The Only Stir-Fry Recipe You Need

By: Carolyn Malcoun, EatingWell Food Features Editor

Stir-frying is a healthy way to get a veggie-packed dinner on the table fast. Start with your favorite stir-fry sauce, then mix and match ingredients to create a custom stir-fry in 30 minutes—or less!

healthy stir-fry recipes

Cooking up a healthy stir-fry recipe for dinner is one of my favorite ways to eat more vegetables. Loading up a meal with veggies lets you eat a bigger portion size without adding a lot of calories, so you can still feel satisfied. I turn to stir-fry recipes on busy weeknights for a quick and healthy dinner that the family will actually eat.

Related: Healthy Stir-Fry Recipes for Dinner Tonight

Stir-fries are super-adaptable. Plus, if you're a veg head or CSA junkie like me, you can whip up a stir-fry just by digging around in the fridge. But the best part is that they come together start-to-finish in 30 minutes and only require one pan, so you can still have dinner on the table fast without a ton of dishes to do.

To round it all out, cook up some brown rice, make some quinoa or some brown-rice noodles to soak up all the delicious sauce. All you need is the bottle of sriracha and you're ready to eat.

Here is a foolproof stir-fry recipe formula to help you get a delicious meal on the table in no time:

1. Make Your Sauce

Stir-frying is a technique that can cross ethnic divides. Pick a flavor profile and whisk up one of these stir-fry sauces before you prep your protein and veggies. Then park it next to your stove. Here are two delicious stir-fry sauce recipes to try:

Gochujang Stir-Fry Sauce gives you Korean street-food flavor in a flash.

Mojo Stir-Fry Sauce is a Caribbean-inspired herb and citrus blend.

Try These Healthy Stir-Fry Combos:

Broccoli, Mushroom & Beef Stir-Fry
6
This healthy beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe has a Korean-inspired gochujang sauce. Because stir-fries cook up quickly, have all the ingredients prepped and next to the stove before you turn on the heat. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles.
Bell Pepper, Bok Choy & Pork Stir-Fry
1
This healthy pepper and pork stir-fry recipe has a citrusy mojo sauce. Because stir-fries cook up quickly, have all the ingredients prepped and next to the stove before you turn on the heat. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles.
Carrot, Snow Pea & Chicken Stir-Fry
2
This healthy snow pea and chicken stir-fry recipe has a citrusy mojo sauce. Because stir-fries cook up quickly, have all the ingredients prepped and next to the stove before you turn on the heat. Serve over brown rice or soba noodles.
Green Bean, Eggplant & Shrimp Stir-Fry
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This healthy eggplant and shrimp stir-fry recipe has a Korean-inspired gochujang sauce. Because stir-fries cook up quickly, have all the ingredients prepped and next to the stove before you turn on the heat. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles.
More Healthy Recipes

2. Prep Your Ingredients

Stir-fries cook up in a flash, so have all the ingredients prepped and next to the stove before you turn on the heat. Pick a protein and some vegetables. You can vary the the ingredients according to what's in your fridge and freezer or what combinations your family prefers.

Protein

Cut 1 pound of your chosen protein source into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • Boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin
  • Flank or strip steak
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Baked tofu
  •  

Longer-Cooking Veggies

These vegetables require a little more contact time with the wok than their quicker-cooking counterparts (see below). Pick at least one from this group, peel (if desired) and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Aim for 3 to 4 cups total.

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Parsnips
  • Peppers
  • Turnips
  •  

Quicker-Cooking Veggies

These veggies are softer and more tender so they only need a few minutes of cooking time to be the perfect texture. Pick at least one from this group and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Aim for 3 to 4 cups total.

  • Mature or baby bok choy
  • Green or red cabbage
  • Corn (kernels or baby)
  • Green beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Snow or snap peas
  • Kale, spinach, chard or collards
  • Tomatoes
  •  

3. Cook the Protein First

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottom carbon-steel wok over high heat. You'll know it's hot enough when a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. Add the protein and stir-fry until just cooked, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Don't Miss: Everything You Need to Know About Woks

4. Add Longer-Cooking Veggies

Swirl in another 1 tablespoon oil, then add the veggies. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

5. Add Quicker-Cooking Veggies

Swirl in 1 more tablespoon oil; add 3 cloves minced garlic and the veggies. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender, 2 to 4 minutes more.

6. Toss It All Together

Return the cooked protein and the sauce you mixed up to the wok. Cook, gently stirring, until well-coated and hot, 1 to 2 minutes.

More Healthy Recipes to Try:

Perfect Fried Rice in 5 Steps
Essential Staples for Quick & Easy Chinese Meals
Watch: How to Make Pad Thai