It’s dinnertime. You’re hungry now, but you don’t want to wait for takeout, and you don’t want to clean a million pans. What’s the solution? A stir-fry! Well-balanced stir-fry recipes cover all the bases for a quick, healthy meal. They are the ultimate one-pan convenience, are super-fast, and can be made as healthy as you want them to be.
All a stir-fry requires is some basic ingredients and a super hot pan. Woks are nice for the way the sloped sides keep the food moving, but not essential. Keep a few staples on hand to create a quick sauce like low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, ginger, garlic, and corn starch to thicken. If you want to get saucy, add in hoisin sauce and a chili sauce like sambal olek.
Here’s a great collection of healthy stir-fry recipes that incorporate lean meats, crunchy veggies, and just the right amount of rice or noodles. Plus, try these 16 Healthy Shrimp Recipes That Take 15 Minutes (or Less!).
Mushrooms, green beans, and lean flank steak meet heat in this quick recipe. Hoisin sauce and chili sauce add just enough tongue-tingling heat and sweetness to make this a recipe you’ll return to whenever the craving for stir-fry strikes.
Get our recipe for Sweet and Spicy Beef Stir-Fry.
Early spring is the perfect time to make a stir-fry. Take all those farm-fresh veggies and turn them into a filling dinner laced with garlic, ginger, and a touch of soy sauce and honey.
Get the recipe from Cookie + Kate.
As fibrous mango breaks down into the sauce, it adds a luscious texture to this delicious stir-fry. It also plays beautifully with a touch of sambal olek chili sauce—a must-have in any kitchen. Sugar snap peas add an amazing bite here but use any fresh veggies that you love.
Get our recipe from Chili Mango Chicken.
Who says a stir-fry can’t include dumplings? If you love dipping dumplings in sauce, you’ll love this easy 20-minute stir-fry packed with carrots and green beans, lightly coated in a gingery garlic sauce.
Get the recipe from Sweet Phi.
This stir-fry incorporates Thai flavors like fish sauce, lime juice, basil (find Thai if you can), and mint. Thinly sliced veggies meld into the sauce that surrounds the juicy flank steak.
Get our recipe for Quick Paleo Thai Beef Stir-Fry.
Once you go zoodles, you may never make zucchini any other way. The bite of the zoodles is the perfect counterpoint to crisp-tender carrots, snow peas, and broccoli all coated in a light garlic-ginger sauce. You could add a protein, like tofu or chicken, but this healthy dish is fine without one.
Get the recipe from Katie’s Cucina.
The perfect way to make healthy, filling fried rice is with a lot of vegetables, not the obligatory pops of peas that come from the takeout version. Zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms help make this quick treatment for leftover rice a meal.
Get our recipe for Chicken Fried Rice.
Don’t skip the very important step of pressing the tofu so that it gets the most caramelization and thus flavor. Use any combo of veggies that you like, but shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and red peppers are a flavor-packed mix to try. Also, use pre-cooked grains if you want to save some time.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Cashews add a beautiful bite to this quick noodles stir-fry. Buy mixed stir-fry veggies to get this deceptively vegan dish on the table fast. The sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and peanut butter or tahini, with a touch of molasses to mimic hoisin.
Get the recipe from Half-Baked Harvest.
Kung pao chicken is one of those notorious takeout fat-bomb dishes, this quick recipe puts the heat back in the driver’s seat and kicks quite a few calories to the curb. While a long soak in the marinade will add flavor to the chicken, you can just let it soak while you prepare the veggies if you want to make this a 20-minute meal.
Get our recipe for Kung Pao Chicken.
This Indian-style curry takes no more than 25 minutes to prepare, yet it will taste like it’s been simmering away all day. The balance of the creamy coconut milk, the sweet cubes of squash, and the subtle heat of the curry powder could make the most dedicated meat eater forget he was eating only vegetables.
Get our recipe for Curry Cauliflower Butternut Squash Stir-Fry.
The beauty of making takeout at home is controlling the protein to veggie ratio. Obviously, to make a dish healthier, up the veggies. This one is packed with crisp-tender broccoli and peppers. Again, to make this a quicker dish, marinate the meat for a shorter amount of time, the umami-packed stir-fry sauce of soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, and ginger will pick up the slack.
Get our recipe for Takeout-Level Beef With Broccoli Recipe.
Keep a few bags of high-quality stir-fry veggies in the freezer for making leftover rice into a filling, healthy meal. Then all you need is ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and an egg, and dinner is served.
Get our recipe for Takeout-Level Vegetable Fried Rice.
As the recipe states, this Thai classic (called gai pad grapow) gets its flavor from chiles, garlic, and fresh herbs—nutritional powerhouses known to boost metabolism and fight cancer. Together, they also make for a full-throttle flavor experience that trumps nearly any Chinese stir-fry in the health department. Adjust the heat in this Thai chicken recipe to your liking, but if it’s not at least somewhat fiery, then it’s not Thai.
Get our recipe for Spicy Thai Chicken With Basil.
Pack this dish with filling shrimp and veggies and go lighter on the noodles. You’ll fill up faster and still calm your carb cravings. The best way to get the most out of your scallions is to separate the tougher white parts and the greens. The white parts saute with the veggies and then the green parts are scattered on top at the end for a fresh crunch.
Get our recipe for Low-Calorie Shrimp Lo Mein.