This Meal Prep Thai Basil Chicken is a healthy stir fry idea that doubles as an easy 30-minute dinner or make-ahead lunch!
Ingredients and substitutions
- White rice – feel free to use jasmine, basmati or brown rice with this recipe.
- Olive oil – use any neutral cooking oil here such as avocado, peanut, sunflower, canola or coconut oil.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – chicken breasts work just as well in this recipe.
- Shallots – white or yellow onions would be the best substitute.
- Red chili pepper – if you don't like spice, feel free to leave this out or mince up some jalapeno pepper if you can't find red chilis.
- Thai basil – regular basil will work as well, but the flavour will be slightly different.
- Low-sodium soy sauce – coconut aminos or tamari are the best soy sauce substitutes.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic is preferred. Jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Oyster sauce – swap out for some hoisin sauce or 1 tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tbsp. honey mixed together.
- Brown sugar – honey or coconut sugar will also bring a bit of sweetness to this recipe.
How to make Thai basil chicken
- Make the sauce.
- Cook the rice.
- Sauté the chicken, shallots and chili pepper.
- Add the red pepper.
- Mix in the sauce.
- Stir in the basil leaves.
- Serve over rice and enjoy.
What does Thai basil taste like?
Thai basil is used in a lot of Asian dishes, especially in Southeast Asia. The flavour of fresh Thai basil is a bit peppery; a lot like black licorice or anise, but the longer it cooks, the sweeter the taste becomes.
If you can't find Thai basil, then feel free to sub in regular basil or another fresh herb such as cilantro. It will taste just as good!
Frequently Asked Questions
This Thai basil chicken recipe is definitely a bit spicy thanks to the red chili pepper. If you can’t find red chili pepper, you can use some minced jalapeno pepper instead for a bit of kick. Don’t like spice? Leave this out altogether.
This Thai meal prep recipe only contains about 386 calories, making it a filling, low-calorie meal idea that you'll want to make over and over again!
If you aren't able to find fresh Thai basil at the grocery store, check your local Asian market for it. Using regular sweet basil as a substitute is possible, but the flavour will be less intense and much sweeter than with Thai basil. You may want to add some more sweet basil to enhance the flavours of the Thai basil recipe.
Storing and reheating
You can store any leftovers of this Thai basil chicken recipe in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. I suggest packing individual portion sizes into glass meal prep bowls – that way, you can reheat the dish right in the container for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. Sprinkle some water over top of it first so the chicken and rice don’t dry out.
Freezing this recipe
Unfortunately, this Thai meal prep recipe does not freeze very well, although you can freeze the cooked rice to use another time. Freeze the cooked rice for up to one month and then defrost it in the fridge overnight before reheating it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Make sure to sprinkle some rice over top so it doesn’t dry out.
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Meal Prep Thai Basil Chicken
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into 1-inch pieces (about 1.5 lbs)
- 3 shallots or 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 1 red chili pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 cups Thai or regular basil
- Sesame seeds & lime wedges for garnish (optional)
- 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, get rice, water and butter cooking in a rice cooker while making the rest of the recipe.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, shallots (or onion), chili pepper and a pinch of salt, sauteeing for 4-5 minutes until chicken is lightly browned. Add red pepper and cook another 2 minutes until peppers are tender.
- Add sauce and saute for 2 minutes until chicken is completely heated through. Turn off heat and stir in basil leaves.
- Serve by spooning chicken mixture and sauce over cooked rice, then garnish with sesame seeds and lime wedges if desired. Serve and enjoy!