Honey Sesame Stir Fry with Chicken

 There's nothing like a comforting bowl of tender veggies, juicy chicken, and mildly sweet honey sesame sauce that keeps you coming back bite after bite. It's fresh, not too heavy, and packed with vegetables. It's a delicious, healthier take on a Chinese take-out classic.

This stir fry is such an easy, healthy meal to throw together for any weeknight after a busy day at work or school. 

Stir-fry is such a great, quick dinner go-to for me because they're simple and mindless. Whatever veggies I have in the fridge can be used, or if I'm all out of fresh vegetables - frozen vegetables are a perfect option for this recipe. 

What is Stir Fry?

Stir fry is technically a cooking technique that means "cooking vegetables and/or protein in a small amount of very hot oil in a skillet or wok." 

Cooking over very hot temperatures with smaller amounts of oil lessens the chances of vegetables sticking to the pan, but also the hotter and quicker cook brings out the vegetables' aromas, flavors, and keeps their texture intact. If we were to do a longer, slower cook, the textures of each vegetable would break down and become soft or mushy. I want my broccoli to still have some crunch, along with a bright green color - so, stir fry, the cooking technique, ensures this.

However, my personal definition of a stir fry is a dish consisting of vegetables, a protein (chicken, shrimp, steak, tofu, etc.), and a sauce that normally has Asian based ingredients. However, you can make a million different types of stir-fry ranging in many differing cuisines. 

Ingredients Needed for Honey Sesame Vegetable Stir Fry

- Sesame Oil 

- Avocado Oil

- Chicken Breast, cut into bite sized pieces

- Salt and Black Pepper

- Onion

- Yellow Squash

- Zucchini

- Red Bell Pepper

- Other Vegetables of Choice: broccoli, carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts, carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, etc. Can be fresh or frozen. 

I love to keep bags of frozen "stir fry" veggie mix in my freezer for quick weeknight meals like this.

- Soy Sauce, Coconut Aminos, or Tamari

- Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth

- Honey

- Gochujang or Sriracha

- Garlic, minced

- Ginger Paste

- Rice Vinegar

- Lemon Juice

- Cornstarch

How to Make Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken

1. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce - soy sauce, broth, honey, sesame oil, gochujang, garlic, ginger paste, rice vinegar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Whisk until combined and set aside.

2. In a large frying pan or wok over medium high heat, heat oils until shimmering. Season chicken with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to the pan and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan to a plate and set aside.

3. In the same pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes. (If using a frozen vegetable mix, add that in next before any other fresh veggies - cook over medium high heat to cook off excess moisture and allow the veggies to stay crisp. If using all fresh veggies, cook as normal.)

4. Add the larger vegetables that might need more cooking time, like broccoli, first. After, add the squash, zucchini, and bell pepper, along with the remaining veggies. Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and return the chicken to the pan - stirring to combine.

5. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. If desired - serve over rice and top with sesame seeds, cashews, peanuts, cilantro, and/or crunchy Chow Mein noodles. Enjoy!


How to Store and Freeze Stir Fry

Whatever leftovers you may have after preparing and enjoying this delicious meal, simply allow it to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before adding it to an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator. This stir fry stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Simply reheat and serve over warm rice, if desired. 

This stir fry also freezes well. Simply add to a ziplock bag or airtight container, label with the contents and the date you prepared it, and pop it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator and warm it over the stove or in the microwave and serve over rice.

Other Weeknight Meal Ideas

Needing something to feed to those picky kids? These Sloppy Joes are the perfect recipe for you, and they'll be such a hit for your little ones and big ones, too. Even though they have bell peppers and onions, they're hidden and no one would suspect a thing. It's sweet, savory, and so perfectly classic. You can't go wrong.

Looking for something to make to change up the routine? South African Babotie is delicious, healthy, and flavorful. It's just ground beef, tender onions, warm spices, a little bit of scrambled egg, and green peas - all served over rice. It is so warm and comforting, and it's not too exotic for those picky eaters. Give it a try.

If you're on the hunt for a savory snack or meal for the whole family - Savory Ham and Cheese Muffins are certainly the answer. They're so easy and quick to throw together and are great to pop in the freezer for those mornings when you're running behind. They're packed with protein, fiber, and nutrition. So yummy.

made the recipe?

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