This Thai Basil Chicken is super quick and easy to make, but it tastes so great your family will think it's takeout from your favorite Thai place!
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can get a little weird. It's a time that we might be busy doing a lot of cooking (or baking) to get ready for the upcoming Holidays but not focusing much on what we're eating right now.
It's also often a time of frequent parties, where we often indulge in large amounts of rich food and alcohol. We're also busy shopping, wrapping, decorating, etc.
With everything that's going on, we could all use a tasty meal that's healthy and also super quick to cook up. Enter Spicy Thai Basil Chicken. But of course, this dish doesn't only work for the busy Holiday period. It's also great for the rest of the year when you're also super busy. It's great for busy weeknights and any leftovers taste great reheated for lunch on busy afternoons.
No joke, this stir-fried chicken dish cooks up in less than 10 minutes. You can even do the prep-work (slicing chicken, peppers, shallots, and garlic) if you know you're going to be in a rush to get dinner on the table.
It is definitely a weeknight-friendly meal - even if you have to take the kids to skating lessons or need to run out to do some shopping. Plus the ingredient list is short, and there is minimal prep work required.
How to make Spicy Thai Basil Chicken:
First: while this recipe is called "Spicy" Thai Basil Chicken, don't worry if you don't like spicy food. You can control just how spicy you want it to be. Simply use more or less chili peppers, or omit them completely.
This dish really does cook quickly, so the first thing you're going to want to do is start cooking your rice (if you're using it).
While this dish does cook up quickly, it does require a little bit of prep work before you even turn on the stove. Slice the chicken thinly, or into ½" to 1" cubes, depending on your preferences. Thinly slice the shallots, garlic, and chile (wash your hands well with soap and water after cutting the chili to prevent any burning sensation). Remove the basil leaves from the stem, and discard the stems.
Once everything is ready to cook, heat up your wok (or large non-stick skillet). From this point, you will have dinner on the table in minutes. Add the shallots, garlic and chilis to the skillet, then the chicken. Then add the sauces and basil, and dinner is ready!
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Ingredients:
While this recipe is super easy to prepare, some of the ingredients can be tricky to find
- Canola oil
- Birds eye chilis: omit these if you don't want any spice in your dish. Bird's eye chilis are available in some well-stocked grocery stores and Asian markets. If you can't find them, use arbol chilis, but note that they are less spicy. In a pinch, simply use dried chili flakes. I have done this several times, and the recipe is still delicious.
- Boneless skinless chicken: either chicken breasts or thighs work fine
- Fish sauce: this is available in most well-stocked grocery stores.
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce: make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari if you need this recipe to be gluten-free
- Thai basil leaves: these can be difficult to find, but are available in well-stocked Asian markets. Regular basil can be used in a pinch, but it does have a slightly different flavor. If you plan to use Thai basil on a regular basis, it's easy to grow in a small pot, both indoors and out.
While this dish comes together so quickly and has such a short ingredient list, it tastes amazing! Your family will think you picked up takeout at your favorite Thai place.
I love to serve mine with coconut rice (because who doesn't like coconut rice?), but it's also great with plain (white or brown) rice. You could even serve it with a higher-fiber grain like quinoa or barley if you so choose. Believe me, it's great no matter what!
Want more Quick & Easy Chicken recipes?
Thai Basil Chicken Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below does not include rice, or whatever you choose to serve with it. Note that this Thai Basil Chicken is gluten-free, but only if you use a gluten-free soy sauce. It is also dairy-free.
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 3 Thai birds eye chile thinly sliced
- 3 medium shallots thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thinly sliced (I prefer thighs, but breasts will work fine too)
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce (make sure to use Gluten Free soy sauce if you need this recipe to be gluten free)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 bunch Thai basil leaves (about 2 cups once stems are removed)
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the chiles, shallots and garlic and stir fry for one minute. Add the sliced chicken, and continue to stir fry until browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, then slowly add the water, scraping up any browned bits on the pan. Stir in basil and cook until it is just wilted. Remove from heat and serve with rice, coconut rice, quinoa or grain of your choosing.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I try my best to make sure the nutrition information I provide is accurate to provide you with the best information possible. However, due to ingredient discrepancies and other factors, the above nutrition information should be considered an estimation only.
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