Quick and Easy Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
This quick and easy Chinese chicken and broccoli recipe comes together in 30-minutes or less, and the flavor is out of this world delicious!
Here’s to super fast dinner recipes that will save stress and help you maintain your sanity on weeknights…but still manage to taste restaurant-level good.
This quick and easy Chinese chicken and broccoli has become one of my kids’ favorite meals of all time!
Is it the most authentic Chinese-style meal ever? No. But it’s crazy delicious, and that’s good enough for us!
A Quick and Simple Brown Sauce
This easy recipe starts with a quick Asian-inspired brown sauce. These ingredients simmer together for just a few minutes until slightly thickened:
- brown sugar
- soy sauce
- ginger + garlic
- oyster sauce
If oyster sauce has you worried, don’t be! It’s easily found in the Asian-foods aisle of most grocery stores, and it adds really great concentrated flavor that surprisingly doesn’t taste a whole lot like fish. It’s dark, syrupy, salty and mildly sweet.
AND. I have several other delicious recipes that use it so you don’t have to fear a bottle languishing in your fridge forever.
To be honest, this recipe alone is worth buying oyster sauce! (UPDATE: for those still wanting a substitute – try hoisin sauce; the flavor of the overall dish will change a bit.)
Chicken + Broccoli
Once the sauce is glossy and thickened slightly, toss in the cooked chicken and steamed broccoli.
For the chicken, I almost always use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, but you could cook and shred or chop your own chicken OR read the recipe notes for a variation that starts with uncooked chicken.
I tested this recipe a variety of ways with the broccoli, and I found that it never cooked well enough when I added it raw to the pan with the chicken. I prefer lightly steaming it in the microwave before adding it in.
This recipe really is as easy as:
- steaming the broccoli (I use the microwave!)
- simmering the sauce
- stirring in the chicken and broccoli
- digging in with abandon
Saucy, Saucy, Saucy
We are a sauce-loving family, so this recipe is deliberately saucy. Perfect for serving over rice and/or with flatbread or naan bread.
If you want it a bit less saucy, cut the broth down to 2 cups or so.
I hope you love this one! It has become a weeknight dinner staple around here (and the reason I grab a rotisserie chicken at Costco almost every time I go…and I go a lot!). Happy new year!
One Year Ago: Amazing Instant Pot Lemon Curd
Two Years Ago: Loaded Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
Three Years Ago: Healthy Egg and Veggie Muffins
Four Years Ago: This is How I Diet
Five Years Ago: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Six Years Ago: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Seven Years Ago: Korean Beef and Rice (or Quinoa)
Eight Years Ago: Tuscan Sausage and White Bean Soup
Nine Years Ago: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ten Years Ago: Coconut Shrimp Curry
Quick and Easy Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth or stock (I use low-sodium)
- ⅓ cup light or dark brown sugar
- ½ cup soy sauce (I use low sodium – see note)
- ¼ cup oyster sauce (see note)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or refrigerated ginger paste (see note)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3-4 cups cooked, shredded or cubed chicken (about 20 ounces)
- 6-8 cups broccoli florets, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 16 ounces)
- Hot, cooked rice, for serving
- Toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for garnish
- Place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup water, cover, and steam in the microwave for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli is crisp-tender (or steam on the stovetop). Drain the water and set aside.
- In a deep 12-inch skillet (you can also use a saucepan or pot), whisk together the broth, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, ginger, garlic and sesame oil.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, and cook until the sauce has thickened, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chicken and broccoli and stir to cover with sauce. Heat through.
- Serve over hot, cooked rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if desired.
67 Comments on “Quick and Easy Chinese Chicken and Broccoli”
Love it- east and tasty! I think it could also easily lend itself to adding so,ER spice level if you like that, and other veggies like carrots and mushrooms. Great base sauce!
This was a winner! I’ve made a similar recipe from another site and I don’t remember the differences, but this was just better. Cooked bite-size raw chicken and then simmered in the sauce. I used Hoison Sauce since I didn’t have any Oyster sauce.
Okay, I used Oyster sauce this time and it’s even better!! Not as sweet as it was with Hoison sauce, and a different flavor. So good!! All of my picky kids love it!
This was super yummy and came together quickly! I used half the oyster sauce and a little less broth but it was still nice and saucy. I threw some chow main noodles on top for crunch. Does the nutritional info include the rice for serving or just the chicken and broccoli?
It just includes the chicken and broccoli (not the rice).
Slightly annoyed as I read the ingredients at the top this morning so went to the store to pick up oyster sauce but as I’m putting it all together the step by steps calls for sesame oil as well. That would have been nice to know in the ingredients list at the top,
Hi Emily – sorry for the frustration – but the ingredients list actually does include the sesame oil (in between garlic and chicken).
Loved it, Mel! It’s a keeper and so are you!
Question… Could oyster sauce be substituted with clam juice or would that totally change the flavor? I’ve never used oyster sauce and already have clam juice. Just trying to save a couple dollars, but let me know your thoughts about that.
Hey Angela – it’s a completely different flavor profile and consistency. Oyster sauce is very thick and syrupy. You could definitely try it, but I can’t say for sure how it would work out.
This was fantastic! Came together quickly but looked and tasted like it took a lot of effort. Thanks for another great recipe!
Does it matter if you use regular sesame oil or toasted sesame oil?
Thanks…am trying it this weekend!
The toasted oil has more depth of flavor, but you can use either.
This recipe is amazing! Tastes just like the real deal! We loved it. Thanks, Mel!
This was delicious and came together so quickly! Loved it and all my kids did. Will make again!
I grilled my chicken JUST til done, made my rice and steamed the broccoli. The sauce was pretty quick and everything together was awesome! Just remember to pull a little liquid out, add the cornstarch until creamy, then add back into the broth.
Thanks for the review, Kami!
I was skeptical to try this recipe. I’ve tried to make Chinese food before and it never tasted right. This recipe turned out SO good! I followed the note to use less chicken broth and it was perfect. I will definitely add this to our dinner rotation. Thank you so much!
Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed it!
I made this with frozen tenders in the IP- cooked for 12 and NPR for 10 and thickened afterwards. So tasty!
Amazing! Thanks for letting all of us know that worked so well in the IP!
Very good! I cooked chicken breasts in the instant pot while getting the sauce and broccoli ready. Used frozen broccoli florets and microwaved in bag for 2 minutes to thaw them and then chopped them, and that worked great! Loved the flavor. I was thinking of adding toasted cashews next time too.
Glad frozen broccoli worked well (thanks for letting me and others know about that!). The crunch of toasted cashews would be really yummy!
Delicious! Easy! And everyone loved it!
I used regular soy sauce and chicken broth, and it was a touch salty, but still good. My husband was quite enthusiastic. I added a can of slivered water chestnuts just for the texture. One could also add the standard Chinese vegetables — bean sprouts, etc. — and they would be good. They would also spread out the saltiness, so if I can find any in the pantry I’ll toss them into the leftovers. We’re a two-person household, so we have at least one more dinner or several lunches from this recipe.
Ginger tip: Toss the chunk of frozen ginger into the food processor and give it a spin.
Thanks for the ginger tip, Margaret! And I’m definitely adding water chestnuts next time I make this. We are a house divided on water chestnuts, but after reading your comment, I think I’d love the crunch of the water chestnuts in this recipe. Thank you!
This was so fast, easy, and delicious! I actually subbed cooked turkey for the chicken just treating it the same way. I did, however, use hoisin because the store didn’t have oyster sauce when I went. It made the dish a little on the sweet side with the normal amount of sugar. If I make again with hoisin I will just reduce the sugar. But delicious regardless!
Good note on the hoisin sauce – thanks for including your review, Leann! Super helpful!
I’m excited to try this recipe because we love your recipe for the Chinese Cashew Chicken and this looks similar enough yet different enough to mix things up a bit.
My husband and I both can’t take anything even remotely fishy tasting so I usually sub for oyster sauce by just increasing the broth and soy sauce, but now I’m starting to doubt that decision (and also realizing that while I thought I’d made something with oyster sauce that turned out super fishy tasting, I’m realizing it was fish sauce instead so of course it tasted fishy).
Yes, fish sauce might be the culprit. It is infinitely stronger in fish taste (and smell!) than oyster sauce. But I also think if you’ve been subbing in broth and soy sauce for oyster sauce in the past and it’s worked, that’s fine, too!
Loved it! Quick and easy and used up all of the chicken, broccoli, and broth I had sitting in my fridge. I also sautéed some mushrooms in the sauce before adding in the chicken and it was delish. Thanks Mel, for another great recipe!
Oooh, I love the idea of sauteeing some mushrooms. Yum!
We loved this! I made part with chicken and part with baked tofu (for my vegetarian husband). It is the perfect weeknight meal.
Thanks for taking the time to let me know, Jocelyn! Glad the tofu worked out for a vegetarian version.
Made this tonight and it was so easy and delicious!! We’re also a sauce-loving family so the amount of sauce was perfect! Next time I think I’ll add a little bit of chili oil or red pepper flakes for a little zing.
That’s a great idea!
Made this recipe tonight and it did not disappoint! Delicious! I want to report that I did make it using non-low sodium products (what I had) and it was indeed too salty. When I make this again I’ll make sure to use low sodium soy sauce and broth and even cut down the salt I usually cook into my rice. Although too salty this time I can tell it is a keeper and will be made again! Thanks for another simple & delicious dish!
That’s helpful to know about the saltiness…thanks for including that detail!
Just made this for dinner tonight and my husband commented that he”could drink this sauce!” Yummy! Very flavorful, quick to pull together and super tasty! Another winner from Mel!
New Year blessings to you dear Mel!
Thanks, Eileen! Happy this was a hit! Some in my family would agree that the sauce is indeed drinkable! 🙂
Just made it! So good and so easy, especially using a Costco chicken. I used low sodium chicken broth but regular soy sauce and I don’t think it’s too salty. I didn’t have green onions or sesame seeds to add but I’m sure those would give it a bit more dimension – but it’s really great without them. Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe.
Thanks for commenting and including your thoughts! Glad you enjoyed it!
Is there a replacement for oyster sauce? What really is it?
Feel free to experiment with different substitutions – hoisin sauce might work, although I haven’t tried it! Oyster sauce is a dark, syrupy Asian sauce that has oysters in the ingredients, although I think it’s usually just oyster extract (at least on my bottle). It doesn’t taste much like fish (or oysters) in my opinion. It’s salty and a little bit sweet and it adds great flavor.
Hi Mel! Long time reader here- I love your recipes! Quick question- for my husband who is massively allergic to oyster sauce and anything else fish related, is there a substitution I can make? I hate to be the person who asks for substitutions, but I have every ingredient for this in the fridge right now minus oyster sauce and would love to make it!
Hi Lucy, you might try hoisin sauce. I’ve subbed that for oyster sauce when I don’t have it on hand. The flavor of the dish will change a little bit if doing so.
If it’s not authentic Chinese, why has the recipe been titled as such?
Exactly. Maybe it’s called Chinese just because it contains soy sauce and oyster sauce. Kind of offensive.
I enjoy all your recipes! I am wondering is that sodium content with using low salt broth and soy sauce?
Yes, the nutrition is calculated using low-sodium broth and low-sodium soy sauce.
This was absolutely amazing, Mel. And for those offended that it has the word “Chinese” in the title and it’s not authentically Chinese or Asian, move along or get a life. I have purchased Italian sausage before that wasn’t authentic and didn’t complain to the store manager. Please lighten up.
Looks wonderful! Do you have a recommendation for a vegetarian substitute for the oyster sauce? For my husband the fish in the oyster sauce would be a no-go (obviously so would the chicken, but the broccoli is the best part anyways in my humble opinion!)
I believe hoisin sauce is vegan – that might work.
Well what did I learn today? Besides a guaranteed tasty recipe? That I could freeze ginger and not have to peel it. Duh! Thanks Mel! Adding this to my rotation in the next week or so as soon as I procure some Oyster sauce.
You are very welcome, Andrea! And I love you more for using the word procure. 🙂
This is on the list to make this week! Looks delicious.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy new year, Jackie!
Made it tonight! Everyone loved it and it was so quick and easy!
Oh yay! Thanks for letting me know, Elizabeth!
Just here loving that there is both rice and naan in the recipe picture. It’s like you know that carbs are my love language! ❤️. Cannot wait to try this recipe, looks divine!
Carb lovers unite! 🙂
Ohhh!! Anxious to try this one! Chicken and broccoli is the number one thing I order at one of our local favorite Chinese places! Looks yummy! I need to make your chicken lettuce wraps soon too. So yummy!
Lettuce wraps are one of my favorite meals ever. Happy new year, Renee!