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Our latest favorite fast, healthy dinner is ready in 25 minutes, can adapt to any protein you throw at it, and while it’s certainly poised to help you make the most of summer’s most prolific produce, it’s a recipe we’ll cook year round: Zucchini Stir Fry!

Easy zucchini chicken stir fry in a skillet

Sliced zucchini (or a combination of zucchini and squash) stir fried in a quick garlic ginger soy sauce with onions and a pinch of red pepper flakes, it’s quick to make and obsessively good to eat.

We added chicken (I have pro-tips below for making the meat super tender), though you can just as easily cook this zucchini stir fry with shrimp, pork, or beef.

Need a quick side for dinner tonight? Leave out the meat and serve it alongside your favorite grilled entree.

Healthy zucchini stir fry in a skillet topped with sesame seeds and green onions

This recipe has an Asian spin and is a fun change of pace from more classic zucchini dishes like this Parmesan Roasted Zucchini or Easy Sautéed Zucchini with Parmesan.

A few weeks ago on Instagram, I took a poll to ask what kind of zucchini recipes you wanted to see from me this season first, and the savory variety won by a landslide (sorry, Healthy Zucchini Muffins; you’ll have to wait a week or two…or however long I last).

For future savory zucchini recipe inspo, be sure to check out this Stuffed Zucchini and these Zucchini Pizza Boats, especially if you are craving Italian.

But for tonight: this easy chicken zucchini stir fry has our number!

It’s low maintenance and super healthy (just look at all that veg!). You don’t even need to peel the zucchini to make stir fry.

How to Stir Fry Zucchini

Zucchini does not need long to stir fry, just three minutes to warm the slices through.

For stir fry zucchini, make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and measured ahead of time. Once this recipe starts moving, the steps come in quick succession.

The Stir Fry Ingredients

  • Chicken. Perfectly tender and juicy pieces of chicken breast are coated in the flavorful, sticky sauce. For the most tender stir fry meat, let the chicken rest in the soy sauce and vinegar for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients. I used chicken breasts, but boneless skinless chicken thighs would work well too.
  • Zucchini. With its mild flavor and soft texture, zucchini is a delicious addition to stir fry. Plus, it’s packed with Vitamin-A and antioxidants (read more about the health benefits of zucchini here). You can also use yellow squash or a mix of the two for this recipe.
  • Onion. One of my favorite easy additions to any stir fry, and it tastes especially yummy paired with zucchini.

The Sauce Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce. With its delectable salty, umami flavor, soy sauce is the star of our stir fry sauce (and many of these other stir fries). Be sure to use low sodium soy sauce to keep the sauce from becoming too salty.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Adds a touch of acidity and tanginess to balance the sauce. The vinegar also helps tenderize the meat.
  • Sugar. A pinch of sugar helps enhance the other flavors and balance the sauce further.
  • Ginger + Garlic. Must-have ingredients for stir fry sauce.
  • Cornstarch + Water. To thicken the sauce.
  • Red Pepper Flakes. For a touch of heat.

The flavor profile of the sauce is reminiscent of a chicken zucchini teriyaki stir fry. Texture-wise, when compared to my go-to Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry, this sauce is a bit lighter. It makes for a fresh, lovely meal.

The Directions

Pieces of raw chicken in a glass bowl
  1. Place the chicken in a bowl with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. Let it hang out while you prep the rest of the stir fry.
  2. Stir the remaining sauce ingredients together. Chop the zucchini and onion.
Chicken pieces in a skillet
  1. Brown the chicken in a skillet. Once cooked through, remove it to a plate.
  2. Sauté the onion. Pour the sauce into the skillet.
Chopped zucchini, yellow squash, and onions in a skillet
  1. Add the zucchini, cooking until just softened. Remove from the heat, then add the chicken. Top with sesame seeds and green onion. DIG IN!

How to Cut Zucchini for Stir Fry

  • No Need to Peel. Thankfully, you do not peel zucchini for stir fry, which saves a step and adds nutrients to the dish. The skin is thin and mild.
  • Cut Thin Slices. Due to zucchini’s high water content, it won’t get as crispy as other vegetables. Cut it into thin slices so it cooks quickly and won’t become soggy.
  • Work Quickly. Zucchini can go from tender to mushy in a hurry, so be careful not to overcook it. Three minutes at medium high heat is all you need.

Recipe Variations – Change Up the Protein + Tips for Tender Stir Fry Meat

We opted to make this a chicken and zucchini stir fry, though you could swap any meat you like, or use tofu (perfect in my Broccoli Tofu Stir Fry) or shrimp.

  • If using chicken or a different sliced meat such as beef or pork, my biggest tip is to soak it in the soy sauce and vinegar mixture while you prep the other ingredients. Even a few minutes of marinating will make for more tender stir fry meat.
  • Slice the meat thinly to help it cook more quickly and tenderize.
  • If you want to use ground chicken instead, check out this easy Cabbage Stir Fry.
  • If using shrimp, you can skip the vinegar in the marinade. Let the shrimp sit in the soy sauce, then be careful not to overcook them.
Chicken zucchini stir fry with sesame seeds in a skillet

Recipe Variations – Change Up the Vegetables

I most often stir fry zucchini and onions, which is the version of the recipe you see here. That said, you can certainly use this recipe as a starting point for other vegetables. A few suggestions:

  • Zucchini and Squash Stir Fry. Use a mix of zucchini and yellow summer squash (I used one of each).
  • Zucchini Eggplant Stir Fry. Swap the onions for the eggplant, cutting the eggplant into short strips that are about 1/2 inch wide. Eggplant may need longer to cook than the onions. Make sure it’s tender before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Zucchini Bell Pepper Stir Fry. Swap the onions for 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin slices.
  • Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry. Swap the onions for 10 ounces of sliced or diced cremini mushrooms.
  • Carrots, Broccoli, Snap Peas, You Name It! As long as the veggies are chopped to cook in a similar amount of time (meaning harder vegetables like carrots are cut smaller/thinner), you can toss in or swap out just about any fresh vegetable.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips 

  • To Make Ahead. Chop the zucchini, onion, ginger, and garlic up to 1 day in advance. Store in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
  • To Store. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm zucchini stir fry in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave, though the microwave will make the zucchini a little soggy.
  • To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating (note that zucchini isn’t ideal for freezing, due to the soggy factor, but if that doesn’t bother you, please feel free).

More Favorite Savory Zucchini Recipes

Healthy zucchini stir fry in a skillet topped with sesame seeds and green onions

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Zucchini Stir Fry

4.73 from 97 votes
An easy, healthy Asian chicken and zucchini stir fry with onions in a quick teriyaki sauce. Fast and perfect for nutritious weeknight dinners.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs or tenders), thinly sliced then cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce divided
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar divided
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves minced garlic about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium zucchini yellow squash, or a mix
  • 1 large red or yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sesame seeds optional for garnish
  • Chopped green onion for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  • In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, the ginger, garlic, water, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  • Trim off the ends of the zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise, then place the flat, cut sides on the counter. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half moons. Thinly slice the onion.
  • In a wide skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and its marinating liquid. Saute until the chicken is golden brown on the outsides and fully cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion. Cook until tender and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Give the sauce one more stir, then add it to the pan. Let cook 30 seconds, then add the sliced zucchini. Cook just until the zucchini begins to soften, about 3 minutes more.
  • Remove from the heat, then stir in the reserved chicken. Serve hot with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onion as desired.



  • TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm zucchini stir fry in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You can also reheat this dish in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 27gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 753mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 267IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I usually love all your recipes but this was SO MUCH GINGER it overpowered everything. Do you really mean a minced tablespoon? 

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes. It does sound like you used fresh ginger, so the amount is correct. It’s possible that you had an especially potent piece of ginger. I hope you were still able to enjoy the dish!

    1. Hi Linda! Ground ginger won’t have the same liveliness and punch that fresh does, but if you don’t mind losing some of the flavor in the name of ease (which I totally get!), you can use 1/3 the amount of ground. I hope this helps!

  2. So yummy!!! I used coconut aminos because I can’t do soy sauce and honey instead of sugar, but it was a wonderful healthy meal. I’ll for sure be making it again!!5 stars

  3. I plan on making this tonight and serving it over some jasmine rice, would you suggest doubling the sauce to make it saucier with the rice? I don’t want the rice to be dry

    1. Hi Dani! You won’t have a lot of extra sauce coming off of this dish, so you may need to add more to your liking! Hope you enjoy it!

    2. I doubled the sauce and served over riced cauliflower. I did not have access to fresh ginger, nor am I a great lover of ginger, so I used a 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger and it was perfect for our tastes. PLUS we love onion so I doubled the amount for our tastes. It was wonderful.5 stars

  4. My wife is not able to eat Ginger, gives her migraines, so I skip using it, lots of garlic, oyster sauce, maggi etc… still tastes good.

  5. This was amazing! Such a clean meal with ingredients that are common enough for everyone to have. This will be my new go to recipe for zucchini. Sooooo Good!5 stars

  6. This was really good thank you for sharing! I used sesame oil in place of the olive oil and doubled the sauce and it turned out amazing.5 stars

    1. Hi Makayla! I didn’t measure the size of each serving, so unfortunately I don’t have a number to give! I’d recommend taking a look at your skillet and dividing it into quarters to visualize how big each serving size will be, then measuring it. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try!

  7. I made this because my husband always orders a similar dish at Chinese restaurants. I used fresh ginger and used only 1 teaspoon. It was perfect! And don’t omit the pepper flakes. It adds the right amount of kick to the dish. Served it over Chinese-style cake noodles and The Hubs said it was better than any restaurant! Thank you for an awesome recipe!5 stars

    1. I made for Sunday dinner and it was delicious!! A new recipe to save and make another night. Simple and easy. I put it over brown rice and it was perfect.5 stars

  8. I really enjoyed this recipe! I’m a picky eater and, and zucchini is a new food for me; this was a great way to try it. Really easy too! It was a little on the salty side for me, but that could 100% just be the brand of soy sauce I used. I immediately sent the recipe to friends and family to try too!4 stars

  9. I didn’t have onions so I added mushrooms instead. Also I only had ground ginger and added snap peas too! It was so good and I didn’t feel guilty eating it! I used chia seeds instead of sesame seeds and used green onions on top! Wonderful meal!5 stars

  10. Simple quick and great taste. I love super tender chicken so I opted for tenderising with baking soda and blanching.5 stars

  11. Hi- Since we don’t eat meat, could you please suggest another meatless protein that might work in this recipe? Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi Martha! I haven’t tried any substitutes in this recipe but I do make a tofu stir fry so it might work here. Here is the original recipe: If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  12. This was so easy. I used all the vegies up in my fridge. Low cal with the sauce being 156 calories. Fantastic flavors. Thank you. Next time I’m making a double batch for left overs.5 stars

  13. Excellent! Hubby and I loved it! I didn’t have cornstarch, so I left out the water and cornstarch. I didn’t have apple cider vinegar so I used rice wine vinegar. Other than that, made it as is. A definite do over!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Joan! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and feedback on the rice wine vinegar!

  14. I made this today and we just finished eating it. I followed the recipe to the letter using zucchini and yellow squash, plus I added mushrooms towards the end because I like them. It turned out great and we will definitely make it again. I like the fact that your recipes are from scratch, using everyday ingredients.5 stars

  15. So, so good and easy (and quick) to pull together. We have another sweltering day here in Massachusetts and I hated to send my husband out to the grill. This cooks so quickly it didn’t heat up the house and we enjoyed eating it on our deck. I can’t have soy but subbed coconut aminos and everyone LOVED it. My daughter who is pescatarian is coming home next week ~ she doesn’t like shrimp~ can you recommend any other seafood that might work? Thank you for another great recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Pam! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review! I don’t think any other seafood would work for this. Might be best to just serve it on the side. Hope this helps!

  16. This was so bland, the zucchini leached out a bunch of water, I had to make a slurry to further thicken. After the sauce became watery any flavor it may have had was lost. This needs many additions and a better stir fry sauce, won’t make again. I’m really surprised by the ratings.1 star

    1. Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Taryn. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would have been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

  17. I made it this afternoon to take for lunch tomorrow and paired it up with basmati. It was better than any Chinese takeout. I’ll be making it regularly as I’m a fan of ginger5 stars

  18. Made tonite . It was pretty good. I did add some leftover bok choy. Next time I might add some mushrooms and try with zoodles instead of diced zucchini5 stars