Chicken Teriyaki

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Forget takeout - try this healthy chicken teriyaki at home!

Chicken teriyaki is usualy loaded with salt, but this recipe is not!

Chicken teriyaki is a classic favorite, and for good reason. Its sweet and savory blend of flavors is a treat for the tastebuds. Teriyaki sauce is a Japanese sauce that’s made with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar, and is used on fish and poultry. In North America, many different chefs have taken their own spin on traditional teriyaki sauce. Some add a bit of spice, a pinch of fruit juice, or substitute classic ingredients with healthier versions.

We’ve done just that, by substituting white sugar with honey, a natural sweetener that’s healthier than sugar that has been processed and refined. Combining honey with a light soy sauce that is lower in sodium, and mirin, makes for a healthy, low calorie sauce. We’ve chosen chicken thighs for our protein, but chicken breasts work well, too, and both deliver a hearty dose of lean protein that will fill you up and keep you satisfied. When you serve this chicken on a bed of brown rice instead of white rice, you’re adding complex carbohydrates, with their nutrients and fiber, to this dish.

Whip this up on a weeknight for a quick and easy dinner that tastes just as good as takeout, but is a lot healthier and much easier on your wallet. You can pair this with a veggie side such as bok choy, broccoli, or string beans, for a complete, balanced, healthy meal. Drizzle some of your sauce over your veggies, or add them to your bowl!

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Chicken Teriyaki

This Chicken Teriyaki recipe is lower in sodium than the traditional version making it more nutritious and delicious.
Yield 4 people
Serving Size 1 chicken thigh with sauce
Course Dinner
Cuisine Japanese


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry or vermouth mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper more or less to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake (an Asian rice alcohol) or dry sherry or vermouth (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry or vermouth mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar


  • In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, honey, mirin, and pepper.
  • In a large bowl place the chicken thighs then pour the marinade on them. Leave it between 1 hour to overnight. Overnight gives the best and tastiest result. To make the sauce, over low heat, in a small saucepan, boil all the ingredients for the sauce for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Grill the chicken on the barbecue grill or oven. You can also sautè them on a heavy-bottomed saucepan on high flame with little extra virgin olive oil. When the skin becomes dark brown, about a minute, turn to the other side then lower the heat to medium. Be careful not to burn the chicken because the honey makes them burn fast. Cover the pan because the splatters of oil can get very messy.
  • Baste the chicken with the sauce until cooked through. Start with half of the sauce first so if some remains, you can pour it on the chicken when they are cooked. Serve with plain steamed brown rice.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1chicken thigh with sauce | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 208mg | Sodium: 315mg | Sugar: 18g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
Keywords Low-Carb

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Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

Rowena is a recipe developer and food & travel writer/photographer from Italy with Asian roots. Creating healthy dishes in her own kitchen is priority. She believes there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that her family is eating natural & nutritious meals.

More by Rowena


  1. Hi The intro to this recipe says: “…. with a side of roasted broccoli or bok choy ” Questions:
    -How much of either vegetable is recommended?
    -The total of 433 calories Is including the veggies and steam brown rice or either?
    Thank you very much

    1. Jessa, The calorie count does not include veggies, only the chicken and rice. I would recommend 1 cup of either broccoli or bok choy.

  2. Thank you so much. I had it with broccoli, no rice, so nice
    What is your opinion about brown rice vs white basmatic rice?
    thank you.

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