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This Chinese Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry is a classic dish of sautéed juicy chicken tossed with tender broccoli florets in a sweet and savory sauce. The quick, family-friendly dinner only requires a handful of basic ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes! Serve the easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe over rice, alongside noodles, or paired with egg rolls.

Close up side shot of Chinese Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry in a cast iron skillet

Easy Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

It can be hard to find good Asian cuisine — or even authentic Asian ingredients — in our little rural community. As a result, it’s nice to have a handful of quick go-to recipes that I can turn to when a craving for Chinese food strikes. Meals like Moo Shu Pork, “Egg Roll in a Bowl,” and General Tso Chicken are simple, homemade versions of our restaurant favorites — and now we’re adding this easy chicken and broccoli stir fry to the list as well! The fast chicken stir fry comes together in less time than it would take me to pickup Chinese takeout, it doesn’t require any unusual or hard-to-find ingredients, and it’s healthier than restaurant fare.

How do you stir fry chicken without drying it out?

The best way to stir fry chicken is to let it sit in the flavorful marinade for a few minutes, and then cook it quickly in very hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, or you’ll end up steaming the meat rather than getting a nice sear on the outside. If your skillet isn’t big enough to comfortably cook the chicken in a single layer, you may need to work in batches and just cook half of it at a time.

How do you make stir fry chicken so it’s tender?

You can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs in this recipe; however, chicken thighs are less likely to become dry or tough, so they’re your best bet if you’re concerned about the juiciest, most tender meat in your dish. Also, remember to cook the chicken quickly over very high heat — not low and slow!

Overhead shot of a bowl of easy chicken and broccoli stir fry and a side of rice.

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a simple chicken and broccoli stir fry. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Soy sauce: I always use less-sodium soy sauce, but you can substitute with whatever variety you have on hand. This ingredient gives the stir fry sauce a great salty, umami flavor.
  • Rice vinegar: for a subtle acidic note.
  • Brown sugar: adds sweetness; you can increase the amount of sugar, to taste.
  • Sesame oil: a key ingredient in so many Chinese dishes, this oil has a very unique toasty flavor that’s hard to replicate with other ingredients. Do not swap it out for a different oil.
  • Ginger: I prefer fresh ginger for great zesty flavor, but you can substitute with ground ginger in a pinch.
  • Garlic: for even more flavor in the sauce.
  • Cornstarch: the thickening agent that helps the sauce cling to your meat and veggies.
  • Chicken: both boneless, skinless chicken breast and boneless, skinless chicken thighs will work, so pick your favorite.
  • Vegetable oil: a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point for stir-frying the meat and broccoli.
  • Water or chicken broth: to thin the sauce.
  • Kosher salt: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Cooked white rice: for serving with the chicken stir fry.
Jar of stir fry sauce

How to Make Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Get your rice cooking first, because this easy chicken and broccoli stir fry is ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes!

  1. Shake together the stir fry sauce in a jar.
  2. Marinate the chicken in a bowl with about ¼ cup of the sauce.
  3. Sauté the broccoli in a large skillet or wok, then remove it to a plate.
  4. Cook the chicken in the skillet.
  5. Add the water or chicken broth, stir fry sauce, and broccoli to the skillet with the chicken.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the sauce thicken a little more as it cools slightly.
  8. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  9. Serve over rice and garnish with optional toppings.
Marinating chunks of chicken in a white bowl
Process shot showing how to make Chinese chicken broccoli stir fry in a wok
Process shot showing how to make easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe in a wok
Horizontal overhead shot of Chinese chicken broccoli stir fry in a skillet

What to Serve with Chinese Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

Pair the chicken stir fry with a side of white rice — just like your favorite Chinese restaurant! Other good options include pasta, ramen noodles, sesame peanut noodles, ramen noodle coleslaw, sesame ginger snap pea salad, or baked store-bought egg rolls. Don’t forget fortune cookies for dessert, too!

Square side shot of a bowl of easy chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe served with rice

Storage

Leftover chicken stir fry will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the chicken and broccoli with its sauce in a skillet over low heat, or in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until warmed through. Be careful not to reheat it for too long or you can dry out the meat.

You can also freeze leftover chicken and broccoli stir fry in an airtight container for up to 3 months. It’s important to note, however, that the texture of the broccoli will be slightly mushy or soft after thawing (so do this at your own risk)!

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry: replace some of the broccoli with sliced fresh mushrooms. Saute the two vegetables together in the skillet.
  • Thinly-sliced carrots or bell peppers would also be a nice addition to the stir-fry.
  • Chicken Cashew and Broccoli Stir Fry: toss some roasted cashews into the skillet at the very end, or just garnish the dish with cashews before serving. They add a nice, buttery, toasty crunch!
  • For a sweeter sauce, add 1-2 more tablespoons of brown sugar. You can also stir about 1-2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce into the skillet towards the end for a richer, sweeter flavor.
  • Swap out the chicken and use shrimp or thinly-sliced flank steak in this easy stir fry recipe.
  • Make it spicy with the addition of crushed red pepper flakes or a splash of sriracha hot sauce.
Close overhead image of chinese chicken broccoli stir fry in a pan

Tips for the Best Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe

  • Store fresh ginger root in the freezer so that it’s always available when you need to grate off a little bit for a recipe! You can also substitute with dried ground ginger here.
  • Make sure that your skillet is really hot when you add the chicken. You want the chicken to cook quickly over very high heat so that it stays juicy and tender, rather than cooking longer and becoming dry and tough.
  • If your skillet or wok isn’t big enough to comfortably cook the chicken spread out in a single layer, then work in batches and cook half of the meat at a time. Otherwise you’ll steam the chicken instead of getting a nice, brown sear on the outside.
  • For a thicker sauce, let it cook an extra minute or so, but remember — the sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools. If you find that the sauce gets too thick, you can always thin it out again by adding a splash of water or broth.
  • Garnish the dish with extra toppings for even more flavor. We love toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onion, chopped peanuts, cashews, or crushed red pepper flakes.
Overhead shot of chicken stir fry with broccoli in a pan

More Chinese-Inspired Recipes to Make at Home

Close up side shot of Chinese Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry in a cast iron skillet

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 28 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 394 kcal
This Chinese Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry recipe is better than restaurant takeout — and it's ready in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup less-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger (or about 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ lb. broccoli florets cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 ½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • Optional garnish: additional soy sauce, sliced green onion, toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, cashews, or crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • In a large mason jar or in a small bowl, shake or whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and cornstarch until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  • Place chicken in a large bowl. Add about ¼ cup of the soy sauce mixture to the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside, reserving the remaining sauce to use later.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Wipe the pan clean, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and heat the oil over high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, add the chicken mixture, leaving most of the marinade in the bowl (discard this marinade). Spread out the chicken in the pan, and then let it sit, undisturbed, for about a minute so that the chicken can get nice and brown. Flip the chicken and cook through, tossing occasionally, for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add water or chicken broth, reserved soy sauce mixture, and broccoli to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook over high heat, stirring, for 30 seconds – 1 minute; then turn off the heat. The sauce will continue to thicken as it sits. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Serve over rice and garnish with optional toppings.

Notes

  • Chicken Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry: replace some of the broccoli with sliced fresh mushrooms. Saute the two vegetables together in the skillet.
  • Thinly-sliced carrots or bell peppers would also be a nice addition to the stir-fry.
  • Chicken Cashew and Broccoli Stir Fry: toss some roasted cashews into the skillet at the very end, or just garnish the dish with cashews before serving. They add a nice, buttery, toasty crunch!
  • For a sweeter sauce, add 1-2 more tablespoons of brown sugar. You can also stir about 1-2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce into the skillet towards the end for a richer, sweeter flavor.
  • Swap out the chicken and use shrimp or thinly-sliced flank steak in this easy stir fry recipe.
  • Make it spicy with the addition of crushed red pepper flakes or a splash of sriracha hot sauce.
  • Store fresh ginger root in the freezer so that it’s always available when you need to grate off a little bit for a recipe! You can also substitute with dried ground ginger here.
  • Make sure that your skillet is really hot when you add the chicken. You want the chicken to cook quickly over very high heat so that it stays juicy and tender, rather than cooking longer and becoming dry and tough.
  • If your skillet or wok isn’t big enough to comfortably cook the chicken spread out in a single layer, then work in batches and cook half of the meat at a time. Otherwise you’ll steam the chicken instead of getting a nice, brown sear on the outside.
  • For a thicker sauce, let it cook an extra minute or so, but remember — the sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools. If you find that the sauce gets too thick, you can always thin it out again by adding a splash of water or broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the stir fryCalories: 394kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 39gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1281mgPotassium: 884mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 404IUVitamin C: 53mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: chicken and broccoli stir fry, chicken stir fry
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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