This lemon sesame chicken stir fry has bright citrus and soy flavors. It comes together in under 30 minutes, is loaded with veggies, and makes for an easy weeknight dinner or meal prep recipe.
Stir fries are a staple in our weekly routine, as it’s easy to just use what you have on hand. I have seven tasty stir fry sauce recipes that will help shake up your stir fry flavors, and this lemon sesame chicken stir fry is one of them!
With a short ingredient list, and a sweet, savory and citrussy stir fry sauce, this recipe is sure to mix up your dinner routine for the better!
Wondering how this stir fry comes together? Watch this 1-minute video to see how easy it is to prep! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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The stir fry sauce
- chicken stock- to gives the sauce volume; can be swapped for water
- brown sugar- sweetens the sauce and balances the citrus and soy flavors; you can swap for honey or even maple syrup
- soy sauce- for the savory flavor base; we like using reduced sodium soy sauce, and you can swap for tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free or paleo
- sesame oil- and sesame seeds to give it some dimension and a flavor boost
- lemon juice- to give it the citrussy flavors; I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice for the best flavor
- cornstarch- to thicken the sauce; swap for arrowroot powder
Read more: how to pan fry pork belly | Family Cuisine
To make the lemon sesame stir fry sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a jar with a lid, and shake it up until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. You can make ahead- store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Make sure to give it a good shake up before pouring into the pan.
Prep all ingredients before cooking
When it comes to stir fries, the majority of the work is in prepping the ingredients. It’s best to have your chicken cubed, veggies chopped and stir fry sauce shaken up before you start cooking, as this makes the cooking process more streamlined and less stressful.
Cook veggies first
Start by cooking the vegetables in a non-stick pan or wok over medium heat. We also add lemon pieces with the vegetables, as it helps give them a nice lemony flavor as they cook.
Cook the vegetables until they are softened; this will depend on the vegetable. For bell peppers and asparagus, this will be close to 5 minutes, but for hardier vegetables like carrots, it can take 10 minutes or longer.
Once vegetables are softened to your liking, transfer them to a clean plate.
Cooking the chicken
Add more oil to the pan, then add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper if you’d like, then cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. You can use an instant read thermometer to check that large pieces have reached 165°F, or you can cut a piece in half to see if it is cooked through.
Add the sauce
Remember to give the sauce a good shake up to get the cornstarch distributed evenly, as it can settle as the sauce sits. Pour the sauce over the chicken and simmer for 1-2 minutes. It should be bubbly and thickened at this point.
Add the vegetables to the pan and toss everything up in the sauce.
Serving the stir fry
Serve the lemon sesame chicken stir fry over rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or your favorite carbohydrate. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and lemon pieces. You could also garnish with some fresh green onions for added flavor and a pretty green color.
Stir fry ratio
You can make this recipe as written, or use it as a base and use up what you have in your fridge. For this batch of stir fry sauce, you will need:
- 1 lb protein- chicken, shrimp, pork, tofu; this works out to 4 oz per person
- 4 cups vegetables– bagged stir fry mix, green beans, snow peas, carrots, asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, bok choy, or your favorite vegetable; this works out to 1 cup vegetables per person
- 2 cups cooked rice– or swap for cauliflower rice, quinoa, brown rice; this works out to ½ cup cooked carb per person. See how to cook perfect fluffy rice!
Storage + meal prep
This recipe works great for a cook ahead and reheat meal. Here’s how to safely store and reheat it:
- fridge- cool completely, then portion out into meal prep containers with ½ cup rice per portion. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- freezer- stir fry recipes freeze great! Cool completely, then portion out into freezer-friendly meal prep containers with ½ cup rice. Freeze for up to 3 months
- thaw- overnight in the fridge or heat on low in the microwave (make sure your meal prep containers can handle this!)
- reheat- in the microwave until steaming hot; do not reheat more than once.
Find my favorite meal prep containers here!
Read more: How to freeze fresh okra to fry later
More healthy stir fries
- Maple Ginger Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
- Lime Beef & Basil Stir Fry
- Easy Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir Fry
- Vegan Teriyaki Stir Fry
- Mongolian Beef Meal Prep
- Firecracker Chicken Meal Prep