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Szechuan Chicken

Spicy and sweet, this Szechuan Chicken is a fast and healthy dinner chock-full of colorful veggies, dried chilies, and tender cubes of juicy chicken.

An Easy Asian-Inspired Dinner Idea

When it comes to Asian food, I’m totally a fan of anything with the word “Szechuan” in it! That usually means something deliciously spicy. And this recipe is no exception! We’re talking whole dried chilies, you guys. Fifteen of them, to be exact!

Yep, that’s right! This easy recipe for Szechuan chicken mimics the flavors of your favorite takeout place, with healthy homemade ingredients. You’ll love how easy and healthy this dish can be, whipped up in the comfort of your own kitchen.

What You’ll Need

Just look at the beautiful ingredients in this list! It’s easy to see why this dish is so healthy and so crave-worthy. Yum!

For the Stir Fry:

  • Oil: For stir-frying the ingredients, you can use any type of oil you prefer. I usually go with vegetable oil. Have ready ¼ cup, divided.
  • Chicken: Trim any excess fat from 1 ½ lbs of chicken breasts, and cut into cubes using a sharp knife.
  • Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to the chicken gives it a silky-soft texture.
  • Onion and Bell Peppers: Chop ½ a yellow onion, a green bell pepper, and a red bell pepper into 1-inch chunks.
  • Small Dried Chilies: You can find these in many grocery stores. You’ll need 15 small dried chilies, or less for a milder flavor.
  • Garlic: Mince several cloves of garlic, enough to make about 2 teaspoons.
  • Ginger: Peel and mince 2 teaspoons’ worth of fresh ginger root.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Sesame Seeds: Optional, for garnish.

For the Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • Soy Sauce: ¼ cup soy sauce forms the base of the sauce.
  • Hoisin Sauce: This handy condiment should be available in most stores.
  • Sesame Oil: I add 2 tablespoons of this fragrant oil to my sauce.
  • Brown Sugar: For a touch of sweetness, add 1.5 tablespoons of brown sugar, or substitute honey or maple syrup.
  • Cornstarch: You’ll need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
  • Broth: ⅓ cup chicken broth finishes the sauce.
Clockwise from top: chopped bell pepper, chopped onion, cubed chicken, Szechuan sauce, dried chilies, ginger, garlic.

How to Make Szechuan Chicken

Keep in mind that once everything is prepped, the cooking goes by very quickly! So it’s good to have everything cut and measured before you start.

  1. Prep the Chicken. Place your cubed chicken breasts in a bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss until well-coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook the Chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the prepared chicken, and let it cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Cook the Vegetables. Next, add the chopped peppers and onions to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies begin to be tender in texture. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, and dried chilies. Cook for an additional minute. 
  4. Make the Sauce. While the vegetables cook, mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, until the brown sugar has dissolved. 
  5. Add the Sauce and Chicken to the Pan. Return the cooked chicken to the pan. Pour the sauce over the stir-fry. Allow it to simmer for about 1 minute, or until the sauce slightly thickens. 
  6. Enjoy! Garnish the szechuan chicken with sesame seeds, if using, and serve on a bed of rice.
Chopped vegetables and dried chilies are sauteed in a pan.

Tips for Success 

Real talk: just writing this recipe made me so hungry! But wait, there’s more! Take a look at these handy tips for making the best stir-fry ever.

  • Add Wine: Want more flavor? You can amp up the sauce with a splash of Shaoxing wine, or a bit of dry sherry.
  • Add Nuts: Definitely not a necessity, but chopped peanuts or cashews are great for adding even more sweet flavor and crunchy texture to this stir-fry!
  • Add Green Onion: A few chopped scallions make a lovely fresh garnish and add their own special bite.
Szechuan chicken stir-fry in a cast-iron skillet with a wooden spatula.

Serving Suggestions

You can definitely serve this stir-fry with plain cooked rice, but if you’d like to throw in a couple of other special dishes, try some of these takeout-inspired favorites!

  • Shrimp Fried Rice: This mouthwatering version of shrimp fried rice includes pineapple for a sweet-salty twist you won’t be able to resist! Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple is sure to be a new favorite.
  • Potstickers: Everyone loves potstickers, and guess what? This restaurant favorite is super easy to make at home, too. Try my recipe for Chicken Postickers and see for yourself!
  • Egg Drop Soup: My soothing recipe for Egg Drop Soup brings this mild and nourishing classic right to your kitchen. It’s perfect for a light appetizer, healthy side, or anytime you want a light and easy soup option.
A serving of Szechuan chicken stir-fry over rice with a serving platter and two forks nearby on the table.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Store your leftovers in airtight containers, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
  • To reheat, place in a covered skillet and heat on low until just heated through. Do not overcook.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Szechuan Chicken

Spicy and sweet, this Szechuan Chicken is a fast and healthy dinner chock-full of colorful veggies, dried chilies, and tender cubes of juicy chicken.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: schezwan chicken, szechuan chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 485kcal

Ingredients

For the Stir-Fry:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breasts, trimmed and cubed
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 15 small dried chilies, use less for a milder flavor
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the Sauce:

Instructions

  • Cube chicken breasts and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss until well-coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add chicken and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
    Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • In the frying pan, add the chopped peppers and onion; saute for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender in texture.
    Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, and dried chilies. Cook for an additional minute. Place the cooked chicken back into the pan with the vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  • Pour the sauce over the stir-fry meat and veggies. Simmer for about 1 minute, or until the sauce slightly thickens.
  • Garnish the szechuan chicken with sesame seeds and serve on a bed of rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 936mg | Potassium: 870mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1591IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

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11 Comments

  • a
    September 2, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    This is my kind of meal so full of flavor and easy to make. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      September 4, 2021 at 6:45 am

      Thank you so much! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Krystle
    September 2, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    5 stars
    Love this dish especially the sauce it it just spicy enough. Will make again!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      September 4, 2021 at 6:43 am

      I’m very happy you enjoyed it! Thank you so much! 🙂

      Reply
  • Beth
    September 3, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    5 stars
    I finally found the dried Chile Peppers so I got to try this. Great recipe and just the way hubby and I like it. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      September 3, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      Thank YOU! I hope you and your husband enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Allyson Zea
    September 4, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    5 stars
    The flavors in this dish are exceptional! I absolutely loved it!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      September 5, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Cathy
    September 4, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Love the spice in this!

    Reply
    • Katerina Petrovska
      September 5, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Thank YOU! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Reply
  • Catalina
    September 5, 2021 at 8:50 am

    5 stars
    This chicken is so flavorful! My family will love it!

    Reply

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