This black pepper chicken is savory, satisfying, and better—and also healthier—than take out! The recipe uses arrowroot starch rather than corn starch, and coconut aminos in place of soy sauce. It can be tough to find a stir fry sauce and recipe that’s Whole30, Keto and Paleo. This is it!
Easy and Healthy Black Pepper Sauce
This recipe has a very simple sauce that’s gluten-free and compliant with just about any diet out there (Paleo, Keto, Whole30). Here’s what it’s made of:
- Coconut Aminos – A salty and semi sweet thick syrup that is a great soy sauce alternative.
- Arrowroot Starch – Replaces corn starch as a grain free thickener for the sauce.
- Fish Sauce – Adds a bunch of salty umami flavor.
- White Vinegar – Provides a little acid to balance out the sauce.
- Black Pepper – We prefer freshly ground for this dish as it packs more fresh “peppery” flavor.
Don’t have any coconut aminos? Don’t worry! Here is a DIY coconut aminos substitute recipe.
Making This Chicken In Black Pepper Sauce
This healthy chicken stir fry just requires some chopping, cutting and mixing for prep and then it cooks up quickly! Here’s how:
- Cut up the chicken and veggies to have them ready.
- Mix together the sauce.
- Cook the chicken first, then the veggies.
- Add in the sauce to simmer, thicken and coat everything.
That’s it! Serve it over regular or cauliflower rice for a full meal that’s better than takeout.
Arrowroot Starch as a Substitute for Corn Starch
Growing up, my mom would always use corn starch to thicken sauces and soups. Since we don’t really do grains regularly at our house, we don’t cook with cornstarch.
Instead, we have found that Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch does the job very well, and it is our sauce thickener of choice! It’s super fine and mixes in easily. You can use it in a sauce like we do for this black pepper chicken, in a roux for creamy casseroles or in a soup.
For this dish, it’s the perfect thickener for the savory and peppery sauce. Just make sure you give the sauce a good stir before pouring it into the pan as the arrowroot starch tends to settle when it sits.
Other Healthy Chicken Stir Frys
- Healthy Cashew Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowl
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Thai Basil Chicken Bowls
- Butternut Squash Chicken Curry
Your Turn To Try This Healthy Black Pepper Chicken
Make your work week a little easier by planning to have this black pepper chicken. It’s a 30 minute meal the whole family will love!
If you try it, leave a comment below and let us know how it goes. Also, take a pic and tag us on Instagram @realsimplegood. We love to see what you’re cooking!
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Healthier Black Pepper Chicken
- 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 1.5 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1 shallot, diced
- 6 ribs celery, thinly-sliced on a diagonal
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper, (best if freshly ground)
- sesame seeds, optional topping
- red chili flakes, optional topping
- sliced green onions, optional topping
- Prepare chicken, bell pepper, shallot, celery, garlic and ginger as noted.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or jar until combined.
- Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add chicken and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp sesame oil to the pan, along with the bell pepper, shallot, celery, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken back into the pan. Give the sauce mixture a quick stir to make sure it is mixed up well and then add the sauce mixture to the pan. Stir until the veggies and chicken are evenly coated. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove from heat and taste and season with any salt and/or freshly ground black pepper as desired. Serve immediately with any optional toppings.
Love this recipe so much! I make this at least once a month. So much flavor and good spice with only black pepper. My fiance loves it too. I serve his with white rice and mine with cauliflower rice. 5 stars !!
That’s so great to hear! We love hearing that you both enjoy it so much. Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and leave a review. We appreciate your support. 🙂
Excellent – great flavors. Added asparagus to the stir fry, but otherwise did exactly as recipe.
Happy you enjoyed it! The asparagus add sounds great, too! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share how it went. We appreciate it! 🙂
We added more veggies just cuz we had them! Super easy! Super delicious!
This is so delicious! The black pepper will knock your socks off. Many Whole30 recipes taste “Whole30”, if you know what I mean. This does not. Definitely a keeper. Thank you for the recipe.
We’re so glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks so much for giving our recipe a try and for coming back to share your review! We’re love hearing about it!
Tasty and FAST. I used Cassava flour to thicken the sauce and it worked like a charm
This dish was so good and flavorful and very tasty. My whole family thought that it was delicious.
Happy to hear that the whole family enjoyed this one Tamika!
This was AMAZING! We loved the flavor.
Another weekly staple from you guys! Soooo good! This black pepper sauce is amazing! I do add extra veggies as I typically make it with all my leftover produce from the end of the week, but this sauce goes great with any veggie. Also toddler approved ! 😉
So glad it works with any veggies and helps you use them up!
Another fantastic recipe, it’s a now a family favorite in our household. It’s very easy and has amazing flavor. I have shared this recipe with other Whole30 groups too! Thank you for this yummy recipe!
You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed this one and thanks for sharing :).
My husband and I love this recipe! It is a staple in our house!
We find it too salty and not peppery enough, but decreasing the aminos and adding more pepper makes it a hearty recipe.
I don’t have fish oil. Is there a substitute or will it work without it?
You can just use more coconut aminos to fill in for the fish oil. We hope you enjoy the recipe!
Hi there – will tapioca work instead of arrowroot? Thanks!
Yes, tapioca starch will work.