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Easy Szechuan Chicken

5 from 2 votes
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posted: 01/07/19

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This easy Szechuan Chicken is better than take-out! It is easy, only takes thirty minutes to make, and you can throw in whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator this week. If your family is craving chicken Szechuan style, this is the recipe for you! 

Serving spoon digging into a skillet of easy szechuan chicken

Back in the day, when Nathan and I were first married, I barely knew how to cook. It was Christmas Eve or Valentine’s day, or some holiday that I wanted to make special. So we picked up a packet of Szechuan mix and made it at home, carefully following the directions on the back of the packet. Super special, right?. Ah to be young, naive, and poor. But! It was delicious, and quickly became one of our favorite meals. We were picking up that packet on the regular.

As I got better at cooking, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at making it at home, sans packet that contains who knows what in it. The older I get the more my love for cooking grows. I love making things from scratch because I can control the flavors so much more. Turns out we love the homemade version a lot more and it is a regular meal in our house. One of my pickiest eaters recently declared this their favorite dinner!

overhead view of chicken szechuan style in a skillet

WHAT IS SZECHUAN CHICKEN?

Szechuan actually refers to a region of China. The cooking in this region tends to be bold and spicy, which speak to the flavors of this dish! Typically Szechuan Chicken uses eggs and cornstarch to batter the chicken. It also usually uses chili paste and whole or ground chilies. Because we make this for our kids, I leave out the whole chilies to take the spice down a little, but leave in the chili paste. If you like spicy dishes, pick up some whole chili peppers and throw them in with this dish. It is what we did when we were just cooking for two. I also skip the battering of the chicken, opting to just put corn starch in the sauce and thicken it that way.

easy Szechuan chicken in a bowl over rice

WHAT VEGETABLES ARE IN SZECHUAN CHICKEN?

Traditionally, Szechuan Chicken uses strips of carrots and bell peppers. Our family really loves bell peppers and mushrooms, so that is what I opted for in my version. I also throw in water chestnuts because I love their crunch. Occasionally I will add bamboo shoots too. For the photographs, I added some green onions at the end for some color. These would be great cooked in with your vegetables. Szechuan Chicken would also be great with broccoli.

Szechuan chicken dinner recipe in a red skillet

OTHER GREAT COPY CAT TAKE OUT DINNERS

overhead view of szechuan chicken

Serving spoon digging into a skillet of easy szechuan chicken
5 from 2 votes

Szechuan Chicken

Serves: 4 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
This Szechuan Chicken is better than take-out! It is easy, only takes thirty minutes to make, and you can throw in whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator this week. If your family is craving chicken Szechuan style, this is the recipe for you! 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound of chicken sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste
  • 2 TBSPs corn starch
  • sliced water chestnuts optional
  • bamboo shoots optional

Instructions

  • Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat the olive oil and then add the chicken, stirring until no longer pink on the outside, about 5 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, mix the soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, sugar, chile paste, and then whisk in the corn starch.
  • Once the chicken has finished cooking, add the mushrooms and red peppers and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour the mixed sauce over the meat and vegetables and cook until it has thickened, a few minutes.
  • Stir in the sliced water chestnuts and bamboo shoots if using.
  • Serve over rice.
Calories: 262kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 16g (5%) Protein: 24g (48%) Fat: 8g (12%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 65mg (22%) Sodium: 997mg (43%) Potassium: 602mg (17%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 950IU (19%) Vitamin C: 57.8mg (70%) Calcium: 10mg (1%) Iron: 1.3mg (7%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Serving spoon digging into a skillet of easy szechuan chicken

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Szechuan Chicken

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Serving spoon digging into a skillet of easy szechuan chicken

Serving spoon digging into a skillet of easy szechuan chicken

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Mir says

    Oh, do I remember stuffing food in my youngest child’s mouth to get her back on the growth chart. It’s a fun way to spend time, huh?
    Love this chicken. It’s such a great dinner option!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thanks Mir!

  2. Annie @Maebells says

    Oh man this looks good!! I really resisted cooking Asian food for a long time because I had no idea what I was doing, but I kind of think I have the hang of it now, I can’t wait to try this! It will be a big hit in our house!

    • Lisa Longley says

      If you try it Annie, let me know how you like it!

  3. Bekki Lindner says

    Putting this on my next meal plan! Looks delicious! I might even get brave and buy chili paste….

    • Lisa Longley says

      Do it Bekki! You won’t regret it!

  4. Teresa Anderson-Briney says

    5 stars
    This looks delish! I will be making it soon. A question though…how do you “keep” fresh ginger after using part of it, also I have seen ginger and chile paste in tubes. How do you keep them fresh?

    I enjoy your blog and recipes .
    Teresa in Alabama

    • Lisa Longley says

      I do use the tube kind of ginger and chile paste and most of them have recommendations on the side for how long they last in the refrigerator. If you use the tube ginger, use 1 tablespoon of it. If you use fresh ginger, you can try freezing the rest in an airtight container for future use!

    • Pat McGlothlin says

      I keep fresh ginger in the refrigerator in a jar covered with sherry.

  5. Bee says

    5 stars
    The ingredients and flavor profile sound SO good!

  6. Alexis says

    What type of chicken did you use? Breast or thighs?? Can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I used chicken breasts.

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