With tender bites of chicken, a rich sweet-and-savory sauce, and a medley of good-for-you veggies, this 25-minute Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry is a crave-inducing weeknight wonder. Best of all, it’s quick and simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients.

White bowl with a serving of chicken asparagus stir fry ready to eat.

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Making a simple stir fry is one of the best ways to get dinner on the table fast and use whatever happens to be in your fridge, potentially saving you the hassle and expense of yet another trip to the grocery store.

This particular combination of chicken and asparagus is healthy and filling. It’s absolutely ideal in the springtime, when fresh, bright green stalks of asparagus pop up at grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere.

Ingredients & Common Substitutions

Prep bowls holding chicken, asparagus, bell pepper, broth, soy and hoisin sauce, seasonings.

Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make this chicken asparagus stir fry, as well as possible substitutions. 

  • Chicken Breasts: Of the boneless, skinless variety. I highly recommend using thin-sliced chicken breasts, as they cook more quickly and evenly. You can butterfly chicken breasts yourself, or buy them already thin-sliced, as is my preference for simplicity’s sake.
  • Asparagus: Clearly!
  • Bell pepper and Sliced Mushrooms: Both of these are optional additions, but add lovely color, texture, flavor, and nutrients — and little extra work — if you happen to enjoy them. You can use any type of bell peppers. Red, orange, and yellow are the most naturally sweet.
  • Avocado or Canola Oil: These types of oils are particularly good for cooking at high heat, such as in a stir fry, because they have a high smoke point. This means they can come to a relatively high temperature and still glisten, before beginning to burn and impart an acrid aroma and flavor.
  • Garlic and Ginger: First choice: freshly-minced or grated. Second choice, also very good: a jarred or frozen version. Distant third choice: only substitute dried garlic powder and ginger in a real pinch.
  • Chicken Broth: Use a low-sodium chicken broth to give you more control over the salt content of your finished stir fry.
  • Brown Sugar: The little sweetener our stir fry sauce needs to achieve its signature sweet-and-savory profile.
  • Soy Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, and Toasted Sesame Oil: All pantry staples that punch far above their weight if you like making stir fry or other at-home versions of takeout. Toasted sesame oil, for example, is a delightful and important ingredient in teriyaki chicken and Korean ground beef, and a small bottle lasts a very long time.
  • Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce. Arrowroot powder makes a good substitute.

Why do you trim asparagus before cooking?

Here’s the thing about asparagus: the part that you want to eat, you really want to — it’s tender and tasty. But the remainder? The tough, woody bottom portion of each stalk? Well, you really do not want to eat that part. It tastes bitter, is almost impossible to chew, and if you try, small threads will implant in your teeth. Do not recommend.

How do you trim asparagus?

Now that you’re convinced it’s important to do, let’s review the simplest way to trim fresh asparagus.

  1. Lay out the stalks on your cutting board.
  2. Pick up one stalk of an average thickness and length. Bend it in your hands to find the point where it naturally snaps in two, usually a few inches in from the flat bottom part of the stalk.
  3. Snap that one, then lay it back alongside the bunch on your cutting board, and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut all of the stalks in roughly that place. Discard the tough ends, and chop the rest into roughly 2 inch pieces.

This is a quick and easy way to cut a full bunch of asparagus cleanly. Curious for more? Read the Food Network’s full take on how and where to trim asparagus.

How To Make Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry

As much as I would like cooking this stir fry to be a simple matter of adding everything to the pan, I am going to be candid with you: cooking everything together is a recipe for overcooked chicken, overcooked asparagus, too-thin sauce, or even all three.

Taking the extra step of cooking the vegetables and chicken separately makes it easy to ensure everything is cooked correctly. Bonus: it doesn’t even take extra time.

So here, after some trial and error on my part, is the way I always recommend cooking a stir fry for everyday home cooks:

  1. Sauté veggies and aromatics in avocado or canola oil over medium-high heat, just until they are slightly tender but still vibrant in color and mostly crisp. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Brown chicken in the same skillet. Leave it in the pan.
  3. Pour in your stir fry sauce, which you can whisk up while the veggies cook or the chicken browns, followed by a simple mix of cornstarch and water. Simmer until the sauce thickens and the chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Return veggies, toss, and serve.
Finished chicken asparagus stir fry in a cast iron skillet.

How do you cut chicken for a stir fry?

For a stir fry, I like to cut chicken into relatively flat slices, rather than squared-off chunks. To achieve this, lay each chicken breast flat on your cutting board and hold with your left hand. Use your sharpest knife to slice 1-2 inch pieces gently at an angle away and to the right. (Reverse if left-handed, of course.)

What sides go with a stir fry?

Serve this stir fry on its own or over white, brown, or cauliflower rice. Stir fry also goes well with any type of fried rice or another steamed vegetable, such as broccoli. Steamed dumplings, egg rolls, or spring rolls are nice accompaniments, too.

Mandarin oranges, pineapple, and other fresh fruits also pair well with stir fry. Though they may not be traditional, they are an easy way to round out plates for children or a large, varied crowd.

Is a chicken stir fry gluten-free?

You might think a stir fry is naturally gluten-free, but some brands of soy sauce and hoisin sauce contain it as an additive. If you follow a gluten-free diet, be sure the condiments used in your sauce are all certified gluten-free. Then, this stir fry should be a safe choice.

White bowl with a serving of chicken asparagus stir fry ready to eat.

More Stir Fry and Similar Recipes

Love these flavors? Try a cashew chicken stir fry with crisp bell peppers next. You’ll also enjoy pineapple chickenbourbon chicken (a true take-out fake-out), and delicious teriyaki chicken.

Now that I have this sauce recipe and method mastered, you can be sure there will be many more stir fry recipes coming to our table, and to the site. That said, I’m confident this chicken and asparagus combination will always be a go-to in the spring. I hope you love it, too!

If you try this Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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White bowl with a serving of chicken asparagus stir fry ready to eat.
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Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry

With tender bites of chicken, a rich sweet-and-savory sauce, and a medley of good-for-you veggies, this is a 25-minute weeknight wonder. Best of all, it's quick and simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients.


  • 1 tablespoon avocado, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced or crushed ginger
  • 1/2 bunch (about 8 ounces) asparagus ends trimmed off and the rest cut into 2” pieces
  • 1/2 bell pepper cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • green onions and sesame seeds optional garnish


  • Add oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant. Stir in the asparagus, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender but still bright in color. Remove veggies to a plate and set aside.
  • While the veggies cook, whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water and whisk until fully dissolved.
  • After removing the veggies, keep the skillet over medium-high heat. Add another teaspoon of oil if the skillet is dry. Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, just until browned on the outside, but not quite fully cooked through.
  • Pour the soy sauce mixture on top of the chicken. Bring liquid to a simmer, then stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Return veggies to the pan and toss to coat.
  • Garnish as desired and serve right away.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 263kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 1110mg, Potassium: 767mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 926IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 2mg
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