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This Chinese Chicken and Broccoli recipe is a classic Chinese takeout dish made at home for a budget-friendly approach that doesn’t skimp on flavor. It’s easy to make, with minimal ingredients, and a satisfying meal the whole family will love!
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Chicken and Broccoli Recipe
- What Is Chinese Chicken and Broccoli?
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
- Tips for Success
- Substitutions & Recipe Variations
- Serving Suggestions
- How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Can I Freeze Chicken and Broccoli?
- More Chinese Takeout Recipes
- Chicken and Broccoli Recipe
Chinese chicken and broccoli, hands down, is my all time favorite Chinese takeout dish. This is the one dish I would always get when my mom would order takeout on the nights she didn’t feel like cooking or whenever I ate at a food court (haha, this totally dates me, huh? I feel like people don’t do that anymore.)
My mom never had to ask me what I wanted because it would always be the same answer, “Chinese chicken and broccoli!” I could eat this every day for a week and not be sick of it. I just love the combination of broccoli and chicken together along with the salty, sweet brown sauce.
Most kids don’t like broccoli and refuse to eat it, but me? No, I loved it. My mom would blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about 5 minutes or so and then throw them in an ice bath so the broccoli, for yours truly here, would still be extra crispy and bright green.
Pair that with some juicy, sauce-smothered chicken, and you’ve got the BEST chicken dinner ever.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken and Broccoli Recipe
This Chinese chicken and broccoli recipe is the best! Here’s why I think you’ll love it as much as I do.
- Super flavorful. The sauce in this recipe is made with salty, savory soy sauce, sweet brown sugar, garlic, and more. Every bite of this chicken and broccoli is exploding with flavor!
- Easier and healthier. You could call your favorite Chinese takeout place for an order of chicken and broccoli, or you could make it yourself from the comfort of your own kitchen, whenever you want! This way, you’ll be able to adjust the dish to fit your tastes and preferences so that you can reduce the salt content if needed, etc.
- Crowd-pleaser. I don’t know too many people who would turn down a bowl of this juicy chicken and crispy broccoli! Even picky eaters will be sure to dig into this meal.
What Is Chinese Chicken and Broccoli?
You likely recognize this dish because it’s a very popular Chinese takeout dish. You may have even gotten it at some point! The stars of the dish are of course the chicken and broccoli, but the sauce is also a highlight. It’s a thick, sweet-and-salty sauce that envelops all of the other ingredients into its goodness. I love when there’s extra of the sauce because then I can spoon it all over my white rice that I eat with the chicken and broccoli.
For exact measurements, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Boneless skinless chicken breast – Make sure to slice it thinly. Also, boneless skinless chicken thighs will work, too.
- Soy sauce – You could use low sodium soy sauce if you like.
- Chinese cooking wine – This ingredient, along with soy sauce and cornstarch, is added to the sliced chicken breasts before cooking. This is a process called “velveting” and the majority of all Chinese restaurants and home cooks do this. My mom said this helps tenderize the meat and helps keep it moist and juicy. My mom also said this helps with taking out the sometimes strong chicken flavor.
- Cornstarch – Helps thicken the sauce and keeps the chicken tender while it cooks.
- Broccoli florets – You can add in other veggies too, like carrots and mushrooms. You can also use frozen broccoli florets if you’re in a pinch. Just make sure you thaw them before cooking. You won’t need to blanch them if you’re using frozen.
- Brown sugar – I like to use dark brown sugar for its sweet, subtly caramel-like notes.
- Dark soy sauce – This is sweeter and less salty than regular soy sauce, and it adds bright coloring to the meat.
- Oyster sauce – I love oyster sauce. It gives the chicken and broccoli such a complex, deep, rich flavor.
- Sesame oil – Adds authentic, nutty, savory flavor.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic provides the best flavor, but store-bought minced garlic is fine too.
How to Make Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
For detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Make the sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce.
- Velvet your chicken. I’m sure you’re thinking, what the heck is velveting? Velveting is a technique used in a lot of Chinese kitchens that helps tenderize the meat and helps keep it moist and juicy. Combine the sliced chicken breast with soy sauce, cornstarch, and Chinese cooking wine and mix it all together with your hands. Then, let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Blanch the broccoli. While the chicken is velveting, blanch the broccoli. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the broccoli. Cook for about 5 minutes, or to your desired doneness. Remove the broccoli from the heat and drain. Immediately place the broccoli florets in a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
- Let’s bring it all together. Once everything is prepped, it’s time to bring it all together. In a large wok over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken to the wok and cook until browned and cooked through. Add the drained broccoli florets then make a well in the center. Add the ingredients for the sauce and watch it thicken right up! Reduce heat to medium then toss everything in the sauce to coat it evenly.
- Serve. Serve with fried rice or some of the classic takeout appetizers mentioned below.
Tips for Success
That’s pretty much all there is to it! Chinese chicken and broccoli, done in less than half an hour. Here are some tips to guide you as you follow the directions:
- Let the chicken marinate. Make sure you let the chicken sit in the soy sauce and cornstarch mixture for the full 10 minutes. This will allow the flavors to sink in, and will ensure that the chicken gets nice and tender.
- Make sure the pieces of chicken are roughly the same size. Otherwise, some pieces may be undercooked while others are overcooked.
- If the sauce gets too thick, add some water. Once you’ve combined the sauce ingredients in the wok, add a tablespoon or two of water if you think the sauce has become too thick.
Substitutions & Recipe Variations
If you’re not in the chicken mood, beef and broccoli would be another alternative. Or, you could try all these other broccoli alternatives:
There are also substitutions that you could make within the original recipe:
- More veggies. Add in mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, spinach, etc.
- Add crunch. Water chestnuts or cashews are an easy way to add more texture to this meal.
- Sesame seeds. Toasted sesame seeds make a great garnish for this dish.
I love pretending we are ordering takeout but really making everything at home and creating our own takeout spread. My favorites to make that go with this meal are crab rangoon and chicken fried rice (or if you prefer, pineapple fried rice – it’s a great complement, too). Steamed white rice or ramen noodles are also fantastic side dish choices for this recipe.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Chicken and broccoli is easily stored if you have leftovers! Here’s how to do it.
- To store. This may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- To reheat. Pop your leftovers in the microwave for 45 seconds or longer, depending on the strength of your microwave.
Can I Freeze Chicken and Broccoli?
Yes, you can. Once your chicken and broccoli has cooled, store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Remember to thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Chinese Takeout Recipes
Want to try some more easy Chinese takeout classics? Check out these ones!
- Easy Kung Pao Chicken
- Black Pepper Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)
- Bourbon Chicken
- Moo Shu Chicken
- Hunan Beef
Chicken and Broccoli
For the chicken:
- ¾ pound large boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (about 2 medium sized breasts)
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Splash Chinese cooking wine
- 1 ½ cup broccoli florets
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Add the sliced chicken to a bowl then toss soy sauce, cornstarch, and Chinese cooking wine with it and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add the broccoli florets and blanch for 5 minutes, or to your desired doneness. Immediately drain and place broccoli florets in a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
- In a wok over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken to the wok and cook until browned and cooked through. Add the drained broccoli florets then make a well in the center of the mixture and pour the sauce in. It should start to thicken almost immediately. Turn heat down to medium then toss everything together, coating the sauce evenly on the chicken and broccoli.
- Remove from heat and serve!
- If you’re using frozen broccoli: You may use frozen broccoli florets if you’re in a pinch. Just make sure you thaw them before cooking. You won’t need to blanch them if you’re using frozen.
- To store: This may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- To reheat: To reheat, pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds or longer, depending on the strength of your microwave.
- To freeze: Once your chicken and broccoli has cooled, store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Remember to thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.