Easy Stir Fry Vegetables

This stir fry vegetables recipe is full of colorful veggies and an easy sauce that makes them taste irresistible! Add rice and a protein and you’ve got dinner.

Stir fry vegetables

How to make vegetables taste irresistible? Make a stir fry! These stir fry vegetables are colorful and taste so delicious, you won’t want to stop eating them. It’s great way to eat all the best healthy vegetables! Making a stir fry is easy, but you also need to know a few tricks to get it right. When Alex and I first started cooking, we’d attempt to “wing” a stir fry and it would come out flavorless with not enough sauce, or with mushy overcooked veggies. Here is everything you need to know to make a tasty pan of stir fry vegetables: and how to serve it to make a healthy dinner.

Stir fry vegetables

Best vegetables to use in a stir fry (cheat sheet & timing!)

What are the best stir fry vegetables? Here’s our list of the types that work best. Important: the toughness of the vegetable dictates the cook time! Take a look at the list below, and start with the veggies that take the longest to cook. Then add in the quicker cooking veggies. Here’s a cheat sheet:

Vegetables that take 6 to 7 minutes to stir fry:

Vegetables that take 3 to 5 minutes to stir fry:

  • Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Snap peas
  • Bok choy, chopped
  • Zucchini or summer squash
  • Edamame, frozen and shelled

Vegetables that take 1 minute to stir fry:

  • Garlic, minced
  • Ginger, minced
  • Green onion, thinly sliced (or use as a garnish)
Broccoli stir fry

How to stir fry vegetables

This is also important, so listen up! A stir fry cooks ingredients at high heat in hot oil. This technique originated in China, and has since spread to other parts of Asia and around the world. It’s different from steaming vegetables and sauteing them, because you’ll want your veggies to all come in contact with the hot pan for a short period of time. Here are a few pointers on how to stir fry vegetables:

  • Pick the right vegetables and add them based on the timing in the list above.
  • Use your largest pan. A large skillet, cast iron skillet or wok work here.
  • Important: Don’t overfill the pan! If you overfill the pan with vegetables, they will steam instead of stir frying. If you want to make a large quantity, cook it in batches.
Broccoli stir fry

A quick stir fry pan sauce

The sauce is another part of a stir fry that can be hard to get right. Here’s why: If you stir fry the vegetables in the sauce for too long, the sauce will evaporate. Because of this, you’ll want to add the sauce at the very end of the recipe. In this recipe, you’ll turn off the heat and then stir in the sauce to coat.

Also, there are difference consistencies of stir fry sauces. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Flavorful sauces that coat. The sauce in this vegetable stir fry is not thick like what you might get from Chinese takeout. But it’s seriously flavorful and coats all the veggies perfectly.
  • Thick sauces, usually thickened by cornstarch. Often stir fry sauces are thick and glossy, thickened by cornstarch. If you like this type of sauce, try our homemade teriyaki sauce that’s use in our teriyaki vegetable stir fry.
Stir fry vegetables

Add protein & rice to make it a meal!

These stir fry vegetables are incredibly tasty and you’ll find yourself sneaking bites constantly! To serve them as part of a healthy dinner, add rice (or noodles!) and a protein to keep it filling. Alex and I eat mostly plant based on the regular, and we’ve realized that just eating vegetables doesn’t cut it. You’ll need some sort of plant based protein to help keep you full. Here’s what we recommend:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Stir fry vegetables

Easy Stir Fry Vegetables


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.38 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x

Description

This stir fry vegetables recipe is full of colorful veggies and an easy sauce that makes them taste irresistible! Add rice and a protein and you’ve got dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

For the vegetables

  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli
  • 1 head broccolini (or 1 additional head of broccoli)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps

For the stir fry sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated (about a 2-inch nub)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (regular, not toasted)
  • Kosher salt

For serving

  • Garnish: Sliced green onion, sesame seeds (optional)
  • Protein: Add 3/4 cup cashews with the broccoli*, 1 cup shelled edamame after 2 minutes, or serve with Marinaded Tofu or Sauteed Shrimp (with sesame oil and lime)
  • Rice: Rice or Instant Pot Rice, to serve

Instructions

  1. Start the rice and decide which protein you’ll be adding. 
  2. Chop the broccoli and broccolini into large florets (about 6 cups florets total). Chop the red onion into bite sized squares. Dice the pepper into bite sized squares. Remove the stems from the portobellos (if necessary), slice them into strips, then cut the larger pieces in half. Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. Mince the garlicPeel the ginger and grate it. Place them together in a small bowl.
  4. Stir together the mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  5. In a large skillet or wok over high heat, and heat the oil. Add the broccoli, broccolini (if using), red onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and cook 6 to 7 minutes until just starting to brown on edges, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger cook for 1 minute more, until broccoli is crisp tender but still bright green. Turn off the heat and add the sauce, stirring until combined. Taste and add additional pinches salt as necessary. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion (optional). Serve with rice and desired protein (see above).

Notes

*Adding cashews would serve about 2 to 3 as a vegetarian main; adding tofu can stretch it to 4.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Stir Fry Vegetables

More healthy dinner recipes

Eating your veggies is easy when they taste amazing! Here are a few more of our favorite vegetable recipes for dinner that make whole food plant-based eating fun:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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