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This easy Szechuan chicken recipe is absolutely loaded with bold, delicious flavors! Crispy pieces of chicken and spicy Szechuan peppercorns are cooked in a tangy sauce with just a touch of sweetness, while chopped bell peppers and whole cashews add a little crunch. Your favorite takeout dish, cooked right in your kitchen in less time than it’d take to have it delivered!

Top-down view of a large wok holding prepared Szechuan chicken with cashews, chilies, peppercorns, and chicken.

🥘 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Szechuan chicken is full of delicious aromatics like garlic, ginger, and scallions! They give this recipe a delicious fresh taste and also make your kitchen smell incredible.
  • This recipe includes just a tiny bit of sweetness to help balance out all of those spicy Szechuan peppers. It’s very well-rounded, allowing you to enjoy all of the flavors that Szechuan chicken has to offer.
  • You can make it as mild or as spicy as you’d like! The recipe below makes a pretty mild Szechuan chicken. If you prefer it spicier, then add a couple more dried Szechuan chilies. 

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • Fry your chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding your pan. It took me three batches to fry all of my chicken. The couple of extra minutes were worth it to get my chicken as crispy as possible!
  • My favorite way to serve this Szechuan chicken is over rice. I just love letting the rice soak up some of that Szechuan sauce – YUM! If you’re low-carb, then you can serve this recipe over cauliflower rice for an easy dinner.
  • Work with whatever vegetables you have on-hand. Chopped carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower would taste great with the sautéed bell peppers!
A bowl of Szechuan chicken on a table with chopsticks.

🍜 Other Easy Asian-Inspired Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Szechuan Chicken

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes
This Szechuan chicken stir-fry packs a ton of bold flavor into a super easy dish!
4 servings


  • medium mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Large plate
  • Paper towels
  • Large skillet or wok
  • Tongs
  • Large wooden spoon
  • small mixing bowl
  • whisk


For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts approximately 2-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • ¼ cup neutral-flavored oil olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, etc.

For the Veggies

  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 15 dried Szechuan red chili peppers more or less to taste
  • 1 large red bell pepper approximately 6 ounces; cored, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper approximately 6 ounces; cored, chopped
  • 1 small white onion sliced into ½-inch-wide slices
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions sliced into 1-inch-long pieces
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews see Notes

For the Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 packed tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


For the Chicken

  • Add 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts pieces, 3 tablespoons cornstarch. and ½ teaspoon salt to medium mixing bowl. Toss or stir ingredients together until chicken pieces are evenly coated in cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
  • Line large plate with 2 to 3 layers of paper towels. Set aside.
  • Place large skillet on stovetop over medium heat. When skillet is warm, add ¼ cup neutral-flavored oil then swirl and tilt pan as needed to distribute oil across entire surface of pan. Continue heating skillet until oil is hot and shimmery.
  • When oil is ready, place chicken pieces in skillet in one even layer, working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding pan.
  • Cook chicken 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned, then flip chicken pieces over and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer fully cooked chicken pieces to large plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Repeat process with any remaining chicken until all chicken has been cooked.

For the Veggies

  • Return skillet to medium heat. If needed, add 1 tablespoon neutral oil to skillet and heat pan until oil is hot and shimmery.
  • Add 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, 15 dried Szechuan red chili peppers, 1 large red bell pepper, 1 large green bell pepper, and 1 small white onion to skillet. Stir to incorporate, then sauté vegetables 4 to 5 minutes or until slightly softened.
  • Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 3 scallions, and ½ cup unsalted cashews to skillet. Stir to incorporate, then sauté mixture 1 minute.
  • After 1 minute, return chicken to skillet and stir to incorporate.

For the Sauce

  • Add 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 packed tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to small mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together until fully combined.
  • Pour prepared sauce mixture into skillet. Stir to incorporate, then reduce heat under skillet to medium-low. Simmer mixture 2 to 4 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly.

To Serve

  • Once sauce has thickened, divide szechuan chicken mixture evenly between serving bowls or plates. Serve hot alongside cooked rice if desired.
  • Unsalted Cashews: You can use unsalted peanuts if you’d prefer, or leave out the nuts completely.
  • Make it Paleo: Use arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. Replace the soy sauce with lite tamari or coconut aminos. Replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar. 

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 578calProtein: 34gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1258mgPotassium: 863mgTotal Carbs: 30gFiber: 11gSugar: 6gNet Carbs: 19gVitamin A: 1627IUVitamin C: 96mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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