5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (2024)

You are here:Home / Recipes / 5-Spice Chicken with Vegetable Stir-Fry (Paleo, Gluten-free, Low-Carb)

Published on · Last updated on ·

Jump to Recipe

This Paleo Chinese 5-Spice Chicken Stir-Fry with Vegetables is thequickest and easiest way to get a nutritious meal on the table in under 30 minutes. My homemade chicken stir-fry sauce makes this a healthy alternative to Chinese Take-Out!

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (1)

Chinese Chicken Stir-fry -the perfect solution for whenever you really feel like popping into your fave Chinese restaurant but just can’t stand the idea of getting dressed and presentable. Which happens a lot to some people. Other people. Not me, obviously.

Why you will love this Chinese 5-Spice Chicken recipe:

There’s something magical about takeout, right? Something that makes us believe it’simpossibleto make at home, especially if you’re someone who generally does not cook all that often.

But trust me, not only can you totally pull off restaurant-style takeout recipes at home, but you can also make them SO much healthier.

In this case, healthier means:

  • Paleo
  • Gluten-free
  • Low-Carb
  • Dairy-free
  • Clean eating - approved

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (2)

The sweet and sticky stir-fry sauce coats the chicken and veggies really well and is to die for. You will literally fight over who gets the residue sauce in the pan.

We are using some cornstarch (orarrowroot powder)in order to make the slurry base for our Chinese stir-fry sauce. This step is key whenever you want to thicken up a sauce without unpleasant lumps of starchiness.

Your ingredients are going to be introduced based on their individual cooking times. Our goal is to maintain the bite that keeps this meal fresh and interesting to the palate.Overcooked, mushy vegetablesin a stir-fryis a complete no-no.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (3)

Let's talk about the veggies: I used bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli for mine but there’s nothing stopping you from using just peppers and onions, or toss in some baby asparagus or baby corn if that’s all you have on hand!

What is Chinese Five Spice anyway?

Now let's move on to the mysterious ‘Chinese Five Spice’, shall we?I absolutely love the warmth of this spice blend and the depth of flavor it lends to dishes.

It is basically a mix of star anise, cloves, Sichuan peppercorn, fennel seeds, and cinnamon.Five-spice powder comes with a bunch of health benefits thanks to the various anti-inflammatory spices and can help to improve body immunity.

However, pregnant women should not overdo it and avoid it altogether in early pregnancy. In Chinese cooking, five-spice powder is mainly used in braised dishes or roasted meat especially pork, lamb, beef or fish.

You should be able to find it at your grocery store but you can also make it yourself using this recipe.

I usuallyhave all the ingredients needed for the five-spice recipe and make a fresh batch in small quantities using a mortar and pestle. Please remember that five-spice is very potent, so don't go too crazy when adding it.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (4)

How to makeChinese 5-Spice Chicken Stir-Fry with Vegetables – Step by step

This stir-fry recipe is super straightforward. The only thing that’s important when making a stir-fry is the timing and prep.

Stir-fries cook very quickly. Have everything chopped and ready before you start your Chinese cook-off and you’ll get much better results and have a way more relaxed cooking experience. Because trust me, making carrot ribbons while frantically shaking a pan with already dry looking chicken is only entertaining for those watching.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (5)

First, we prepare the sauce:

Step 1 - 6:In a medium bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients(soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, cornstarch, ginger) and stir until well combined and smooth.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (6)

Prepare the chicken:

Step 7 - Cut the chicken into even-sized small cubes.Cut the chicken breasts in slices, then cut each slices lengthwise into long stripes and then cut crosswise into dice.

Step 8& 9-Add chicken, five-spice, and salt in a bowl. Using a spoon or your hands, combine to coat chicken with spices.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (7)

Prepare the veggies:

Step 10 -Make carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Tip:I prefer a Y-peeler as it makes it easy to cut long, even strips of the carrots.You will have a leftover piece when you're through that you can eat or chop and freeze to use in soups or stews.

Step 11 - Cut bell peppers into strips, then cut these strips in half.

Step 12 - Cut broccolini into smaller florets.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (8)

Make the stir-fry:

Step 13 -Once everything is prepped, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes.It's ok if chicken is still slightly pink because it will finish cooking later. Remove from skillet.

Step 14 -Add another 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add veggies and stir fry for about 5 minutes. They should still be a bit crispy, so pay attention not to overcook them.

Step 15 -Put chicken back into the skillet and add the stir-fry sauce. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, until sauce thicken and chicken is cooked through.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (9)

How to serve Chinese Five-Spice Chicken Stir-fry:

I like to serve this with jasmine rice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. To keep things low-carb/paleo serve your 5-Spice Chicken over cauliflower rice or zoodles. Other great garnishes are scallions and a bit of crushed red pepper for spice. Enjoy!

Tips for making Chinese Five-Spice Chicken Stir-Fry:

  • Five-spice powder can be found in most grocery stores. It's a mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and fennel seeds.
  • If you want to eat this with rice, start heating the cooking water just before prepping the ingredients so that rice and chicken are ready at the same time.
  • To make this Whole30-approved, skip the rice vinegar and the honey and add some date paste (blended soaked dates) to the sauce for sweetness. Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (10)

Variations on this recipe:

  • You can make this recipe with de-boned chicken thighs instead of chicken breast.
  • Choose whichever veggies YOU want in your chicken stir-fry. Feel free to toss in some edamame, asparagus, snow peas, baby corn or a bit of shredded cabbage. Just make sure they’re all sliced or chopped equally in size before you begin cooking.
  • If you want to add some heat to your chicken stir-fry, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (11)

4.82 from 11 votes

Print

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry

This Paleo Chinese 5-Spice Chicken Stir-Fry with Vegetables is thequickest and easiest way to get a nutritious meal on the table in under 30 minutes. My homemade chicken stir-fry sauce makes this a healthy alternative to Chinese Take-Out dinners!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4

Calories 340 kcal

Author Marie

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1.5lbschicken breast(about 2 breasts)
  • 1tspChinese five-spice powder see notes
  • ¼tspsea salt

For the veggies

  • 1yellow bell pepperany color would work
  • 1large carrot
  • 1bunch baby broccolior half a small broccoli head
  • 4tspolive oildivided
  • 2tspsesame seeds

For the sauce

  • 3tbspsoy saucetamari for GF, coconut aminos for Paleo
  • 2tbsprice vinegar
  • ¼cuphoney
  • 1tbspcornstarchor arrowroot
  • 1garlic cloveminced
  • 1tspfresh gingerminced

Instructions

Prepare chicken:

  1. Cut the chicken into even-sized small cubes. Cut the chicken breasts in slices, then cut each slices lengthwise into long stripes and then cut crosswise into dice.

  2. Add chicken, five-spice and salt in a bowl. Using a spoon or your hands, combine to coat chicken with spices.

Prepare veggies:

  1. Cut bell peppers into strips, then cut these strips in half. Make carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler and cut broccolini into smaller florets.

Prepare sauce:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients.

Make stir-fry:

  1. Once everything is ready, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes.It’s ok if chicken is still slightly pink because it will finish cooking later. Remove from skillet.

  2. Add another 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add veggies and stir fry for about 5 minutes. They should still be crispy, so pay attention not to overcook them.

  3. Put chicken back into the skillet and add sauce. Cook for 1 minute, stirring, until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through.

  4. Serve immediately with jasmine rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

Tips

  • Five-spice powder can be found in most grocery stores. It's a mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and fennel seeds.
  • If you want to eat this with rice, start heating the cooking water just before prepping the ingredients so that rice and chicken are ready at the same time.
  • To keep thingslow-carb/paleoserve your 5-Spice Chicken overcauliflower rice or zoodles.
  • To make this Whole30-approved, skip the rice vinegar and the honey and add some date paste (blended soaked dates) to the sauce for sweetness. Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Variations

  • You can make this recipe with de-boned chicken thighs instead of chicken breast.
  • Choose whichever veggies YOU want in your chicken stir-fry. Feel free to toss in some edamame, asparagus, snow peas, baby corn or a bit of shredded cabbage. Just make sure they’re all sliced or chopped equally in size before you begin cooking.
  • If you want to add some heat to your chicken stir-fry, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Facts

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Amount Per Serving (1 /4th)

Calories 340Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Cholesterol 108mg36%

Sodium 1109mg48%

Potassium 795mg23%

Carbohydrates 24g8%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 18g20%

Protein 38g76%

Vitamin A 2660IU53%

Vitamin C 58.2mg71%

Calcium 36mg4%

Iron 1.7mg9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried this Healthy Chinese 5-Spice Chicken Recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me onInstagram,PinterestandFacebookfor more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

More healthy Asian recipes you will love:

  • Asian Slaw with Peanut Ginger Dressing
  • Ground Turkey Rice Bowls
  • Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice
  • Glazed Chicken Meatballs

UPDATE NOTE:This post was originally published in August 2014 and republished in October 2019 with an updated recipe, new photos and more tips.

«

Asian Turkey "Fried" Rice (Meal Prep) »

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Susan

    Yum! This sounds simply wonderful.

    I have been to Vietnam three times, all on a cruise ship, and it's a country I've really enjoyed. I did not want to go the first time, because I had a negative impression left over from our Vietnam war era. But to my surprise I discovered a really wonderful country. The places we saw are all thriving, and the people are very enterprising and industrious (the same qualities I've seen in the Vietnamese people who come to the US. We've been to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang, Nha Trang,and Haiphong. The last was accessed from our stop at HaLong Bay, an amazing UNESCO world heritage site which is a must-see. I'm also a big fan of Vietnamese food, and Thai food is right up there with it. While you are at it, Thailand is a wonderful country to visit. A friend and i spent almost 2 months in Bangkok, which was a very special time. Singapore is another great place to visit, as is Malaysia. The country I want to see a lot more of is Indonesia - I love the people and the food. You've really got your work cut out for you to do such a food trip, even if you don't grossly overeat. 🙂

    • marie

      Susan you are so lucky to have visited so many countries! I love to hear your stories, thank you 🙂

  2. Julia

    I have 5-Spice in my cupboard screaming my name--love this recipe. Can't wait to try it out!

  3. Susan

    I finally got around to making this and it was a hit for both of us. I served it over stir-fried cauliflower rice, which turned out to be a great idea because it allowed us to have beer with our dinner. 🙂 The one we had was 61 by Dogfish Head, which is an IPA brewed with Syrah grape must (it's not as bitter as your usual IPA). Perfect accompaniment. Thanks for another great recipe.

    • marie

      It sounds delicious Susan! So glad you liked another recipe of mine 🙂

  4. Emm E

    Oh wow! This is really delicious! I enjoy the complexity of five spice. Thanks for the inspiration. An excellent, warming dish for a cold Canadian night!

    • Marie

      Thanks a lot Emm! Brrr I remember when I lived in Canada for a little while, the nights can get pretty cold indeed!! 🙂

  5. Iqra

    There is perfect recipe of spice chicken to see. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Marie

      My pleasure 🙂

  6. 40A.

    I am a huge fan of homemade healthy stir-fries and I actually even have a 5-Spice mix in my pantry! Will definitely try this one!

  7. Andrea

    Thank you for an absolutely amazing dinner. We had it with udon noodles. I've also added snow peas, cauliflower and a Chinese stir fry mix. Even both my kids loved it

  8. R

    Olive Oil should not be used for high heat cooking. Other than that, it is a good recipe with good results.

    • Marie

      Feel free to use your favorite oil Ricky. Thanks for your feedback!

  9. Beth

    Only 30 minutes to this healthy, delicious dish?! Yes! I need this in my busy week!!

  10. Paula Montenegro

    A beautiful dish! The images are super tempting. I have some 5 spice lying around, and this is the perfect recipe to use it!

  11. Natalie

    Wow this looks sooo delicious. I love the flavors and veggies and colors. It's so healthy bright and tasty. I must make this soon.

  12. Heidy L. McCallum

    I love this! All those wonderful textures and spices with veggies. Great idea! Totally better than any takeout foods. Saving to make another night

  13. Asma Sheikh

    This looks so yummy and hope it will fun to try 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  14. Megan

    I made this for dinner last night. Our four kids DEVOURED it. It was perfect. I doubled the veggies as they prefer them over meat and added a few more tablespoons/teaspoons of everything for more sauce, PERFECT.

    This will be in our monthly meals, for sure!

    • Marie

      So happy to hear it's family approved, love it! Thanks so much for letting me know Megan 🙂

  15. Anna

    I go along with you. Yeah, takeout is so easy and attracting: you don't need to waste your time on cooking, you just have to wait for your dinner lying on a sofa. Sometimes it's rather helpful when you don't have time or are exhausted, but I admit that I'm usually just too lazy to open the fridge and make a dinner.
    But the quality of such food is not always good. I agree it's much better to make all the dishes at home (even fast food like maki) because you don't need to worry about expiration dates, the quality of products (because you worry about it before cooking), you can substitute products as you wish. It's really convenient if time-consuming 🙁

    I absolutely love this recipe! I ate it with and without chicken, and it was perfect anyway. And this sauce is something that makes my mouth water each time I see it: it gives a special exquisite taste to the meal.
    Thank you for the recipe, Marie! Your blog is amazing, keep it up! I wish you many brilliant ideas and a Happy New Year!

    • Marie

      Yep, I'm right there with you Anna! Thanks for the feedback on the recipe, I'm super happy you loved it. Happy new year to you too!!

  16. Dawn

    Followed recipe exactly. It was over-spiced and over-sauced for our taste (could adjust that in future batches), but the cooking techniques were right on for perfectly cooked chicken and vegetables arriving at the table at the same time.

    • Marie

      Thanks for your feedback Dawn! Sorry to hear it wasn't to your taste.

  17. Nancy Grenier

    Very good - I used with pork and it was terrific!

  18. Randall

    I made a similar stir-fry for my parents, but they can't handle very hot (spicy). I had to leave out the chilis, and it ended up *bland*---O the shame of it!
    I resolved to spice it up without hotting it up and found your recipe. The five-spice powder was just the thing! I did substitute red and orange bell peppers for the carrots (love the bells). I also briefly stir-fried about twice the garlic and ginger with a half-cup of peanuts before adding to the sauce. (My boiled vegetable-eating parents are good sports about garlic and ginger. 😉 It was wonderful!
    Now I'm looking for other things to use five-spice powder in! Thanks again!

    • Marie

      Hey Randall! Happy to read you found a new recipe for your parents that you all enjoyed 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  19. LJ

    I searched for a recipe that called for 5 spice and this is the first one that popped up, and I'm glad it did! Good mix of veggies and chicken. Loved the flavors! Next time I might try a Little crushed red pepper, as suggested. Thank you for a great dinner!!

    • Marie

      Very happy you loved it! Thanks for your kind review 🙂

5-Spice Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry | Not Enough Cinnamon (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 5776

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.