Basil Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli

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This Basil Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli is a lightened-up version of your favorite take-out dish. It’s easy to make, full of delicious flavor, and comes together in less than 30 minutes! Serve this dish on its own or over a bed of rice or quinoa for a meal.

247 CALORIES10g CARBS6g FAT36g PROTEIN
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If your family loves takeout dishes anywhere near as much as mine, then you’re in for a treat. Basil Chicken with Broccoli tastes just as good as the classic take-out dish, but without the absurd amount of sodium and additives.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still treat myself to the real thing every now and again. The Thai place near my town will always have my heart! However, this quick and easy spin on the classic version of one of my favorite take-out dishes is undeniably tasty.

Not only is this Basil Chicken stir fry super easy to make, but it comes together in less than 30 minutes! It is the perfect dish for those busy weeknights when you are craving take-out, but don’t want to sacrifice your health and/or your wallet. Two other favorites include this Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry and Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry.

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Whether you serve this dish on its own for a paleo-friendly meal or pair it with a side of quinoa for a heartier dish, this Thai-inspired recipe guarantees to knock your socks off. Don’t just take my word for it, try it out and see for yourself!

Basil chicken breast and basil stir fry with broccoli florets tossed in soy sauce and lemon juice.

Key Ingredients

To make this healthy chicken recipe, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts: This is easily one of my favorite lean protein sources. Make sure to use the boneless and skinless kind for this recipe. Chicken thighs also work.
  • Broccoli: This nutrient-rich veggie is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals. It also pairs beautifully with our delicious sauce! If you don’t have any fresh broccoli, frozen will work fine as well.
  • Red onion: I love the sharp flavor this adds to the dish. If needed, you can swap it out for shallots or green onions.
  • Soy sauce: Because this is a lightened-up version of traditional basil chicken, I am opting for a low-sodium version. For a gluten-free dish, feel free to use tamari or coconut aminos instead.
  • Fresh basil: This tasty herb is absolutely essential (it’s in the name!) for adding tons of incredible flavor to the dish.
  • Lemon: You will need both the juice and zest of a lemon, so using a fresh lemon and not lemon juice concentrate is super important.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Here are my top tips and tricks for making this healthy chicken and broccoli dish your own:

  • Blanch your broccoli. To get that bright green, photo-worthy broccoli, try blanching it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before cooking. When the broccoli turns bright green, remove, rinse it under cold water, and pat dry before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Switch up your protein. Prefer beef, pork, or even shrimp? No problem! This dish tastes great with a variety of protein sources. For a vegan-friendly version, you can even use tofu or tempeh.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds. For a delicious nutty flavor and a show-stopping presentation, garnish the dish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds just before serving it.
  • Switch up your veggies. All out of broccoli? That’s totally fine. You can use any veggies you have on hand for this recipe. Some of my favorite choices include snap peas, bell peppers, green beans, and snow peas.
  • Add some heat. Red pepper flakes aren’t doing enough? I’ve got you covered. Just before serving, drizzle some Sriracha over this dish for just the right amount of heat for a spicy food-loving family.

How to Serve Basil Chicken

This flavorful dish stands on its own just fine as a low-carb meal. However, for a heartier meal, here are some of my favorite ways to serve chicken and broccoli:

  • With rice or quinoa. Traditional chicken and broccoli is usually served with white or brown rice. Quinoa always makes for a fantastic choice, as well as cauliflower rice if you’re looking for a low-carb option.
  • With fried rice. For an extra burst of savory flavors, try serving basil chicken with some Healthy Fried Rice or Cauliflower Fried Rice.
  • With noodles. For an Asian-inspired noodle dish, serve your healthy chicken and broccoli over a bowl of Healthy Peanut Noodles or Asian Zucchini Noodles.
  • With egg rolls. What better appetizer for your healthy chicken and broccoli than some homemade egg or veggie rolls? I recommend either these Baked Veggie Egg Rolls or these Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.
  • With edamame. Another wonderful appetizer to serve with your chicken and broccoli is a bowl of Sesame Soy Edamame. Healthy, filling, and so delicious!

Chicken and broccoli stir fry with fresh basil, lemon, and soy sauce served in a white bowl.

How to Store Leftovers

Because this dish stores and reheats so well, it’s one of my go-to healthy meal prep recipes. To save your leftovers, you will first need to wait for the dish to cool down. Once it’s cooled, transfer it to an airtight storage container and store it in one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy chicken and broccoli dish:

If you’re worried your chicken will dry out, try marinating it for an hour or so before cooking. A good marinade to pair with this dish is a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, honey, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes.

Absolutely! My family is constantly switching between beef and chicken versions of this delicious broccoli dish. You could also make this recipe with pork, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.

Yes! Generally speaking, Basil Chicken is a pretty healthy dish whether you get it at a restaurant or at home. However, like with most restaurants dishes, sometimes there is a lot of extra oil or unnecessary added sugar. By making the dish from scratch with much more wholesome ingredients than your favorite restaurant, this recipe is a perfectly healthy addition to your diet.

Chicken, basil, and broccoli stir fry in a small bowl with lemon, soy sauce, and red onion.
The Recipe
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Basil Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli

PREP TIME: 10 Min
COOK TIME: 15 Min
TOTAL TIME: 25 Min
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Ingredients

USMETRICS
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1.33 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (loosely packed)

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Instructions

(Hide Photos)
1

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and water. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes until broccoli is tender crisp and bright green. Remove and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.

Broccoli and water in a hot skillet.
2

Add the olive oil to the pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for one minute until fragrant.

Red onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a hot skillet.
3

Add the chicken and season with fresh pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes so it begins to brown. Then stir. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.

Chicken breast cooking in a pan.
4

Add the broccoli back to the pan. Stir in the soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, and basil.

Soy sauce being added to a pan with chicken breast and broccoli.
5

Cook for about 1 minute until basil is just wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Basil chicken in a bowl with broccoli.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5-2 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 247
Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 74mg
24%
Sodium 352mg
15%
Total Carbohydrate 10g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 3g
Protein 36g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
2 Comments
On Basil Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli
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Toniann
April 26, 2022 - 16:02
what kind of basil did you use?
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Roberta
August 2, 2022 - 14:31
I used Thai basil. Turned out delicious.
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