A quick and easy weeknight-friendly black pepper chicken stir fry made with crisp peppers, sauteed onions, and crunchy celery! Serve this over brown rice or on its own!

skillet with prepared pepper chicken stir fry on white marble

Quick weeknight dinner alert!

Pepper chicken stir fry is a back pocket kind of recipe that you can pull out when you need something healthy and quick to make on weeknights.

We’re talking about crisp green bell peppers, sauteed red onions, crunchy slices of celery and tender chicken in every single bite. It doesn’t hurt that the ingredient list is pretty straight forward and most, if not all, of these ingredients, are pantry and refrigerator staples.

bowls of rice topped with chicken stir fry on mauve linen napkin with spoons

Today’s recipe is inspired by a tofu version that I made some time back. Black pepper tofu stir fry is made with a mix of tricorn peppers and crisp tofu squares. It’s delicious, albeit not something I can regularly make around here because the hubby isn’t the biggest fan of tofu. So I came up with a version that works well with chicken. Pepper chicken stir fry has a few more veggies, and I’ve cut back on the cornstarch just a hint to give you a little more sauce to drizzle all over a warm bed of pasta, rice, or cauliflower.

What ingredients do you need to make pepper chicken stir fry?

  • Chicken: You’ll need boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes. You could also use boneless chicken thighs or tenders for this recipe.
  • red onions: You can use a shallot or a small red onion. I know not everyone keeps shallots at home, so I’ve tested the recipe with both!
  • bell pepper: I like to slice the peppers extra thin so that they cook super fast but still maintain their brightness! Feel free to use peppers of different colors too!
  • celery: Thinly sliced on the biased is what I like to do so that it looks all fancy but really, all I did was turn the knife and cut at a 45º angle!
  • ginger + garlic: Essential ingredients for making a delicious stir fry!
  • sauces: low sodium soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and oyster sauce (or vegan oyster flavored sauce for those with allergies) is what we’ll need. These ingredients add umami, a touch of sweetness, and a bit of tang to the stir fry.
  • seasonings: We’re using coarse ground pepper to season the stir fry. I like to use a peppercorn medley, however this is entirely optional. Black pepper that is coarsely ground works just fine!
  • cornstarch: The cornstarch plays a two-part role. A bit of it is used on the chicken. I find this helps create a bit of a crust on the chicken. The rest is used to thicken the sauce just a touch.
skillet with wooden spoon and prepared chicken stir fry with vegetables

How to make the easiest pepper chicken stir fry:

  1. chicken: start by seasoning the chicken. In a bowl, combine the chicken with a bit of the cornstarch and some salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Then, add the chicken to the skillet in a single layers and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  2. veggies: In a small glass jar or bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, ground pepper, honey, vinegar, and the remaining cornstarch. Cover with a lid and shake until combined. Then, add the remaining oil to the skillet and sauté the onions, peppers, and celery for about 3-5 minutes or until the veggies brighten in color. Add the ginger and garlic at this point and give it all a quick toss.
  3. finish: Once the veggies are done, you’ll add the chicken back to the skillet and then just drizzle in the prepared sauce. Because we used cornstarch, the sauce should sizzle and thicken immediately. Serve over warm rice, caulirice, or even egg noodles!
bowl of brown rice topped with chicken and vegetable stir fry on mauve linen napkin

Black pepper chicken stir fry is a clean-the-fridge recipe, so don’t be afraid to swap out the veggies for things you’ve got in the fridge that need to be used up!

If you want to meal prep pepper chicken stir fry:

This one works great for meal prep! I use these glass containers that stack beautifully in the refrigerator. Just scoop out a half cup of brown rice, add one-fourth of the prepared black pepper chicken and veggies on top, a handful of almonds or walnuts in one of the compartments, and a medley of berries in the other.

Unlike a lot of meal prep recipes, pepper chicken stir fry tastes better as it sits!

top shot of speckled bowl holding brown rice topped with sautéed vegetables and chicken stir fry on mauve linen napkin with gold spoon

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Yield: 4 servings

Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

A quick and easy weeknight-friendly black pepper chicken stir fry made with crisp peppers, sauteed onions, and crunchy celery! Serve this over brown rice or on its own!

Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 small shallots or 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced (any color)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: low sodium soy sauce AND oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon EACH: honey AND rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, divided

Instructions

  1. CHICKEN: In a small bowl, combine the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the skillet when it's hot along with the chicken. Allow the chicken to cook all the way through, about 4-6 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  2. VEGGIES: In a small measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, ground pepper, honey, rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water; stir until the cornstarch dissolves, set aside. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the skillet. Add the onions, pepper, and celery. Saute everything for 3-5 minutes or until the veggies brighten in color and start to cook down a little. Add the ginger and garlic during the last minute of cooking.
  3. FINISH: Add the chicken back to the skillet and drizzle in the prepared sauce, and stir to combine. The sauce will thicken fairly quickly, about 20 seconds or so. Serve on a bed of white or brown rice. Enjoy!

Notes

  • This is a good recipe for meal-prep as the flavors actually taste better as it sits.
  • Feel free to swap out the peppers or celery for other veggies you've got on hand that need to be used up. Depending on the veggies you use, you may need to double the sauce ingredients to make sure there is enough!

Have you made this recipe?

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