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Get ready to spice up your dinner routine with this irresistible — and oh-so-easy — Thai basil chicken recipe. Inspired by the flavors of a classic chicken stir fry combined with my visits to Thai restaurants, this dish features tender chicken and crisp vegetables, but what sets it apart is the fiery kick from the Thai chilies and the fragrant Thai basil. Best of all, it only takes 20 minutes! If you’re a fan of easy chicken recipes and enjoy bold flavors, this Thai chicken recipe with basil is for you.
Why You’ll Love This Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
- Bursting with bold, spicy flavor
- Flavor, juicy chicken
- Crisp tender veggies
- Natural, sweet sauce
- Quick and easy 20-minute dinner
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this Thai chicken recipe with basil, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
Many Thai basil chicken recipes use oyster sauce to create a sweet, salty, and savory flavor, but I opted for a cleaner-ingredient sauce without the refined sugar:
- Fish Sauce – Gives the sauce a savory umami flavor. Nothing else is quite like it, but the closest substitute would be a mixture of anchovy paste mixed with coconut aminos, soy sauce, or tamari.
- Coconut Aminos – Adds a combination of savory, umami, and slightly sweet flavors. This is my go-to soy sauce substitute, but you could also use low sodium soy sauce instead.
- Honey – For natural sweetness. I usually use sugar-free honey, but regular also works.
Thai Basil Chicken:
- Olive Oil – Oil is needed for sauteing the chicken and vegetables. Some recipes use vegetable oil, but I prefer healthier olive oil. You can use avocado oil, coconut oil, or any heat-safe cooking oil.
- Chicken – I used boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into very small pieces, but you could also make this Thai basil chicken recipe with boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. Either way, cut the chicken into very small pieces. Alternatively, you could use ground chicken instead.
- Veggies – Including bell peppers and onions. I used bell peppers and yellow onion, but almost all kinds will work. You could also use shallots instead of onions.
- Thai Chilies – These peppers are known for being very spicy, ranging from moderately hot to extremely hot. To make this Thai dish less spicy, you can substitute milder chili peppers, like jalapeños (the mildest, but still spicy) or serrano peppers (for more heat, but less intense than Thai chili peppers).
- Garlic – I use fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, but you can also use 2 teaspoons of jarred garlic if you prefer. If you must, you could also substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Thai Basil Leaves – Unlike regular sweet basil, Thai basil has a spicy, anise (licorice-like) flavor. If you can’t find it, regular basil will work, but will taste different.
- Sea Salt
VARIATION: Add other veggies!
For more texture and variety, try using other vegetables, like snap peas, carrots, broccoli florets, mushrooms, zucchini, or baby corn.
How To Make Thai Basil Chicken
This section shows how to make Thai basil chicken stir fry, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Whisk the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, coconut aminos, and honey. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken. In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown.
- Stir fry the veggies. Add the red pepper, onion, Thai chilies, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened, the onions are translucent, and the chicken is cooked through.
- Combine. Add the fish sauce mixture to the pan. Cook until warm.
- Add basil and enjoy. Remove from heat. Adjust salt to taste if needed. Toss the chicken with the Thai basil.
- Store: Keep leftover Thai basil chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: Double the recipe and store in individual meal-sized containers in the refrigerator. This dish makes a great chicken meal prep idea!
- Reheat: Warm up in the microwave, or on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often.
- Freeze: Cool, pour into a zip lock bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
What To Serve With Thai Basil Chicken
At Thai restaurants, this dish is typically called pad krapow gai, and it is served over jasmine rice and topped with a fried egg. It’s pretty much a one-pan meal!
However, you could also serve this spicy Thai basil chicken with other types of rice, such as white rice, fried rice, brown rice, or even (my personal fave shown above) cauliflower rice. A refreshing Thai salad would also pair well with this dish.
More Spicy Asian Recipes
If you like the heat of this Thai chicken recipe with basil, try some of my other spicy Asian-inspired dishes:
Thai Basil Chicken
Thai Basil Chicken (Easy 20-Minute Dinner)
You'll love this easy Thai basil chicken recipe with chilies, garlic, bell peppers, onions, Thai basil, and sweet sauce. Ready in 20 minutes!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, coconut aminos, and honey. Set aside.
Add the red pepper, onion, Thai chilies, and garlic. Stir fry for 5-6 minutes, until the peppers are softened, the onions are translucent, and the chicken is cooked through.
Add the fish sauce/aminos/honey mixture to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until warm.
Remove from heat. Adjust salt to taste if needed. Stir in the Thai basil.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition info does not include optional salt and is calculated using sugar free honey.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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