This Healthy and Easy Lemon Chicken Stir Fry takes less than 30 minutes to make and tastes just as good as takeout – or better! Make this easy chicken stir fry next time you need a quick and healthy dinner!
Looking for a super easy and healthy weeknight dinner recipe? I’ve got you covered with this Easy Lemon Chicken Stir Fry. I love having stir fries for dinner because they are so quick to pull together. I usually have all of the ingredients in my pantry and can use whatever protein and vegetables I have on hand.
How do you make stir fry sauce?
Since I make stir fries often, I keep the ingredients for stir fry sauce in my pantry. The ingredients I usually use for stir fry sauce are:
- low sodium soy sauce
- honey or brown sugar
- rice vinegar or citrus juice (lemon juice in this case)
- fresh minced garlic (I personally don’t like the jarred variety)
- FRESH grated ginger root (I keep ginger root in my freezer so that it lasts a long time. I use a microplane to grate it while it is frozen, then pop it right back in the freezer!)
- chili garlic sauce or red chili flakes
- cornstarch for thickening
How to make Healthy Chicken Stir Fry
There were a few ways I lightened up this chicken stir fry recipe.
- Rather than bread and deep fry the chicken, I used pieces of chicken breast tossed in cornstarch. Cornstarch is a secret ingredient for stir fries that makes them so much better and more like the restaurant. The cornstarch gives the chicken a little bit of a coating, and it also helps to thicken the sauce later. Using cornstarch also makes this gluten free (as long as you use gluten free soy sauce).
- This sauce for this lemon chicken uses honey instead of sugar to give it a sweetness to balance the tart flavor of the lemons.
- I find that I can use less oil if I use a nonstick pan for this recipe.
How Do you make Lemon Chicken Stir Fry?
Because everything cooks so quickly, I like to have everything ready BEFORE I start cooking.
- Wash and trim the green beans, then cut them in half
- Cut the chicken breast into one inch pieces. In a bowl, toss the chicken with 1/3 cup corn starch, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Toss until chicken is completely coated.
- Make the stir fry sauce. Combine soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger, garlic and chili Garlic Sauce. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the green beans and cook, stirring often, until starting to blister, 4-5 minutes. When cooked, remove from pan and transfer to a plate.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the chicken – do not over crowd the pan. Cook in two batches if necessary. Brown on one side for 4-5 minutes, then turn and brown for another 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until chicken is cooked through.
- Return the green beans to the pan with the chicken. Add the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until chicken and green beans are coated and sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with rice if desired.
Can I use different vegetables in this chicken stir fry?
Yes, absolutely! Feel free to use whatever vegetables you want – broccoli, asparagus and bell peppers are all great vegetables for stir fries. Just keep in mind their cooking times may vary. It is also a good idea to cut the vegetables into pieces that are all the same size so they cook evenly.
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for this lemon chicken stir fry?
Yes, you can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast. In fact, I often use chicken thighs! Keep in mind, chicken thighs might take a few more minutes to cook.
If you like this recipe, you will love:
Lemon Chicken Stir Fry
For The Stir Fry Sauce Sauce:
For The Chicken Stir Fry:
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast Cut into 1 inch pieces
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 10 ounces green beans trimmed and cut in half
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds optional, for garnish
- Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce, set aside.
- Toss the chicken with the cornstarch, salt and pepper, until chicken is fully coated. Set aside.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. Cook the green beans, stirring often, until starting to blister, 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve on a plate.
- Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the chicken, but do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in two batches if necessary. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through.
- Add the green beans back to the pan with the chicken. Pour in the sauce. Stir, scraping up and browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until chicken and green beans are fully coated and sauce has thickened. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve over rice if desired.