry recipe is no exception. Made with bell peppers and fresh broccoli and tossed in an easy homemade sweet and savory stir-fry sauce, it’s usually in weekly rotation in my house.
Spoon it over a bed of instant rice or quick-cooking noodles (or try it on creamy coconut rice!) and it’s a meal that can be on the table nearly as quickly as it would take to pick up a take-out order … and so much healthier!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Ready in 30 minutes.
- Versatile. Use any kind of fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand.
- Kid-approved. My crew loves the sweet and savory flavor of the sauce enough that they don’t complain that there’s broccoli in it!
- Good for you. With lots of veggies and lean, protein-rich chicken, this is a meal you can feel good about serving.
- Soy sauce: Low-sodium soy sauce is the flavor foundation for the Asian-style sauce. Just like my recipe for Mongolian beef, using low-sodium soy sauce is essential. Regular soy sauce will result in a dish that’s way too salty!
- Hoisin sauce: Thick and syrupy, hoisin sauce is made from fermented bean paste and has a sweet and tangy flavor.
- Chicken broth: Broth adds volume to the sauce and helps it cook down without getting too sticky. Vegetable broth can be used instead.
- Cornstarch: When brought to a simmer, cornstarch helps thicken a liquid into a glossy sauce.
- Garlic and ginger: Minced fresh garlic and grated ginger form the flavor base for many Asian dishes. As a shortcut, I like to buy minced fresh garlic and ginger in tubes — look for them near the fresh herbs in the produce department.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil stands up to high heat when you’re sauteeing the vegetables. Other oils to use in stir-fry recipes include grapeseed oil, canola oil or avocado oil.
- Broccoli: Trim the florets from a stalk of broccoli into bite-sized pieces, or buy bagged broccoli already cut into florets.
- Bell Peppers: A yellow pepper and an orange pepper add crunch and a splash of color to this recipe.
- Chicken: A pound of boneless, skinless chicken will probably be about two breast pieces. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, and keep in mind that they’ll shrink a little during cooking.
- Rice or noodles: Serve the stir-fry on a bed of cooked white or brown rice or Asian noodles like rice noodles or lo mein noodles.
- Lime wedges: A squeeze of lime just before serving will add brightness to the flavor.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Stir-fry is incredibly versatile. Think of this recipe as a blueprint for making your own version.
- Change up the veggies. Bok choy, green beans, snap peas, cauliflower, carrots and onions are among the many fresh vegetables that are great in stir-fry. Whatever vegetables you are using, cut them up into bite-sized pieces so they’ll cook quickly.
- Use frozen vegetables. Look for mixed stir-fry vegetables in the freezer case. Or use up those half-empty bags of green beans, carrots, broccoli and other veggies lingering in your freezer.
- Swap with chicken tenders. Any boneless, skinless white meat will work in this recipe. Chicken tenders or chicken cutlets can be used in place of whole breasts.
- Use another protein. Incorporate thinly sliced beef, shrimp, tofu, or pork (try my pork and broccoli recipe!). Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly for whatever protein you use.
- Serve in lettuce cups. Bring a platter of butter or bibb lettuce pieces to the table. Everyone can make lettuce wraps by spooning the stir-fry mix into the lettuce “cups,” with or without rice.
As a rule, stir-fry recipes come together really quickly. For that reason, it’s important to have all of your ingredients prepped and measured so that you can add them to the pan when the time comes.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chicken broth, cornstarch, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
- Cook the vegetables. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the broccoli and peppers and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Cook the chicken. Remove the vegetables to a plate, add the remaining oil, and cook the chicken, stirring frequently, until it is opaque.
- Add the sauce. Pour the sauce into the pan with the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan and toss to combine, cooking until the vegetables are heated through.
- Serve! Serve the stir fry on a bed of cooked rice or noodles. Top with a squeeze of lime juice.
Pro Tip: For a restaurant-quality look, garnish the bowls of stir fry with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
- Frozen veggies are an amazing time-saving tip when it comes to whipping up stir-fry. My number 1 tip for using frozen veggies in stir-fry is to ensure you account for the extra water they release if you don’t thaw them ahead of time. As the frozen veggies cook, they’ll release water, and as long as your pan is not covered and you’re using medium-high heat, that water should evaporate quickly.
- Cut uniform pieces. Cut the vegetables and chicken into similarly sized pieces. This will ensure that everything cooks uniformly and is finished cooking at the same time.
- Avoid cornstarch clumping. Mix the cornstarch with an equal amount of water or chicken broth to make a slurry before mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients. This will prevent clumping. if the mixture separates before it’s time to add it to the pan, give it a quick stir.
With starch, vegetables and protein all in one bowl, stir fry is a dish that doesn’t need much accompaniment. But I sometimes will prepare air fryer spring rolls, frozen dumplings, or sesame chicken egg rolls to accompany stir fry or serve a cold salad on the side, like chilled sweet and sour cucumber noodles.
Frequently Asked Questions
No! The broccoli will cook to the desired crisp-tender consistency right in the pan with a little oil. Boiling the broccoli first would make it too mushy.
Stir-fry is a Chinese cooking method in which vegetables, protein and other ingredients are fried in a small amount of oil in a pan, while constantly stirring or tossing.
Boiling chicken for stir-fry is not recommended, as it can lead to a different texture and flavor. Instead, cut the chicken into small, uniform pieces and stir-fry quickly over high heat with a small amount of oil. This method preserves the desired textures and caramelization for a tasty stir-fry.
The best oils are those with high “smoke points,” meaning that they can get very hot without breaking down. Vegetable, canola, peanut, grapeseed and avocado oil are all neutral-tasting oils that can stand up to high-heat cooking methods like stir-fry.
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- 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound broccoli florets
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
- 1 orange pepper, cut into strips
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Rice or noodles, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chicken broth, cornstarch, garlic and ginger. Set the sauce aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and peppers and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pan then add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until it is no longer pink.
- Add the sauce and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan and toss to combine.
- Serve the stir-fry with rice or noodles, or tuck it into lettuce wraps. Top with lime juice and serve.
- When using frozen veggies in stir-fry, ensure you account for the extra water they release if you don’t thaw them ahead of time. As the frozen veggies cook, they’ll release water, and as long as your pan is not covered and you’re using medium-high heat, that water should evaporate quickly.
- Cut the vegetables and chicken into similarly sized pieces. This will ensure that everything cooks uniformly and is cooked through at the same time.
- To avoid clumpy cornstarch, mix the cornstarch with an equal amount of water or the chicken broth to make a slurry before mixing it in with the rest of the ingredients. This will prevent clumping. If the mixture separates before it’s time to add it to the pan, give it a quick stir.
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