6 Stir Fry Recipes Good for Weight Loss

Published on June 12, 2024
6 Stir Fry Recipes Good for Weight Loss

No matter the hype or how many social media stars promote them, trendy diets hardly ever lead to lasting health. Their failure often stems from not being grounded in strong science or because following them is as tough as scaling a mountain without shoes.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be limited to fruits and vegetables and salads and will have to forgo tasty meals for the rest of your days. This is the part where stir fry meals come in. A vegetable stir fry recipe is good as they not only give your body the macro and micronutrients that your body needs as well as give you a satisfying and healthy meal.

Of course, the tried and tested method to lose weight is to simply make sure that you are able to properly limit your calorie consumption and increase your activity levels. We’ve made sure these stir fry recipes for weight loss are just as delicious but healthier!

Why Try Stir Fry

Stir-fry is a great way to prepare a balanced meal! A majority of stir fry recipes often include ingredients such as a source of protein, non-starchy vegetables, and some carbs, all of which are coated in a delicious sauce. Even with all of these ingredients, stir-fried recipes are often easily prepared and don’t take too long to prepare.

Stir fry food can often get a difficult or a negative reputation due to the nature of professionally cooked take-out food which is often loaded in sodium. Making them at home is great in limiting the sodium in the meal, which makes it not only a cheaper option but also a sensible health option. The relatively quick and easy preparation makes stir fry meals a must for beginners and on-the-go professionals.

We’ll provide you with 6 easy and healthy recipes that you can easily try out for your next meal. They provide you with a good understanding of how to cook basic stir fries and build a good enough foundation so you can improvise, swap ingredients, and make your own recipes.

1. Stir Fry Garlic and Spinach

Here’s a healthy and simple vegan stir fry recipe to start you off. It is a good, easy recipe to get you used to the concept of stir-fry. It is very low in calories and chock-full of healthy nutrients from spinach. Make this a bigger, more filling meal by adding fried tofu to the mix.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut, or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile paste, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, optional

Instructions:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Preheat the wok on medium heat. Add the oil, swirling it in the pan to coat the wok about halfway up the sides.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, chile paste, and salt. Stir for a few seconds until the garlic is aromatic.
  4. Add the spinach and stir-fry until the leaves are almost wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the sugar and toasted sesame oil.
  6. Sprinkle the spinach with black pepper, if using. Serve immediately.

Nutrition facts:

  • 241 calories
  • 12g carbs
  • 8g protein

2. Coconut Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry Rice Bowls

Coconut oil, the main fat source in this dish, helps in curbing your appetite. And when it comes to whittling your waist, no other fat has more pull, thanks to lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fat that converts into energy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet sticky rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 pound flank, flat iron, or skirt steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Thai seasoning
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • fresh cilantro, for topping
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Combine rice with 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours. Pour rice and any remaining liquid into a saucepan. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 10 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; keep covered and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  2. While rice is cooking, toss sliced steak with Thai seasoning until evenly coated. Others use rice noodles!
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot, add 1/3 of sliced beef, spreading it into a thin layer. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until beef is starting to brown but still slightly pink in the middle. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef, adding more coconut oil to the pan as needed.
  4. Return skillet to heat. If necessary, add a bit more oil, but the residual drippings from the beef should be enough. Add shallot, garlic, and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add broccoli and cook until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, and lime juice and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until broccoli is tender and sauce is thickened and reduced. Add beef and cook, stirring to coat evenly with sauce, until heated through.
  6. Divide rice among 4 serving bowls. Top with beef broccoli mixture, then sprinkle with fresh cilantro and sesame seeds and enjoy.

Nutrition facts:

  • 564 calories
  • 31.2 g fat
  • 45.6 g carbs
  • 27.6 g protein

3. Tofu Stir Fry

Among the best veggie stir fry recipes contain tofu! With the perfect balance of spicy, sweet and savory, this recipe is a serious taste bud pleaser. And it won’t ruin your diet either. It is very filling and filled with vegetables, after learning this recipe, you’ll be able to stir-fry anything.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • Steamed broccoli

For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water

For the tofu:

  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-5 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil

For the stir fry:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 bundle of green onions
  • 4-7 dried Thai red chilies
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook the rice according to the package Instructions
  2. Steam the broccoli in a steamer basket set over boiling water for ~4-6 minutes.
  3. Drain tofu and wrap it in a clean, absorbent towel. Get rid of as much moisture as you can by putting weights on it. You can use a chopping board and some cans. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. While you wait, prepare your vegetables, and slice them thinly so they cook faster. Slice the green onions, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
  5. While tofu is pressing, prepare the stir-fry sauce by combining sesame oil, cornstarch, minced garlic, minced ginger, rice vinegar, maple syrup, tamari or soy sauce, and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. Adjust to taste.
  6. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. In the meantime, unwrap tofu and cut it into even pieces, about 1-inch cubes
  7. Add tofu to a shallow mixing bowl and marinate it with 3 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce, 1 tsp chili garlic sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp maple syrup. Toss to combine. Let rest 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. After the short marinade, take the tofu and toss it in cornstarch, add a little bit of cornstarch at a time  and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch until fully coated.
  9. Cook tofu in oil on all sides for ~1 minute, or until light golden brown. Remove from the pan.
  10. Return the skillet to the burner and increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  11. Add the sauce and tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, to coat the tofu and vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened (see photo).
  12. Remove pan from heat and add sesame seeds (optional). Toss to coat.
  13. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli (optional), or other desired sides. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave

Nutrition facts:

  • 436 calories
  • 11.1 g fat
  • 73.4 g carbohydrates
  • 12 g protein

4. Veggie and Edamame Stir-Fry

For a vegetarian or vegan option, try a veggie stir-fry! You can use all kinds of veggies in a stir-fry, including fresh, frozen, or roasted. Adding cooked edamame increases the protein content of the dish and makes it more filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice brown rice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 medium red bell peppers chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups frozen shelled edamame thawed
  • 2 cups asparagus cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1- inch ginger root grated
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup cashews roasted and unsalted
  • 1 cup green onions chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan prepare the rice according to the package instructions.
  2. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch.
  3. In a large, non-stick skillet add the peanut oil and preheat the pan over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the bell pepper, edamame, asparagus, and ginger. Cook, while stirring often for 3 minutes, or until the bell pepper has softened and the asparagus is tender but still crisp.
  4. Add in the garlic and cashews and cook, stirring constantly until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the broth and soy sauce mixture to the pan and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and stir to combine.
  6. Serve the stir-fry over the prepared rice and extra green onion if desired.

Nutrition facts: 

  • Calories: 416 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 61g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 11g

5. Potato Stir-Fry with Mint & Cilantro

If you are looking for more stir fried vegetables recipes, try this!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. yellow mustard seeds
  • 24 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 small whole dried red chile
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)
  • 2/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 to 2 Tbs.)

Instructions:

  1. Put the potatoes in a medium bowl, cover with cool water, and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil and the mustard seeds in a large wok or 12-inch skillet until the mustard seeds start to sizzle and pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves, chile, coriander, cumin seeds, and turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cumin browns and the curry leaves are crisp
  4. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook until the garlic is fragrant for about 30 seconds.
  5. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan along with the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are translucent around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan every 5 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Reduce the heat to low if the potatoes seem to be burning.)
  6. Add the salt and cayenne (if using) and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the mint, cilantro, and lemon juice, cover the pan, and let the potatoes sit off the heat for 10 minutes. Scrape up the browned bits and stir them into the potatoes. Taste, add more salt if needed, and serve.

Nutrition facts:

  • 220 calories
  • 35g carbohydrates
  • 4g protein

6. Bell Pepper Stir Fry

Have you ever thought of having stir fry vegetables using bell pepper? Check this!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 4 tablespoons chicken broth, or water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, or vegetable oil, for stir-frying, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the chicken with the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry, pepper, and 3 teaspoons cornstarch, adding the cornstarch last. Let the chicken stand while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. How to Cut a Bell Pepper
  3. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth or water, 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry, sugar, and sesame oil. Whisk in 1 teaspoon cornstarch.
  4. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add half the ginger and garlic. Stir for about 10 seconds until aromatic, then add the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, until it turns white and is nearly cooked. Splash a bit of rice wine or dry sherry over the chicken while stir-frying if desired. Remove from the wok and drain in a colander or on paper towels. Clean out the wok.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add the remainder of the ginger and garlic and stir for about 10 seconds until aromatic. Add the onion and green bell pepper. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the red bell pepper. Continue stir-frying for another minute, adding a bit of rice wine or dry sherry, chicken broth or water if the vegetables start to dry out.
  6. Push the vegetables to the side and add the chicken. Stir briefly, then push to the sides. Re-stir the sauce and add it into the middle of the wok, stirring quickly to thicken. Stir to mix everything together. Stir in the green onion and serve hot over rice.

Nutrition facts:

  • 335 calories
  • 11g carbs
  • 37g protein

Enjoy preparing and eating!

Read Next
Exercise is your secret weapon, especially when facing diabetes—it’s like…