Quick and easy Thai basil chicken recipe that’s spicy, delicious, and authentic! It just takes 15 minutes to make and it’s a perfect meal for a busy weeknight.
Thai basil chicken stir fry is one of my favorite dishes when we get Thai takeout or eat at a Thai restaurant. I just love the perfect balance spicy, slightly sweet, and savory with pops of basil. I’ve had it a few times when I visited Thailand too and the flavors are just unbeatable.
What is Thai Basil Chicken?
Called Pad Krapow Gai in Thai, it’s a popular street food in Thailand immersed with flavor from chili peppers, Thai basil, and fish sauce. There’s a slight sweetness to it to balance out the spiciness, and it’s just amazing served alongside rice. You commonly get it topped with a fried egg, and an authentic spicy Thai basil chicken recipe will always include it. The dish is quick and simple to make, but complex and wonderful in flavor! It’s my favorite Thai chicken recipe with basil in it, right next to curry.
Easy Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
Without changing much of the ingredients, you can easily make Whole30 and paleo Thai basil chicken. Most Thai food is naturally gluten free and use real, fresh ingredients anyway. This recipe only takes 15 minutes from start to finish and once you have some simple Thai staple ingredients on hand, you’ll have a delicious and healthy Thai basil chicken in no time!
15 Minute Thai Basil Chicken Ingredients
- bone broth or chicken broth
- coconut aminos
- fish sauce: This is a staple in Thai cooking. I highly recommend this brand for the cleanest ingredients.
- coconut sugar (or a medjool date for Whole30)
- avocado oil (or any other cooking oil)
- Thai chilis
- chicken thighs
- Thai holy basil leaves: This type of basil can be found at Asian grocery stores and has a peppery flavor with a slight sourness. If you can’t find it, you can use Thai sweet basil or Italian basil.
- eggs: This is optional but I highly recommend you top with a fried egg for an authentic thai basil chicken recipe!
How to Make Authentic Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
- Make the sauce first by whisking together broth, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and coconut sugar. If making the Whole30 version, blend broth, coconut aminos, and fish sauce with a medjool date until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until sizzling hot.
- Add garlic, chilis, and shallot slices, and cook stirring for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add chicken and cook stirring until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the blended sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and heated through.
- Add the basil leaves and stir until wilted. Turn off heat.
- Optional step for fried eggs: In a separate pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Crack the eggs into the pan without breaking the yolk until the whites set, spooning the oil over the eggs.
- Serve Thai basil chicken stir fry along with rice or cauliflower rice. Top with a fried egg for each serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
I personally prefer chicken thighs because they are more flavorful and harder to overcook, but yes – chicken breasts will work for this paleo Thai basil chicken! Just use the same amount. Cooking method or time does not need to change.
Thai chilis, also called bird’s eye chilis, are small and skinny chili peppers that are red or green. Even though they are small, they pack a punch and are really spicy. I used 2 chilis for a medium spicy flavor, but a true authentic spicy Thai basil chicken recipe can call for 4 or 5. You can adjust to your preferred spice level.
Thai holy basil is one of the most important Thai basil chicken ingredients and really gives the dish its unique flavor. However, it can be hard to find, even if you have Asian or international grocery stores around you. If you can’t find it, Thai sweet basil will work in a pinch. A third option is regular Italian basil, but this won’t bring out the same authentic flavor.
Because this 15 minute Thai basil chicken is so quick and easy to make, it’s usually made just enough to enjoy right away. It tastes best fresh anyway. However, if you do have leftovers, you can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Recipe (Paleo & Whole30)
- 1/3 cup bone broth or chicken broth
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp coconut sugar or 1 pitted medjool date for Whole30
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or your favorite cooking oil
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 Thai chilis or other hot pepper, chopped (use more or less depending on your preferred spice level)
- 1/4 cup sliced shallots
- 1 lb chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup Thai holy basil leaves or Thai basil
Optional (But Recommended): Fried Eggs
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or your favorite cooking oil
- 3 eggs
- First, whisk together broth, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and coconut sugar. If making the Whole30 version, blend the first 3 ingredients with a medjool date until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat avocado oil in a skillet over high heat until hot.
- Add garlic, chilis, and shallot slices, and cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the prepared sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and heated through.
- Add the basil and stir until wilted. Turn off heat.
- Optional fried eggs: In a separate pan, heat oil over medium high heat until sizzling hot. Crack the eggs into the pan without breaking the yolk until the whites are cooked, spooning the oil over the eggs.
- Serve this healthy Thai basil chicken along with rice or cauliflower rice. Top with a fried egg for each serving.
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