Black Pepper Chicken Stir-fry (Simple 35 Minute Meal)

Enjoy a delightful weeknight meal with our Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry served over brown rice. In just 35 minutes, you’ll have a delicious and nutritious supper ready to devour. This recipe draws inspiration from the famous Panda Express black pepper chicken, and it might even make your house smell like the restaurant! With simple ingredients, you can effortlessly whip up a healthy homemade dish.

2 bowls of stir fry
Source: Plum Branch Home

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Even though the kitchen is my happy place, some nights I want a quick meal that’s healthy, homemade and tastes amazing without spending an hour cooking. That’s how this recipe was born. We eat tons of chicken and bell peppers in our house so with that basic favorite, I began developing the most delicious pepper sauce to cover it. Adding a bed of brown rice in each bowl allows the flavors to soak in and gives you good healthy carbohydrates to feed your body.

Why You’ll Love Black Pepper Chicken

  • Nutritious ingredients that’ll make you feel happy and full
  • Delicious restaurant quality taste
  • Tastes even better than the Panda Express version
  • Simple to whip up in 35 minutes
  • Your whole family will enjoy it

Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry Ingredients

Brown Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Black Pepper Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce (low-sodium)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey or cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger root (grated, paste, or powder)

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How To Make Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry

Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry

  1. While the rice is cooking (lid-on), first, cut up the chicken into 2″ by 2″ cubes and dice the onion and bell peppers (ensure veggies are prepped in a different area than the chicken for food safety).
  2. Next, add butter to a skillet and heat on medium. Add in the chicken cubes, salt, pepper, and 1/8 cup soy sauce. Cook for 6 minutes.
  3. Then, turn the chicken pieces over on the uncooked side, add onions and bell peppers, and cook for 6 more minutes (if things begin to stick during this time, add 1/8 cup water to the pan).

Sauce

  1. While the chicken and veggies are cooking for the last 6 minutes, first add cornstarch, malt vinegar, honey, garlic, pepper, water, and ginger to a bowl.
  2. Next, whisk or stir the ingredients together until combined completely.
  3. Finally, add the sauce over your chicken and veggies and stir over medium heat until thickened and take off the heat. (Your rice should be finished or finishing soon)

Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry Over Brown Rice

Add a scoop of brown rice to bowls, top with 2-3 scoops of black pepper chicken stir-fry, and enjoy!

How to Easily Cook Brown Rice

Cooking brown rice from scratch is so much easier than many people believe. It really isn’t hard at all. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you whip up a batch with ease:

  1. rinse rice in a bowl of water 2x (draining water and refilling with fresh between each time)
  2. add rice and fresh water to a pan with a 1:2 rice-to-water ratio (for this recipe it’s 1 cup rice and 2 cups water)
  3. bring rice and water to a boil over medium-high heat
  4. once boiling, add a lid to the pan, turn down to low-medium heat, and cook for 30 minutes
  5. when finished cooking, take off the lid and fluff with a spoon or fork. If there’s still water turn up the heat and cook on medium-high until water is soaked up or add the lid back on and cook another 5-10 minutes on low-medium.

How To Prep Black Pepper Chicken Ahead of Time

If you love prepping food ahead of time to save on busy weeknights this chicken will be a go-to. Only meal prep this dish 1-2 days before cooking to ensure food safety. Here’s a list of ways to prep this supper ahead of time:

  • cut chicken into cubes (store in fridge)
  • cut up onion and bell peppers (store in fridge)
  • make up sauce in a glass bowl, no heating required (store in fridge)
  • *depends of preference: make rice ahead of time and store in fridge (do know pre-made rice can get soggy and dry out when reheating)

Storing Leftovers and Freezing

For optimal flavor, store leftovers in the freezer. After your leftovers cool completely transfer them into a glass, freezer-safe/oven-safe container and stick them in the freezer. When you’re ready for them, take off the lid and stick it into a UNPREHEATED oven (never stick a frozen glass dish into a hot oven it will shatter). Begin the preheat to 425 degrees. Once the oven has reached the temperature heat for 10 minutes or until hot.

Best Way to Eat Leftover Black Pepper Chicken

  • Over freshly made rice
  • With chow mein or rice noodles
  • Eat it by itself

Recipe FAQ

  • What is black pepper chicken sauce made of? cornstarch, honey, malt vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, water, and ginger
  • Can I use white rice? Yes, the cook time will vary, follow the directions on the rice packaging
  • Can I use instant rice? Yes, I personally don’t use instant rice but you definitely can
  • Can I use chicken thighs or ground chicken for this recipe? Definitely! Just adjust cooking time accordingly.

Check Out These PBH Homemade Meals

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black pepper chicken stir fry

Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry

Molly LaFontaine of Plum Branch Home
Enjoy a delightful weeknight meal with our Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry served over brown rice. In just 35 minutes, you'll have a delicious and nutritious supper ready to devour.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Supper
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3 servings

Equipment

  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 chopping knife
  • 1 skillet/pan
  • 1 small pot
  • 2 wooden stirring spoons
  • 1 small glass bowl
  • 1 whisk

Ingredients
  

Brown Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Black Pepper Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce (low-sodium)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey or cane sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger root (grated, paste, or powder)

Instructions
 

Brown Rice (Start 1st)

  • First, rinse the rice in a bowl of water 2x (draining water and refilling with fresh between each time, doesn't matter water measurement)
  • Next, add rice and fresh water to a pan with a 1:2 rice-to-water ratio (for this recipe it's 1 cup rice and 2 cups water)
  • Then, once boiling, add a lid to the pan, turn down to low-medium heat, and cook for 30 minutes
  • Finally, when finished cooking, take off the lid and fluff with a spoon or fork. If there's still water turn up the heat and cook on medium-high until water is soaked up or add the lid back on and cook another 5-10 minutes on low-medium.

Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry (Start 2nd)

  • While the rice is cooking (lid-on), first, cut up the chicken into 2" by 2" cubes and dice the onion and bell peppers (ensure veggies are prepped in a different area than the chicken for food safety).
  • Next, add butter to a skillet and heat on medium. Add in the chicken cubes, salt, pepper, and 1/8 cup soy sauce. Cook for 6 minutes.
  • Then, turn the chicken pieces over on the uncooked side, add onions and bell peppers, and cook for 6 more minutes (if things begin to stick during this time, add 1/8 cup water to the pan).

Sauce (Start 3rd)

  • While the chicken and veggies are cooking the last 6 minutes, first add cornstarch, malt vinegar, honey, garlic, pepper, water, and ginger to a bowl.
  • Next, whisk or stir the ingredients together until combined completely.
  • Finally, add the sauce over your chicken and veggies and stir over medium heat until thickened and take off the heat. (Your rice should be finished or finishing soon)

Black Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry Over Brown Rice

  • Add a scoop of brown rice to bowls, top with 2-3 scoops of black pepper chicken stir-fry, and enjoy!

Notes

*to make this meal simple and fast, start with the rice then begin prepping and cooking chicken/veggies. While chicken/veggies are cooking make your sauce. 
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Keyword black pepper chicken, black pepper chicken panda express, plum branch home black pepper chicken stirfry

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