This Coconut Lime Chicken and Broccoli stir-fry recipe is quick and easy to make and simmered in a tangy, creamy coconut-lime sauce. Serve over rice or noodles and enjoy!
New chicken stir fry recipe for you today! ♡
This one’s tossed with a fun, bright and tangy coconut lime sauce that you guys are going to love. The flavors here are inspired by one of my favorite Thai soups, that features a creamy coconut milk base mixed with zesty hints of ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Lots of freshly-squeezed lime juice in there is also balanced out with a hint of honey, which also brings out the sweetness of the coconut milk. And altogether it tastes ultra-fresh and flavorful and pairs perfectly with a simple chicken and broccoli stir-fry.
The great news for all of us is that this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and tastes great served over rice or noodles. (I usually put my Instant Pot to work cooking the rice while I make the stir-fry.) This recipe also happens to be naturally gluten- and dairy-free. And of course, as with any stir-fry, this recipe is also super flexible if you’d like to swap in a different protein (shrimp, beef, tofu, etc) or any other veggies (basically any stir-fry-friendly veggies would do) that you prefer.
Alright friends, let’s make some coconut lime chicken and broccoli!
Coconut Lime Chicken and Broccoli Ingredients:
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this coconut lime chicken and broccoli recipe (amounts included in the full recipe below):
Full-fat coconut milk: I strongly recommend using a brand of full-fat milk that is extra creamy (basically, one that has the lowest percentage of added water) to ensure that this sauce is thick and creamy. Or alternately, you can use a can of coconut cream instead of coconut milk.
Chicken stock: Chicken or veggie stock will work here — whichever you have on hand.
Lime juice: I love making this sauce with lots of freshly-squeezed lime juice so that it’s extra tart and lime-y. But please feel free to add as much or as little lime juice as you prefer.
Sugar: I used honey to balance out the tartness of the sauce, but you can use brown sugar, white sugar, honey or any other sweetener you prefer.
Cornstarch: Just a bit to thicken the sauce, if you would like. (Otherwise you can omit the cornstarch if you don’t mind a thinner sauce.)
Ginger: I grated a tablespoon of fresh ginger for the sauce, which I highly recommend. (YUM.) But if you would like to save some time, you can just add in a teaspoon of ground ginger instead.
Lemongrass: I love the flavor of fresh lemongrass in this recipe (you can either grate your own or buy a tube of lemongrass paste). But if you can’t track down lemongrass at your local grocery store, no worries, the recipe will still taste great without it.
Chicken: You can either use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, thinly-sliced into bite-sized pieces, which we will sauté in olive oil.
Veggies: A mix of chopped broccoli florets, thinly-sliced green onions (green and white parts separated) and garlic (pressed or minced).
Salt and black pepper: As always, to season.
Toppings: Finally, fresh toppings are key to bringing out the best flavors of this sauce! I recommend sprinkling lots of chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions on top of each serving. (Or if you happen to have any fresh mint or basil on hand, those would be delicious additions too.) And if you would like to add some heat, slice up some serrano or Thai bird chiles and sprinkle them on top as well.
How To Make Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry:
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here’s a brief overview of how we will make this broccoli chicken stir fry recipe:
Make the coconut lime sauce: First, we’ll whisk all of the sauce ingredients together until combined.
Cook the chicken. Then we’ll sauté the chicken in olive oil until it’s cooked, and transfer it to a clean plate to hang out while we cook the sauce.
Cook the sauce. Next, we’ll briefly sauté the (white parts of the) green onions and garlic in the same pan in olive oil. Then add in the sauce mixture and bring everything to a simmer.
Put everything together. Finally, we’ll add the broccoli to the sauce and give it a quick toss. (I like mine pretty crisp, but you can simmer yours for longer if you would like it to be a bit softer.) Then add the chicken back in too.
Season. And of course, don’t forget to give the dish a taste and season it with extra salt, pepper, lime juice and/or sweetener that you think it may need.
Serve. Then while it’s still nice and warm, serve it up over rice or noodles, garnished with lots of fresh cilantro and (the dark parts of the) green onions, plus a few sliced chiles if you would like to add some heat. And enjoy!!
As I mentioned above, this stir fry recipe is quite flexible when it comes to modifications. So free free to customize yours with whatever ingredients you love best! For example, you could…
Make it spicy: Feel free to sprinkle some thinly-sliced serrano or Thai bird chiles on top of each dish, if you would like to customize the heat of individual servings. Or alternately, you can stir the chiles into the sauce to give the entire stir-fry some extra heat. (Crushed red pepper flakes or any other hot sauce you prefer would work here too.)
Make it creamier: If you would like the sauce to be even creamier, use a can of coconut cream instead of coconut milk.
Use a different protein: Shrimp, beef, pork or tofu would all be delicious substitutions for the chicken if you would like.
Use different veggies: Feel free to also add in any stir-fry-friendly veggies to this dish in place of (or combined with) the broccoli if you would like.
Add extra herbs: As mentioned above, Thai basil and/or fresh mint would also be delicious topping additions if you happen to have them on hand.
More Favorite Stir-Fry Recipes:
Looking for more quick stir-fry recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves!
2 scallions, thinly sliced with white and green green parts separated
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 cups broccoli florets*
toppings: lots of chopped fresh cilantro, optional thinly-sliced Thai bird chiles for heat
Make the coconut lime sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chicken stock, lime juice, sugar, cornstarch, grated ginger and grated lemongrass until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Cook the chicken. Season the chicken with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the chicken and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring and flipping occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
Cook the sauce. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the sauté pan. Add the white parts of the scallions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the sauce mixture and whisk to combine. Let the sauce continue cooking until it reaches a simmer.
Put everything together. Add the broccoli to the sauce and gently toss for 1 minute until it is completely coated. Add in the chicken and toss until combined. Remove from heat.
Season. Taste and season the dish with extra salt, pepper, lime juice and/or sugar if needed.
Serve. Serve warm over rice or noodles, garnished with lots of fresh cilantro and the dark parts of the green onions, plus a few sliced chiles if you would like to add some heat. Enjoy!
Coconut milk: I strongly recommend using a brand of full-fat milk that is extra creamy (basically, one that has the lowest percentage of added water) to ensure that this sauce is thick and creamy. Or alternately, you can use a can of coconut cream instead of coconut milk.
Lime juice: I love this sauce super lime-y, and sometimes will add in even more than 4 tablespoons. But if you prefer your sauce not to be very tart, I would begin with just 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and then you can add more afterwards to taste if you’d like.
Sugar: Or feel free to instead use brown sugar, white (granulated) sugar, coconut sugar, or whatever your preferred sweetener may be. Also, feel free to add more or less sweetener, to taste.
Ginger: Or you can instead add in 1 teaspoon (dried) ground ginger.
Lemongrass: Peel off the reedy outer layers of the lemongrass stalk. Then either grate or finely mince only the bottom few inches of the bottom of the stalk that is white or pale green until you have about 1 tablespoon of grated lemongrass. Alternately, you can use store-bought lemongrass paste. Or if you can’t find lemongrass at all, no worries, the recipe will still taste delicious without it.
Broccoli: I was able to get about 3 to 4 bite-sized broccoli florets from 2 medium heads of broccoli.
Storage instructions: Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days. Unfortunately this coconut sauce does not freeze well, so I do not recommend freezing.
Ali, how much lemongrass paste would you use then?
About 1 tablespoon. :)
Hi Ali – just made this for dinner ! It was very good ! I didn’t use lemongrass, but i used everything else and served this over rice.
Very creamy and limey tasting..YUM !
I might try this again with Shrimp next time . What do you think ?Debra
Since I prefer my broccoli tender I lightly ore-cooked the broccoli before adding to the sauce which I liked with additional lime juice. Wonderful recipe overall with some of my favorite flavors so I’ll be making it again to serve over rice, pasta, noodles or even mashed potatoes (with less lime). I think the recipe would be great with an assortment of roasted vegetables and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
Is there a substitution I could use to make this sauce a bit healthier? Soy milk maybe?
This did not seem like much and I was looking for something quick, simply and different . WOW! what a deliciously pleasant surprise. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you.
This recipe had great flavor and was easy to make. I added orange pepper, and would add sweet onion next time cut in chunks. But I really think the veggies need to be cooked first. The brocolli needs par boiling so that it still has some crunch but isn’t hard as raw. Otherwise, great recipe as always!
This is just delicious! Thanks for sharing.
This recipe is definitely a new favorite! I didn’t have green onions so substituted it with half of a yellow onion (which worked) otherwise followed the recipe! We didn’t add toppings this time d/t time constraints but would like to try some next time! Overall DELICIOUS recipe! First time using lemon grass and loved it! My whole family (including one picky child) loved this recipe! Thank you!
I plan to make this recipe this week! As I was making my grocery list to include Gourmet Garden Lemongrass paste (I freeze the extra in tsp clumps for later use – can never use it all in time!) I found this Thai Seasoning paste product: https://www.kingsoopers.com/p/gourmet-garden-herbs-spices-thai-seasoning-stir-in-paste/0087520800133 . It has all the flavors of this recipe: ginger, cilantro, chili, and lemongrass. Do you think this paste could be an easy and flavorful substitute for the individual ingredients?
I made this and LOVED it. It was my first time so I made it exactly as written…until the tasting from the pan stage where you adjust seasonings.
I did choose to add a little more sweetness, so I added a tablespoon of white sugar to take the edge off the sourness of the lime. (I used 3 tbsp of fresh lime juice).
I also liked the idea of adding a little heat so I added 1 tbsp of Chili Garlic Sauce. It worked really well, tasted exactly as I had hoped, but next time I will try just the red pepper flakes since I didn’t like that the sauce changed the colour slightly. I preferred the pre-sauce colour. (yes, this is how we spell “colour” here in Canada!)
Finally, at the tasting stage, I couldn’t wait to add the cilantro as a topping and threw it in there right at the end. If I was only making this for myself and people who like cilantro, I would definitely do that again. It was perfection. But some people hate it, so as a topping is safer.
I had one serving for leftovers and couldn’t wait for dinner so I ate it for breakfast the next day.
The only thing I am curious about is whether chopped cashews might be a really nice topping. What do you think?
I got an instant pot for Christmas :)
Can this dish be done that way?
This looks amazing, I just got all the ingredients and I’d really love to make it for dinner!
Thanks for all the incredibly delicious recipes :)
Delicious. I used the ingredients except the lemongrass. I bought it for this recipe but I forgot to add it. I used rotissere chicken and I steamed the fresh broccoli. I made the sauce tossed in the chicken and broccoli. Super easy recipe. Of course I like it hot so I added lots of rooster sauce to my place.
This was SO amazing! My family devoured it and scraped the pan clean. I will be making this again very soon.
I used coconut cream instead of the milk as you suggested and used 1 tbsp of coconut oil instead of olive oil when frying the onions and garlic. I also added 2 tsp of Thai red curry paste that I had in the fridge. Oh my this was restaurant quality. Thank you!
I made this tonight and it was delicious! I added the broccoli along with the onions and garlic to saute and cook a bit, then removed to a plate while cooking the sauce. I omitted lemongrass and added cayenne to taste. I will definitely make this again. Thanks!
This was awesome1 Such a fresh combination of flavors, and really quite easy to make. The primary change is that I added the broccoli in the sauce right after it was combined with the scallions and garlic, as I much prefer cooked broccoli to raw broccoli. I also skipped the lemongrass simply because I didn’t want to spend the money on it, but I added maybe a teaspoon of lemon juice for a little lemon taste. I had it on top of rice with egg rolls on the side.
This was delicious! I cut everything in half and ended up with not enough sauce (but I’m a sauce hog, so…) Flavors are subtle yet fresh and satisfying. I’ll definitely make this again!
I also have to add how much I love this site. It’s so hard to find good, unique, tasty recipes that use mostly every day items. Yes, lemongrass is an every day item for me as I grow it in my garden. It’s always a pleasure to come find a good recipe. I haven’t made anything yet from your site which we haven’t loved. And the meatless recipes…well, my 17 year old son often doesn’t know what he’s eating is meatless!
Made this today and it was absolutely delicious! Only sub I made was lime zest in place of lemongrass…I know it’s not an exact sub but it was what I had on hand :) Flavors are perfectly balanced and the basmati rice I served it with absorbed the sauce in the best way. This will be a regular dish at our house!
How much sugar?
I thought I was the only one. Lol Sugar isn’t listed in ingredient list. Was wondering if honey meant sugar..lol..oh well. Gonna give it a whirl!
Ok this was surprisingly good! Definitely added spice but was enjoyed by all. Curious if it could be adapted to instant pot.
I live on Cayman Brac, a small rocky island where broccoli is rarely seen, but we grow okra and pumpkin, so those are the vegetables I used. I precooked the veggies a bit and added them last to keep their bite. My foursome card club loved it and said I needed to make it as the luncheon main dish at an annual National Trust meeting. This meant multiplying the recipe by 10! That’s a lot of grating ginger and lemongrass and mincing garlic, but worth it.
Love this site for really workable recipes.
I thought I was the only one. Lol Sugar isn’t listed in ingredient list. Was wondering if honey meant sugar..lol..oh well. Gonna give it a whirl!
I’ve made this three times in a span of 2 weeks – all I’ve shared with have enjoyed thoroughly. All my favorite flavors – coconut, ginger, lemon, lemongrass (i used the paste in the tube) and lots of cilantro. I added 1/2 tsp of cumin to the chicken. Served with chillie flakes on the side for heat according to taste.
(reminded me of the kow suey my dad used to cook for when we were children – more soupy and over noodles)
What is a good appetizer or side dish to serve with this meal?
Not quite sure why these are all five star ratings because my dish did not turn out. Ended up throwing it out. The chicken broth was not a good addition to this recipe.