10 Simple Stir-Fries Your Whole Family Will Enjoy
After a long day of work, it can be hard to motivate yourself to make dinner, especially when your eaters have different preferences and requests. But there are many customizable dinners that can be ready in minutes, and one of them is the trusty stir-fry.
Stir-fries come together in minutes, don’t require use of your oven, and are versatile. You can make them with meat, fish, or vegetables, and you can throw noodles in the mix or leave them carb-free. It’s hard to turn down a good stir-fry, and when you can make them the way your dinner guests request them, no one will. Check out these stir-fry recipes for eaters of all varieties. Pick out your favorite soy sauce, and get cooking.
1. Stir-Fry Beef and Broccoli
Up first is Betty Crocker’s beef and broccoli stir-fry. It’s a dish you typically order as take-out, but now you can make it at home as a cheaper and healthier version. The stir-fry takes fewer than 30 minutes and one serving is only 370 calories. It’s a weeknight meal you can feel good about feeding your family, and it’s so easy you’ll have no trouble mastering the recipe. Get to work preparing your beef, sauce, and stir-fry ingredients, and you’ll have a favorite dinner on the table in just 30 minutes.
- 1¼ pounds beef flank steak, cut into thin slices
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root, if desired
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cups fresh small broccoli florets
- 1½ cups ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots, cut lengthwise into julienne strips
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup cashew halves, if desired
Directions: In medium bowl, mix beef, soy sauce, garlic and ginger root; set aside. In small bowl, mix sauce ingredients with wire whisk until well blended; set aside.
In wok or 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat about 1 minute. Add beef mixture, breaking up clumps of beef with wooden spoon; cook 1 minute without stirring. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until beef is browned around edges. Transfer beef mixture to clean bowl.
To empty wok, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; heat over high heat about 1 minute. Add broccoli and carrots; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli and carrots are crisp-tender.
Return beef mixture to wok. Mix sauce mixture again with wire whisk to recombine; pour into wok. Stir to coat mixture with sauce. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened. Sprinkle each serving with cashews.
2. Teriyaki Beef Stir-Fry
If you’re a teriyaki lover, you’ll crave this teriyaki beef stir-fry from Taste of Home. It can be ready in only 15 minutes. The star ingredients include flank steak, vegetables, and the ingredients to make homemade teriyaki sauce. And everything can be made in one nonstick skillet or wok. Serve your teriyaki beef stir-fry over rice or enjoy it plain, and pat yourself on the back for another Asian-inspired takeout meal mastered at home.
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 beef flank steak (¾ pound), cut into thin strips
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ cup coarsely chopped green pepper
- ½ cup coarsely chopped sweet red pepper
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Hot cooked brown rice, optional
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Pour ½ cup into a resealable plastic bag; add beef. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
Drain and discard marinade. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry beef in batches in oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
Add broccoli, onion, and peppers to the pan; stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add mushrooms; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Return beef to the pan. Combine cornstarch and reserved marinade until smooth; stir into beef mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Serve over rice if desired.
3. Chicken and Rice Noodle Stir-Fry
If chicken is your meat of choice, try this chicken and rice noodle stir-fry from Cooking Light. This time, the stir-fry dinner does feature carbs in the form of rice noodles. These noodles promise to hold their shape and won’t turn mushy, which is perfect for this dish where they’ll be sauteed in a stock mixture made from chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, canola oil, and sambal oelek. They’ll soak up the Asian flavor and pair perfectly with the chicken breasts that are also sautéed in the pan.
- 4 ounces uncooked brown rice noodles
- ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1½ tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 green onions, sliced
- ⅔ cup torn fresh basil leaves
Directions: Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Drain. Combine chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and sambal oelek in a bowl. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil; swirl. Add chicken to pan; cook 1½ minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to pan; swirl. Add mushrooms; stir-fry 1 minute. Add ginger and sliced bell pepper; stir-fry 1 minute. Add minced garlic and sliced green onions; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add noodles, stock mixture, and chicken; cook 1 minute. Stir in basil.
4. Vegetable Stir-Fry
But what if you don’t eat meat? Those consumers should get to enjoy stir-fries, too, and luckily they can. This vegetable stir-fry from Epicurious is a great recipe to make for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Because sometimes, when you have the perfect sauce and best vegetables, there’s no reason to add meat. Instead, let the vegetables soak up all of the flavors, and serve them over a bed of rice or noodles.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ pound carrots, cut into julienne strips
- ¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, thinly sliced
- ½ pound Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
Directions: In a small bowl stir together broth, rice wine, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add vegetable and sesame oil, and heat until it just begins to smoke. Stir-fry carrots 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, cabbage, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry 2 minutes, or until carrots are crisp-tender. Add broth mixture to vegetables. Stir-fry vegetables an additional minute to coat. Add scallions, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
5. Tofu Stir-Fry
You can also add tofu to a stir-fry to keep it meat-free, and this recipe from Martha Stewart shows you how it’s done. The secret to good tofu is a tasty marinade, and this recipe calls for soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. The tofu will marinate for at least 10 minutes before you’re ready to cook it in a nonstick skillet for about a minute on each side. After that’s done, it’s time to get to work on cooking the other vegetables for your stir-fry, and you can easily throw onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, bok choy, snow peas, and ginger into the same skillet. Cook until your veggies are heated through, add back in your tofu, and then serve the tofu stir-fry with as much soy sauce as you like.
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 small onions, cut into wedges
- 9 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1-inch squares
- 1¼ pounds bok choy, cut into 1½-inch pieces, stem and green pieces separated
- ¼ pound snow peas, trimmed
- 5 paper-thin slices fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
- Lime wedges, for serving
Directions: Halve tofu block lengthwise; slice each half into 8 rectangles. Arrange on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; top with more paper towels and another baking sheet. Weight with canned goods or a skillet.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 20 minutes.
Transfer tofu to a shallow dish. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil with 1 tablespoon water; pour over tofu. Marinate 5 minutes.
Heat canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook tofu until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Set tofu aside.
Stirring constantly, cook onions in skillet over high heat until browned, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 2 minutes. Add red pepper and bok choy stems; cook 3 minutes. Add peas and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add marinade, cornstarch mixture, bok choy greens, and tofu. Cook until heated through. Season with soy sauce as desired. Serve with limes.
6. Salmon Stir-Fry
Salmon lovers can get their favorite fish in a stir-fry via this recipe from Betty Crocker. You can make this food formula even easier by using fresh or frozen salmon, as well as frozen vegetables. Those shortcuts will cap your prep time at five minutes and your total time at 15. Aside from the cooking of the rice, you’ll prepare all of the ingredients for your stir-fry in a large skillet or wok. Once everything is cooked through and the homemade sauce is reduced, you can serve your salmon stir-fry over rice with a drizzle of soy sauce.
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pound salmon fillets, cut the salmon into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups frozen vegetables
- 2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce (plus extra for drizzling)
Directions: Cook rice in water as directed on package to make 4 cups cooked rice.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet and heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the salmon chunks and cook, stirring once for 2 to 3 minutes or until partially opaque. Cover the skillet and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the salmon is opaque and flakes easy with fork.
Remove cover from skillet; stir in the frozen vegetables. Add the vinegar and soy sauce; stir well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer or until sauce is slightly reduced.
Serve immediately over cooked rice with a little drizzle of soy sauce.
7. Garlic Pork Stir-Fry
Add a garlic kick to your family’s favorite dinner by trying your hand at this garlic pork stir-fry from Coastal Living. It yields a colorful dish that helps you get your meat and veggie fix, and you can serve the good stuff over soba or rice noodles. Both the meat and vegetables will marinate and cook in a garlic sauce, and your bok choy, peppers, and mushrooms will soak up the flavor of the garlic and ginger as they complement the juicy pork perfectly. This pork stir-fry is made effortlessly in just one pan, and it take 15 minutes start to finish. It’s a family favorite that appeases all meat eaters.
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chili-garlic paste or sriracha
- 12 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into strips
- 3 baby bok choy or 1 medium bok choy
- 5 teaspoons stir-fry oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 shallots, halved and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Hot cooked soba noodles or rice noodles
Directions: Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Toss pork with ¼ cup sauce mixture in a medium bowl, reserving remaining sauce mixture. Marinate 15 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim root end of bok choy. Slice white stems; tear or cut large leaves in half.
Heat wok over high heat until a few drops of water evaporate immediately. Swirl 2 teaspoons oil in pan to coat. Add pork; stir-fry 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate, and wipe wok clean.
Heat remaining 3 teaspoons oil in wok over high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and shallots; stir-fry 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in bok choy stems, bell pepper, and mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in reserved sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in bok choy leaves and pork, and cook until heated through. Serve with hot cooked noodles.
8. Spicy Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry
If you want your stir-fry with a spicy kick, simply add red pepper flakes to the mix. Try this spicy shrimp and vegetable stir-fry from Epicurious to see what we mean. The addition of red pepper flakes to your soy sauce marinade takes the mixture up a notch, and the thickened sauce will coat the vegetables and shrimp with which it’s cooked. You’re left with a spicy shrimp and vegetable stir-fry that is simple yet comes with a kick, and you can serve it over rice if you want to help temper the spice.
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup sake
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark (toasted) sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated ginger
- 1 cup large-diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup large-diced green bell pepper
- 1 cup large-diced onion
- 1 cup cubed cabbage
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Directions: Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add soy sauce mixture; cook until lightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add vegetables and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are soft, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and ¼ cup water. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Divide among 4 bowls; serve immediately.
9. Brussels Sprouts and Steak Stir-Fry
Brussels sprouts and steak might seem like an unlikely duo in a stir-fry, but they actually make a great team. Appease both your vegetable and steak lovers with this Brussels sprouts and steak stir-fry from Bon Appetit. The first step to this recipe is preparing your sauce, and then you can get to work browning your Brussels sprouts and steak separately. After that, it’s time to combine both players back into the skillet and introduce your sauce made from oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and vegetable oil. You’ll cook everything together until the sauce is thickened. And then you can serve your steak and vegetables over steamed rice and with scallion greens.
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
- 8 ounces flank or skirt steak, thinly sliced against the grain
- Kosher salt
- 4 scallions, whites chopped, greens sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 Fresno chili or jalapeño, sliced into rings
- Steamed rice (for serving)
Directions: Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and ¼ cup water in a small bowl; set sauce aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts, and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; wipe out skillet.
Season steak with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add steak in a single layer; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until nearly cooked through, about 30 seconds. Add to Brussels sprouts.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add scallion whites, garlic, and ginger and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute, adjusting heat as needed. Add carrots and chili and cook, tossing occasionally, until carrots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
Return Brussels sprouts and steak to skillet, and add reserved sauce. Cook, tossing occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve with steamed rice, and garnish with scallion greens.
10. Vegetable Stir-Fry with Ginger Vinaigrette
Last is one more stir-fry that vegetarians and meat-eaters alike can enjoy. The vegetable stir-fry comes from Food & Wine. And this time, instead of topping your vegetables with soy sauce, you’ll make a ginger vinaigrette. The vinaigrette delivers fresh, natural flavor and is easily made by combining lemon juice, ginger, cooking oil, sesame oil, and salt. Then, it’s time to heat up your wok and add in your garlic, bok choy, snow peas, radishes, and soy sauce. Once the vegetables have cooked through, you can add most of your vinaigrette to the pan. After that, simply add some tofu to the wok, coat with the remaining vinaigrette, and serve the tofu and vegetable medley over rice. This stir-fry is perfect to make during the spring when these vegetables are in season, but the dish is sure to freshen up your cooking regimen no matter when you serve it.
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large head bok choy (about 1½ pounds), stalks cut into ½-inch pieces, leaves shredded
- ½ pound snow peas
- 10 radishes, quartered
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- ½ pound spinach, stems removed and leaves washed well
- ½ pound firm tofu, cut into ¾-inch dice
Directions: In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the ginger, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil, the sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Set aside.
In a wok or a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons cooking oil over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the bok choy stalks, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the snow peas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the radishes and the soy sauce and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.
Add the bok choy leaves, the spinach, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, tossing gently, until the leaves just wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Remove the vegetables from the pan.
In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of vinaigrette over moderately high heat. Add the tofu and cook, turning occasionally, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir gently to mix.