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How to Make a Healthy Stir Fry with Any Veggies & Protein!

With a few easy techniques you can whip up a healthy stir fry any night of the week! Think of this recipe as more of a technique than an exact science. As long as you follow the procedure, you can use any combination of vegetables and/or proteins that you like or that you have on hand. Be sure to make a batch of this Stir Fry Sauce before beginning (you can make the sauce up to 5 days ahead). Have all of your ingredients prepped before beginning the cooking process—once you get started it moves fast! Serve the healthy stir fry over steamed brown rice, white rice or quinoa.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy stir fry, healthy stir fry recipe, how to make a stir fry
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Large skillet or wok

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or safflower), divided

Protein

  • 1 pound protein, such as: thinly sliced flank steak, thinly sliced skirt steak, thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, thinly sliced pork tenderloin, peeled and deveined shrimp, or firm tofu cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hardy vegetables

  • 3-4 cups hardy vegetables, such as: broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, sliced carrots, sliced bell peppers, green beans and/or cubed eggplant

Aromatics

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 3 scallions or shallots, thinly sliced, plus more for serving

Tender vegetables

  • 3-4 cups tender vegetables, such as: snow peas, snap peas, garden peas, diced zucchini, diced summer squash, sliced mushrooms, baby spinach, chopped baby bok choy and/or chopped Swiss chard

Stir fry sauce

  • 1 batch Stir-Fry Sauce, see recipe link above

For serving

  • Cooked rice or quinoa
  • Chopped cashews, peanuts or toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • Sriracha or chile sauce (optional)

Instructions

Partially cook the protein

  • Heat a large flat-bottomed wok or a large skillet over high until hot (to test if it’s hot enough, flick a drop of water into the pan—it should evaporate immediately). Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the protein, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized on the outside but still undercooked in the center, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Start the hardy vegetables

  • Swirl in another tablespoon of oil and add the hardy vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized in spots, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the aromatics

  • Push the vegetables to one side of the wok. On the other side, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, followed by the garlic, ginger and scallions. Cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Add the tender vegetables

  • Add the tender vegetables and toss everything together. Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 1-3 minutes.

Add the stir fry sauce

  • Return the protein to the wok. Whisk (or shake) the stir-fry sauce to distribute the cornstarch, and then add it as well. Cook, stirring gently, until the sauce comes to a boil coats the meat and vegetables, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve

  • Serve the stir-fry over rice and sprinkle with sliced scallions. If you’d like, garnish with chopped cashews, peanuts or toasted sesame seeds. If you like it spicy, drizzle with sriracha or chile sauce!

Notes

Tips: 
  • Use a large (12- to 14-inch) skillet or a flat-bottomed wok
  • To get a jumpstart on dinner, make the Stir Fry Sauce ahead (it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days), and chop up the vegetables in the morning (or the day before!).
  • It’s important to preheat the wok or skillet before beginning. You can test if it’s hot enough by flicking in a few drops of water—they should evaporate within 1-2 seconds of contact.  
  • Be sure to chop up all of your vegetables and aromatics before you start the cooking process—once it gets started it goes fast!