Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry

Gosh, I love a good stir-fry. I don’t know what it is. The abundance of fresh vegetables? Tender pieces of juicy chicken? Thousand varieties of sauce and flavors? Quick prep and cooking time?

This particular teriyaki version is fast and simple and totally delicious. And it brought about some self-awareness which is always a bonus. I realized a few critical things about my stir-fry personality when I threw this together: a) I like cutting the carrots into thick strips instead of chunks; I don’t think I’ll cut carrots any other way now (plus I get all giddy when I buy the real, live knobby, big carrots instead of the popular, shaved-down baby carrots…I don’t know why and clearly I have issues since carrots are carrots) and b) cutting the chicken into ultra thin strips makes the finished stir-fry feel very authentic, like it came from your favorite Chinese takeout place. Try it.

Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry

A super simple homemade teriyaki sauce is stirred into the chicken/vegetable mixture at the end and simmers into this velvety, glorious concoction that, when served over fluffy rice, is as close as you can get to stir-fry perfection. I splurged most recently when making this and threw caution to the wind while making white basmati rice but usually we eat it with the perfected brown rice. It might seem odd to throw in pineapple to cook with the vegetables but those little bursts of juicy sweetness were by far my favorite part.

What To ServeStir-fries are kind of a low-maintenance, weeknight meal for us and since the big question in life is what to serve with stir-fry (since the meal itself already encompasses protein, vegetables and carbs), I usually go boring but functional and serve fresh fruit or applesauce and sometimes a bit of yogurt or cottage cheese.

Phew! Enough talking. Just make this already and save yourself the agony of wondering what’s for dinner!

One Year Ago: Curried Nachos with Mango Salsa
Two Years Ago: Curried Cauliflower โ€œPopcornโ€
Three Years Ago: Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry

Yield: Serves 6

Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry

It probably goes without saying, but the vegetables in this recipe are highly adaptable to what you have on hand or what you prefer. Cauliflower, peas, green beans and about a million other veggies would be fantastic. The key to this recipe is slicing the chicken as thinly as you can - I cut mine into 1/4-inch slices, if not slightly thinner. The chicken cooks in a flash and stays really tender. This meal is perfectly saucy for our family but if you like a lot of sauce, you might consider doubling or at least increasing by half the sauce recipe.


  • 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil, plus more as needed (I use coconut oil but canola, vegetable or olive oil would work also)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup of reserved pineapple juice
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Thinly slice the chicken breasts and toss them in a medium bowl with the cornstarch and salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of each). Let the chicken sit for about 10-15 minutes while whisking the sauce and prepping vegetables.
  2. For the sauce, combine all the ingredients together in a bowl or liquid measuring cup and whisk until smooth.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Add half of the chicken to the skillet in a single layer without overlapping and let it cook until nicely browned, about 30-45 seconds. Flip the chicken and let it cook through on the other side, 1-2 minutes. If your chicken is sliced super thin, it won't take long to cook through. Remove the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. Add another teaspoon or so of oil to the pan if needed and heat again until hot and rippling. Add all of the vegetables and pineapple to the hot skillet and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are bright in color and barely tender. Add about 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice to the skillet and cover (you can add water here instead of the juice, if desired). Cook, letting the vegetables steam for 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender (add more liquid, if needed, if it dries up).
  5. Add the chicken back to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine and then stir the sauce into the skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Serve immediately over hot, cooked rice, if desired.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

48 Responses to Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry {30-Minute Meal}

  1. […] recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafรฉ […]

  2. Emily says:

    We have a soy allergy at our house, so I have avoided stir fry for so long. However, I found a good replacement for soy sauce – it is Coconut Aminos, made by Coconut Secret. (I purchase it at Natural Grocers for a lot less than I can buy it online.) Just had to say that we LOVED this stir fry last night! This is a great recipe and even with a necessary substitution, it was fabulous! Thank you, Mel, for using “real food” ingredients!! I love that I can open your site for inspiration AND a recipe! Accomodating food allergies is SOO much easier with your tried and true recipes! I know if the original is perfect, I have wiggle room to substitute the necessary things for my family. I honestly can’t think of a single failure, which is amazing because I use your recipes all the time! So, if you ever wonder if you have an allergy-friendly site, the answer is YES! We enjoy many of your recipes avoiding gluten, soy, dairy, and sometimes even eggs! You give my mother-heart hope that even if my kid can never order Chinese food in a restaurant, they can love stir fry and so much more!

    • Mel says:

      Thank you so much for this, Emily! You are amazing for dealing with food allergies day in and day out. I’m so glad you are finding substitutions that can make these recipes work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sam Crawford says:

    This is a wonderful dish, one that is highly recommended!

  4. Kandy c says:

    Are the nutritional values listed somewhere? Am I missing it?

  5. jen says:

    This turned out great. A nice teriyaki sauce without too much fuss. Kids and husband liked it. I just stirred in previously cooked and frozen chicken at the end and warmed it in the sauce. Worked great. Thanks for another winner.

  6. Anne says:

    Great recipe! I did a review on this recipe on my blog. Thanks!

  7. Kate says:

    I have made this dinner several times and liked it for the sauce. But tonight was the first time that I made the chicken as directed instead of using previously cooked chicken. Wow! What a difference! That is the only way I will make it in the future. Flavorful and amazing!

  8. jenny says:

    Its not often that I print out recipes. This one turned out so perfect ( that’s the opinion of everyone in the family ) that I have printed it and stuck it to the wall ! The sauce was just runny enough, I am careful now to slice the chicken evenly, it cooks so quick you need to make sure all of it cooks , if there is a few thicker pieces in there its easy to undercook, even turning all the time.

  9. Jen says:

    Is there something I could sub for the rice vinegar? I have pretty much every other kind of vinegar on hand- apple cider, white, balsamic, red wine…

  10. Made this for dinner tonight and YUM! It was a really good mix of flavors and easy to put together! I followed the recipe exactly except added 3t of cornstarch to the sauce because we prefer a thicker sauce and it turned out perfect and very tasty! Oh, and I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen. I’ll definitely be making this one again!

  11. Bri says:

    Made this tonight. So yummy! It will be replacing the sweet and sour chicken (the stir fry version you have). I love that it has so many more veggies in it! I added more broccoli than called for (maybe half cup more), and I did not do the two steps to cook the chicken. I just threw it all in at once and it worked out great. Loved it, and my toddler loved it! Although Codi stole all of our pineapple out of ours! Thanks for another healthy yummy recipe! YUMMY!

  12. Lesley says:

    I have made this a couple of times now & it is a hit! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  13. Jacqueline Bucar says:

    I made this recipe last night with a lot more veggies and it was delicious. I do have a question though as I did have a slight problem. Maybe you can tell me how to avoid this in the future? After cutting the chicken very thinly in 1/4″ slices as directed, I put them into the cornstarch mixture, However,, the chicken all stuck together and it was hard to coat the pieces. When I went to fry them, I had a hard tine getting them apart and as well as unfolding. What did I do wrong? Thank you

    • Mel says:

      Jacqueline, sometimes it helps to pat the chicken dry before adding it to the cornstarch. I’m thinking that may help the sticky issue.

  14. Katherine says:

    I made this for my family last week and I’m making it again tonight! The sauce is really good and so versatile for adding what is on hand. Thanks!

  15. Lori says:

    This was wonderful (although my son did not like it much and I think it was due to the pineapple). If I made this in a pinch with frozen broccoli, would I microwave the bag and then add the broccoli at the end with the chicken?

    • Mel says:

      Lori – yeah, you could probably do that or even just add the frozen broccoli with the other veggies. It might add a little more liquid but would help the broccoli take on more flavor.

      • Mel says:

        Lori – in my comment, in case it wasn’t clear, I meant to add the frozen broccoli (uncooked in the bag) with the other veggies.

  16. Emily F says:

    I love a good stir fry too, and this was certainly a very good one. One question though – a lot of stir fry recipes call for coating the meat in cornstarch before cooking, but every time I’ve done that, it’s just created a big sticky mess in the bottom of the pan. I thought I’d try it last night since it was coming from you, but I had the same result. I had to cook the veggies in a different pan because the stuck on chicken was burning on the bottom of the other pan. I know I used enough oil – do you have any thoughts on why this isn’t working?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Emily – one thing that might help is patting the meat (chicken in this case) dry before tossing with the cornstarch – that way there isn’t a lot of excess liquid in the bowl. That’s the stuff that gets stuck on the bottom of the pan. The cornstarch is supposed to tenderize the meat but I’ve had the same thing you described happen to me when there’s too much liquid with the meat and I agree, it’s gross and annoying. If it keeps happening, I’d just eliminate the cornstarch.

  17. Amelia says:

    I made this for my family yesterday and it was super mega delicious! My sauce was thinner because I dumped all of the reserve pineapple juice in. My pineapple loving family found that to be a good decision. Thanks for everything you do!

  18. Amy says:

    In a pinch, I did substitute the molasses for honey, and I also used a frozen stir-fry veggie blend from Costco, and it was still delicious! On top of that, I didn’t have any pineapple on hand, so I substituted the juice for water when the juice was called for. I am sure the pineapple would have made it even better, but it was still amazing without! So, honey instead of molasses, no pineapple juice, with frozen instead of fresh veggies, and it was still a 2 thumbs-up dinner! Thanks, Mel!! What would we ever do without you??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Stacey says:

    Holy Smokes Mel! This was the very best teriyaki stir fry I have EVER made and I have tried at least half a dozen recipes. I just kept looking for the right one. Even my husband who does NOT like stir fry (too many veggies) really liked this. It was incredible. I did have to make it without the molasses so I subbed some brown sugar. Still really good, but I am looking forward to my husband getting the lid off my huge bucket of molasses so I can try it again. And my kids loved it. Thanks so much.

  20. Heather says:

    Made this a couple of nights ago with ingredients I had on hand. My husband can’t eat pineapple, so I left it out, but I substituted grape juice for the pineapple juice in the sauce. Really excellent! I’ve made many recipes from your site since finding it a couple of months ago. I just can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your recipes…simply wonderful! Keep up the good work!

  21. Stacy says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome! Thank you! I even forgot the molasses, but the sauce was still yummy. I also loved the super thin slices of chicken and the coconut oil. Thank you for sharing such yummy recipes that my kids will eat. You are my go-to-gal for dinner inspiration and recipes in general. I also had your gourmet green salad with nectarines and blueberries a couple days ago. Amazing!

  22. Shannon says:

    I’m with you about the carrots. The “baby” carrots scare me! They don’t taste the same nor do they cook the same. Give me a real carrot any day!

  23. Rebecca Roe Hale says:

    I partially freeze (or partially thaw, depending on the initial state) my chicken and then I run it through a slicing disk on my food processor: it makes strips far thinner than I have patience to cut myself. I make stir fry so much more often since I got my food processor three years ago. Long live the food processor!

  24. Don’t know that I’ve ever left a comment before, but I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and your super quick meals! Who wants to spend all evening prepping dinner? Not me!
    Anyway, this teriyaki chicken looks great! (And I love pineapple in mine too. It definitely goes well with the teriyaki.)

  25. Cheri says:

    Mmmmm looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it! It’s a good thing you don’t like baby carrots and opt for the real deal. As I learned today, baby carrots are processed, ground up ugly carrots and given a chlorine bath before shaped into the cookie cutter size they are.

  26. Kim in MD says:

    I love a good stir fry, and this looks delicious. I am making this for dinner tomorrow night!

  27. Kerry says:

    Made this last night – turned out fantastic! Substituted honey for the molasses with no problem. Threw a handful of cashews on top before serving. Thanks!

  28. Jenn says:

    I had a pineapple sitting on the counter that needed used, so when I saw this recipe I knew it was perfect. This meal was so delicious. My family is vegan, but all I had to do to edit this recipe is takeout the chicken and I did add a red onion with the other veggies. The sauce was so good. This recipe uses ingredients that I always have on hand. And its so quick and easy. during the time it took to cook the brown rice 40 minutes, i was able chop and cook the veggies and sauce. My husband ate 3 plates. Yes it was that good plus both my boys ate it up. I will definitely pass this along to my mom who I know will love it with the chicken. Thank you so much for the great recipe.

  29. Kim says:

    On the menu tonight!

  30. Rachel says:

    I also wondered about the molasses as I rarely have it on hand – maybe honey could be used as a substitute?

    • Mel says:

      Leigh and Rachel – I’m all about trying to substitute for ingredients especially if it means avoiding a trip to the store so I suppose you could try honey or something else. The molasses gives the teriyaki sauce a really delicious depth of flavor and offhand, I’m not sure what would substitute well for it.

  31. Leigh says:

    Looks delicious! One question – is the molasses a prominent flavor? Could I leave it out? I have stir-fry on our menu for this week, but I don’t have molasses and won’t have time to stop. Will it make a big difference in the flavor if I left it out?

    Thanks so much! Love your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Melissa says:

    Had this for dinner last night – everyone loved it! My sauce never really got thick at all though – is it not supposed to be thick? I was thinking it should be like a glaze, but it was just runny. I used the right amount of cornstarch.

  33. Kaytie says:

    I love your blog! I know that if I need a great recipe that will always turn out, I come here. This stir fry looks like a winner. I was surprised to see the pineapple chunks mix right in and know even my picky eaters will enjoy this one. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Allyson says:

    I love stir frys – but haven’t had much luck getting the majority of my kids to eat it. Thanks for a new version/sauce … Maybe this flavor will finally do the trick! Sounds delicious to me!

  35. I love easy Asian meals like this – so healthy, too! Great one, Mel!

  36. Tahnycooks says:

    My friend has borrowed my wok, and I haven’t missed it until now! This looks great!

  37. My son would eat Chinese every night if I allowed it. This meal is happening soon!!

  38. Helen says:

    I could write volumes every day about your posts & recipes :-). I was so happy to see all the comments expressing love and kindness about Saturday’s post… You are a force for good here in Internet land !!! Stir fry & teriyaki …. Another favorite for me too, can’t wait to make this.

  39. Sheila says:

    Thank you, Mel! Quick, easy, nutritional, and (because it came from you) I know will be delicious! Read your comments and laughed out loud. What a wonderful way to start the day of work ahead of me — with laughter! You are so real and it is a great comfort reading about “your issues”. I’m a “closet” kind of “issues person”. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now that you have sent blessings out to so many, may you and your precious little ones have a great day together. Now off to deal with my boss’ issues . . .

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