This Ponzu and Chili Crisp Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken is sure to become a weekly staple! The chicken is tender, the zucchini is crisp, and the stir fry sauce on the onions and zucchini is out of this world!

zucchini stir fry with chicken in pan topped with sesame seeds

Take this from someone who loves a good midweek chicken stir fry; this is the ONE to make.

Don’t believe I’m the chicken stir fry queen? Have you seen the one with black pepper, my jalapeño chicken, or the saucy chicken broccoli stir fry?

This Chicken zucchini stir fry is one of those meals that I find myself making all the time. It’s easy because the same ingredients I use in the sauce are the ones that go into the marinade for the chicken. And it’s quick and healthy and flavorful enough to serve for weeknight dinner and to box up for desk lunches the next day! Plus the total time on this recipe is around 40 minutes – and that’s with 20 minutes of marination time.

I keep the vegetables pretty simple with just a white onion and some zucchini, but you could add a red bell pepper for color, swap the zucchini for yellow squash in the summer, or skip the rice and serve this over cauliflower rice (to get in another vegetable and up your fiber intake!) 

The veggie possibilities are truly endless.

zucchini and chicken stir fry with brown rice

Ingredients for chicken zucchini stir fry recipe:

  • Chicken: Feel free to use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe. Just be sure to cut them into thin strips so that they cook up in the time listed on the recipe. Heck, tenders would work too!
  • Zucchini: You’ll need two zucchini for this recipe. I like to cut them into thin half-moon slices so that they all cook up in the pan at the same time as the onions.
  • Onions: You’ll need half an onion; just be sure to dice it so that it cooks up at the same time as the zucchini slices.
  • Cornstarch: we’ll coat the chicken with a bit of cornstarch so that it seals in the moisture. You’ll also need a bit of cornstarch to help thicken the sauce for this dish.
  • Ponzu soy sauce: ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that is typically used in Japanese cooking made with soy sauce, tamari, rice vinegar, and bonito flakes, amongst other ingredients.
  • Seasonings: I like to use garlic powder and red pepper flakes to season the chicken so that it has tons of flavor. Just sprinkle it all over before adding the cornstarch and the ponzu to create a marinade.
  • Oyster sauce: I don’t use shellfish-based oyster sauce in my recipes, so what I’m actually using is a vegan-oyster-flavored sauce. Both oyster sauce and a vegan alternative would work for this recipe in case you are making this for someone with a shellfish allergy. I purchased mine from a local grocery store, but you can also find it here.
  • Chicken Stock: You’ll need a splash of chicken stock for the sauce portion of the dish. I like to just whisk the stock, cornstarch pans, oyster sauce, pressed garlic, and chili crunch together in a bowl before adding it to the pan so that the sauce doesn’t need a cornstarch slurry at the end to thicken it!
  • Garlic: You’ll need lots of minced garlic for the stir fry portion of this recipe. 6 cloves is what I used and that typically translates to 6 teaspoons of the jarred stuff.
  • Chili crunch or chili crisp: I use this brand, but you can use any chili crunch that you typically like on your food! Use as much or as little as you would like to make this spicier. I recommend 1 teaspoon to keep things pretty mild!
  • Cooking oil: You can use any high-heat cooking oil that you like. We typically cook with avocado oil, so that’s what I used.
  • Sesame seeds: these are completely optional and just for garnish if you’d like.
zucchini and onions in pan after sautéing
chili crisp ponzu sauce in measuring cup

Key Instructions for Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken

  1. Marinate the chicken. In a bowl, combine the portioned cornstarch with ponzu, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and oyster sauce. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves completely. Then add the chicken pieces and let it marinate for as long as you can, 15-20 minutes or up to 3 hours in the fridge.
  2. Combine the sauce. you’ll want to combine the remaining ingredients for the sauce in a glass measuring cup. Whisk to combine and set aside for now.
  3. Sauté the veggies. heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the wok or skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and sauté the zucchini and onions. When the zucchini is vibrant and the onions are slightly blistered, remove them to a plate. I cook them for a short period of time over high heat because I like them to be crisp but still have a tiny bit of blistering. Remove them to a plate once done.
  4. Cook the chicken. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and then add the chicken. Cook for 4-5 mins or as needed to cook the chicken all the way through. Keep a close eye on the chicken. and stir often. Make sure the chicken develops a little color on both sides. 
  5. Pour in the sauce. Once the chicken is done, pour the sauce over it then toss to combine. The sauce will sizzle, start to cling to the chicken and thicken immediately. Add the veggies to the pan and give it all a good toss before you top with a few sesame seeds. That’s it! Serve it up with a little rice or whatever else you like!
stir fry in pan

FAQs about this recipe

How do you cut zucchini for stir fry?

I like to remove the ends and then slice the zucchini down the middle lengthwise. You’ll want to then make cuts so that the zucchini is in a half-moon shape.

Can I use a red onion instead of a white onion?

Sure, go for it!

Do veggies or meat go first in a stir-fry?

I think it differs from recipe to recipe, but I always like to give the veggies a quick blistering in a hot pan, remove them, and then cook the protein. This way, you get to control the texture of the vegetables.

How do you store leftovers?

I store leftover zucchini stir fry with chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Just microwave before serving. This is an ideal recipe to meal prep for boxed lunches with your carbohydrates of choice!

stir fry with rice in bowl with napkin

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

stir fry topped with sesame seeds with brown rice
Yield: Serves 4-5

Ponzu Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

This Ponzu and Chili Crisp Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken is sure to become a weekly staple! The chicken is tender, the zucchini is crisp, and the stir fry sauce on the onions and zucchini is out of this world!

Ponzu Zucchini Stir Fry with Chicken


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into thin slices (thighs or breasts)
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into semi-moon slices
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided
  • 6 tablespoons ponzu soy sauce (or low sodium soy/tamari)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon chili crunch or chili crisp (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


  1. MARINATE: In a bowl, combine: 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch, 3 tablespoons ponzu, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons oyster sauce. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the chicken and let marinate for as long as possible, 20 minutes minimum and ideally, 2-3 hours covered in the fridge.
  2. SAUCE: In a measuring cup, combine the remaining 1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch, 3 tablespoons ponzu, 2 teaspoon oyster sauce, ½ cup chicken stock, pressed garlic, and chili crisp. Whisk to combine; set aside for now.
  3. SAUTE: Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. When the wok is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the zucchini and onions together until they blister but still remaining vibrant and green. I don’t cook them for more than 2 minutes because I prefer them a little crisp. Cook longer if you like the veggies softer. Remove to a plate.
  4. STIR FRY: Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok, add the chicken and saute the chicken stir as needed. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is almost done. Stir and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss to combine. It should start to sizzle and thicken. Add the veggies and toss everything until all is coated in the sauce. Remove from heat and serve warm with white or brown rice topped with sesame seeds.

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