{Paleo} Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli + Cabbage

Total Shares 1.9K

Well, that only took about four months…. So you know I am a wee bit obsessed with Asian food right?

I have so many great Asian inspired dishes posted on here but almost every single one contains soy in some form. Guess what I haven’t re-introduced to my diet since completing the Whole30?

Yep, you guessed it — Soy.

Mostly because I have been plagued with this dry skin for the last couple of years and I now have pretty good reason to believe that soy may be the culprit. I went into the Whole30 thinking soy was possibly related and my immediate results when I removed soy from my diet pretty much confirmed my hypothesis but that is for another conversation.

In the meantime, I have been on a mission to make some good soy-free Asian dishes and let me tell you, it ain’t easy.

I have been using this soy-free soy-sauce substitute, Coconut Aminos. It’s really good but a bit expensive, can be hard to find (I got it at Whole Foods Market) and doesn’t have the same umami flavor that good, fermented soy sauce has. Plus it’s a bit sweeter and much less salty than good soy sauce. Now, none of these are deal breakers, I just needed to create some new recipes that highlight the coconut aminos.

Enter this Paleo Chicken Stir Fry. Last time I made it, I posted pictures to my Instagram and Facebook and I got a lot of emails asking me to post the recipe.

My family was thrilled when I told them I was making it again so that I could take pictures and share it with you because they all love it as well – especially my son. He literally licked his plate clean and was upset when it was all gone. That is a very good thing. There is nothing more satisfying than watching your kid devour healthy, homemade food and want more!

Paleo Chicken Stir Fry Recipe. Soy-Free. Grain-Free. Healthy Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli and Cabbage.

I served this on top of Cauliflower Rice. If you aren’t familiar, here is a step-by-step tutorial.

Also, I added hot sauce on the side but I like my food really spicy. This is not spicy at all. That is on purpose. If you want to make this hot and aren’t cooking for little kids like I am, triple the crushed red pepper flakes or add in 2 or 3 dried red chilies!

Finally, I saw this post the other day and wanted to include it when I finally posted this Stir Fry because if you are looking for Asian Paleo recipes, this is a goldmine!


  • If you don’t have issues with soy or can’t find the coconut aminos, use a good quality organic tamari or fermented soy sauce. Note that both tamari and soy sauce are higher in sodium and less sweet than the coconut aminos so the sauce will taste different. I recommend using 1/2 the amount of soy sauce if substituting for coconut aminos. Also, omit the 1 tsp kosher salt mixed in with the aromatics and season to taste after sauce thickens.
  • You could easily substitute beef, pork, shrimp or chicken breast for the chicken thighs.
  • I recommend quartering the mushrooms unless they are huge, then cut them in 6ths or even 8ths.
  • Napa cabbage would also work well!
  • While the sauce does immediately thicken, it doesn’t stay thick after reheating so I recommend serving this immediatley.
5.0 from 6 reviews
{Paleo} Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli + Cabbage
8 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 6 (over cauliflower rice)
Serves: 4
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 3" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, light and dark parts separated, light parts finely chopped and dark green parts cut into 2" pieces and set aside
  • 1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos, divided (see NOTES for Soy substitution)
  • ⅛ tsp + ¼ tsp ground white pepper, divided
  • ½ tsp + 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • ⅔ cup chicken broth or stock plus a couple more splashes for cooking
  • 1½ lbs green cabbage, core removed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1¼ lb head of broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into 1" pieces, florets cut into even bite sized pieces
  • ½ lb white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed and quartered
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil, divided
  • cauliflower rice for serving
  1. Grab garlic, ginger and scallions.Cut the scallions so the whites and darks are divided.
  2. Peel garlic, smash cloves and finely chop. Peel ginger with a teaspoon, smash and finely chop.Smash and finely chop scallion whites.
  3. Cut scallion greens into 2" pieces and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine chopped garlic, ginger and scallion whites.
  5. Trim chicken thighs of any big pieces of visible fat and cut into bite sized pieces (about 1½ to 2"). Add 3 Tablespoons of the garlic, ginger and scallion white mixture to the chicken pieces along with 1 Tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, 2 Tablespoons of coconut aminos, ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Mix until well combined, cover and place in refrigerator to marinate while you finish prepping the vegetables.
  6. Remove core from cabbage and chop into 1" pieces. Don't worry if they are not even or perfect. There will be some bigger chunks here and there.
  7. Wash mushrooms, trim ends and quarter.
  8. Trim ends of broocoli and discard. Remove the florets and cut into even bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  9. Cut the outer edge off of the broccoli stalks. If you are very patient or have more time, peel with a vegetable peeler. Slice the stalks lengthwise into thin strips. Stack the strips and slice lengthwise in half. Slice into 1" pieces and set aside with chopped cabbage.
  10. Grab remaining garlic, ginger and scallion white mixture and add remaining 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Also add in crushed red pepper flakes and ⅔ cup chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  11. Finally, combine cold water with tapioca flour until dissolved.
  12. Heat wok or very large skillet over high heat. Add ½ Tablespoon coconut oil. Once hot, add in cabbage and broccoli stalks. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  13. Add a splash chicken broth, cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes until tender.
  14. Add in broccoli florets and mushrooms. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  15. Add a splash of chicken broth, cover and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from wok to a serving bowl.
  16. Return wok to heat, add remaining ½ Tablespoon coconut oil. Once hot, add in chicken thighs. Cook untouched for 2 minutes.
  17. Stir to mix and scrap the bottom of the wok, continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  18. Add garlic-coconut amino sauce to chicken and bring to a rapid boil. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  19. Remove lid, pour in tapioca starch mixture and immediately stir to combine. The sauce will thicken rapidly.
  20. Toss the vegetables back in along with the scallion greens. Toss to with sauce, remove from heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Paleo Chicken Stir Fry Recipe. Soy-Free. Grain-Free. Healthy Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli and Cabbage.

Total Shares 1.9K

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  1. Josie says

    Just tried this tonight and it was delicious! Great step by step instructions and I love pictures! My husband loved it too, tasted like great takeout only healthy!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sandie says

    I tried this recipe for dinner tonight and I have to say, it was excellent! I haven’t been able to eat anything stir fried for over six months since I have cut out soy. I tried one stir fry about a month ago, but this was the one I’ll make for the rest of my life. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  3. says

    So good! My husband and I are just starting to eat Paleo, and we’ve had a few misses – but, this was a hit!

    We used shrimp, cabbage, broccoli, and snow peas (just because I found a great deal on them at the store), and also added a handful of slivered almonds. I can’t wait to make this again and try it with chicken or beef.

    Thank you for a great recipe, and your detailed instructions were wonderful, too!
    Lisa H. recently posted..Custom Wedding and Bridesmaid WristletsMy Profile

  4. Eloisa says

    This is delicious, I was starting another recipe but it just seemed awfully bland for my liking so I decided to search again and hopefully be able to work with the stuff i had already prepped. This is definitely one ill keep as a go to recipe for stir fry! my husband has not tried it yet but when it comes to asian stir frys im the picky one and this gets my approval so im sure he’ll love it ! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!!

  5. Christianne says

    This is, by far, my favorite stir fry recipe ever. So many veggies. The toasted sesame oil is perfect. Since I don’t follow strict paleo, I used soy sauce & regular flour. So, so, so good. My husband is already asking when I’m going to make it again!!

  6. LCDC says

    The tapioca mixture was definitely distributed evenly, and the amount was right because I measured it myself (hubby and I were tag teaming it on this one). We’ll try cooking it a little longer next time and see how that works. Thanks!

  7. LCDC says

    We made this last night and it was really delicious! The only negative was a textural issue – the sauce was really gelatinous, kind of like a thin pudding. Any ideas what we did wrong?

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hmm, did you stir in the tapioca mixture into just one spot? Or, maybe it needed another minute on the heat. It shouldn’t have been gelatinous. Is there any way you measured the wrong amount of tapioca? Glad you liked the taste though!

  8. Nane says

    This was so great. I made it as is, with the exception of using more coconut oil in place of the sesame oil when I ran out mid-recipe. It turned out fantastic. I will make this again. Thank you so much.

  9. says

    It took me 45 minutes just to prep everything, but I’m including cauliflower rice in there. However, I added some carrot, red pepper, zucchini, snow pea pods and baby corn (I know, and I’m not stressing about those last two). I like the simpler stir fry but I had expensive produce to use up! :) I also had 1.75 lb chicken thighs, so overall a significantly larger batch. That said, I know my husband tends to like his dishes with a bit less garlic & onion than I do, so I kept the ginger/garlic/onion (didn’t have scallions) the same quantity, and it turned out deee-lish. So, so good. Worth the prep time and definitely going on Pinterest for future reference. I just ate a big bowl of leftovers for breakfast. Nom. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Erin! So glad you like it and the addition of veg and chicken sounds soooo good. I love snow peas in a stir fry 😉

  10. Michele says

    Thanks so much for the excellent recipe and detailed instructions. I really wanted to make a stir fry with cabbage, broccoli and chicken thighs. I also love to use coconut oil for stir fry and tamari. We can’t eat mushrooms, but I added in green beans and red bell pepper. Didn’t have sesame oil either, so I ended up making a sweeter/spicier concoction with a little rice vinegar, honey, stevia, a lot of crushed red pepper, some wasabi, and…ok I admit it… some sugar! This was probably the best chicken-style stir fry I have ever made. Also, it took me WAY longer than 45 min, but it was completely WORTH IT! Thank you again!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I love red bell pepper in stir fry – your sauce sounds really good Michele! So glad the recipe was a good base for you :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Sara! I don’t really have any thoughts about it. I try to stay away from fad rules and people policing what I eat. I, for one, do not aspire in any way to live like a caveman (or woman). What is important to me is to eat real food, as least processed and toxic as possible and to feel good. I have never felt better in my life until I started eating Paleo so that speaks for itself in my book.

    • EverydayMaven says

      I am curious to try a bunch of their other products now too – I just wish they weren’t so $$$$!

  11. says

    I love your pictures and recipes, they are mouth watering. Would love for you to share them with us at foodieportal.com. Over at foodieportal.com we are not photography expert snobs, we are just foodies, so pretty much all your pictures will get accepted.

  12. Eha says

    Since I have absolutely no allergies or sensitivities I have to admit I am unaware exactly what is or is not allowed [I have about 5 different soy sauces in the pantry :) !]. But since I cook a stirfry of some kind every few days another ‘mix’ for me would be sherry/barbecue/oyster sauce/hoisin – do not know what would be allowed but did a chicken stirfry with bok choi and peppers for lunch today and it tasted ‘yum’ :) !

    • EverydayMaven says

      Sherry and hoisin / oyster are usually my staples as well. I love those flavors so much – I am not prepared to go without them. I am going to see if I can create soy/wheat free versions!

  13. says

    Cooking Asian food without soy sauce or soy products is very challenging, but there are stir-fries that actually just use salt believe it or not. I also use fish sauce instead of soy sauce sometimes (it’s very salty, so you don’t need a lot). When my son was allergic to soy, I used coconut aminos and it was a good substitute. Your stir fry sounds delicious!
    Jeanette recently posted..Grilled Thai Chicken with Sweet Chili Garlic SauceMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      It really is a challenge Jeanette but I am determined to come up with some good alternatives!

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