This quick and easy Chicken Stir Fry recipe, loaded with zucchini and mushrooms, is a flavor-packed dish that will wow your tastebuds! You only need one skillet, 20 minutes, and just a handful of pantry ingredients to make this delicious takeout-fakeout.
Easy Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
Who can resist the allure of Chinese takeout? I know I can’t! But let’s be honest, those pesky calories and sodium levels? Not so much a fan of those. Here’s the game changer though – we’ve got a home-cooked version that’s about to give your favorite Chicken Stir Fry takeout a run for its money. Yup, get ready to outshine that quick dial option with something way tastier and healthier, made right in your own kitchen! Chicken, zucchini, mushrooms, and the flavors of Panda Express come together in this recipe that’s about to become your family’s favorite take-out fake-out! This is a simple stir fry of juicy chicken bites prepared with tender mushrooms and zucchini coated with the most amazing sweet and savory stir fry sauce. A delicious dinner recipe that is wholesome, faster than takeout, and much healthier.
Why You’ll Love This Stir Fry Recipe
- Quick and Easy: With a total prep and cook time of 30 minutes, this chicken stir fry is your answer to a delicious and hassle-free meal.
- Fresh and Nutritious: Packed with lean chicken and various fresh veggies like zucchini and mushrooms, this stir fry isn’t just delicious but also a flavorful way to get a hearty dose of nutrition.
- Restaurant-Quality, Homemade: Who needs takeout when you can whip up this savory, umami-rich dish at home? Control the ingredients to suit your dietary needs and savor the perfect blend of saucy chicken and veggies, all made fresh in your kitchen.
How To Make Chicken Stir Fry
This is a tasty and easy clean-out-the-fridge-type meal. Quick, simple, and completely customizable to what you have on hand. However, mushrooms and zucchini are best if you’re trying to recreate Panda’s dish. To make it a complete meal, you can serve it over rice, pasta, or even mashed potatoes.
- Chicken Breasts: Cut into bite-sized pieces for quick, even cooking, offering tender, juicy bites.
- Cornstarch: Coats the chicken for a light, crispy texture and helps to thicken the sauce.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing the chicken and veggies.
- Minced Garlic & Minced Ginger
- White Button Mushrooms & Zucchini
- Soy Sauce: Contributes to the savory, umami-rich base of the sauce without an overly salty taste.
- Rice Vinegar: Adds a touch of acidity to balance the flavors and enhance the overall taste.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to contrast the savory and acidic elements.
- Toasted Sesame Seed Oil: Drizzled as a finish to enhance the flavor.
- Sesame Seeds & Scallions: Served as garnish.
- Prepare the Chicken: Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size cubes. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to coat.
- Cook the Chicken: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or a wok; add chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook until browned on both sides – this should take about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- Cook the Veggies: Add garlic and ginger to the skillet, then stir in the mushrooms and zucchini; cook for 4 minutes or until fork tender.
- Make the Sauce: In the meantime, prepare the sauce by whisking together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.
- Pull it all together: Stir the chicken back into the skillet. add in the sauce; stir to coat the chicken and veggies. Stir and cook for 30 seconds, until everything is heated through. Remove from heat; sprinkle with sesame oil and sesame seeds. Garnish with scallions and serve.
Tips for Making Chicken Stir Fry at Home
- Prep beforehand: Cut, chop, and prepare everything before you get started. Stir fry meals come together super fast so you want to be ready.
- Cooking Pot: Use a Wok OR a large skillet. Anything that is 12 inches or over should be good. You want those ingredients to fit in comfortably and in one layer.
- Cooking Oil: Always use an oil that can withstand high heat, like Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil. Don’t use Olive Oil because it has a low smoke point.
- Cooking Veggies: The vegetables should be cooked over high heat, while aromatics, like ginger and garlic, should be cooked over lower heat.
- Stir, stir, and stir often! Hence the term stir-fry!
Can I Use Different Stir Fry Vegetables?
- Of course! If you don’t want to use zucchini and mushrooms, you can toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand. Use broccoli, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, and onions, to name a few.
I love this copycat Panda Express Chicken, which tastes even better when made at home! You can serve this stir-fry over kimchi fried rice, lo mein noodles, or cauliflower rice. Another great option is a side of this soba noodle soup or these air fryer vegetable spring rolls.
How To Store Leftovers
- Store completely cooled chicken and veggies in an airtight container, and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Stir Fry Recipes
- Chicken Stir Fry with Asparagus and Mushrooms
- Pepper Steak Stir Fry
- Steak Stir Fry with Zucchini Noodles
- Garlic Peanut Noodles Recipe
- Stir Fry Zucchini Noodles
- Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Sheet Pan Chicken Stir Fry
Zucchini Mushroom Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes (you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ tablespoon fresh minced ginger, OR 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half moons
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- sprinkle of toasted sesame seed oil, for garnish, optional
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- scallions, for garnish
- Place chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch; toss to coat.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or a wok set over medium-high heat; add chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until browned on both sides and cooked through.
- Remove chicken from wok or skillet and set aside.
- Turn down heat to medium-low and add garlic and ginger to the skillet; cook and stir for 15 seconds or just until fragrant.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir in the mushrooms and zucchini; cook for 4 minutes or until fork tender and browned. Stir frequently.
- In the meantime, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.
- Stir chicken back into the skillet.
- Add in the prepared soy sauce and stir to coat chicken and veggies.
- Stir and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until everything is heated through and sauce has slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat; sprinkle with sesame oil and sesame seeds.
- Garnish with scallions and serve.
- Chicken: This Panda Express “copycat” uses chicken breasts, but you can also use chopped chicken thighs. Chicken breasts and chicken thighs are both commonly used in stir-fry dishes. The main difference between the two cuts of chicken is the amount of fat they contain. Chicken breasts are leaner and have less fat, while chicken thighs are slightly fattier and have more flavor but will take a minute or two longer to cook through.
- Zucchini and Mushrooms: Again, keeping with the original recipe, I suggest cutting the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick half-moons and slicing the mushrooms about the same size.
- Stir Fry Vegetables: If you don’t want to use or don’t have the mushrooms and zucchini on hand, you can substitute them with sliced bell peppers, broccoli florets, snap peas or snow peas, onions, etc. However, it’s important to note that not all vegetables cook at the same time and temperatures. Veggies like onions, carrots, and bell peppers take longer to cook than, say, bok choy, mushrooms, or spinach.
- Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented rice. It is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot find rice vinegar, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar are suitable substitutes.
- Store completely cooled chicken and veggies in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.