Super fast Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry is the take out recipe you can get on the table faster than delivery! Simple ingredients come together in minutes to create a spicy Szechuan Chicken recipe your family will love. Adapt the spice level to suit your style!

Overhead view of Szechuan Chicken in a black wok.

Szechuan Chicken

I’m not quite sure what happened the past few weeks but our schedules have been jammed packed. The week….the weekend, it’s nonstop, never ending go, go, GO and I can’t seem to find time to get dinner on the table so I’ve been whipping up stir fry on the regular because it’s one of the easiest things to get on the table. 

This Easy Szechuan Chicken recipe is one of our favorites because it’s slightly spicy and seriously PACKED with flavor. I think it’s better than our local Chinese take out restaurants and it’s definitely healthier because it’s not deep fried or loaded with sodium. 

It’s pretty close to an authentic Szechuan Chicken recipe in that it uses szechuan peppercorns for a hit of mild heat. We like to top ours with chopped peanuts kind of like General Tso’s Chicken and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added crunch.

Easy Szechuan Chicken recipe on a bed of white rice on a square blue and white plate with silver chopsticks.


This Easy Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry is really simple to make with easy to find ingredients.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Cornstarch
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chili Garlic Paste
  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Mirin (Sweet Rice Wine)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Red Chili Peppers
  • Dried red Chili Peppers
  • Szechuan Peppercorns
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Chopped Scallions

While it looks like a lot of ingredients for Szechuan Chicken stir fry, most of them are pantry staples that you can keep on hand to whip up other easy fake out take out recipes on the fly. 

Easy Szechuan Shrimp recipe on a bed of white rice on a square blue and white plate with silver chopsticks.

What is Szechuan Chicken?

Szechuan Chicken, or Sichuan Chicken, is a style of Chinese cooking originating in the Sichuan region of China. Famous for it’s bold and spicy flavors created by tons of garlic and spicy peppers, as well as, the notorious Szechuan Peppercorn known for it’s citrus-y spice that creates a numbing sensation in the mouth which helps you tolerate the heat of many of the spicy dishes from that area of the world.

Overhead shot of szechuan chicken on two square plates with white rice and a wok.

What is the difference between Hunan Chicken and Szechuan Chicken?

While both Hunan Chicken and Szechuan Chicken are made with large amounts of chili peppers and garlic, Hunan Chicken is decidedly hotter than Szechuan Chicken.

Szechuan Chicken has a nice balance of flavors with both sweet and spicy while Hunan Chicken is much more plain in flavor but exceptionally spicy.

Szechuan Chicken in a black wok.

Does Szechuan Chicken have vegetables?

Typical Chinese Szechuan Chicken doesn’t usually have many vegetables except for the red chili peppers, however, you can modify this recipe to add whatever vegetables you like. We love to add snow peas or broccoli to this stir fry recipe just to bulk it up and add some extra healthiness to the dish. That’s one of the benefits of making your own take out dinners at home….that and you don’t have to answer the door in your pajamas.

Substitute for Szechuan Peppercorns

If you’re having trouble finding Szechuan Peppercorns, like I sometimes do, you can use regular whole peppercorns in their place. You won’t have the citrus-y, peppery heat but you will get a slight heat from the regular peppercorns. If you want to make it a little more spicy and you’re omitting the Szechuan Peppercorns, you can add a little extra Chili Garlic Paste.

Szechuan chicken on a bed of white rice with silver chopsticks and a packet of soy sauce on the side.

Serving Suggestions

Some of my favorite things to serve with Szechuan Chicken, besides white rice, are:

Shrimp fried rice in a serving bowl with a spoon in the background placed on a rattan place mat.

Seriously, though….the list of what you can serve alongside your Szechuan Chicken recipe is endless. Use your own imagination….some steamed green beans or even frozen eggrolls just to mix things up. And in full disclosure….I’ve been loving the frozen white rice in the microwave steam bag from my local grocery store.

There are so many brands with their own steam in bag white rice and it all cooks up so sticky, fluffy and perfect in just about 3 minutes. It’s a dinner time hero when time is tight…..and you won’t have that messy pan to clean with all the starchy rice residue glued onto it. Know what I’m sayin’?

If you don’t want a spicy chicken dish, my family loves this Chicken Chop Suey!  It’s a kitchen sink recipe in that just about whatever vegetables you have on hand will work perfectly! Or you can skip the chicken and make this easy Szechuan Shrimp!

Want even more easy takeout recipes to make at home? Try THESE favorites!

So, whether you have a packed agenda during the week like us (but strangely….we have not much going on this week.) or a leisurely week to laze around, this easy Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry recipe is sure to please even the pickiest eater in your home. 

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Follow us over on Instagram!

Overhead view of Szechuan Chicken in a black wok.

Get the Recipe: Easy Szechuan Chicken Recipe

Quick and simple, this easy Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry recipe is better than take out!
4.67 from 6 votes


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 15 red chili peppers, chopped, serrano, fresno, red jalapenos would all work well but be mindful of the heat level if you’re sensitive to spice.
  • 2 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
  • 6 whole dried red chilis
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp mirin , sweet rice wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds


  • 1 wok or skillet


  • Place the chicken in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Season the cornstarch with salt and pepper. Pour the cornstarch over the chicken and toss to coat.
  • Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Shake off the excess cornstarch on the chicken and add it to the pan in batches being sure not to crowd the pan.
  • Cook the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Remove the last of the chicken from the pan and transfer to a platter. 
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the red chili peppers.  Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the szechuan peppercorns and dry chilis, cook until crisp, approximately 1 minute.
  • Whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil and mirin. Pour the sauce into the pan and stir, cooking for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and toss to coat. 
  • Sprinkle the chicken with the peanuts, scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately with rice, if desired.


YouTube video


This recipe can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  It reheats beautifully on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Calories: 253kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 1092mg, Potassium: 460mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 335IU, Vitamin C: 8.9mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 1.8mg