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Szechuan Chicken is a quick and easy Asian inspired dinner recipe. Bite sized pieces of chicken breast are marinated and fried until golden brown and crispy. Sauteed peppers, onions, chili peppers, crushed peppercorns, and peanuts add amazing flavor and texture. The entire dish comes together when simmered in a delicious sauce. Serve over rice for an incredible tasty meal.

Szechuan Chicken with peppers and sauce over rice

What is Szechuan Chicken:

  • Origin: Sichuan cuisine, alternatively known as Szechwan cuisine or Szechuan cuisine, is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan Province.
  • Flavor: It has bold flavors, particularly the spiciness from the the unique flavor of Sichuan pepper as well as from the use of garlic and chili peppers.
  • My version: As with all of my Asian inspired recipes, my goal is to create something authentic. However, the result is always an Americanized version, similar to what you might find in a Chinese restaurant, but made with common ingredients you can easily find at major grocery stores.

Why this recipe is so great:

  • Incredible flavor – Because of the ratio of chicken to vegetables to sauce, each bite has the perfect amount of everything.
  • Gorgeous color – You just can’t beat the combination of peppers and chili peppers.
  • Control the spice – This recipe would be considered to have mild to medium spice, but that can easily be controlled by adding few chili peppers and peppercorns for less heat, or splitting open some of the chili peppers for a spicier version of Szechuan Chicken.

Ingredients needed:

Exact quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  • Marinade: cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil
  • Sauce: chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and cornstarch to thicken
  • Chicken breasts – use boneless skinless
  • Onion
  • Peppers – make it colorful by using different kinds
  • Dried red chili peppers – I used Thai chili peppers, however you can use a different kind found more frequently in Hispanic cooking called chiles de arbol.
  • Sichuan peppercorns – these can be found at Asian grocery stores
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Peanuts
ingredients to make Szechuan Chicken

How to make Szechuan Chicken:

Detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Marinade and prep ingredients:

  1. Cut chicken: Trim any fat and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  2. Velvet chicken: Mix together marinade ingredients and add chicken. This process will not only infuse flavor but it will make the chicken extremely tender.
  3. Prepare ingredients: Szechuan Chicken is a high heat, fast cooking stir fry recipe, so ingredients need to be cut, measured, and mixed prior to cooking.

Get cooking:

  1. Cook chicken: Using a generous amount of hot oil, cook chicken until golden brown. Set aside and discard excess oil.
  2. Sear vegetables: Saute until they start to brown and smell wonderful.
  3. Add chili peppers and peppercorns: Toast the chili peppers and peppercorns to really bring out their flavor. Add garlic and ginger.
  4. Mix in chicken and peanuts: Stir to combine and allow to heat through.
  5. Pour sauce: Add sauce to the mixture, stir to combine, and allow to thicken.

Recipe tips for perfect results:

  • Use high heat: In order to get the best sear without making the vegetables too soft, use high heat and only stir to prevent burning.
  • Serving recommendations: All you need is some short grain white rice and you’ll have a complete meal.
  • Storage: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Should last 3-5 days.
  • Reheating: Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave at 50% power in one minute increments. Alternatively, heat in a pan over medium heat.
  • Substitutions:
    • Peppercorns: If you can’t find Sichuan peppercorns, you can use equal portions of common peppercorns with coriander seeds. Crushing them with a mortar and pestle unlocks and distributes the flavors of the spices.
    • Chili peppers: Ideally you want to use Szechuan Dried Chili Peppers. However, most small red dried chili peppers including Hispanic and Thai chilis have a similar flavor profile and Scoville Heat Unit rating of mildly spicy.
Szechuan Chicken with peanuts

Similar recipes:

If you love quick cooking Asian inspired dinners, here are some recommendations.

close up of Szechuan Chicken with chili peppers

If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!

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close up of homemade Szechuan Chicken

Szechuan Chicken

Prep15 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Marinate chicken30 minutes
Total1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Szechuan Chicken is a quick and easy Asian inspired dinner recipe. Bite sized pieces of chicken breast are marinated and then fried until golden brown and crispy. Sauteed peppers, onions, chili peppers, crushed peppercorns, and peanuts add amazing flavor and texture. The entire dish comes together when simmered in a delicious sauce. Serve over rice for an incredible tasty meal.



Szechuan Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks, can use up to 1.5 pounds of chicken without increasing other ingredients
  • 1/4 cup oil avocado or peanut oil recommended
  • 1 small yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers any color or combination, stem and seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 0.75 ounces dried red chili peppers 25 small whole Thai chiles or chiles de arbol
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns or replace with equal amounts of crushed black peppercorns and crushed coriander seeds (not ground spices)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1/2 cup peanuts roasted salted without skins
  • salt and pepper to taste



Marinade chicken:

  • Cut chicken: Using a sharp fillet knife, cut chicken into small bite sized pieces.
    cutting chicken breasts into bite sized pieces
  • Marinade: In shallow dish or resealable plastic bag, mix marinade ingredients together. Add the cut chicken and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
    velveting chicken breasts
  • Prep ingredients: While chicken is soaking, prepare remaining ingredients by chopping vegetables, mincing garlic and ginger, measuring out chiles and peanuts, and whisking together sauce ingredients.
    chopped peppers and onions next to bowl of sauce

Szechuan Chicken:

  • Heat oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat. For best results, allow oil to reach 350°F.
  • Cook half of the chicken: Place half of the chicken in a single layer in the pan. Do not add excess marinade, however it is not necessary to shake off excess marinade. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown. For the best results, do not stir, however you can swirl around the hot oil. Allow chicken to get golden brown on the bottom before flipping.
    diced chicken breast frying in oil
  • Cook remaining chicken: Once browned, remove cooked the chicken from the pan and set aside in bowl. Repeat process with remaining chicken. When done, transfer excess oil to a separate bowl, leaving enough in the pan to coat the bottom.
  • Cook peppers and onions: Increase heat to high and immediately add the onion and bell peppers to the pan. Toss only occasionally to prevent burning and cook until they start to sear and become very fragrant.
    sauteed bell peppers and onions
  • Add chiles and peppercorns: Stir in the chilies and Sichuan peppercorns (or crushed peppercorns and coriander, if using). Stir well to combine and cook for several minutes, stirring only to prevent burning, to toast chiles.
    sauteed peppers and onions in wok pan
  • Add garlic and ginger: Once added, stir well to combine and then cook for about a minute. Return cooked chicken along with peanuts to the pan with the vegetables, stir well to combine, and cook for about a minute to heat through.
    chicken with peppers and onions
  • Add sauce: Reduce heat to medium low. Add the sauce to the chicken mixture and bring to a boil. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is just thickened. Serve immediately.
    Szechuan Chicken in wok


Calories: 312kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 1223mg, Potassium: 577mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1769IU, Vitamin C: 78mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you’re in the right place! Stick around… I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. I have used a few of you recipes over the last couple of weeks and they have all turned out awesome. I will definitely be using more. Thank you for sharing your experiences in cooking. Oh yea, I am a retired chef and have a lot of my own recipes and I always compare with yours to see where I can do better..

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely full of flavor, colorful and easy to make. Instead of rice I used a package of rice noodles and they soaked up the sauce perfectly.
    I felt like a professional chef after serving this beautiful dish.

  3. 5 stars
    We had this chicken for dinner last night and the whole family loved it! Definitely going on our regular rotation!

  4. 5 stars
    I order Szechuan chicken from restaurants all the time, but I’m realizing now I’ve never made it at home. Definitely can’t wait to give this recipe a go!

  5. 5 stars
    This looks so flavorful and full of spice! This is going to be an amazing meal for my family since we love spicy food!