Spicy Basil Chicken

4.91 from 11 votes
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Spicy Basil Chicken – get dinner on the table in just minutes with the super easy chicken recipe.  Great Asian flavors with just a little kick.  Add veggies to make it a complete meal!

I love and easy dinner ideas.  Busy nights happen all year round, not just during the school year. So finding chicken dinner ideas you can get on the table fast during the summer is important too.  Basil grows faster than I can use it during the summer months, so this basil chicken is such a great use for it.

My family loves Asian recipes, in case you haven’t been here before.  Chicken Lo Mein is definitely a staple in our house.  Any time I can use up veggies in the fridge and avoid take out I am happy. So Kung Pao Chicken is definitely a great quick dinner as well.

spicy basil chicken in a pan


Thai Basil chicken is on pretty much ever Thai menu I have ever seen.  It is a quick stir fry that is sweet and spicy with lots of fresh Thai basil. It is almost always served over rice. I added more veggies to make it a complete meal that you can mix up with whatever your family likes.

What’s In Basil Chicken

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Shallot or onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Soy Sauce (l like low sodium)
  • Chili Garlic Paste
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Basil
  • Vegetables (I use snow peas and bell peppers)

You can control how hot or mild you want to make this but adjusting the chili sauce.  I used about 2 tsp (as noted in the recipe) and it had a tiny kick, but definitely not hot.  So adjust as you go!

spicy basil chicken on a plate

This basil chicken recipe is super versatile can you can just add whatever veggies you want.  Traditionally in Thai cooking it doesn’t have a lot of vegetables, mostly chicken with big pieces of basil. But at home when I am making a chicken stir-fry, I like to bulk it up and it is a great way to get more nutrition into my family.

How Do I Make Thai Basil Chicken –

Like most Asian recipes it is fairly simple. If you have a wok this is the time to bring it out. If not, just a heavy duty skillet will work. You want all of the ingredients prepped and ready ahead of time, because once you start it cooks quickly..

  1. Start by getting your skillet super hot over medium high heat. Then add the oil making sure it coats the bottom of the pan. Add in the shallots and garlic, making sure to stir constantly, and cook for just about 1 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. About half way through the cooking time add the bell pepper to the pan.
  3. In a small bowl combine fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, water, cornstarch and salt
  4. Pour fish sauce mixture over the chicken once it is cooked. And add the snow peas. Stir to make sure everything is well coated and cook for about 1 minute, until the sauce starts to thicken.
  5. Remove form the heat and stir in the fresh basil.
  6. Serve over rice.
spicy basil chicken on a plate

How is Thai Basil Different?

It is a basil that is commonly found in Southeast Asia.  The leaves look different than what you might see in the states.  It also has a different taste – more of a licorice or anise taste. It is a little sturdier, so it stands up better to cooking.

Don’t Have Thai Basil?

Don’t worry! You can use the traditional fresh basil that you often find in the US. The taste will be slightly different, but still delicious. Thai Basil can be hard to find in the US, but if you do find it, this is the perfect dish to make with it.

spicy basil chicken in a pan

So if you find yourself with a bunch of basil on hand, this Thai basil chicken is a great use for it.  It is slightly spicy and you can turn this chicken stir-fry into a filling dinner by adding any veggies you like.

I like to serve over rice with plenty of sauce to soak it up. A great dinner that is ready in just minutes!  Perfect for any night of the week.

thai basil chciken close up with veggies

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Spicy Basil Chicken - get dinner on the table in just minutes with the super easy chicken recipe. Great Asian flavors with just a little kick. Add veggies to make it a complete meal!
4.91 from 11 votes

Spicy Basil Chicken

By Erin
Spicy Basil Chicken – get dinner on the table in just minutes with the super easy chicken recipe. Great Asian flavors with just a little kick. Add veggies to make it a complete meal!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce, (low sodium)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
  • 1/2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped


  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, swirling to coat. Add shallots and garlic, stirring constantly, cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the bell pepper about 1/2 way through the cooking time.
  • In a small bowl combine fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, water, cornstarch and salt. Mix well.
  • Pour fish sauce mixture over the chicken once it is cooked. Add snow peas. Stir to coat chicken and cook for about 1 minute, until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove form the heat and stir in the fresh basil.
  • Serve over rice.


Adapted from Cooking Light


Serving: 1g | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1280mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 354
Keyword: basil chicken
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. I keep stumbling across your recipe so I definitely need to try it! 😉 Seriously I am going to put this on our menu for next week!

  2. We are huge Asian cuisine fans here too! Whenever I order Thai food spicy basil is always my go to. This looks awesome!

  3. Hey:
    I was just looking at that Spicy Basil Chicken and it looks amazing! My favorite foods are Mexican and Chinese, so I come here a lot. My only problem with this and some other recipes I’ve run into lately is that I’m highly allergic to seafood of all kinds, the whyfore and whatfore I leave to the doctors, and mint, which doesn’t concern this recipe. When it comes to actual seafood as an ingredient, I simply swop out fish, or shrimp or whatever for chicken, pork , beef , or vegetables depending on the taste profile. When the fish or oysters or whatever are lurking as part of a sauce or dressing, it’s a little trickier. I note you have fish sauce listed, which is a no-go area for me. If it were only a teaspoon or two, I’d just leave it out. Two tablespoons though is quite a vacuum to fill and I don’t want to leave the sauce too bland or too scant. I tried to google substitutions, but they only advise soy sauce. With the soy sauce already in there, however low-sodium, I’m afraid this wonderful chicken will turn into a salty, soy bomb of a mess. Have you any other suggestions for me? I know it won’t taste exactly the same, but in this case close approximations will do. Thanks to anyone who can help.

    1. Melissa, Sorry for the late reply! I was out of the country. Fish sauce is kind of a mix of tangy and sweet. So a mixture of brown sugar and lime juice will give you some of the same flavor. I would try 1/2 an 1/2 and see how it goes. You can then adjust the levels while it is cooking. Hope it works for you!

      1. Not a problem. Wow. I wish I was out of the country. I hope you had a fab trip. As for the suggestion, sounds delicious to me. WAY better than drowning everything in an ocean of soy sauce and calling it good. And I think citrus of any kind goes wonderfully with basil. Of course, I think almost everything goes great with basil, which is head and head with thyme for my favorite fresh herb. When I get a chance to try it, I’ll try to remember to let you know how it comes out. Thanks! (Waves and vanishes into the depths of a very disordered cabinet.)

  4. I have a garden full of basil! This will be a perfect meal this week! I also love how I can control the heat!