Caramel Chicken Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry

Caramel Chicken Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry

  • By Jackie Sun
  • November 16, 2014

Caramel Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmarts

Ready for the holiday season? Lots of good food, spending time with the family, holiday shopping… Yep, sounds great!

But we also know that it means busy time. Whether you are traveling somewhere for the holidays, or you are in charge of cranking out that Thanksgiving feast, you are probably starting to feel as if there are not enough hours in a day.

We know how it can get this time of year. That’s why we want to help you out! We might not be able to do everything you need to get done, so we’ll just stick with what we’re good at – healthy, home-cooked dinners!

It’s so easy to resort to take-out or fast food when you’re running all around, preparing for the holidays. We understand. Who has time to get dinner on the table?

“I was a little skeptical because I am not a Brussels sprouts fan but this was delicious.”

Caramel Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmartsAs we, too, get ready for Thanksgiving, we have come to rely on one thing to get everything done and still cook a healthy, delicious dinner – stir-fries!

Once you stir-fry, you will never look back, because this cooking method is so easy, versatile, and only requires a wok. (That means less dishes to wash!) All you have to do is make sure you get all your veggies prepped and ready to go, so you can toss everything together in the wok for a tasty meal.

[Check out this video on how to make a stir-fry.]


How to Make a Stir-Fry

Stir-frying is a great way to bring together just about any vegetable and protein combination in a fast and tasty way.

“We made this – doubled the sauce and added a ton of veggies! The sauce was SO good… Definitely one of the best homemade stir-fries we’ve ever made!”
-Jen and Emily

Since it’s brussels sprouts season (Yes!), we came up with this flavorful and easy recipe – Caramel Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry.

Tender chicken thighs are chopped into bite-sized pieces for quick cooking. Brussels sprouts get a bit of pre-cooking (before going into the wok) with the help of the microwave. Then, these are both tossed with shiitakes, which have a woodsy, meaty, umami flavor, and a sweet and salty stir-fry sauce for a quick and unforgettable dinner.

This surely is one comforting dish that will help you relax and enjoy dinnertime this holiday season. (Well, at least before the good feasting happens!)


More quick and easy weeknight meals that save time as you prepare for the holidays:

For More Smarts:

Make cooking easier by learning the basics with our Basic Cooking Formulas. These videos can help you with meals you are planning to cook for the holidays.

Prepping Smarts:

Tenderizing meats means more flavor with every bite, so don’t skip this step! See how we season and tenderize proteins here:


How to Season & Tenderize Proteins with a Fork

Maximize flavor and tenderize proteins with this little trick.

Equipment Smarts:

Microwaving the brussels sprouts in a microwave-safe dish helps cook the veggies a bit, so that they don’t need to spend too much time in the wok.

Pyrex Square Baking Dish
Use a wok for quick and efficient stir-frying!

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’


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Caramel Chicken Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry

While it's not traditional to stir-fry brussels sprouts, this sweet and salty stir-fry sauce will definitely turn brussels sprouts doubters into lovers. This is a comforting dish that you'll make over and over again.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 35 min

Serves: 4


  • Chicken thighs - 1 lb., chopped
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Brussels sprouts - 1 lb., trimmed and halved through root
  • Shiitake mushrooms - 1/2 lb., sliced
  • Fish sauce - 2 tbs.
  • Soy sauce - 1 tbs.
  • Brown sugar - 1 tbs.
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Corn starch - 1/2 tbs. + 1 tbs.
  • Cooking oil - 1 1/2 tbs.
  • Lime or lemon - 1/2, juice of



  1. Chicken – Chop into bite-sized pieces and season and tenderize with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  2. Garlic / Brussels sprouts / Shiitake mushrooms – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Make stir-fry sauce – Mix together minced garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and first part of corn starch.


  1. Place brussels sprouts in a microwave-safe container. Cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
  2. Toss chicken with second part of corn starch.
  3. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add cooking oil. Add chicken to heated oil and stir-fry until golden on the outside, ~5 minutes. Use tongs to remove chicken from wok leaving oil in the pan (chicken does not have to be cooked all the way through at this point).
  4. Toss mushrooms into the wok and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. If the wok looks too dry, add a splash of water.
  5. Add brussels sprouts to wok and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Return chicken to wok, and push all ingredients to the sides forming a hole in the middle. Give stir-fry sauce a stir and pour it into the middle. Once it starts to bubble and darken, toss so that the sauce covers everything. Remove from heat and finish with lime or lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Enjoy with a side of rice or other favorite grain.

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