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I’ve made teriyaki chicken bowls and keto teriyaki chicken before, but this time I wanted to show you an easy teriyaki chicken recipe all on its own. You can make this with whole chicken breasts or smaller pieces, so the serving possibilities are endless! With tender chicken, a sweet and savory homemade teriyaki sauce, and fragrant aromatics, it makes a flavorful and simple Japanese-style meal.
Why You’ll Love This Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
- Sweet, salty, and umami flavors
- Tender, succulent chicken
- Ready in 25 minutes, all in one pan
- Options for whole chicken breasts or small pieces
- Naturally sweetened and thickened, with no refined sugar or thickeners needed
- Gluten-free and grain-free
- Easy healthy dinner that tastes like (or better than) takeout!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best chicken teriyaki ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – For sauteing the chicken. You could also use avocado oil or any neutral cooking oil you prefer.
- Chicken – This time I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut them into bite-sized pieces, but I’ve also made this recipe with whole chicken breasts. Both work great! You can also make it with boneless skinless chicken thighs instead.
- Coconut Aminos – I use coconut aminos as a clean-ingredient soy sauce substitute, but regular low sodium soy sauce or tamari works, too.
- Honey – You can use conventional honey or sugar-free honey. Both add natural sweetness and a glazed look, and also thicken the sauce without needing a cornstarch slurry (or any cornstarch substitutes).
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Adds tang. I love using this in my cooking, but you can substitute either white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar.
- Blackstrap Molasses – Adds a hint of brown sugar flavor without refined sugar. Brown sugar (or Besti Brown) will provide similar results, but you’d need more to achieve the same flavor and the sauce would be sweeter.
- Spices – The best spices for teriyaki chicken are garlic powder (or sub 1 clove of fresh minced garlic) and ground ginger (or sub 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger).
- Sesame Oil – It’s optional, but adds a depth and complexity to the flavor profile of the sauce, and brings out the sweetness of other ingredients.
- Sesame Seeds – You can use white or black sesame seeds.
- Green Onion – Sliced thinly, for a pop of flavor.
VARIATION: Spicy chicken teriyaki!
If you want a spicy kick, add 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
How To Make Teriyaki Chicken
This section shows how to make chicken teriyaki, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Cook the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (I love this cast iron skillet!) over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer. You can use whole chicken breasts or bite-sized pieces. Sear on both sides, until browned and almost cooked through. (We don’t full cook at this step because the chicken will finish cooking as it simmers in the sauce.)
TIP: Use a meat thermometer for best results.
To avoid overcooking, check it with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 155-160 degrees F. Don’t wait for it to reach 165 degrees F, otherwise the chicken will dry out after cooking in sauce.
- Combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients. Whisk coconut aminos, honey, apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses, spices, and sesame oil (if using) together in a bowl.
- Simmer the chicken in sauce. Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken and reduce heat to medium low. Stir well and simmer until the sauce mixture thickens and slightly reduces.
- Garnish. If desired, garnish this easy chicken teriyaki recipe with sesame seeds and green onions.
VARIATION: Make a teriyaki chicken marinade!
Instead of cooking the chicken separately and then adding the sauce, mix the sauce together and marinate the raw chicken in it for up to 24 hours. Remove the chicken from the marinade, saute it in a skillet until golden, then add the remaining marinade to the pan and simmer to thicken.
- Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The sauce will thicken or even harden as it cools, but will turn into the right consistency when you reheat it.
- Reheat: Warm up homemade chicken teriyaki on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave, until warm.
- Freeze: Cool completely, then place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
What To Serve With Teriyaki Chicken
There are a variety of sides that will help complement the flavor and add variety to your dish. Here are some ideas:
- Rice – Serve this recipe over a bowl of basmati rice, fried rice, or other white rice. For lighter options, try cauliflower rice, cauliflower fried rice, or shirataki rice.
- Vegetables – A side of roasted cauliflower, snap peas, buttery sauteed broccoli, roasted broccolini (shown chopped in the photos), or garlicky roasted bok choy pair well with Asian dishes like this.
- Japanese Sides – Add a side of smashed cucumber salad, spicy kani salad, or sweet and savory hakurei turnips to your plate.
You can also serve this as a teriyaki chicken bowl!
More Asian Chicken Recipes
Need a new chicken dish for dinner? Try out these ultra easy and tasty Asian-inspired recipes:
Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
Teriyaki Chicken Recipe (Easy In 25 Minutes!)
Tender chicken, sweet and savory sauce, and fragrant aromatics create an easy teriyaki chicken recipe — ready in 25 minutes!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, until shimmering.
Once the oil is hot, add the chicken in a single layer. Sear for 2-3 minutes per side for cubes, or 4-6 minutes per side for whole chicken breasts, until browned and almost cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 155-160 degrees F (68-71 degrees C).
Meanwhile, whisk together all ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a bowl.
Once the chicken is cooked, pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the sauce thickens and slightly reduces.
If desired, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
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Serving size: 1 cup teriyaki chicken
Nutrition info does not include optional garnishes.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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