What sauce do you use to stir fry? Try my 3 ingredient stir fry sauce without cornstarch- it'll become your new favorite way to flavor meat and vegetables! This easy stir fry sauce from scratch goes great on chicken stir fry, beef stir fry, pork stir fry, and seafood stir fry. You could even use it to make a vegan stir fry with plant-based protein!
You are going to LOVE this three ingredient stir fry sauce from scratch. It’s a super all purpose stir fry sauce for your Asian-inspired dishes. Unthickened, you can use the sauce as a marinade.
How’s that for versatility?
I kept the flavor profile of this homemade stir fry sauce simple so all family members can enjoy. I hope you think it’s as amazing as we do.
You’ll learn how to thicken stir fry sauce without cornstarch and how to make stir fry sauce with soy sauce. (And if you want stir fry sauce without soy sauce? Yes, I’ll cover that too!)
This recipe is a riff on a Chinese stir fry sauce called 3 2 1 sauce. That sauce uses 3 parts soy sauce, 2 parts rice vinegar, and 1 part aromatics. (Although different chefs have varying versions.)
For this easy sauce for stir fries, I kept the soy sauce, but added pineapple juice for sweetness. We’re going to add a thickener to the sauce, with the aromatic ingredients going into the stir fry itself.
After stir frying a pile of protein and veggies, you’ll have a healthy, colorful, nourishing meal. It’s a wonderful family dinner.
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Ingredients
- 🤔 What is the difference between stir fry sauce and teriyaki sauce?
- 🍋 What can I add to stir fry for flavor?
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make 3 Ingredient Stir Fry Sauce
- ️🌡️ Leftovers
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Stir Fry Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 🔥 Easy Stir Fry Recipe
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of 3-Ingredient Stir Fry Sauce has 58 calories, 12.4 grams net carbs, and 2.7 grams protein.
What are the benefits of making stir fry sauce with 3 ingredients? Here are some reasons you’ll love this 3 ingredient stir fry sauce recipe:
- Simple ingredients: The bottles of stir fry sauce you get from a store often have a long list of ingredients and count as an ultra-processed food. This DIY stir fry sauce has a much simpler ingredients list and can be customized to fit your food preferences.
- Low calorie stir fry sauce: A very generous helping of this sauce clocks in at under 60 calories per serving. It’s a great way to flavor up healthy meals if you have a weight loss goal.
- Easy and fast: This 3 ingredient sauce can be whipped up in one pot in under 15 minutes. You can start cooking your stir fry while the sauce heats to keep the low prep time.
- Vegan: This 3-ingredient stir fry sauce is vegan, dairy free, vegetarian, and plant based. I have tips to make stir fry sauce for other special diets (keto, gluten free, etc.) in the FAQs below!
- Delicious: Having a tasty stir fry sauce recipe is makes it simple to create healthy meals in a flash. It’s perfect for family dinners.
What are the ingredients for stir fry sauce? Here is what you need:
- Reduced sodium soy sauce for a punch of umami
- Pineapple juice for sweetness without added sugar
- Xanthan gum, a thickener that helps make a glossy sauce with no corn starch
Xanthan gum is a great alternative to cornstarch that’s low carb and keto friendly. (BTW, corn flour is very finely ground corn meal and may be whole grain. This is not the same as corn starch, which is just the starch of the plant. However, sometimes I see “corn flour” and “corn starch” used interchangeably.)
Don’t use regular soy sauce in this recipe. It will be too salty.
Here’s what I used to make a simple stir fry with sauce:
- Leftover cooked chicken (chicken breasts or thighs)
- Avocado oil (or another neutral oil)
- Minced garlic cloves
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Broccoli florets
- Thinly sliced red pepper
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Basmati rice or noodles
Feel free to mix it up with other proteins and veggies. Try shrimp, scallops, strips of steak, pork, tofu, tempeh, or seitan instead of chicken. For veggies, consider mushrooms, zucchini, snow peas, asparagus, or carrots.
🤔 What is the difference between stir fry sauce and teriyaki sauce?
Teriyaki sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, sake, and flavorings. Stir fry sauce refers to any type of sauce used in a stir fry. (By the way, have you tried my sugar-free teriyaki sauce yet?)
🍋 What can I add to stir fry for flavor?
What do you do when your stir fry doesn’t have enough flavor? You add one (or more!) of these ingredients, that’s what!
- Scallions (green onions)
- Lemon zest
- Lime juice
- Red chili pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
To make stir fry sauce, you need a whisk and a small saucepan. For the stir fry, you’ll need a medium-sized pot for cooking rice or noodles, plus a wok for the meat and veggies.
🔪 How to Make 3 Ingredient Stir Fry Sauce
Let’s make three ingredient sauce! All you have to do is put the soy sauce and pineapple juice in a small sauce pan. Whisk it together over medium heat on the stovetop.
You want to just let the ingredients come to a simmer. It takes about 10 minutes.
Next, whisk in the xanthan gum. Whisk it well so there are no lumps. Allow the sauce to thicken for 1-2 minutes over the heat. Now it’s ready to use!
To make a stir fry, I recommend practicing mise en place. That means you should have everything ready before making the stir fry.
Cook your rice or noodles in water according to package directions. Cut your cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Slice the red onion into ¼-½ inch (0.6-1.27 cm) thick slices and the red pepper into ¼-inch (0.6 cm) thick slices.
Add your oil to the wok and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, broccoli, and bell pepper and cook until tender-crisp, stirring and flipping constantly. This will take 3-4 minutes.
Now add the cooked chicken and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Remove the stir fry from the heat, and stir in the sauce.
Serve the stir fry over the cooked rice or noodles. Garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
When making stir fry, it’s important not to overcrowd the pan or wok. You need enough room to toss the veggies around for even cooking.
How long does stir fry sauce last? Your stir fry sauce will last 1-2 days in the fridge in a closed jar. However, it’s best to use it the day you make it. The texture of homemade sauces with xanthan gum can get a bit gummy if left sitting too long.
This is different than bottled stir fry sauces, which can sometimes last for a year or more. This is because the bottled sauces don’t typically contain fresh pineapple juice and they may contain preservatives to prolong shelf life.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). This stir fry sauce packs a lot of flavor in for few calories. With some of this on hand, you’ll be ready to throw together easy meals that support a healthy weight.
For a lower carb and low calorie stir fry, use a lot of non-starchy veggies and lean protein with this sauce. For a high calorie stir fry, add in lots of noodles, rice, or another grain (along with the protein and veg). You could also add some starchy veggies in your stir fry.
If you switch out the veggies, meat, poultry, etc. you could use this sauce to create unique meals for weeks. (Not that I’d do that, but it’s possible!)
Sometimes I even add some fruit, such as pineapple, in stir fries. Nuts and seeds are a high energy way to add a little crunch on top.
The one downside to this sauce (and many stir fry sauces) is that it is rather high in sodium. Even reduced sodium soy sauces tend to contain quite a bit of sodium. If you’re on a low sodium diet, a lot of stir fry sauces are not going to be a good fit.
Coconut aminos are a good soy-free and lower sodium substitute for soy sauce in stir fry sauces. The ingredients in coconut aminos are aged coconut tree sap and sea salt. You may be able to save money on the unit price by purchasing a large container online.
“Healthy” always depends on what your needs are. There are many recipes for 3 ingredient stir fry sauce with brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, sweet chili sauce, and other forms of added sugar. This stirfry sauce recipe is healthier in the sense that it has no added sugar. It is likely healthier than takeout stir fry.
Wondering who makes the best stir fry sauce? Kikkoman Stir Fry Sauce was my go-to premade sauce for a while. For a low sugar stir fry sauce, take these sugar free marinades and thicken them with a little xanthan gum.
To make a very low carb stir fry sauce, you’ll need to replace the pineapple juice in this recipe. You could try using water flavored with pineapple extract and sweetened (to your liking) with Swerve.
To make your stir fry sauce gluten free, you need to replace the soy sauce in this recipe. You can make a coconut aminos stir fry sauce or use gluten-free tamari.
No, because this is a stir fry sauce with pineapple juice. Pineapple has a moderate amount of fructans, so it’s not the best choice for a low FODMAP diet plan.
👩🏻🍳 Stir Fry Recipes
Want more recipes for stir fry? Try these next:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
3 Ingredient Stir Fry Sauce
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- Put the pineapple juice and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Whisk it together over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Let the ingredients barely come to a simmer. It takes about 10 minutes.
- Whisk the xanthan gum in well so there are no lumps. Allow the sauce to thicken for 1-2 minutes over the heat. Enjoy in your favorite stir fry!
🔥 Easy Stir Fry Recipe
- Basmati rice or noodles (optional)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or another neutral oil)
- 12-16 ounces leftover cooked chicken (340-454 grams)
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1½ cups thinly sliced red onion
- 12 ounces broccoli florets (340 grams)
- 2 cups thinly sliced red pepper (about 1 pepper)
- 1 finished recipe for 3 ingredient stir fry sauce (above)
- 2 sliced scallions
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds