This Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry is so easy to prepare and can be on the table in 20 minutes! Featuring tender chicken tossed and glistening in a sublime sticky, sweet, tangy honey lemon sauce! This recipe is totally customizable so you can throw in your favorite veggies! It’s a quick and easy dinner that’s a delicious alternative to takeout!
Continue to read on for tips and tricks on creating the best lemon chicken recipe! And, don’t miss the step by step photos and recipe video included in the post! Are you looking for more quick chicken recipes?! Try these family favorites: Easy Chicken Hummus Bowl, Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta, Chicken in Beer (crock pot) and Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Chicken!
Update: This post was originally published in May 2018. I’ve updated the post below to include more information about this skinny lemon chicken. Plus, I’ve included a recipe video to show you how easy stir-fry is to make!
Hi, friends! Now that the weather has turned warmer I feel like everyone is looking for super easy and healthy weeknight dinners that they can whip up in a flash! Well, today I have you covered with a sticky, sweet, savory and mouthwateringly delicious dish!!
Honey Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry: overview
These bowls are healthy, yet hearty lunch and dinner GOALS, friends.
Let me break down what’s happening up in here –
Tender crumbles of savory chicken sautéed with mild shallots, pungent ginger, aromatic garlic, and tossed with a tart, sticky, sweet and sour lemon and honey sauce. All that savory, sweet chicken goodness gets piled high on chewy quinoa, then topped with crisp, delicate strands of zucchini and squash, and sprinkled with fresh sliced scallions and nutty sesame seeds.
This skinny chicken quinoa bowl is light, fresh and fabulous!
Why you will love this recipe
- Minimal prep! This stir-fry lemon chicken requires little to no chopping and just 10 minutes of hands on preparation!
- Easy to find ingredients! You only need six simple ingredients as well as a few pantry staples!
- Simple and fast to make! This honey lemon chicken recipe is totally fool-proof and ridiculously easy to make! You can have this dish ready and on the table in approximately 20 minutes!
- Amazing flavor! This lemon chicken stir-fry is bursting with fresh, bright lemon and sweet honey flavor!
- Customizable! You can easily customize the ingredient list and get creative in the kitchen!
- Versatile! This sticky lemon chicken is incredibly versatile! Try serving it over rice, quinoa, Asian noodles, vegetable noodles and more!
What’s in lemon chicken stir fry?
This healthy chicken stir-fry is recipe is made with easy-to find ingredients and bursting with bright, lemony flavor! The ingredient list is totally flexible and customizable, so feel free to add in your favorite seasonal vegetables or whatever mix-ins your family loves!
Ingredients you need to make this stir fry at home
- Oil: I recommend using a neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola for stir-frying!
- Shallot: One large shallot adds a touch of delicate, mild onion flavor!
- Chicken: To keep the prep to the absolute minimum, I like to use ground chicken; however, you can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs and cube them instead!
- Garlic: Two cloves of fresh garlic provide a distinctive, punchy taste. Make sure you use fresh garlic, not the minced variety sold in a jar!
- Ginger: Fresh ginger adds a subtle zesty, slightly warming flavor!
- Seasonings: A combination of kosher salt, pepper and red pepper flakes all provide flavor.
- Stock: Chicken stock or broth creates the base of the stir-fry sauce. I recommend using no-sodium or low-sodium stock or broth so you can control the saltiness of the sauce.
- Lemon: You will need both the zest and juice of fresh lemons for the best lemony flavor!
- Honey: 1/3 cup of honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness as well as a touch of floral flavor!
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds a depth of umami flavor! I recommend using reduced-sodium soy sauce!
- Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides a touch of acidity which balances out all the flavors and brings the sauce to life!
- Cornstarch: You need just 1 tablespoon of cornstarch which serves as the thickening agent and creates a glossy, sticky, beautifully lemony sauce!
What is in lemon stir-fry sauce?
The honey lemon sauce for this healthy chicken stir fry is super simple to prepare and only requires seven pantry staple ingredients! A combination of fresh lemon (juice and zest), honey, soy sauce, vinegar, chicken or vegetable stock, cornstarch and a pinch of red pepper flakes creates a sauce that is beautifully tart, sweet and savory!
Using fresh lemons to make the sauce is highly recommended! Since lemon is main component of the sauce, using fresh lemons (versus the stuff in a bottle) will produce the brightest, most flavorful sauce. Also, if you are a huge fan of lemon, I highly suggest you increase the lemon zest in the recipe from the zest of 1 lemon to the zest of 1 ½ – 2 lemons. Lemon zest holds the essential oils of the lemon and therefore, it is filled with pure lemon flavor.
What to add to chicken stir-fry?
This recipe is straightforward and incredibly flexible! Use this recipe as a guide and add whatever ingredients you love to create the best lemon chicken of your life!
- Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are my go-to if I’m looking to add a little more bulk to this recipe! Both red and mini bell peppers add a beautiful touch of savory sweetness!
- Broccoli: Crunchy broccoli is another go-to as it’s always easy to find fresh at the store!
- Asparagus: Tender, crisp asparagus is a wonderful addition if you can find it fresh and in season!
- Artichokes: A can of artichoke hearts will add a delicious earthy, herbaceous flavor that pairs perfectly with lemon!
- Water Chestnuts: I typically add a can of water chestnuts to this chicken stir-fry if I’m looking for an easy addition!
- Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds are a pretty finishing touch and add a mild nutty flavor!
- Nuts: I love adding salty, crunchy element to my chicken stir-fries! Cashews, peanuts and almonds are all a delicious addition!
- Fruit: Pineapple and mango are the perfect way to add a tropical flare to your stir-fry!
Expert tip: You can add whatever vegetables you love to this chicken stir-fry, just make sure you cut your vegetables into bite-size pieces so everything cooks evenly and is easier to eat!
How to make honey lemon chicken?
This nutritious skinny chicken stir fry is incredibly easy to make! In just three quick steps, this chicken can be ready and on the table in 30 minutes or less!
- Prepare the honey lemon sauce. Whisk together chicken stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, soy sauce, cider vinegar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Make the stir-fry chicken. In a skillet over medium-high heat, stir fry diced shallots and add in ground chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden. Season with garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add in the sauce and simmer the sauce is thickened and the chicken is coated.
- Serve. Divide the chicken into bowls with quinoa and shredded zucchini. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
Crazy easy, right?!
How to make Honey Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry recipe step by step photos
Tips for the best Honey Lemon Chicken?
- Chicken: While the recipe below calls for ground chicken, you can absolutely substitute chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite-size pieces instead! Or, you can use ground turkey!To keep things extremely healthy and light, I used lean, all white meat ground chicken. With that said, the combination of white and dark meat ground chicken will pack the most flavor and produce moister chicken stir-fry. The recipe below is extremely flexible, and you should use whatever variety of chicken (or turkey) you like!
- Lemon: I highly encourage you to squeeze fresh lemons for the juice required in the sauce. Lemon juice from a bottle does not taste as bright and lemony as fresh lemon juice. As well, if a strong lemon flavor is desired, increase the amount of lemon zest in the recipe from 1 lemon to 1 ½ -2 lemons.
- Use a large skillet or wok: Make sure you use the largest skillet (or a wok) that you have! It’s much easier to evenly cook the chicken and it prevents the chicken from steaming (versus stir-frying).
- Vegetables: You can absolutely add vegetables to this stir-fry! Just make sure you cut the vegetables into uniform bite-size pieces!
- Healthy serving idea: While I typically serve lemon chicken over quinoa with lots of vegetables, this stir-fry chicken is also delicious served as a lettuce wrap! Simply pile the chicken into your favorite large leafy green, such as Bibb, iceberg or romaine lettuce!
What to serve with Lemon Chicken?
- Grains: Any grain you love will work with this honey lemon chicken stir-fry! Quinoa, brown rice, cauliflower rice and zucchini rice are great if you want to keep your meal healthy. Or, white rice, jasmine rice, wild rice and rice pilaf will also work!
- Vegetables Noodles: Veggie noodles are a delicious way to keep things low carb! I love zucchini, squash and carrot noodles with this lemon chicken!
- Asian Noodles: Soba noodles, rice noodles, ramen or even fettuccine and linguine are all delicious if you are looking for a slurp-able stir-fry experience!
- Stir-fried vegetables: If you don’t want to add vegetables to your stir-fry you can always serve them on the side! Anything from zucchini, carrots, green beans and summer squash work perfectly!
- Sautéed greens: If you are looking to add more greens to your diet, spinach, kale and Swiss chard make wonderful sides!
- Salad: A simple bed of peppery arugula or an Asian salad is a great option if you are looking to keep things ultra-healthy!
Tips for storing chicken stir-fry
When it comes to storing leftovers, food safety is of the utmost importance! Make sure you follow the simple tips below to ensure you are properly storing your honey lemon chicken!
How long will leftover stir-fry chicken keep?
This recipe makes enough for four people, so depending upon the size (and appetite) of your family, you won’t likely have any leftovers! However, if you do, chicken stir fry stores beautifully and is perfect for grab-and-go lunches!
To store leftovers, first allow the stir fry to cool completely to room temperature; however, do not leave the chicken out on the counter for more than 1 hour to ensure safety and prevent growth of bacteria! Once cool, transfer leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
How to reheat stir-fry?
Reheating stir-fry is incredibly quick and easy! For the best results, I recommend reheating leftover chicken stir fry on the stove.
- Stovetop: Transfer the stir fry to a medium skillet. Place the skillet over medium-low heat and add a splash or two of fresh lemon juice. Reheat, stirring occasionally, until warm throughout.
- Microwave: Add an individual portion of leftover stir-fry to a microwave-safe container. Add a splash or two of fresh lemon juice. Place a lid on the container, leaving the lid slightly cracked at the side to form a vent. Reheat for 45-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chicken is warm throughout.
Can I freeze honey lemon chicken stir fry?
You can freeze leftover chicken stir-fry, but for the best results, I recommend freezing them without any vegetables! Fresh vegetables tend to lose their crispness during thawing. You can add a few handfuls of your favorite vegetable, such as cabbage or coleslaw when reheating the stir fry.
To freeze, allow the chicken to cool completely to room temperature before transferring to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Chicken stir fry will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat, allow the stir-fry to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating using the stovetop method described above!
This healthy honey lemon chicken quinoa bowl is fresh, fabulous and needs to happen in your kitchen! And since these bowls can be ready, and on the table in 30 minutes or less, you really have no excuse. 😉
Until next week, friends, cheers – to healthy bowl goals FOR LIFE.
Recipe testimonials – What people are saying about this recipe
See below to find out what readers are saying about this tried and true pea pasta salad recipe!
- “LOVED this! Definitely would make again! Creative way to use ground chicken.” – Bright
- “My boyfriend loved it!” – Ariana
- “Delish! I made a kale quinoa dish to go with it! Kids ate it!” – Kathy
- “It was great – made it today. Shared the recipe with my sister and daughter. I made quinoa to go with it. Great taste!” – Sheila
The best Honey Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry recipe plus step-by-step video👇
Honey Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
- Small mixing bowl
- large skillet
- 1 TBS Neutral Oil (such as vegetable or canola)
- 1 large Shallot - finely diced
- 1 pound Ground Chicken (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tsp Ginger - freshly grated
- 2 cloves Garlic - minced
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- ½ Cup Unsalted Chicken Stock
- ¼ Cup Lemon Juice -freshly squeezed (SEE NOTES)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1/3 Cup Honey
- 1 TBS Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 TBS Cornstarch
- Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - or more to taste (you can substitute Sriracha)
Optional For Serving: Lettuce, Quinoa (cooked according to package directions), Shredded Zucchini, Shredded Squash, Microgreens, Sliced Radishes, Sliced Green Onions, Sesame Seeds and Lemon Wedges
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Add in a teaspoon of sriracha or a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, if desired. Set aside.
- For the Stir-fry: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until softened. Add in the chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until almost golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and ginger. Cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add in the sauce and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- To serve: Divide the lettuce and quinoa between serving bowls and add the chicken. Top with shredded vegetables and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
- Chicken: The recipe calls for ground chicken, however you can substitute ground turkey if desired! To keep things extremely healthy and light, I used lean, all white meat ground chicken. With that said, the plain packaged combination of white and dark meat ground chicken will pack the most flavor and produce moister chicken. The recipe below is extremely flexible, and you should use whatever variety of ground chicken, or turkey, you like!
- Lemons: I highly encourage you to squeeze fresh lemons for the juice required in the sauce. Bottled lemon juice does not taste as bright and lemony as fresh lemon juice. As well, if a strong lemon flavor is desired, increase the amount of lemon zest in the recipe from 1 lemon to 1 ½ -2 lemons.
- Serving: While I served my healthy honey lemon chicken as a quinoa grain bowl, the stir-fry chicken is also delicious served as a lettuce wrap! Simply nix the quinoa and pile the chicken into bibb, iceberg or romaine lettuce!
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