Easy to make for family dinner and better than takeout, this Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Stir Fry is a crowd-pleaser. Packed with veggies and protein, this stir fry is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free too. Just a touch of spice is perfect with the sweetness in the sauce. So the next time you’re craving takeout, this recipe is the answer!
Sweet Chili Sauce makes pretty much everything delicious. The only problem is it’s made up almost entirely of white sugar! So for a while now I’ve eliminated it from our refrigerator.
However, like I said it’s incredibly delicious. So I finally came up with a healthier version to get this wonderful sauce back in our lives!
Since I err on the side of easy in my recipes, (or read lazy/strapped for time) my chili sauce would probably be qualified as a hack. This means only good things because you don’t even need to make a sauce on the stove. You just stir a couple of ingredients together and you’re in business!
Now let’s dive into how to make this Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Stir Fry
- You’re going to start by prepping all the veggies and chicken first.
- Then mix the sauce.
- Once everything is prepped, then you’re ready to stir fry!
For the stir fry, first you sauté the chicken, then remove it from the pan. Next up sauté the veggies until crisp tender and the color is still bright like the above photo.
Finally, add the chicken back into the pan along with the chili sauce. Cook for just long enough for the sauce to thicken and be thoroughly mixed in. Then serve it with freshly steamed rice/cauliflower rice, or even all on its own.
Ways to serve this
- Serve this Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Stir Fry with freshly steamed rice or cauliflower rice. We prefer steamed Jasmine rice best, but Basmati is very good too. You can also serve this over brown rice or quinoa as well.
- For a change, try this stir fry over vermicelli rice noodles or pad Thai rice noodles instead of rice. I’ve even served it over gluten-free ramen noodles which is a tasty variation as well.
- Add another veggie with my Asian Cucumber Salad.
Tips & Tricks
- My best tip for stir-fries is to be careful not to overcook the chicken! It is easy to overcook it at high heat. So begin taking a piece out to break and apart and see if it’s cooked earlier than you’d think. You can also use chicken thighs if desired, they’re more forgiving and don’t dry out as easily.
- Any stir fry tastes the best when cooked over high heat. The high heat is what gives you that ‘seared’ flavor.
- To get the most out of your broccoli, peel the tough outer layer away from the stem with a peeler. Then just slice up the stem like you would a carrot! I love the stem of broccoli because it’s a bit sweeter and milder in flavor.
- Chicken is easier to cut up if it’s partially frozen, (even just 20 minutes in the freezer really helps).
- To store – place any leftover stir fry into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead – any stir fry is best eaten right away, but you can prep the veggies and refrigerate for up to 2 days before cooking. You can also mix the sauce up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerate it.
- Reheating – place the leftovers in a skillet and reheat covered over low heat, adding water if necessary to keep it from sticking. I like to add any leftover rice to the pan as well with a touch of water to soften it again.
- To freeze – I don’t recommend freezing any stir fry because they are mushy when thawed.
Dietary Options & Substitutions
- Whole30 – use the red pepper flakes instead of chili paste and omit the honey.
I hope you enjoy this Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Stir Fry! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry
Sweet Chili Sauce:
- 1 tsp tapioca starch - or cornstarch
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos - or gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek chili paste - or 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2-4 tbsp honey - add to your taste
- Start by prepping all parts of the stir fry before beginning to cook.
- For the broccoli, peel the tough outer layer of the stem with a peeler and slice the stem into 1/4" thick slices. When you reach the florets, break them apart into roughly 1/2" pieces.
- For the chili sauce, mix the tapioca starch and coconut aminos in a bowl until the tapioca starch is completely dissolved and there are no lumps. Mix in the chili paste and the honey, don't worry if the honey is clumpy, it will dissolve in the pan.
- Heat a large 15" skillet over high heat. When the pan is almost smoking, add 2 Tablespoons of the avocado oil and sear the cubed chicken for about 2 minutes on each side to create a nicely browned exterior. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil to the pan along with the onion, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, and minced garlic.
- Sauté the veggies for about 4 minutes, or until they're just starting to soften. Add the zucchini and stir fry for an additional 2 minutes or until the zucchini begins to soften and all the veggies are crisp-tender.
- Add the chicken back to the pan along with the chili sauce.
- Cook just until the chicken is cooked completely through and serve immediately.