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Thai Basil Chicken Recipe

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Thai Basil Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking to bring a bit of Thai flavor into your home, learning how to make Thai Basil Chicken is a perfect choice. This dish is packed with bold flavors from chilies, garlic, and fresh Thai basil.

Cooking this delicious dish doesn’t take much time, making it a great option for a quick meal. With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you can create a stir-fry that rivals what you’d get at your favorite Thai restaurant.

Try out this recipe, and you’ll see why Thai Basil Chicken is loved by so many. The blend of fragrant basil, spicy chilies, and savory chicken will make this dish a new favorite in your home.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)


  • Ground chicken (or thinly sliced chicken breast).
  • Substitute: Ground turkey or tofu for a vegetarian option.

Vegetable Oil

  • Preferred for frying the egg and stir-frying the chicken.
  • Substitute: Olive oil or canola oil.


  • Minced for flavor.
  • Substitute: Garlic powder (use less).

Thai Chilies

  • Adds heat and spice.
  • Substitute: Red pepper flakes or less-spicy jalapeños.

Shallots or Onions

  • Provides a slight sweetness.
  • Substitute: Red onions or green onions.

Fish Sauce

  • Key for authentic Thai flavor.
  • Substitute: Soy sauce for a different taste.

Soy Sauce

  • Adds a savory note.
  • Substitute: Tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free options.

Brown Sugar

  • Balances the salty and spicy flavors.
  • Substitute: Honey or white sugar.

Basil Leaves

  • Fresh Thai basil is traditional.
  • Substitute: Sweet basil or holy basil.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Ground Chicken1 lbGround turkey, tofu
Vegetable Oil2 tbspOlive oil, canola oil
Garlic3 cloves, mincedGarlic powder (less)
Thai Chilies2-3, choppedRed pepper flakes, jalapeños
Shallots1, slicedRed onions, green onions
Fish Sauce2 tbspSoy sauce (different flavor)
Soy Sauce1 tbspTamari, coconut aminos
Brown Sugar1 tbspHoney, white sugar
Basil Leaves1 cupSweet basil, holy basil

Use these ingredients to make your Thai Basil Chicken flavorful and delightful!


First, gather your ingredients: chicken, Thai basil, garlic, chilies, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and vegetable oil.

Prepare the sauce in a small bowl. Mix together soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chilies, then stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes until they’re fragrant.

Next, add the chicken. Cook while stirring constantly, breaking up the chicken into small bits. This will take about 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the sauce mixture. Continue to cook for another minute or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through.

Finally, add the Thai basil leaves. Stir until the basil is just wilted, which takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.

Enjoy your delicious Thai Basil Chicken!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Tips for Cooking Thai Basil Chicken

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh garlic, ginger, and basil give the best flavor. If you can, use Thai basil for its unique taste.
  • High Heat: Cook over high heat to get a nice sear on the chicken and vegetables. This keeps the veggies crisp.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: Cook in batches if needed to avoid steaming the chicken. Overcrowding can make it soggy.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • No Thai Basil?: Regular basil or even spinach can work, but the flavor will be a bit different.
  • No Fish Sauce?: Substitute with soy sauce mixed with a bit of lime juice.
  • Out of Oyster Sauce?: Use a mixture of soy sauce and a bit of sugar.

Storing Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container. Thai basil chicken can last up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze it for up to 2 months. Let it cool completely before putting it in a freezer-safe container.
  • Reheating: Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Avoid microwaving as it can make the chicken rubbery.

Meal Prep Tips

  • Prep Ingredients Ahead: Chop all your veggies and mix the sauce in advance. This makes cooking much quicker.
  • Divide into Portions: If you’re meal prepping, divide the cooked dish into serving-sized containers right after cooking.
  • Add Fresh Basil: Stir in fresh basil leaves just before serving, even if reheated, to maintain a vibrant taste.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Recipe Variations:

  1. Protein Swap: If you prefer, swap ground chicken with ground pork, beef, or turkey.
  2. Vegetarian Option: Use tofu or a mix of your favorite veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini.
  3. Spice Level: Adjust the number of chilies to make it milder or spicier.
  4. Sauce Tweaks: Add a splash of oyster sauce for a richer flavor.
  5. Herb Alternatives: Substitute Thai basil with holy basil for a slightly different taste.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Rice: Serve over steamed jasmine rice or brown rice for a healthy option.
  • Noodles: Pair with rice noodles or stir-fried noodles for a different twist.
  • Sides: Complement your dish with a side of stir-fried vegetables or a fresh cucumber salad.
  • Egg: Top with a fried egg for extra protein and richness.
  • Wraps: Use lettuce leaves for a low-carb option, creating delicious Thai basil chicken wraps.


  • Fresh Herbs: Add extra basil or cilantro for a burst of freshness.
  • Crunch: Sprinkle with chopped peanuts or cashews for texture.
  • Lime: Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top before serving for a zesty kick.

Make these variations and suggestions to customize your Thai Basil Chicken and enjoy a delicious meal every time!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.