Looking for quick dinner ideas for tonight but only have 15 minutes to whip together a fresh but easy meal? Try our quick and easy 15-minute chicken stir-fry and ditch the grilled cheese.
Creating This Quick Dinner Recipe
I always thought that life was busy with kids and that it would slow down a little once they were in school and I was alone at home to get things done. I laugh out loud at my naive self. You don’t get more done with kids in school, you become a taxi, a tutor, a teacher, a maid, a lunch lady, a soccer mom, a shopper, an errand runner, a project planner, a nurse (because heaven knows once they start school they bring home every germ in the world) — and the list only goes on and on. But this Quick and Easy 15-Minute Chicken Stir Fry is totally attainable even with all of that work.
Between packing and unpacking lunches and backpacks and making sure everyone gets out the door on time with all homework finished, there isn’t a lot of time left for meal planning. And we know you’re in the same boat as us.
I thought I made quick and easy dinners before, but we’ve stepped up our game. Who’s got time for a 30-minute meal on a day when 3 kids have to be in 3 different places all over town between 4-4:30?!
Cade called to see if I needed anything from the store, and when I told him a super quick dinner idea I could make before the girls had dance he showed up with Yakisoba noodles he found in the produce department and that only require a quick rinse in warm water to eat, and all the veggies for a chicken stir-fry.
He rinsed the noodles and chopped the broccolini and peppers. I opened the matchstick carrots, the pre-sliced package of crimini mushrooms, and cut the baby bok choy open. 2 minutes was all it took, and I bet you could find a package of stir fry-veggies that would cut back on your prep time even more.
In a measuring cup, we threw together a little sauce for it all and opened up a package of already cubed chicken from the meat department (which does cost more, so next time we will just use our own. But hey, convenience on a night like that was important).
What’s in This Easy Stir-Fry Recipe?
For this quick and easy dinner recipe, you’ll need:
- Cubed chicken breasts
- Yakisoba noodles
- Cooking oil
- Your favorite stir-fry vegetables (I’ve shared ours in the recipe card below)
We opted to make a quick homemade stir-fry sauce as well, which uses:
- Soy sauce
- Vegetable stock
- Honey, brown sugar
- Ground ginger
In the spirit of super easy recipes, feel free to adjust the sauce and chicken stir-fry ingredients as needed. We constantly change up our stir-fry vegetables depending on what’s in the fridge — you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do when the kids need to be out the door soon!
How to Make Chicken Stir-Fry Fast
This easy stir-fry recipe is the definition of a quick and easy recipe. You’ll first need to heat a skillet or cast iron pan over high heat and add a little oil. Throw in the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Next, saute the veggies in a little more oil until they’re crisp-tender. While the veggies cook, run the noodles under hot water to separate them, and whisk together the homemade stir-fry sauce.
Once the veggies are tender, add the chicken back to the pan along with the noodles and stir-fry sauce. Toss everything together to coat evenly in the sauce and cook until heated through. We like to garnish our chicken stir-fry with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, but it’s also delicious as is. Isn’t this such an easy dinner recipe?!
Can I Use Another Type of Noodle?
Yes, if you can’t find yakisoba noodles at your grocery store, you can also use another thin noodle. Angel hair pasta and spaghetti would work well in this chicken stir-fry. I know neither are authentic, but they cook quickly, which is what matters here! You could even use ramen noodles for this delicious dinner recipe.
Which Soy Sauce Should I Use?
Unfortunately, not all soy sauce brands are created equal. I recommend using a low-sodium soy sauce to make sure your chicken stir-fry doesn’t come out too salty. If you’re really sensitive to salt, you may want to use a salt-free stock or bouillon base as well. Remember: you can always make your stir-fry saltier by adding in more salt yourself!
What Pan Should I Use for Stir-Fries?
Use a Cast Iron pan so that the juices and food can caramelize at the bottom of the pan for the best flavor. If you haven’t bought one yet, do so now, this pan is our FAVORITE!
Okay, the truth is, this meal actually took us less than 15 minutes because we didn’t even have to chop the chicken but in case you do, 15 minutes from the start of cook time to finish!
Can I Use Another Type of Meat in This Easy Stir-Fry?
Of course! The great thing about quick dinners like this easy stir-fry recipe is that you can tailor them to suit whatever ingredients you have in your fridge. You’re welcome to skip the chicken and instead use ground meat (any kind), steak, pulled chicken, and more. And if you’re vegetarian, you can add cubed tofu to this simple dinner idea.
Can I Add Pre-Cooked Chicken to This Quick Stir-Fry?
That’s a great idea! If you have pre-cooked chicken breasts you need to use up, throw them into this easy stir-fry. You’ll want to cube the chicken and add it into the stir-fry at the very end, just to heat it through.
How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Stir-Fry
If you wind up with leftovers of this quick dinner idea, I recommend reheating it in a skillet with a little oil and a splash of stock or water. Avoid microwaving leftovers, as the stir-fry noodles become rubbery when reheated that way.
Tips for Making Chicken Stir-Fry
We used broccolini in this easy stir-fry recipe, but you can also use broccoli florets. Again, whatever you have in your fridge will work!
There’s one more thing I’ll note about the veggies, though. I say ditch the boring button mushrooms, and buy some sliced cremini mushrooms instead. Cremini are a little more meaty in flavor, and I find they’re not as rubbery as button mushrooms once they’re cooked.
I also recommend whisking together the stir-fry sauce before adding it to the veggie mixture, otherwise the sauce ingredients might not all dissolve (i.e. you’ll wind up with bits of partially dissolved cornstarch or brown sugar in the stir-fry).
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Quick and Easy 15 Minute Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 Package Yakisoba Noodles found in the produce department and are precooked
- 3 Tablespoons Oil canola or peanut
- 2 Chicken Breasts cubed in 1" pieces
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms
- 1 Bundle Broccolini florets stalks removed, or broccoli florets
- 1 Cup Matchstick Carrots
- 1 Cup Chopped Red Bell Peppers
- 2 Baby Bok Choy end removed and quartered lengthwise
- 2 Green Onions minced for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds for garnish
For the Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock (We prefer to use Better Than Bouillon Chicken
Better Than Bouillon Chicken
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic about 1 clove
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- Heat a season cast iron skillet over high heat. We prefer cast iron for the great flavor it lends to meals unlike nonstick which doesn't allow the juices to caramelize at the bottom of the pan.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of the oil and heat until shimmering.
- Add the chicken and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the broccolini, carrots and peppers.
- Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and bok choy and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, run the precooked noodles through hot water to separate the noodles.
- Drain and set aside.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, stock, honey, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cornstarch.
- As soon as the veggies are tender, add the chicken and noodles to the pan and pour in the sauce, toss for a minute or two and serve hot with a garnish of green onions and sesame seeds.