Easy Chicken Stir-Fry

Easy chicken stir fry

The Spruce 

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
396 Calories
18g Fat
19g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 396
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 547mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 7mg 33%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 902mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Quick and easy, stir-fries are always a family favorite. Ready in just 20 minutes, this chicken and vegetable stir-fry is perfect for a weeknight. Serve with rice and you have a complete meal.

Stir-frying is a Chinese cooking technique that involves quickly cooking vegetables and/or meat over high heat in a large skillet, often a wok. It's a great way to get a main or side dish on the table in just minutes, and dishes can be easily customized with different veggies, proteins, and sauces.

Chicken, cashews, and water chestnuts are cooked in a flavorful sauce in this stir fry recipe, but you can easily swap for beef or add a favorite vegetable. Prep everything in advance since, once you start stir-frying, everything cooks quickly. If you don't like spicy food, swap the chili oil for sesame oil or leave it out.


Click Play to See This Classic Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe Come Together


  • 1 teaspoon chili oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 3 spring onions (washed, white parts sliced very thin and green sections reserved)

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or as needed, for stir-frying)

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces

  • 1 pound mushrooms (stems removed, cut into large pieces)

  • 1 cup carrots (sliced into 2- to 3-inch strips)

  • 1 can water chestnuts

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy chicken stir fry ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. To prepare the sauce, combine the chili oil, garlic, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, and water in a bowl and set aside.

    Sauce ingredients in a bowl
    The Spruce
  3. In a dry wok over medium heat, add the cashews. Toast for about 1 minute, stirring continually until toasted slightly (do not burn). Remove the cashews and set aside.

    Cashews in wok
    The Spruce
  4. Heat the peanut oil in the wok. Add the chicken and stir-fry until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken and put it on a plate.

    Heat oil in wok with chicken
    The Spruce
  5. Stir fry the mushrooms, carrots, and water chestnuts for about 3 minutes.

    Stir fry carrots
    The Spruce
  6. Add the cooked chicken, cashews, and stir-fry sauce. Stir well. Cover the wok and let the ingredients cook for about 3 minutes.

    Add all ingredients to wok
    The Spruce
  7. Add the cornstarch and water mixture, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat.

    Add cornstarch and water mixture
    The Spruce
  8.  Serve and enjoy!

How to Store

Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to three days.


For a successful stir-fry, follow these tips:

  • A seasoned wok is the best cooking vessel for stir-frying. It has a wide opening, lots of surface area, and is curved to keep food inside. It also conducts heat really well, making for fast cooking.
  • If you don't have a wok, use a large skillet. Avoid a non-stick coating if possible, since that prevents you from getting the pan really hot.
  • The high heat is what makes stir-fries quick and also gives them a delicious crisp-tender texture. Don't be afraid to crank up the heat.
  • Generally, you won't need that much oil for stir-frying, but keep extra handy. If the food begins to stick, add more oil a little at a time.
  • Since you're cooking over high heat, keep the food moving around at all times so that it cooks evenly.
  • Prep all of your ingredients before you start stir-frying since you won't have time to prep anything once you begin cooking.

Recipe Variations

  • Try using other veggies, like broccoli florets, cauliflower, bok choy, sliced bell peppers, and more.
  • Swap the chicken for chopped steak, pork, peeled shrimp (don't over-cook), or drained and cubed tofu.
  • Customize the sauce to your tastes. Reduce the chili oil for less heat or swap for sesame oil. Add a little honey or sugar for a bit of sweetness. Add a squeeze of lime or a little rice vinegar for tartness. For more flavor, swap the water in the sauce for chicken broth.
  • Serve the stir-fry with cooked white rice, brown rice, or noodles.

Can You Make Stir Fry in a Frying Pan?

While a wok is the best vessel for stir-fries, a large frying pan will also work. If your pan has a non-stick coating, don't exceed medium-high heat, since it will damage the surface. You may need to add a little cook time to each step since the heat won't be as high as a typical stir-fry recipe requires.