Black Pepper Chicken
This Paleo Black Pepper Chicken is a healthy spin on one of my favourite dishes from our local chinese restaurant and it takes just 30 minutes to make! This stir fry is packed with tender cubes of chicken and lots of veggies including bell peppers, onion and celery which are all coated in a delicious black pepper sauce.
This Chinese inspired Black Pepper Chicken is the perfect weeknight dish that your entire family will love. It takes less than 30 minutes to make, is packed with veggies, incredibly tasty and is just as good the next day reheated for lunch or dinner. The sauce has a bit of a kick from the black pepper, which you can adjust by adding another teaspoon if you want it to be really fiery.
While a lot Paleo and Whole30 use arrowroot starch to thicken stir fry sauce, it’s not allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet so for this recipe I used the good old fashioned method of reducing it in a separate pan until it’s begun to thicken. I recommend serving this with a side of cauliflower rice to soak up all of the excess yummy sauce, you won’t want any of that to go to waste.
Why You Will Love This Paleo Black Pepper Chicken:
- The simple peppery sauce is packed with flavor! It’s the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, salty and umami and is what takes this from an average stir fry to a flavor packed dish. It coats the tender chicken pieces and results in a flavor packed explosion in every bite.
- It is such a quick and easy meal to make and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare start to finish, so quick! It’s a weeknight meal for those evenings when you are short on time.
- It’s the perfect dish to add to your weeknight dinner rotation that the whole family will love. Enjoy it on its own or with a side of cauliflower rice (or white rice) to absorb any excess sauce.
- Marinating the chicken in baking soda for just a few minutes is one of my favourite tricks to really elevate the flavor and texture of the meat. It becomes incredibly tender and flavorful.
- This easy Black Pepper Chicken recipe is Paleo, Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
Ingredients You Need To Make This Black Pepper Chicken:
Here is a list of the main ingredients required to make this black pepper chicken stir fry:
- Chicken: either chicken thighs or chicken breast work for this recipe. I find that using thighs results in slightly more juicy chicken
- Apple Cider Vinegar: I like using apple cider vinegar to make this recipe SCD legal, but rice vinegar works well.
- Coconut Aminos: You can use soy sauce or tamari as well. I prefer using light soy sauce but dark soy sauce also works.
- Yellow onion or white onion: I like to thinly slice the large onion rather than finely chop it
- Bell Peppers: I like using green bell peppers but yellow or red bell pepper also can be used.
- Celery: the slightly crunchy celery adds great texture to the dish
- Coarse Black Pepper: The star of the show. Be sure to use fresh cracked black pepper for the best flavor. You may want to add less pepper depending on your spice tolerance.
- Beef Stock: while it might seem odd to use beef stock in a recipe with chicken, it adds a really nice richness to the sauce (similar to the flavor you get in black pepper beef). If you don’t have beef broth it can be substituted for chicken broth.
How To Make This Black Pepper Chicken:
This black pepper chicken is incredibly quick and easy to make. You can find a more detailed step-by-step in the recipe card below.
- Marinate the chicken – in a medium bowl whisk together the coconut aminos (or soy sauce), apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Add in the chicken pieces and toss to ensure they are all well coated. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
- To make the sauce combine the honey, beef broth, coconut aminos, fish sauce and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Pour into a small sauce pan and leave to simmer until it has thickened and reduced by half.
- In a large skillet or wok heat the sesame oil on medium-high heat and once hot add in the chicken and cook until it is golden brown in colour. Set the cooked chicken aside on a plate.
- Add the garlic and ginger to the pan along with the sliced bell peppers, onion and celery and saute for a few minutes until the peppers begin to soften and then add in the green onions, chicken, black pepper and sauce and it’s ready to enjoy! I like to serve this over rice (cauliflower rice or brown rice) and garnish it with sesame seeds.
Can I Add More Veggies?
This Paleo Black Pepper Chicken is a super adaptable recipe and you can really add any other vegetables that you like! I like adding in asparagus spears, green beans, snow peas, broccoli florets, bok choy or mushrooms. I recommend avoiding any type of root vegetable (such as carrot) unless it is sliced very thinly as the cooking time will be longer versus the other vegetables.
Could I Use A Different Protein?
If you aren’t a fan of chicken, you could substitute the cubed chicken for shrimp or cubed pork. I recommend only marinating the shrimp in the baking soda sauce for a few minutes to ensure that the it doesn’t begin to cook in it. If using pork the cuts I would suggest using are either pork tenderloin, neck or loin.
Can I Make This Black Pepper Chicken In Advance?
If you would like to make this Black Pepper Chicken in advance the following steps can be done a day ahead. Marinate the chicken in the baking soda mixture and cook the chicken until golden in colour then store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The sauce can also be blended together and the vegetables chopped (but not cooked) the day before. Doing all of the above in advance would cut the cooking time to less than 6 minutes, simply cook the veggies before adding in the sauce and chicken and dinner is ready!
What About Leftovers?
This Paleo Black Pepper Chicken is a great recipe to enjoy as leftovers over a few days, it’s so tasty that you will actually be excited about eating leftovers. Leftover black pepper chicken will last for up to 3 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container and the best way to reheat it is in the microwave or warmed in a pan on the stove on medium heat. When reheating if the vegetables look too dry feel free to add a splash of coconut aminos.
Love healthy versions of takeout dishes? Here are a few more that you might enjoy:
- Sweet & Sour Pork
- Moo Shu Pork
- Chicken Chop Suey
- Sesame Chicken
- Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein
- Spicy Orange Chicken
- Pork Fried Rice
- Thai Basil Beef
- Pork Fried Rice
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Black Pepper Chicken Recipe
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 ribs celery
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 green onions/scallions
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp honey/maple syrup (or 2 medjool dates for Whole30)
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- In a bowl whisk together the coconut aminos, baking soda and apple cider vinegar and then add in the chunks of chicken and stir to ensure that they are all well coated in the liquid. Leave to rest for a few minutes while you prep the veggies
- In a blender or nutribullet container combine the honey (or medjool dates), beef stock, coconut aminos, fish sauce and vinegar and blend until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a small sauce pan and leave to reduce on medium heat for 5 minutes until it has thickened and reduced by half and then set aside.
- Cut the green pepper, onion, green onions and celery into thin strips.
- Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a skillet on high heat. Once hot add in the chicken and cook for approximately 5 minutes until the chicken becomes golden in colour. Once cooked transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add in 1 tbsp sesame oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and sauté the garlic and ginger for 1 minute until fragrant and then add in the sliced peppers, onions and celery. Saute for 4 minutes until the peppers begin to soften and then add in the green onions, chicken, black pepper and sauce and leave to simmer for another 3 minutes. Serve garnish with additional black pepper if desired.