Easy Peanut Chicken with Veggies

This ridiculously simple, dead-on delicious Peanut Chicken and Veggies was created for that moment when you open the refrigerator and the only thing that seems less appealing than everything inside of it is the thought of actually having to cook. This easy peanut chicken sauce turns everything it touches into scrape-your-plate recipe gold, and the recipe requires little effort beyond some basic chopping and stirring, the latter of which I am especially adept at accomplishing with a wooden spoon in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

Easy Peanut Chicken with Veggies and Rice. A quick and healthy leftover shredded chicken recipe!

As much as I love to to cook, on most weeknights, I feel fairly zapped creatively. I want to eat something interesting and nourishing and that I know Ben will enjoy too.

After 5 p.m., however, it’s as if my brain’s culinary juices have been absorbed by a combination of remembering the lyrics to every ‘90s boyband hit (why is so much of my brain space wasted on this??) and whatever I last saw on Top Chef, neither of which is particularly useful when you are trying to pull together a healthy dinner.

Healthy Thai Peanut Chicken with Stir Fry Vegetables and Rice

To help on those nights when I realize in a moment of semi-exhaustion/mild panic that I do, in fact, need to cook dinner again, I’ve been working on my repertoire of meals that I can pull together with a few core ingredients, especially ingredients that I can prep in advance.

For me, one of the best make-ahead ingredients is shredded chicken. I like to make a big batch on weekends (here’s the easiest way for how to cook shredded chicken—no fancy appliances required!).

This Peanut Chicken came about when I was brainstorming leftover chicken recipes. My default is usually something Mexican-ish, but even I have my limits on how many nights in a row I can eat tortillas (please still be my friend anyway).

Plus, we were out of tortillas, so I didn’t have a choice!

Peanut Chicken Sauce with Veggies and Rice

This easy peanut sauce turned out to be my answer. It was inspired by my favorite Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce. It’s ultra creamy and brightly flavored with ginger, garlic, sesame, and lime. It’s so yummy, I couldn’t stop licking my spoon, and it has the power to make even something as basic as shredded chicken taste special.

Compared to my original Thai peanut chicken, this recipe is quicker and easier. At first glance, the ingredient list may look long, but most are standard pantry items, especially if you make stir fries often (soy sauce, I’m looking at you). Also, because the recipe starts with precooked chicken, you save a step.

If you don’t have leftover shredded chicken on hand, you can of course make some before the recipe startsor swap in shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken.

To make the Peanut Chicken: simply stir the peanut sauce ingredients together on your stove, toss with the shredded chicken, then serve them with rice and whatever veggies you have on hand.

Easy Peanut Chicken Sauce and Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables

To turn the Peanut Chicken into a complete meal, I made a quick stir fry using the fresh veggies I had in my fridge (you’ll see suggested stir fry directions below), but you can easily swap any other vegetables you prefer.

No time/not in the mood to chop? I feel you. Use frozen stir fry vegetables instead.

If speed is one of your top-goals for this Peanut Chicken recipe, I also recommend making the brown rice in advance. If you forget and are in a rush, you can swap a quicker-cooking grain like quinoa or use soba noodles, brown rice noodles, or even whole wheat spaghetti noodles.

Ben is such a peanut sauce fiend, I ended up making a fresh batch of the sauce to drizzle over our leftovers. If you share our sentiment that Peanut Sauce Is Boss, I’d suggest doubling the sauce ingredients, then saving the extra for leftovers or to drizzle over the top of the fished Peanut Chicken and Veggies.

Easy Peanut Chicken with Veggies and Rice. A quick and healthy leftover shredded chicken recipe!
5 from 2 votes
Leave a Review »

Easy Peanut Chicken with Veggies and Rice

Yield: 4 servings, about 7 cups
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Easy Peanut Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies and Rice. A quick and healthy leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken recipe that comes together in minutes. You can use any vegetables you have on hand, and the peanut chicken sauce is to die for!

Ingredients

For the Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 5-6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes — plus additional to taste

For the Chicken and Stir Fry Veggies:

  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken — about 8 ounces; if your chicken is not yet cooked, try this easy method for how to cook shredded chicken
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets — about 1 small head or 8 ounces
  • 2 large red bell peppers — cut into thin slices
  • 2 medium carrots — peeled and cut into thin, 1/8-inch coins
  • 1 small bunch green onions — chopped, with white and green parts divided
  • 1 cup shelled edamame — I use frozen and thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Cooked brown rice — quinoa, soba noodles, or brown rice noodles
  • For topping: chopped fresh cilantro — chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, additional green onions, additional red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sauce ingredients: peanut butter, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, 5 tablespoons water, and red pepper flakes. Heat and stir until the sauce is smooth and thickens a little. If the sauce is a thicker than you’d like, add a bit more water. Add the chicken, and toss to coat it with the sauce and warm it through. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan to keep the chicken warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, and white and light green parts of the green onions. Cook the vegetables until crisp tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the edamame, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and the green parts of the green onions. Stir to coat and cook 1 additional minute.
  3. To serve, spoon the rice into individual serving bowls. Top with the veggies, peanut chicken, and any other desired toppings. Enjoy hot.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Love peanut sauce or know you will be eating some of the recipe as leftovers? I'd suggest making about 1.5 times the sauce amount, or  (if you are married to my peanut-sauce loving husband) even doubling it. Toss enough of the sauce with the chicken to nicely coat it, then save the rest for serving or for perking up leftovers.
  • To make vegetarian or vegan: Swap the chicken for Crispy Tofu or chickpeas.
  • To make gluten free: Swap the soy sauce for GF tamari. Serve with a GF grain, such as rice or quinoa.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: Easy Peanut Chicken with Veggies and Rice, Healthy Chinese Food Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 4), about 1 3/4 cups stir-fry plus 1/2 cup brown rice) — Calories: 507, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 603mg, Carbohydrates: 48g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 11g, Protein: 31g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Easy Peanut Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies and Rice. A quick and healthy leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken recipe that comes together in minutes. You can use any vegetables you have on hand, and the Thai peanut sauce is to die for! #thaipeanut #peanutchicken #easy #healthy

Easy Peanut Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies and Rice. A quick and healthy leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken recipe that comes together in minutes. Not too spicy, you can use any vegetables you have on hand, and the Thai peanut sauce is to die for! #recipe #healthy #peanutchicken

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

14 comments

  1. This sounds so delicious! I wish my husband was a Peanut Sauce fiend too, but sadly he is not. So looks like there will be more for me! ;)

    • Danielle, you can drink it with a straw if you like (and my husband hogs all the peanut sauce, so it might not be as bad a problem as you think ;-) ).

  2. This looks so great-any suggestions on how to make the sauce more low-cal? thank you! 

    • Hi Cameron! Peanut butter is a high calorie food, so that’s a hard swap. The good news is, it’s a healthy fat, so I find enjoying it in moderation fits in well with a balanced diet. You could try using less sauce or serving the stir fry with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles instead of brown rice.

  3. Such a yummy and quick weeknight meal! Great one to have in your arsenal.

  4. Do you have a substitute for the sesame oil?

    • Hi Laura! The sesame oil adds a really special flavor, so it’s worth seeking out (the Asian food aisle of most grocery stores and even Target carries it). That said, if you prefer not to use it, you can use olive oil for stir frying the veggies and an extra tablespoon of water + peanut butter in the sauce. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. shawnna Griffin Reply

    hey girl- this dish looks so good!

  6. This dish is sooo good! And kid approved. I also recommend using your cooking shredded chicken tips!??? Thanks!!

    • HOORAY! I’m so happy to hear it was kid approved. Thanks so much for trying it out and reporting back, Laura!

  7. Such a delicious recipe! I didn’t see your recommendation for doubling the sauce in the event of a peanut sauce loving husband, but I will definitely do that next time :-). Loved this easy weeknight dinner idea that’s healthy as well. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Thanks for taking the time to report back, Ana! I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a hit—good tip about doubling the sauce. ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *