Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls

$10.20 recipe / $2.55 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.71 from 17 votes
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If I could only say one thing to people who read my blog, it’s that dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. These Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls are the perfect example. It’s really more of a “formula” than a recipe. Just stir fry a protein (even if it’s not chicken), add a sauce (either homemade or bottled), spoon it over rice or another starch, and add a simple steamed vegetable. Done and DONE. Scroll down for some ways to switch up this “formula” to make several different varieties of this incredibly easy weeknight dinner.

For more information about meal prepping, how it works, and why I do it, check out Meal Prep 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Prepping and Portioning Meals, or check out my entire Budget-Friendly Meal Prep Archive.

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls

Three bowls of Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry

The Pyrex glass bowls pictured above can be found in my Amazon shop.

The Formula for Easy Dinners

Stir fry a protein, add a sauce, serve it over a starch or grain, and add a simple steamed or stir fried vegetable. All of this can be done in under 30 minutes and the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas for substitutes, so you can make this dinner new every night:

  • Proteins: shrimp, tofu, tempeh, ground  meat (beef, pork, chicken, or turkey).
  • Sauces (store bought or homemade): teriyaki, hoisin, sweet and sour, dragon sauce
  • Vegetables: snap peas, zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms, frozen stir fry vegetable mixes
  • Starches: noodles, quinoa, couscous, zoodles or other vegetable noodles

This Meal Prep Includes

Easy Sweet Chili Sauce: $0.70

Savory Coconut Rice: $2.91

Broccoli: $1.79

Total Cost: $5.40

4 Servings: $1.35 each

Leftovers: NONE

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Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls

4.71 from 17 votes
Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls use my favorite "formula" for keeping weeknight dinners simple and effortless. Customize the formula to make your own! 
Plate of Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry
Servings 4
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

Savory Coconut Rice

  • 1.5 cups jasmine rice ($0.99)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.03)
  • 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk ($1.79)
  • 1 cup water ($0.00)

Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) ($3.89)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce* ($0.70)
  • 1 8oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice ($0.89)

Vegetable

  • 1 lb. broccoli crown** (1.79)

Instructions 

  • Begin the coconut rice first. Add the jasmine rice, garlic, salt, coconut milk, and water to a sauce pot, then give it all a brief stir. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit undisturbed, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice, and set it aside until ready to serve.
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the steamed broccoli. Cut the broccoli crown into florets. Add one inch of water to a large pot, place a steaming basket in the pot, then place the broccoli crowns in the basket. Place a lid on the pot, then place it over medium high heat. Allow the water to come up to a boil, and steam the broccoli until it is bright green and tender (about 5 minutes). Remove the broccoli from the heat and set aside until ready to serve. 
  • While the rice and broccoli are cooking, prepare the chicken stir fry. Dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season with a pinch of salt. Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and stir and cook until the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.
  • Drain the can of pineapple, then add the pineapple to the skillet along with the sweet chili sauce. Stir and heat the sauce and pineapple through (about 2 minutes). 
  • To serve, place about 1 cup rice in each bowl, add 1/4 of the sweet chili chicken mixture, and 1/4 of the broccoli. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Lasts about 4 days in the refrigerator.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*Use homemade sweet chili sauce or store bought for convenience.
**Frozen broccoli florets can be used in place of fresh.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 548.1kcalCarbohydrates: 73.8gProtein: 38.15gFat: 9.78gSodium: 1364.5mgFiber: 3.8g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

A large plate of Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry

Step by Step Photos

Make Coconut Rice

Begin the coconut rice first, since it takes the longest to cook and is mostly hands-off, so you can cook the rest of the items as the rice does its thing. Add 1.5 cups jasmine rice to a sauce pot along with one clove of minced garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk, and 1 cup water. Give it a brief stir, then place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Fluff Coconut Rice

After simmering on low for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest undisturbed, with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork and set the rice aside until you’re ready to serve.

Steam Broccoli

Once the rice is on the stove, begin the broccoli. Chop one crown of broccoli (about 1 lb.) into florets. Add about one inch of water to the bottom of a pot, place a steaming basket in the pot, then add the broccoli florets to the basket. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, allow the broccoli to steam until bright green and tender (about 5 minutes). After cooking, turn off the heat and set the broccoli aside until ready to serve.

Dice Chicken

And lastly, begin the chicken. Dice two chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) into one-inch pieces. Season with a pinch of salt.

Cook Chicken

Heat one tablespoon cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced chicken and stir and cook until the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned. 

Add Pineapple and Sweet Chili Sauce

Once the chicken is cooked through, add one 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits (drained of the juice) and 1 cup sweet chili sauce (store bought or homemade). 

Finished Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry

Stir and heat through. This should only take a minute or two.

Three bowls of Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry

To build the bowls, add about 1 cup coconut rice to each bowl and top with 1/4 of the sweet chili chicken stir fry mixture, and 1/4 of the broccoli. You can serve this immediately, or refrigerate it for your meal prep for the week!

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  1. I made this tonight. The homemade chili sauce turned out great. I did the chicken on the Foreman Grill and the broccoli in the oven. My rice wasn’t great. I made it with coconut milk and it turned out to liquidy and stuck together-y. The flavour was there though. I didn’t know if the rice was suposed to be like that. Probably not. I’ll make it again and just make jasmine rice with water.

  2. I really want to make this. I’m seeing if I can buy chili sauce or the sambal olek to make my own. I’m going to oven roast my broccoli.

  3. Absolutely delicious! It was much simpler to throw together than it looks, although I used a microwave steamer to cook the broccoli instead of doing it on the stovetop. Tasty and it looks pretty, too!

    Editing note: In the recipe instructions it says to divide 1/3 of the broccoli between the four containers. ;)

  4. If anyone else is thinking of substituting chili garlic sauce for the sweet chili sauce, don’t do it. I used one heaping spoonful and the dish was so spicy my toddler cried (despite having enough of a spiciness tolerance to enjoy hot sauce off a spoon). My husband and I barely managed to eat it. Beth’s description made it sound like these are interchangeable, but they’re definitely quite different. That being said, I think I would have liked this dish as written!

  5. This was a really well rounded, filling, and efficient recipe. It was nice to change up an Asian style dish that didn’t include soy sauce or cornstarch- sometimes it can be repetitive. The pineapple was probably the highlight for me.

  6. what exactly are the portion sizes for each bowl? i.e how much rice, chicken and vegetable?

  7. These are sooo delicious! I used long grain white rice because that’s what I had on hand. It took a lot longer to cook (maybe 25-30 minutes total) but that was probably due to my own errors or my stove. I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but used the coconut milk in the rice anyway. I ended up loving it! Used store-bought sweet chili sauce and frozen broccoli. I especially love the pineapple; it adds the perfect amount of sweet and juicy goodness! I’ll definitely be making these again!

  8. The coconut recipe in the instructions here is totally different than the one linked. I have no idea which one is right, but beware!

  9. I modified this recipe! After craving local takeout but not wanting to deal with the bloat from sodium and carbs, I was lucky enough to come along to find this recipe. I made enough for 6 servings since I’m meal prepping for the work week. I used store bought sweet chili sauce, the recipe called for 1.5 cups of sweet chili sauce and I though that was way too much for me. I used 1/2 cup for 6 servings and found it just right. I may even use less, the next go around. Also I wanted it spicy so I added lots of cayenne pepper. ALSO added in black garlic seasoning. SO YUMMY.

  10. I used store-bought sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy) but otherwise followed the recipe as written. 1 cup of sweet chili sauce is almost an entire bottle! This one turned out way too sweet for us; certainly edible, but too much like local-Chinese-restaurant orange chicken for me.

    I think, in theory, the freshness of the broccoli and the acidity of the pineapple were supposed to cut through the syrupy sweetness of the sauce, but it just didn’t for us. I couldn’t taste any chili from the sweet chili sauce, just sweet.
    .

  11. Crave this dish weekly now! But I do it with regular rice, I feel its to much with coconut rice and sweetness with pineapple too. Its amazing:))