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Under 30 minute Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken. The super fast Thai chicken rice bowl that looks like takeout, but tastes so much better and is healthier too. Quick-cooking and lean ground chicken, tossed in a sweet and spicy Thai chili sauce with garden fresh bell peppers, cashews, and summer’s most flavorful basil. Serve this chicken over steamed rice and top with fresh mangos. Every bite is saucy, sweet, spicy, and hinted with basil. It’s delicious and healthy. Major bonus? This is all made in one pan without the use of your oven. Perfect for hot summer days.

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken with chopsticks resting on bowl and limes on table

I think the number one question I get asked is how I stay inspired to create new recipes. I must admit, it can be really, really challenging. There are weeks that I feel completely defeated, as though nothing I’ve created was delicious enough, pretty enough, or worthy of sharing with you all. Obviously, I am my own worst critic, but while it can sometimes be a challenge, I still love it.

When inspiration is running low, I try to look at all the things around me. Everything from the people, the season, the flowers, the colors, even the food I have on hand. Right now, it’s the season and the produce that are inspiring me most.

I mentioned in my favorites post this past Sunday that our garden…greenhouse to be specific…is overflowing with herbs, salad greens, bell peppers, and soon to be cherry tomatoes. It’s the most beautiful scene and I love clipping fresh herbs every day. It makes me so happy.

The herb we have the most of? BASIL, so much basil. Way more than I know what to do with…I see lots of pesto and pizza in the future. And, of course, this Thai chicken too, which as you’ve probably guessed was created thanks to the fact that our basil plants are completely overflowing and our bell peppers are ready for picking.

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken in skillet

Often times I sway towards Italian dishes when working with basil. But currently, I am really inspired by Thai flavors. Enter this chicken.

It’s saucy, spicy, sweet, a touch salty, and just about as delicious as a quick-cooking Thai chicken dinner can get. I really can’t say enough good things about this recipe. It’s one of those dishes that will become a monthly staple.

Why? Well, it’s simple, it’s quick, it’s pretty healthy, and it’s a dinner that most everyone really loves.

side angle close up photo of Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken

Here are the details.

It’s all starts and ends in one pan and is ready in the blink of an eye. Truly.

Brown some ground chicken. Season it up with black pepper, then add in bell peppers, garlic, and ginger. Oh, and some cashews too! The bell peppers really bulk up the chicken and add in a good amount of vegetables. You could also toss in some broccoli and or bok choy, either would be great.

The garlic and ginger add all the flavor, while the cashews add a hearty crunch.

side angled close up photo of Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken with chopsticks in photo

Now, the sauce. It’s a mix up of my very favorite Thai flavors, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, and chili sauce (sambal oelek). Nothing fancy, but all things good.

And if you think you don’t like fish sauce, I highly, highly recommend you give it a try. It’s such an insanely good sauce that adds so much flavor to Thai dishes. If you ask me, it’s essential.

As soon as the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in plenty of fresh basil and fresh mint. Serve over steamed rice (white or brown both work, or use quinoa).

And you guys…that’s it. Takes less than 30 minutes to make and is so much better than your local Thai takeout. LOVE!

overhead photo of Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken with chopsticks resting in bowl

If you make this better than takeout sweet Thai basil chicken be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 528 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken. Season with black pepper and brown all over, breaking the chicken up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, peppers, and cashews, cook another 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Pour in the soy sauce, fish sauce, chili paste, and honey. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sauce coats the chicken, about 5-8 minutes.
    2. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and mint.
    3. Serve the chicken and sauce over bowls of rice. Top with mangos and additional basil. Enjoy!
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  1. Hello Teagan, tonight, I made “Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken.” I did not have any ground chicken so I substituted ground turkey instead. In your recipe you ask to sauté the chicken 5 to 8 minutes while it’s being coated with the sauce. I did that, but found that it was too long for the turkey and it dried out. Should there have been remaining sauce in the pan after coating the turkey meat once I put all the ingredients on top of the rice I found that I needed some extra juices so in order to moisten things up, I added a little bit of soya sauce to the meal and mix things up. I find that all the herbs and flavours mixed in very well, and the mangos were very refreshing , especially with the hot chilies. For us we needed an extra vegetable so we added steamed broccoli florettes and that to us completed the meal. I will try this recipe again because I really think it’s a nice one to do when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. We had a lot of leftovers Call Matt so tonight we are going to make tortillas with the leftover fillings with rice and top it with salsa to moisten the fillings and shredded lettuce and of course we can’t forget the chopped mango for sweetness. Your recipe is a good combination of flavours and I hope to be able to perfect at the second time around.

    1. Hi Olga,
      Thanks so much for giving this dish a try and sharing your feedback! You could always make some extra sauce, that would work nicely for you! Thanks for sharing all of your detailed notes! xT

  2. 5 stars
    Couldn’t find an easier recipe if I tried and it turned out so well my family thought I had ordered in. The flavours were so wonderful and perfectly balanced. I’m not a huge fan of mint but I decided not to change anything and I’m glad I didn’t as the mint worked. This is going to become a family staple. Thanks Teighan for your creativity I love that your recipes always look wonderful and taste even better.

    1. Hey Sandra! Thank you so much, what a sweet compliment! So glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe! xT

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipes! I’ve made it multiple times as is and it is just amazing. I do use sambal oelek and not the red curry paste the link takes you to. Also use low sodium soy sauce and raw cashews… it’s never too salty. Perfection!

    1. Hi Tricia,
      Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you making it! xT

  4. 5 stars
    So good! We like to double the amount of bell peppers just to give it more veggies. Also subbing the soy sauce for coconut aminos will bring the salt level down a bit. And I find that one tablespoon of the chili paste is plenty, and if you want to cut out a step get the chili paste with garlic.

    1. Hi Lollie,
      Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you making it! xT

  5. How did you get your chicken so caramely looking? Mine came out looking very white and sauce didn’t carmelize, it just came out watery.

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try! It sounds like the sauce just needed to simmer longer for it to caramelize! Let me know if that helps! xx

      1. Love all of these flavors together!! Delicious, a little spicy and so easy to make too. Adding to the rotation.

        1. Hey Megan,
          Happy Friday!!😎 I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it and your comment! xx

  6. 4 stars
    I enjoyed it but it was too salty. Next time I will cut back on the soy sauce. I love how easy and quick it is.

    1. Hey Carol,
      Happy Friday!!⛄️❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! Sorry about the salt! xT

    2. We found the same thing Carol. But cut way back on chili paste. Only did a heaping tablespoon and instead of soy, we used tamari. Helped out a lot. And now it’s one of our favs.

    3. 5 stars
      I made this tonight it turned out excellent. I did use Thai basil and mint . The flavors were spot on and delicious. Another keeper and house favorite.
      I’ll definitely dry my Thai basil so I can make this year round . Thanks T!

      1. Hi Rachel,
        Happy Friday!! I’m thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for making it and your comment!😎🍑 xx

  7. 5 stars
    Ummm… YUM! I didn’t think I liked ginger until this recipe. The fresh herbs really did make the dish too. This will be added to the regular rotation.

    1. Hey Jes,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and thanks so much for trying it out! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I’ve made it a handful of times now and the whole family enjoys it. SO much better than take out… and healthier. Really fairly easy for this novice cook as well. Thanks for doing what you do as I’m a much better cook for it. 🙂

    1. Hey Tricia,
      Happy Wednesday!!❄️ Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, I am so glad it was a hit! xx

  9. 2 stars
    I have loved Tieghan’s recipes all summer long. I love her flavors so much, but this recipe was a total miss for me. There was an odd flavor and, yes, very salty despite low sodium soy. Glad I tried it first and that I didn’t serve it for guests!

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks for trying this dish and sharing your feedback, so sorry to hear it was not enjoyed! Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xx