Vegetable Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce featuring 6 colorful vegetables for a light dinner or lunch. Make your own peanut sauce using my recipe provided, or use store-bought! Add your favorite protein source for a well-balanced meal.
Back in the early days of The Roasted Root, I made a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals for the sole reason that your girl loves vegetables.
This quick and simple vegetable stir fry with peanut sauce was one of my go-to’s for a long stint.
I would enjoy it either as a light plant-based meal or I would add some form of protein like chicken or shrimp.
You can also add a plant-based protein like chickpeas (or your favorite beans), tofu, or tempeh.
I love that this vegetable stir fry recipe is so versatile. You can use any variety of your favorite vegetables in addition to all sorts of delicious sauces.
The end result is a refreshing feel-good dish that is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins.
But we all know it’s the Thai Peanut Sauce that really makes the whole dish so enticing.
Rich and creamy, peanut sauce brings bold flavor to the meal. Whip it up as a meal prep recipe to include vegetables in your weekday meals, or fire it out after work for a lightning fast weeknight meal.
Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for vegetable stir fry!
Ingredients for Vegetable Stir Fry:
Cooking Oil: Pick your favorite high-temperature cooking oil. I use avocado oil or coconut oil, but peanut oil and grapeseed oil are good options too.
If you enjoy the flavor of sesame oil, you can use a combination of avocado oil and sesame oil for the right amount of sesame flavor.
Fresh Vegetables: Pick your favorite in-season vegetables. For this rendition, I used yellow onion, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, green beans, yellow squash, and fresh garlic.
I also add a can of water chestnuts because they are wild and whacky.
Sauce: No stir fry is complete without a sauce. Teriyaki sauce is a tried and true favorite for teriyaki vegetable stir fry.
You can also whip up your own Easy Stir Fry Sauce or do as I did and use store-bought or homemade peanut sauce.
You can add hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes to spice it up to your desired heat level.
Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients for stir fry vegetables, let’s make it!
How to Make Vegetable Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce:
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently until the onion begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the carrots, green beans, bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of peanut sauce and mix well.
Transfer the chopped zucchini, yellow squash, and water chestnuts to the skillet and stir well. Continue stir frying until all of the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve vegetable stir fry over steamed brown rice or white rice with extra peanut sauce for drizzling.
Now let’s troubleshoot some Frequently Asked Questions.
What Makes The Best Stir Fry?
The key to a good vegetable stir fry is using heat-resistant oil such as avocado oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil.
Also be sure to watch on the vegetables closely so that they come out just right and not overcooked or undercooked.
What makes stir fry taste better? Adding a wonderful sauce like teriyaki sauce, stir fry sauce, soy sauce, or Thai peanut sauce adds a tremendous amount of flavor to vegetables.
Even sweet and sour sauce or a coconut curry sauce works here!
I once read an article that said you should only stir fry one vegetable at a time. As you can see from my 6-vegetable stir fry recipe, I think this is a bogus rule, as variety is the spice of life.
It is true, however, that you should cook meat and vegetables separately and add them together once both are finished cooking to ensure you’re getting the perfect cook on each. It is easy to overcook meat and undercook veggies when attempting to stir fry both animal protein and vegetables together at the same time.
What Vegetables Go First In Stir-Fry?
When stir frying vegetables, cook the heartiest vegetables first. Hearty vegetables include onion, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, (all root vegetables), green beans, etc.
I like cooking onion for a longer period of time than other vegetables because it emboldens the flavor and results in a soft texture.
Less hearty vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, snap peas, and any leafy greens like kale, chard, or spinach can go in last because they take less time to cook.
What is the Secret Ingredient In Stir Fry?:
It has been said that adding ketchup (of all things) levels up the overall experience of stir fry due to its sweet and sour flavor profile.
Given the fact that many Chinese sweet and sour sauces are made with ketchup, I can see this being a useful addition.
In this sense, adding any combination of sweet and tangy ingredients will result in a complex flavor profile that will make your taste buds swoon.
The peanut sauce is what takes care of the sweet and tangy flavors in this recipe, as it contains a sweetener and vinegar.
So here you are: a perfect vegetable side dish or entree for your busy work week.
I served the veggie stir fry on top of brown rice. You can also add shrimp or chicken for a boost of protein.
This easy stir fry recipe is cost effective and requires minimal time and effort.
It’ll be piping hot on your plate before you can say kalamazoo!
If you’re looking for more quick and healthy vegetable-centric meals like this, also try out these reader favorites.
More Healthy Dinner Recipes:
- Roasted Garlic and Kale Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Butternut Squash and Yam Curry
- Orange Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry
- 30-Minute Garlic Ginger Chicken Stir Fry
- Cabbage Stir Fry
- Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry
- 30-Minute Sesame Ginger Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
Stir fry recipes on repeat!
Vegetable Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 2.5 cups green beans chopped
- 1 zucchini squash chopped
- 1 yellow squash chopped
- 1 (8-oz) can sliced water chestnuts drained (optional)
- 3 tablespoons Peanut Sauce plus more for serving
- 3 to 4 cups cooked brown rice for serving
- In a wok or large sauté pan, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until it begins to sweat and turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped carrots, red bell pepper, green beans, and 3 tablespoons of thai peanut sauce. Cover and allow vegetables to cook until al dente, stirring every couple of minutes. This process should take about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, yellow squash and water chestnuts and continue cooking (covered) until squash has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Serve stir fry vegetables over a heaping portion of brown rice with desired amount of Thai peanut sauce!
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I originally shared this recipe on April 24, 2013. I updated the information and re-photographed the recipe, but the recipe itself remains the same.