This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.
The Magic is in the Teriyaki Sauce
This recipe is nothing without the teriyaki sauce! It brings all of the flavor that coats each piece of chicken. Whether you’re grilling, baking, or cooking your chicken in a pan, you’ll need this sauce to spice things up. Let’s break it down, shall we?
- Soy Sauce – this adds tons of salty umami. This is my favorite brand of soy sauce. It’s not too salty and has a rich deep flavor.
- Brown Sugar + Honey – this creates some contrast with all of the savory flavors and helps the sauce thicken. If you don’t have honey just use more brown sugar.
- Cornstarch – to help thicken.
- Ground Ginger + Garlic Powder – use these spices or use fresh ginger and garlic.
Note that this recipe makes a lot of sauce because we like to add a lot to our rice and broccoli (which is what is typically served with Teriyaki Chicken and what I recommend serving this with). If you don’t like/want your version as saucy, simply cut all the teriyaki sauce increments in half.
Can I Use the Sauce as a Marinade?
Yes! Marinating meat makes it so much more flavorful. Even just an hour of marinating makes a big difference. To marinate the chicken, make half of the teriyaki sauce minus the cornstarch. Place the marinade in a ziplock bag along with the raw chicken pieces. Marinate for up to 24 hours, then cook the chicken and follow the recipe card as usual.
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken
For full details on how to make Teriyaki Chicken, including increments, see the recipe card down below!
Step 1: Make the Teriyaki Sauce
In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk all ingredients for teriyaki sauce together until smooth and the corn starch has dissolved. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook the Chicken
Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and then add the olive oil. Preheat over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add to hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until completely cooked through.
Step 3: Thicken the Sauce
Once the chicken is cooked, pour over teriyaki sauce liquid and bring to a simmer. As the sauce simmers, it will thicken.
Once the sauce has thickened, add more sesame seeds as a garnish and serve with steamed broccoli and white rice.
Using Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks
I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but feel free to use whatever cut of chicken you’d like! Teriyaki Chicken can be made with chicken thighs, breasts, or drumsticks!
- Chicken thighs are great for grilling for a smokier flavor. Season according to the recipe card, then once they’re fully cooked cut into pieces and finish the whole thing off in a hot pan with the teriyaki sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.
- Chicken drumsticks are usually baked in the oven to achieve a crispy exterior and a juicy interior. Use this recipe to bake your drumsticks. While the chicken is cooking, make your teriyaki sauce and cook in a pan until thickened. Once the chicken is fully cooked baste in teriyaki sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.
What to Serve with Teriyaki Chicken
For an easy weeknight meal, I’d recommend serving teriyaki chicken with steamed veggies and plain white (or brown) rice. It’s easy, quick, and filling. However, if you’ve got the time, here are some other amazing side dishes to pair with this recipe.
- Ramen Stir Fry
- Chow Mein
- Sesame Ginger Salad (Macro Friendly)
- Asian Slaw
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Classic Fried Rice or Cauliflower Fried Rice
More Teriyaki Recipes to Try!
- Turkey Teriyaki Skillet (Macro Friendly)
- Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
- Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
- Teriyaki Meatballs with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Teriyaki Shrimp Soba Noodle Bowl
This fast and easy Teriyaki Chicken recipe is perfect for busy weekday dinners, try it out soon!
The printable recipe card is below 🙂
Homemade Teriyaki Chicken
For the Teriyaki Sauce:
- In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk all ingredients for teriyaki sauce together until smooth. Set aside.
- Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and then add the olive oil. Preheat over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add to hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until completely cooked through.
- Once chicken is cooked, pour over teriyaki sauce liquid and bring to a simmer. As the sauce simmers, it will thicken. Once sauce has thickened, add more sesame seeds as garnish and serve with steamed broccoli and white rice.