Spicy Basil Chicken

by Erin

Fresh basil and spice are the highlights in this spicy basil chicken served with sauteed snow peas, red bell pepper, and lime rice.

Spicy Basil Chicken #basil #spicy

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I picked up Brady from the vet yesterday and was none too pleased to be stuffed back into his cat carrier, but upon his release back home he was happy as a clam! I was sent home with two weeks worth of antibiotics and hopefully it will be smooth sailing after that.

Definitely do not like that I will be leaving town again soon, but he will have a good cat-sitter who has been given advanced approval to take him to the vet at the first sign of any new flare-ups. But for now, hooray happy kitty! Totally enjoyed reading on the couch with him snuggled up next to me again last night.

Spicy Basil Chicken #chickenthighs

Now that all is well let’s talk about dinner. I am guilty of being subscribed to several cooking magazines, yet rarely do I cook from them. I will fold over pages and drool over everything in sight but for some reason I easily forget even the most tantalizing images.

I have this problem with many of the amazing cookbooks I own as well. Although while we are at it, I probably only ever make a fraction of the number of recipes I bookmark online. Alas.

Spicy Basil Chicken #cookinglight #chicken

Thankfully for me, I managed to make this stir-fry from a recent issue of Cooking Light. This meal satisfies the taste buds with all the great flavors going on. A spicy basil sauce coats the chicken which is served with sautéed snow peas and peppers and brown rice with sesame seeds.

But if you are looking to cut back on time, you can use instant brown rice and some steamed vegetables instead. The chicken holds the spotlight anyway.

Post updated 9/2/20, photo above is the original.

One year ago: Buttermilk Ranch Mac & Cheese

Spicy Basil Chicken #basil #spicy


Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (or more soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp chile sauce with garlic
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sliced basil leaves


  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups fresh snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting fat. Stir in juice and salt. Sprinkle with seeds. Set aside.
  2. For the chicken, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken to pan; cook 10-15 minutes or until chicken is done.
  3. Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium-high heat for the vegetables. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add snow peas and bell pepper to pan; sauté for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Drizzle vegetable mixture with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and toss well to combine. Set aside.
  4. Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add fish sauce mixture to pan with the chicken, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring to coat chicken. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and stir with rice and sautéed vegetables.
Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Cooking Light, April 2012

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!
Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE


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Homemade General Tso's Chicken December 2, 2020 - 5:11 pm

[…] For a little extra kick and freshness try this Spicy Basil Chicken. […]

Jennie @themessybakerblog June 26, 2012 - 12:54 pm

Yum! I love basil chicken, and your version looks delicious.

Valentina @ The Baking Fairy May 27, 2012 - 1:37 pm

This looks amazing! I love chicken, but it can get boring… this recipe looks yummy and different. Must try!

Vicki @ WITK May 25, 2012 - 9:16 pm

SO glad to hear that kitty is back home! I’m sure both of you are happy to be back together :) I do the same thing with my cooking magazines. I’ve taken to tearing out the pages and putting them on my recipe rack!

Janet@FCTC May 25, 2012 - 6:19 pm

Yay! I’m glad Brady is home!

And I want this chicken. Basil is sooo good and the words chicken and spicy are favorite words of mine too hehe

Carolyn May 25, 2012 - 6:00 am

I love basil chicken, and yours looks like a great version!

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers May 24, 2012 - 10:45 pm

Yum!! This looks fabulous!! I’m loving the peppers you put in it! Great chicken dish! Love the healthy recipes you have been posting!!

Lynna May 24, 2012 - 4:46 pm

looks super delicious!! i love stir-fry~

and i am with you on the recipes thing. i mean i REALLY TRY to try making them all, but there are just SO MANY, i’m going through them very slowly.

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 24, 2012 - 3:39 pm

I absolutely love making stir-fries. They’re so easy, so flavorful, and chockfull of veggies. And man oh man, that chicken looks so juicy and flavorful! I’m bookmarking it for next week so I can make it during the weeknights.

Angela May 24, 2012 - 8:11 am

Ah! My friend and I actually cooked the Garlicky Meatballs from that magazine last night! They were delicious!! I looked through the rest of the recipes while the meatballs were simmering and saw this recipe too. All of the recipes looked amazing and easy and actually made me consider subscribing to Cooking Light! Maybe I will…..

Kita May 24, 2012 - 7:20 am

I feel like a terrible pet mommy any time something happens to any of the gang. Its so heartbreaking! But I am glad to read that he is home, with antibiotics and ok.

As for this dish – I love basil chicken – love the side of snow peas and peppers too!


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