Get a healthy and delicious dinner on the table tonight with only frozen ingredients and pantry staples! This Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry is easy to make, ready in under 30 minutes, and has a delicious sauce the whole family will love.
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Dinners made with frozen ingredients or pantry staples need not be boring! This Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry is made with defrosted frozen chicken thighs, frozen green beans or your other favorite frozen vegetable, and an easy stir fry sauce that is made with pantry staples like soy sauce, honey, and toasted sesame oil. Read below for directions on how to defrost frozen chicken but you can also use fresh chicken thighs if you prefer!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been focusing more and more on recipes I can make with pantry staples, freezer goods, or both.
This chicken and vegetable stir fry is no exception. As I brainstormed ideas of healthy comfort food recipes I could put together meeting either criterion, I couldn’t help but keep coming back to stir fry.
After all, it is such a comfort food. Warm and saucy; filling and meaty; tangy, lightly spicy, and sweet — pretty much everything I dream about (minus cheesiness) when it comes to a dinner that’s going to soothe me inside and out.
Part of the comfort of this dish may also be how stinkin’ easy it is to make. I mean, seriously, the most prep we need to do is to thaw the chicken ahead of time but I even give directions below on how to do that easily.
Because, other than that, all we’ll be doing is mixing up the easy sauce, throwing some frozen veggies straight into a pan, browning up some chicken, and then simmering the sauce with the veggies and meat until it’s thickened. There’s no chopping veggies, no mincing garlic, no pre-heating ovens, or anything of that sort.
So, give your family — and yourself — a little bit of comfort tonight with this stir fry with frozen vegetables. You deserve it. 🙂
This Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry Is…
- Ready in under 30 minutes
- An easy dinner
- Made with frozen veggies and pantry staples
What’s more, the sauce can easily be made into a gluten-free stir fry sauce (just substitute in liquid coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce) and can be used on other impromptu stir-fries you whip up throughout the week!
Do you need to thaw frozen vegetables to stir fry?
No, you do not need to thaw frozen vegetables to stir fry. Just throw the frozen veggies in the pan straight out of the freezer and they will cook up the way they need to.
Do you need to thaw frozen chicken to stir fry?
Yes, you need to thaw frozen chicken to stir fry it. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours ahead of cooking or defrost it on low heat (20-30%) or on the defrost setting in the microwave, checking it every 3-5 minutes, before cooking with it. It usually takes me about 10 minutes to defrost 1.25 pounds of chicken thighs in the microwave.
How do you make a stir fry sauce gluten-free?
It’s pretty simple to make a gluten-free stir fry sauce, thankfully. Just substitute in coconut liquid aminos in place of soy sauce in your recipe and you should be good to go (as long as there are no other gluten ingredients in the sauce!).
What’s the easiest way to cut chicken for stir fry?
My favorite way to cut chicken for a stir fry is with kitchen shears! Simply hold the chicken in your one hand and cut off the 1 x 2″ pieces of chicken in the other, dropping the chicken pieces onto a cutting board or platter as you cut! It’s easy peasy; the chicken won’t slide around and clean up is so quick– just throw your kitchen shears in the dishwasher!
What tools do you need to make this chicken stir-fry?
Other easy and healthy dinner recipes you might like:
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Easy Tuna Macaroni Salad
- Teriyaki Meatloaf
- Cuban Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers
- Salmon Panang Curry
- Healthy Macaroni and Cheese
- Sheet Pan Cuban Mojo Chicken
- Thai Green Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken and Rice
- One-Pot Orecchiette with Sausage
- Pumpkin Sausage Soup
- Pressure Cooker Bean Soup
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A quick dinner recipe, this Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry is made entirely with frozen and pantry staples.
Thaw your chicken ahead of time but you can use frozen veggies straight out of the freezer. Use whatever green veggies you have on hand, though I recommend green beans, broccoli, or a stir fry vegetable blend.
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or coconut liquid aminos (use aminos for gluten-free)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil, divided
- 5 cups frozen green beans, broccoli, OR sitr fry veggie blend
- 1.25 pounds chicken, cut into 1x2" strips
- 1 1/2 cups rice or quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- Combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients in a measuring cup or mixing bowl and whisk until the honey and cornstarch are dissolved.
- Preheat a wok or large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until it sputters when flicked with water.
- Add frozen vegetables and cook for 5.5-7 minuts, stirring every 15-30 seconds, or until veggies are cooked through and veggies are bright green.
- Remove the veggies from the pan and place in a medium-size mixing bowl.
- Return the pan to the heat and heat up the second tablespoon oil. Once it's hot, add the chicken to the pan and stir fry for 6-7 minutes, continuing to stir every 15-30 seconds, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
- Add the veggies back to the chicken and heat until the veggies are warmed back up, for about 30-45 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the sauce to the pan. Bring it to a simmer, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens up.
- Remove the pan from the heat and serve the stir fry over your quinoa or rice. Enjoy!
1. To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute in coconut liquid aminos instead of soy sauce.
2. Pro-tip: cut the chicken easily by using kitchen shears.
3. Leftovers store covered in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze the leftovers for up to 2 months.
Amount Per Serving Calories 548Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 89mgSodium 1382mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 7gSugar 14gProtein 30g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.