Chinese 5-Spice Skillet Chicken with Green Beans and Peppers

Need dinner in a hurry? Chinese 5-Spice Skillet Dinner to the rescue! Lean protein, loads of colorful vegetables, and on the table in about 30 minutes!

  • Prep time: 17 minutes
  • Cook time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6


  For the marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders, tenderloin, or thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice blend
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

For the vegetables:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 or 4 cracks of freshly ground pepper
  • Orange zest for garnish (optional)


1 Grind the spices: In a spice grinder, combine the fennel seeds, whole peppercorns, and 1 bay leaf. Run the grinder until the spices are finely ground.

Easy Chicken Freezer Meal with Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast-bay leaf and spices in a spice grinder Chicken Freezer Meal with Chicken Tenders-ground spices

2 Label the bag: If you are planning to freeze your meal for later, use a Sharpie to write the title of the recipe on a gallon-sized zip top bag so you can easily find it on when you want to cook it. Alternatively, write the cooking instructions on the bag, and date it.

Weeknight Chicken - hand on zip top freezer bag with label

3 Combine the ingredients: Roll down the opening of the bag a little, just so you don’t accidentally get raw chicken juices on the outside or the zip top. Add the chicken, spices, orange juice, and sesame oil.

Remove as much air as possible, and seal the bag. Smoosh the chicken around so it’s coated in the marinade.

Skillet Chicken Dinner Recipes-ziploc bag with raw chicken, herbs, oils and spices

4 Lay the chicken flat in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months.

Alternatively, you could skip the freezer and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours, or up to two days, and then cook it according to the directions below.

Make Ahead Chicken Dinner - four bags of marinated chicken breasts Chicken Freezer Meal -- ziploc bags of frozen chicken standing up

5 Thaw the chicken before cooking: When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, and it will be ready to cook by the end of the day.

6 To prepare the vegetables: Trim the beans, slice the pepper into 1-inch strips, and dice the onion.

Chinese Skillet Chicken Recipe-woman slicing orange bell peppers

7 Cook the chicken and vegetables: Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and any marinade left in the bag. If any chicken is folded up, unfold it so it lays flat in the pan.

After 2 minutes, flip the chicken, and add the green beans, sliced pepper, onion, and 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes.

Lift the lid and check the chicken by slicing open a piece. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate (leaving the vegetables in the pan) and tent with foil to keep warm.

Chicken Recipe in Skillet with 5-Spice-woman adding chicken from a ziploc bag to a skilletChicken Freezer Meal with Chicken Tenders-woman adding orange bell peppers to panChinese Chicken Recipe in Skillet - skilled with vegetables in the foreground and a woman putting foil over chicken on a plate in the background

8 Finish cooking the vegetables: Add soy sauce and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper to the vegetables. Gently stir the vegetables.

Cover and cook until the peppers are tender, and the beans are bright green but firm tender, about 5 more minutes.

9 Serve: Nestle the chicken back into the pan and garnish with additional orange zest if you have it. Bring the skillet to the table and serve.