chicken & vegetable stir-fry with noodles

WHEN I SAW PHOEBE CLOSE HER EYES and suck up each noodle in this simple stir-fry one by one, I knew we had a hit.

Even better, she actually ate ALL the vegetables. Including sworn enemies such as zucchini and carrots.

So, yes, we’ll be making this again.

It’s just a variation of toddler-friendly Asian noodles that I made a while ago, but I got brave this time and included freshly grated ginger, then mellowed it out with honey. And my secret weapon is one scant teaspoon of BBQ sauce. It just gave the whole thing a slightly smokey and sweet flavor in the background. Don’t add too much though; BBQ sauce can quickly overwhelm everything.

Even our baby, Estelle, was making her way through the noodles though she’s a pea girl at heart so I loaded her up.

With this kind of dish, it’s easy to include something for everyone; give each person lots of what they like and just a bit of the other stuff. Phoebe actually said one of her newest lines again at this meal, “Now I know I like zucchini!” And I’ll tell you this. She’s had zucchini approximately 952 times but for some reason, the stars aligned and on this night we had a breakthrough.

I like to think the sauce had something to do with it, too.

Here’s how it looks when you make it, and the recipe follows below:

chicken & vegetable stir fry with noodles
This ratio of veggies and chicken to noodles is much higher than you'd get from take out--and much better for you! Use any combination of veggies your family likes, plus one or two to try out (or try again). I like a box grater for fresh ginger but I also chop it up a little after grating just to make the pieces smaller/undetectable.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound (1/2 box) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon BBQ sauce
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1-2 cups zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup peas
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to instructions MINUS 2 minutes.
  2. Drizzle oil in a large saute pan and turn heat to medium-high. Meanwhile, sprinkle salt and pepper on one side of chicken. Place chicken in pan (S&P side down) and sprinkle the other side. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy at the edges. Remove to a plate and when cool, cut into bite size pieces.
  3. Using the chicken pan (including all the drippings and brown bits) add about ¼ cup of water and saute carrots first. Stir, being sure to scrape all the bits off the bottom. After 3-4 minutes, add ginger, soy sauce, honey and BBQ sauce. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan plus peas. Add drained pasta and stir.
  4. Fill each kid's plate or bowl with whatever they like most, but do add more veggies so they can taste everything. Adults may like freshly grated pepper, an added dash of salt or soy sauce.

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    • charityc says

      You’re right. I double checked and I used about 3 tablespoons (4 tablespoons is a 1/4 cup) so I updated the ingredients above. Good catch!

  1. Michigan Mom says

    How much water should I be adding to the chicken pan when I put in the carrots? Maybe I’m missing something but I’m not seeing a measurement anywhere…thanks!

    • charityc says

      Thanks Michigan Mom and sorry for the delay. I updated the recipe; add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Just enough to get the carrots boiling and bubbling on the stove. You want it to mostly evaporate by the time they’re done.

  2. Kylee says

    I made a few slight adjustments. It needs 1/2 cup water, not 1/4. A bit less honey, substitute peanut butter for BBQ sauce (we’re just not fans of BBQ sauce) and added 1 clove chopped or grated garlic along with the grated ginger! SOoooooooo yummy, my son (5) ate almost his whole plate and he said zucchini is his favorite veggie now!! Lol!!

    • charityc says

      Sounds delicious, Kylee! Love that you tailored it to your family’s tastes; that’s exactly the thing to do with a recipe like this one. And three cheers for new zucchini fans!

    • charityc says

      Hi Elanor — Because my kids are so small, it’s hard to count their portions as “servings” but you would easily serve 4 adults (or 3 adults very generously) with this recipe. Enjoy!

  3. Rachel says

    Uh…this is my new favorite meal. SO DELICIOUS!!! And the whole family gobbled it up (well, I may have convinced the kids that the zucchini was cucumber). The sauce is so good, I may or may not have drunk what was left at the bottom of my bowl :) Thanks for a fabulous recipe, this is going in the rotation!

  4. Lehua says

    I don’t have kids, and I don’t even have a family to cook for, but I still made this for myself because it looked fast, easy, and healthy… I made a few adjustments–less honey, added 1/2 onion and some garlic, sriracha, more bbq sauce, and red pepper flakes. I wouldn’t have thought to use whole wheat spag noodles in this way, but I enjoyed it! Thanks!

    • charityc says

      That sounds so tasty, Lehua! This kind of recipe is such a guideline, just begging to be updated to each person’s taste. Thanks for your note!

  5. Lori says

    We LOVE this dish! I love a dish loaded with veggies, my husband loves spice and flavor, and the kids love noodles. WIN WIN WIN :)

    • charityc says

      Yay! It’s such a good one. Fast, tasty, healthy. The trifecta of family dinners. SO GLAD your crew likes it too.


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