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:
Ginger Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry
Easy Broccoli and Shrimp Stir Fry
Lemon Chicken Stir Fry
For The Stir Fry Sauce Sauce:
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest one small lemon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1-2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic 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.
Can you make this ahead of time. And reheat it?
Hi, that should be fine!
Just made this tonight for myself and my 13yo son. He has some oral sensory issues, so I am always looking for recipes that have his safe foods. I swapped out the green beans for broccoli since that is the only veggie he will eat. The recipe was easy to follow and the measurements and cooking times worked out perfectly. My son really enjoyed the meal and I was so happy to have something different! This will be a permanent addition to our meal rotation!
So glad to hear that it was a hit!
Loved it! Super tasty and easy to make. All 4 of my kids enjoyed it too!
It’s a miracle! My picky child actually ate it! Definitely gonna keep in the rotation. Quick, easy, lots of ingredients I usually have on hand. Makes a great busy weeknight dinner.
I’m so glad to hear that!
Fantastic recipe. We served it over egg noodles. Everyone love it. Thank you.
So glad you loved it!
Love this recipe. I made a substitution with orange instead of lemon and it was phenomenal.
I’m so glad you loved it! Orange sounds great as well!
Can’t wait to try this recipe. What if you don’t use the chili garlic sauce? Just curious.
Hi, the chili garlic sauce just adds some spiciness and extra flavor. You can leave it out if you don’t like spicy things. Or you can replace with a pinch of red pepper flakes, or some sriracha.
Man oh man that sauce is delicious! Everyone loved this to pieces! Thanks!
So glad to hear that!
God this sauce is so good.
All I did was swap the green beans for broccoli, onion and red bell pepper.
A little corn starch slurry at the end to thicken it up.
Yay! So glad you loved it Rob!
LOVE this recipe! Lots of flavour. I don’t alter it all.
So happy you loved it Tracy!
This was so delicious! The chicken was very tender and the sauce was so flavorful! Loved the lemon! My green beans just would not cook, I would add a little water to the pan and cover with a lid next time to steam them. We loved this over rice, very yummy recipe!
Wonderful! So happy you loved it Crissy!
Alfred Payne says
Can I do this with an orange?
I’m sure that would be great!
This sounds divine! I’m looking forward to trying it.
I bet it will become a regular at our house as we love all the ingredients & your recipes & sauces do not disappoint❤️
I made this last night and my husband is still talking about how good it was. Excellent recipe — quick, easy, delicious, and healthy. Thank you! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!
Hi Erin – I’m so happy you loved it! Thanks for your comment!
Kimberli Hahn says
I made this last night for my family and it was a big hit. Everyone liked the coating on the chicken and were surprised when I told them it was just cornstarch. This was quick and easy to make.
Hi Kimberli – I am so happy to hear that!
Ashleigh @ Dashofevans says
I can’t wait to try this! We are on a big green bean kick right now. Gotta love quick and healthy meals for those busy weeknights.
I used to hate green beans but lately I have been loving them! Thanks Ashleigh!