Better than takeout, Thai basil chicken is a quick and easy chicken stir fry that is ready in under 25 minutes. Tender and juicy strips of chicken are stir-fried and tossed in a delicious homemade sauce, topped with fresh Thai basil and green onions. This delicious, light and fresh chicken dinner is packed with so much flavor that will impress and surprise you with every bite. It's so simple to make but so so good. Perfect for busy weeknights or just when you are craving takeout.
Why You’ll Love Thai Basil Chicken
- It is quick and easy to make = perfect for busy weeknights. Chicken stir fries are typically our go to weeknight dinners because they are quick to make in under 30 minutes and they are delicious. Just like our General Tso's Chicken or Curry Chicken Fried Rice, this Thai basil chicken is ready in just 25 minutes (including prep!)
- It's high in healthy protein that taste delicious. Chicken is a phenomenal source of clean protein, but it can get boring when prepared plain. Sometimes salt and pepper just doesn't cut it. You won't believe how much flavor chicken can take on like in this Thai basil chicken.
- A special homemade sauce. Bottled sauces will only get you so far. Plus, they are typically filled with preservatives, artificial flavors, and other filler ingredients. The delicious homemade sauce that we make for this Thai basil chicken is made with just 4 simple ingredients that packs on the flavor that's both sweet and savory.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this quick and easy Thai basil chicken, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- chicken - I used chicken thighs, but you can use either thighs or chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips.
- olive oil - for stir frying. Feel free to substitute with any vegetable oil that you have. Coconut oil adds a nice subtle flavor that pairs really well too.
- red onion
- Thai chili - If you’re unfamiliar with Thai chili, it’s best to add it in small amounts and taste after mixing. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t make it less spicy after adding too much.
- salt and pepper
- red bell pepper - feel free to substitute with any kind of bell pepper.
- Thai basil leaves - Thai basil isn’t your run-of-the-mill basil (sweet Italian basil)—so don’t substitute it. With a purple stem and small, sturdy, serrated leaves, Thai basil can withstand the heat of cooking. It tastes spicy with strong notes of licorice or anise.
- green onions
- lime - optional for serving.
- sauce - made with fish sauce, soy sauce (or oyster sauce), sugar, sesame oil, and water. Note that if you use oyster sauce, then omit the sugar.
You will also need a large wok or skillet for frying.
How to Make the Best Thai Basil Chicken
- Make the sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients until smooth. If using oyster sauce instead of soy sauce, you can omit the sugar. Set aside.
- Stir fry the chicken. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until the hot oil sizzles. Add chicken and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until browned on all sides. Stir in onion, garlic, and Thai chili (optional) and cook until tender and fragrant, about 1 minute. Season the chicken mixture with salt and pepper.
- Add the sauce. Stir in the sauce and toss well to coat. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens to a desired consistency, about 2 minutes.
- Add vegetables. Add bell pepper and basil. Cover the lid and cook for 1-2 minutes until the basil is wilted and the bell pepper is tender.
- Serve. Serve immediately with steamed rice and a drizzle with lime juice if desired.
- How to store: Thai basil chicken taste best fresh, but if you can’t eat it all, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days in an airtight container. The sooner you eat it, though, the better it will taste.
- How to serve: Thai basil chicken always hits the spot served with a bowl of steamed rice. You can also pair it with Vegetarian Fried Rice, Roasted Garlic Green Beans, Honey Roasted Carrots, or Air Fryer Broccoli.
More Asian Chicken Recipes
- General Tso's Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Healthy Lemon Chicken
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Baked Sesame Chicken
- Sweet Chili Chicken Bites
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.