9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less

by Ashley Marcin on 26 August 2014 0 comments

One of the fastest, cheapest meals I make on a regular basis is the stir-fry. As a vegetarian, it's a great way to get a big dose of vegetables and protein in one convenient pan. Meat eaters, too, can get their fill of healthy foods in just about 20 minutes. And the best part? There's little clean-up when you're done cooking. (See also: 10 Tricks To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook)

So check out these 10 fantastic stir-fries that will have you eating more and scrubbing less.

1. Chicken and Broccoli

The most delectable part of this Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry is the marinade, which features ginger, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and lemon zest. If you're not into meat, you can always substitute your favorite protein, like fried tofu. (The same trick applies to any non-vegetarian recipes that follow — and vice versa.)

2. Blackened Shrimp

Onions and peppers make up the veggies in this tasty Blackened Shrimp Stir-Fry. The seasoning is a hefty dose of Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Seafood Magic. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, try this copycat recipe that contains several common herbs and spices with a spicy kick of paprika.

3. Thai Peanut

One of my favorite meals is this delicious Thai Peanut Stir-Fry with fresh veggies atop brown rice noodles. The sauce is made extra thick and creamy with full fat coconut milk. Don't skimp on the sprouts — they give the dish a nice crunch.

4. Chicken Fajita

Part stir-fry, part salad, this Chicken Fajita Salad is ready in just 20 minutes. It's a healthy twist on this Tex-Mex favorite, complete with liquid smoke for extra flair. I'd use black beans in this recipe for some solid vegetarian protein.

5. Almond Veggie

This Almond Vegetable Stir-Fry recipe is simple yet complexly flavorful. You'll notice that cornstarch is a key ingredient in the sauce, which is meant to give the dish thicker texture and also a more vibrant color. You can also substitute in arrowroot powder at an equal ratio.

6. Indian Style

I adore Indian food, and this Vegetable Jalfrezi recipe looks authentic without the fuss. The author claims this recipe takes 25 minutes to make from start to finish, but I imagine if you're in a pinch, you can cut off 5 minutes or more if you chop veggies in bulk at the beginning of the week. (See also: Save Time and Money with a Monthly Assembly Cooking Weekend)

7. Easy Veggie

This Vegetable Stir-Fry is so fresh, it might just make your regular meal rotation. If you have a garden or CSA farm share for the growing season, you can always substitute in whatever you have in your fridge for the other vegetables in this recipe.

8. Fig, Apple, and Pear

Fruit for dinner? Yes! This Fig, Apple, and Chicken Stir-Fry can be cooked in 20 minutes flat if you're smart with your preparation. The fruit only takes three minutes to cook, so the rest is in getting that chicken done. Cutting it into small chunks from the start should help.

9. Sumptuous Steak

I love the mix of vegetables that accompany this Steak Stir-Fry. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and even edamame. Don't have all these on hand? No problem — use what you've got! And one of my favorite tricks for quick meals like these is using frozen mixes of veggies. They always stay good and require zero prepping before being tossed into the pan. Many also contain those more traditional blends of stir-fry vegetable favorites.

A Frozen Veggie Secret

And if you'd like to skip the marked-up frozen veggie packages at the store and make your own, this method is the way to go. Chop up vegetables and then blanch them before cooling to freeze in plastic zip bags. Take advantage of in-season vegetables or whatever is on sale to make your custom mix. Then enjoy dinners in a flash whenever the days get busy. With back-to-school just around the corner, I think we all need a trick like this in our back pockets.

Do you have any favorite go to stir-fry recipes? Please share in comments!

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