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
Easy Lemon Chicken Recipe
For the Stir Fry Sauce Sauce
For the Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breast Cut into 1 inch pieces
- ⅓ cup corn starch
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 10 ounces green beans trimmed and cut in half
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp 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 saute 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.