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Quick & Easy Teriyaki Chicken

Once you try this easy teriyaki chicken recipe, you will love having it in your back pocket any time you need a quick and easy family meal. It has become a go-to dinner at our house. Best part? It tastes great, and everyone loves it. I think you will, too!

Teriyaki chicken can be prepared in almost no time and pairs well with a variety of (also-easy) sides. Not only is it great for a weeknight dinner in a dash but a crowd-pleaser at outdoor gatherings from picnics to barbeques to potlucks. You can prepare it ahead of time and let the flavors develop for an even tastier dish.

quick and easy teriyaki chicken dinner

It may not be the first dish that comes to mind for a holiday meal, and yet it can add a touch of variety to your seasonal spread. For a different presentation, serve the sweet and savory chicken pieces on skewers.

What to serve with teriyaki chicken

I like to serve it with rice and oven roasted broccoli or green beans. If you have a little more prep time, cut and stir-fry fresh vegetables and throw together a fresh green salad with ginger dressing.

And of course, you can’t go wrong with serving teriyaki chicken over a bed of steamed white or brown rice. (Or you may opt for quinoa to add plant-based protein.) For more Japanese flair, you can pair this dish with a cup of chilled sake or plum wine.

Have leftovers? This chicken makes an excellent addition to other recipes. You can use it in salads, wraps, or chopped finely in fried rice.

in process of making teriyaki chicken

Ingredients needed to make quick and easy teriyaki chicken

  • Chicken: For the star ingredient, choose your preferred cut of chicken thighs or boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a juicy and tender base.
  • Soy sauce: A staple in Asian cuisine, soy sauce adds depth and a savory flavor to the homemade teriyaki sauce.
  • Water: Thins out the sauce and ensures the chicken cooks evenly.
  • Brown Sugar: Balances the savory soy sauce with a touch of sweetness.
  • Rice Vinegar: Adds a subtle tanginess to the sauce.
  • Sesame Oil: Imparts a nutty, rich taste that complements the other flavors.
  • Fresh Ginger: If you don’t have fresh, 1/4 tsp ground ginger for 1 tsp fresh minced ginger. It adds a warm, spicy undertone and enhances the dish’s aroma.
  • Garlic: Adds the sauce’s savory flavor.
  • Honey: Brings sweetness and a pretty, glossy glaze.
  • Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce so it will coat the chicken pieces evenly.
  • Sesame seeds (optional): Used as a topping, these bring a nutty flavor, crunchy texture and pretty presentation.
  • Green onions (optional): Garnish with chopped green onions for a mild onion flavor and a pop of color in your presentation.
  • Red pepper flakes (optional): Add a sprinkle of these only if you want to turn up the heat!
teriyaki chicken ingredients

Kitchen Equipment Needed

  1. Cutting board
  2. Sharp knife
  3. Skillet
  4. Mixing bowl
  5. Whisk
  6. Wooden (or other heat-safe) spoon
  7. Spatula

Frequently asked questions about teriyaki chicken

Here are the most common questions I get about this easy teriyaki chicken recipe, plus answers. If you have a question I’ve not covered, leave it in the comments. I will be happy to reply as soon as I can!

Can I just use teriyaki marinade as sauce?

While you can use a store-bought teriyaki marinade as a sauce, this homemade sauce mixture in this recipe is specifically created for cooking. It’s therefore thicker and more concentrated in flavor! It takes a tiny bit more time but so worth it to gather the teriyaki sauce ingredients than to use a premade marinade.

What to do if teriyaki sauce is too watery?

If your teriyaki sauce is too watery, whisk in a pinch of cornstarch as you heat it gently on the stovetop. Keep adding little amounts until it reaches the consistency you want.

What is a substitute for teriyaki sauce?

The magic of this recipe really is in the homemade sauce and it’s handful of fresh, simple ingredients. However, if you’re missing several ingredients you can do a far less superior version by combining ¼ cup soy sauce and ¼ cup sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves for a salty and sweet flavor similar to teriyaki sauce. Simmer until the sugar dissolves, then let cool. This mixture will provide a salty and sweet flavor similar to teriyaki sauce.

The same approach works with brown sugar or honey mixed with soy sauce, only use 2 tbsp of brown sugar or honey to 1/4 cup soy sauce.

delicious pieces of teriyaki chicken dinner

More Grandma-Approved Recipes to Try

If you enjoyed this recipe for easy teriyaki chicken, then take a look at some of these other yummy recipes:

quick and easy teriyaki chicken

Quick & Easy Teriyaki Chicken

Once you try this easy teriyaki chicken recipe, you will love having it in your back pocket any time you need a quick and easy family meal. It has become a go-to dinner at our house. Best part? It tastes great, and everyone loves it. I think you will, too!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: chicken dinner
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Laura

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp knife
  • Skillet
  • Mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • Wooden (or other heat-safe) spoon
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 small chicken breasts or thighs cubed
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil optional
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh ginger minced (substitute ¼ teaspoon ground ginger if you don’t have fresh)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Sesame seeds optional topping
  • Green onions chopped, optional topping

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken in 1-inch pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high. Add the cubed chicken to the pan and cook thoroughly until there is no more pink.
    cooked chicken with homemade teriyaki sauce
  • While the chicken is cooking prepare your teriyaki sauce. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, sugar, vinegar, oil, ginger, garlic and honey. Next, whisk in the cornstarch.
    in process of making teriyaki chicken
  • Once chicken is finished cooking, pour the sauce over the chicken and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
    delicious pieces of teriyaki chicken dinner
  • Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds and freshly sliced green onions.
    teriyaki chicken on rice and a white place with a black background.

Notes

  • I like to serve this with roasted green beans or broccoli, in addition to rice.

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