Teriyaki Chicken


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Teriyaki chicken is a quick and hearty dish that wins every time. Quickly stir fry chicken pieces and mix with a sticky sweet teriyaki sauce. Serve it on top of a bed of rice alongside freshly steamed veggies. Best of all? You’ll have a healthy and satisfying meal on your dinner table in just 20 minutes.

Teriyaki chicken on a bed of rice and steamed broccoli.

You know that deliciously sweet and sticky teriyaki chicken you get at a Japanese restaurant? Well, it’s pretty simple to make right at home – so add this to your list of easy dinner ideas.

This is a quick stir-fry recipe that will switch up your typical chicken routine. Instead of using a blend of herbs like in my chicken fajitas or slow cooker chicken, we’re turning towards basic Japanese pantry items. Ingredients like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sake work together to create the most delicious homemade teriyaki sauce. Just pour this over the chicken towards the end, let it simmer, and you’re done.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Forget about the store-bought stuff. It’s full of fillers and colorings. All you need for the most delicious teriyaki sauce is four simple ingredients:

  • Soy Sauce: I’m using Tamari for gluten-free soy sauce. But, you can also use coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
  • Sake: A Japanese alcohol made from fermented rice that can be enjoyed as a drink and give flavor to cooking.
  • Mirin: It’s similar to sake but has a lower alcohol content and more sugar. It also gives our sauce that lovely glaze.
  • Honey: Traditional teriyaki sauce uses granulated sugar, but honey works just as well.

This teriyaki sauce will taste just like your Japanese restaurant favorite! But if you don’t have sake or mirin, check out the substitutions I’ve listed on my teriyaki sauce post. I’ll give you options with pantry staples as well.

Making teriyaki chicken on the stove top.

How To Make Teriyaki Chicken

This recipe is best made with boneless skinless chicken thighs. While you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs are generally more tender, flavorful and juicy.

  1. Prep the sauce. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sake, mirin and honey until everything is well combined. Set this aside.
  2. Prep and cook the chicken. Dice the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Then, heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat. Add in the chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes a golden brown.
  3. Add the sauce. Give the sauce a quick whisk then stir it in with the chicken. Continue cooking and let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve. Serve on top a fresh bed of rice and steamed broccoli. Garnish with optional diced green onions and sesame seeds.
Teriyaki chicken recipe served with rice and broccoli.

What To Serve With Teriyaki Chicken

Since teriyaki chicken is already rich in flavor, rice and freshly steamed veggies make for the perfect pairing. Below are a few easy ideas to whip up while your chicken is cooking in the pan.

To Store

  • If you’ve got leftovers, store the teriyaki chicken and rice in their own containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Separate containers will make sure your rice doesn’t get soggy from the sauce.
  • If you’re looking to freeze for later, place the chicken into a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat the next day.
A piece of teriyaki chicken picked up with chopsticks.

More Easy Dinner Ideas

On a time crunch? Here’s a few tasty and easy dinner recipes to keep up your sleeves come dinner hour.

Teriyaki chicken in a bowl with rice and broccoli.

Most Delicious Teriyaki Chicken

4.91 from 60 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Teriyaki chicken is bursting with flavor and super easy. This Japanese restaurant favorite can be made in 20 minutes! Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!



Chicken Stir Fry

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Teriyaki Sauce



  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and honey until everything is well combined. Set this aside.
    Making the teriyaki sauce in a bowl.
  • Dice the chicken into 1-inch pieces.
    Dicing chicken breast into 1-inch pieces.
  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and let it cook for 1-2 minutes on one side, until nice and golden. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
    Searing the diced chicken breasts in a pan.
  • Stir fry the chicken, flip it over, and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes. You don't want it cooked through at this stage, just seared on the outside.
    Cooking the other side of the diced chicken in a pan.
  • Give the sauce a quick whisk and add it to the pan along with the minced ginger and garlic. Stir the sauce with the chicken and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
    Teriyaki chicken in a pan with teriyaki sauce.
  • Serve on top of a fresh bed of rice and a side of steamed broccoli. Garnish with diced green onions and sesame seeds.
    Finished teriyaki chicken in a bowl with rice and broccoli.

Lisa’s Tips

  • Remember that if you don’t have sake or mirin, you can still make this delicious recipe. Check out my teriyaki sauce post for substitutions.


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1345mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chicken Teriyaki, How To Make Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi there – the broccoli isn’t exactly a part of this teriyaki chicken recipe. It’s more so an optional side dish.

  1. Hi Lisa – my sauce never reduced and was very watery (though still tasty). Any idea what could have gone wrong? I used light honey instead with 3 tablespoons, otherwise I did everything as instructed.

    1. Hi Brent – unfortunately, it’s hard to say. You could always add a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder (in a slurry) to thicken it up as well next time. Enjoy!

    2. Brent, I initially had the same problem, it was a little watery but I kept cooking it (probably another 3-4 minutes) and it eventually reduced and was a thick delicious sticky sauce.

  2. Love this delicious, healthy and easy recipe! I tend cooking mostly plant based recipes but felt like a tasty chicken dish and this was perfect! I had to adjust the teriyaki sauce a little as I missed some ingredients and yet it came out perfect! Great for a satisfying and healthy meal and so quick and easy to make! 5 stars

  3. My husband and I made this for dinner tonight and it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for the delicious recipe :)5 stars

  4. Hi Lisa, just wanted to let you know that in the ingredient list it says chicken thighs? I am guessing thighs or chicken breast will both be ok?

    1. Yes, you can use either or. I just normally use chicken thighs since it’s more tender :)

    2. I was so excited to try this recipe after reading all the comments. The ingredients were all easy accessible, but I had a hard time finding pure sake. So I used a mirin that had sweetened sake in it. The chicken turned out super delicious. Very tender, juicy and flavorful. My glaze was more of a liquid. Didn’t look like a glaze. Maybe that’s because I didn’t use pure sake. Was a bit disappointed about the glaze but overall this chicken was superb. Thank you for sharing the recipe!5 stars

    1. Any sake will work. But you could use also use more mirin and reduce the honey. Alternatively, you could also substitute dry sherry or white wine.

  5. You mention rice vinegar in the 3rd paragraph but it isn’t in the recipe. I’m assuming it isn’t needed?

    1. Rice vinegar specifically isn’t needed, I just mentioned it in that sense as Mirin is similar to rice vinegar :)

  6. This is such a tasty recipe. It’s one of my go-tos I make at least every other week. And it’s SO EASY. I have a question – is the calorie count including the rice and broccoli?5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you’re loving this teriyaki chicken Mia! The nutritional information doesn’t include the rice or broccoli.

  7. SODIUM: 1345mg PER SERVING. Wow. That’s more than 3x the sodium I’m allowed per meal. What would you suggest to get the sodium down to less than 450mg per serving?

  8. Tried it today ( with rice and broccoli too) and it was delicious! Put it on the list of dinners to have with company. You can prep ahead and the cooking doesn’t take long at all. Definitely one of my favorites. Raves from the family too.5 stars

    1. just a follow up on DOWNSHIFTOLOGY May 17, 2021 @ 8:15pm. The recipe is for boneless chicken thighs not chicken breast. I think it was perfect the way the recipe called for with the thighs.5 stars

  9. Thank you Lisa. I don’t eat thigh meat, but sure i could use chicken breast, right? maybe just adjust cooking time.

  10. This is good and pretty quick. It did take longer to reduce for me about 10 but I made maybe one recipe and a quarter.
    The ingredient list calls for chicken thigh but directions say chicken breast. I actually made both, order the breast cooks faster and browns better.4 stars

    1. Hi Ruth – I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! And thanks for the catch on the recipe directions, I’ve now fixed that. :)