Sesame Ginger Chicken & Leek Stir Fry
Cooking up in under 30 minutes and in one skillet, this Chicken & Leek Stir Fry recipe is loaded with veggies, protein, and a delicious homemade sesame ginger sauce. It is the perfect healthy dinner recipe!
Gosh, I sure do love an easy one-skillet stir fry for dinner on a busy night. And this Chicken and Leek Stir Fry is not only simple and veggie-loaded, but super legit in the flavor department!
Packed with leeks, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, and chicken + a simple homemade sesame ginger sauce, this stir fry is the perfect 30-minute meal! The chicken is cooked up together with the sauce and veggies in one pan, so dinner dishes are minimal. Plus, this dish is dairy-free, can easily be gluten free, and dairy and can be customized to use whatever you have on hand.
How to prepare leeks
Leeks are one of those veggies many people eyeball at the grocery store but pass up because they don’t know how to prep or cook with them. This Chicken and Leek Stir Fry will make a leek lover out of you, but you 100% need to know how to properly cut and clean them! Here is how I recommend you prepare your leeks for this recipe.
Step 1: Start by cutting off the green top. And then cut off the rooty bottom. The white middle part is the part of the leek typically used in recipes.
Step 2: Cut the leek in half lengthwise.
Step 3: Take each half and slice it into half-moons.
Step 4: Transfer sliced leeks into a strainer. Leeks grow in layers, so your fingers to separate the layers from one another. Leeks are known to have dirt or sand hiding in between its layers, so be sure to separate them as much as possible before cleaning.
Step 5: Rinse the cut leeks well, be sure to wash away any dirt or sand trapped into the layers of the leeks.
Step 6: Shake off extra water and gently pat dry.
Time Saving Hacks
This leek stir fry cooks up super easy! So easy, in fact, that the prep is really the only place you will find yourself spending time on this meal. But I have some ideas on how to make this delicious asian-inspired stir fry recipe come together even easier with a few time saving hacks!
- Use pre-shredded carrots. I see these packaged a lot in the refrigeration section of the produce department next to the other bagged carrots. These are a perfect time saving shortcut!
- Use frozen broccoli florets. They might need to cook for closer to 6-8 minutes depending on how big the florets are, but they work great in this chicken and leek stir fry if you don’t have fresh broccoli on hand.
- Prep veggies ahead of time. All of the veggies in this recipe can be cut ahead of time or during meal prep so this dinner can easily be thrown together on a busy night!
- Mix sauce ahead of time. Throw the ingredients in a mason jar, shake it up, and store it in your fridge!
- Use pre-sliced mushrooms. Again, I see these often in the produce section and they are a great way to save on chopping time!
Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!
Use chicken breasts instead of thighs. I like to use chicken thighs in this stir fry because they are more flavorful and less likely to dry out when cooked. However, you can easily use chicken breasts in this recipe if you’d prefer. If you use chicken breast, make sure to sear the chicken and remove it from the pan before it’s cooked all the way through. It will get fully cooked once you add it back to the pan with the sauce and vegetables. You don’t want the chicken breast to overcook and get dried out if you fully cook it during the browning process.
Swap out the protein! Don’t want to use chicken? You can replace it with any other protein you like. I enjoy this dish with cooked shrimp or my air fryer tofu tossed in at the end. Thinly sliced pork tenderloin or beef will also work well.
Don’t like mushrooms? You can just leave them out or replace them with a different vegetable such as broccoli florets or green beans.
Peel the skin off fresh ginger with a spoon. I like to use a microplane grater or the small holes of a box grated to make a ginger paste. Often, you can find ginger paste in the produce section of the grocery store. Store any leftover fresh ginger in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
Add extra veggies! Riced cauliflower, sliced bell peppers, or sugar snap peas would be a lovely addition to this stir fry!
Tips for making Chicken & Leek Stir Fry
- Prep up everything before you start cooking. Cut all those veggies up and have them ready to toss in when it is time. Prepping before turning the stove on will stop you from scrambling around the kitchen trying to get everything done or overcooking part of the stir fry.
- Try to cut the chicken and veggies to similar sizes so they cook evenly. Smaller pieces will cook faster than larger pieces. Don’t stress about them being perfect, but close in size is the goal.
- Prepare whatever you are serving the chicken and leek stir fry with while it is cooking. That way, everything will be done cooking about the same time and will be warm to enjoy! I loved this recipe over brown rice, but white rice, cooked quinoa, or cauliflower rice would also be amazing with this.
- Make sure your chicken is cooked through. Find one of the larger pieces of chicken and cut it in half to ensure all the chicken is completely cooked before removing all from pan.
Other veggie-loaded stir fry recipes to add to your menu
- Teriyaki Broccoli Chickpea Stir Fry
- Taco Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
- Sweet Potato Apple Sausage Skillet
- Easy Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli
- Chicken Piccata Stir-Fry
- Chicken Veggie Teriyaki Stir Fry
Did you try this leek recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Sesame Ginger Chicken & Leek Stir Fry
Sesame Ginger Sauce
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated, pressed, or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or ginger paste , sub with ½ tsp dried ground ginger
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, use coconut aminos for gluten free
- 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Chicken and Leek Stir Fry
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 medium carrots
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms or button mushrooms
- 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
- 2 medium leeks
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup chicken broth or water
- Optional garnishes: toasted sesame seeds, thinly sliced scallion, and Asian-style hot sauce
To make sesame ginger sauce
- In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Set aside.
To make Chicken Leek Stir Fry
- Trim any excess fat off the chicken then cut into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken to a bowl then drizzle with ¼ cup of the sauce, reserving the remaining sauce for later. Stir the chicken to coat with the sauce then set aside to marinate while you prepare the vegetables.
- Trim the ends off the carrots then cut into thin strips or “matchsticks." Discard the mushroom stems then thinly slice the mushroom tops. Trim the bottom and the dark green parts from the leeks, slice the remaining portion in half lengthwise, and then into 1/2 inch half-moons. Place in a strainer and then run under cold water to clean away any dirt stuck in the layers. Pat the leeks dry.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, brown the chicken on both sides. About 6-8 minutes. Remove cooked chicken to a plate.
- Wipe out any burn bits on the bottom of the pan then return the pan to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften and brown around the edges. If the vegetables are getting too brown, lower the heat to medium.
- Add the leeks, broccoli, and black pepper. Continue to cook until the leeks are lightly browned and broccoli is bright green, about 4 minutes.
- Once vegetables are tender, add the chicken back to the pan. Pour in the remaining sauce and stir to combine. Add ¼ cup of the chicken broth or water and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. If your pan is dry or you want more sauce, add the remaining ¼ cup of liquid.
- Serve the stir fry over rice or quinoa with sesame seeds, sliced scallion, and/or hot sauce, as desired.