Thai Basil Chicken

The upside to all the rain that we’ve been having lately is that my little vegetable garden is doing great! It looks like I should have some peppers and tomatoes soon, and its already been a few weeks since I’ve had to buy fresh herbs. My basil plants has gotten to the point of ridiculousness (I meant to take a pic, but I forgot) needed some TLC. Normally when it gets to that point I’d make a big batch of pesto, but my freezer is already fully stocked with pesto from Whole in the Wall, so that just seemed silly. I thought about other ways to use it up, and decided that basil chicken would be a good idea. I’ve been craving Thai lately anyway.

Basil chicken is probably one of the simplest Thai dishes to make. Because basil plays such a huge roll in the flavor, there really isn’t a lot of need for a ton of other ingredients. If you have a basil plant, there’s a good chance you’ll always have what you need on hand to make this! Its  good weeknight meal too – because you cut the chicken into tiny pieces before cooking  it only takes about 15 minutes to cook.

Traditionally this would be served with rice, but I served it with a version of the Thai Noodles that I wrote about here. I more or less followed the same recipe, but I omitted the shrimp and substituted soy sause for the fish sauce (I used the last of the fish sauce in the chicken).

I made my chicken extra spicy. If you like less spice, you might want to use a mild flavored oil like canola instead of the chili oil. You can also use 1 chili instead of 2.

Thai Basil Chicken

  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 thai chilis, minced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx 1/2 lb), cut into small cubes
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1 cup basil, roughly chopped

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and chili and let cook for about 2 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add chicken. Cook until done – about 5-7 minutes. Add fish sauce and basil. Toss to combine. Cook another minute or two to allow basil to wilt. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serves 2-3.


  1. Wow that chicken looks so so yummy spicy delcious.

  2. What a lovely recipe. Can you recommend substitutes for Thai chilis? They are not available in this area.

  3. Yummy! I can almost smell it!! I love chicken dishes with lots of flavor. I’m definitely a spice-a-phobe, though, so I just might take your advice on toning it down a bit :)

  4. I have been on a major Thai craving spree too. This looks excellent–spicy and good!

  5. this chicken looks so inviting as it cascades towards me….

  6. MMMMMMMMM…what a lovely meal with chicken, I love it!

  7. yessssss, i love spicy!! This chicken looks delicious, especially with those noodles. Yum.

  8. I’d love a nice helping of that on my plate. It looks and sounds fantastic!

  9. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    The chicken with basil looks wonderful, love the addition of chili oil (used it today too for pork chops).

  10. This looks super spicy and so delicious. Good use for your fresh basil.


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