This tasty sesame honey chicken will leave you feeling full and guilt free!
Asian food, at its core, is generally pretty healthy. Their traditional diets are testament to the benefits of including lots of fermented foods, roots, green leaves, nuts, and seeds in cooking. American-Chinese take-out, on the other hand, is a quick and easy way to get a meal on the table that is loaded with sodium, fat, and often preservatives. The much loved Sesame Honey Chicken from your local takeout is no exception. While chicken dishes might seem as if they would be healthier than beef options, don’t count on it. Our version of this sweet and nutty favorite takes all the regret out of an otherwise pretty nutritionally sound recipe.
Why is This Sesame Honey Chicken Recipe So Good?
This sesame honey chicken recipe doesn’t aim to replicate the crispy takeout version but its more subtle, savory, nutty, honeyed flavor comes out just superbly. Did we mention this recipe only has four ingredients? Because of the chicken broth, you don’t even need to add salt particularly. Plus, this is a one-pan meal so it keeps the mess down and the cook-time quick.
Sesame seeds give this Honey Sesame Chicken this crunch which is not only stunning on your plate but full of a ton of great texture as well. It turns out sesame seeds, tiny edible seeds native to only India and Africa, are a rich source of natural oils, lignans, antioxidants, protein, dietary fiber, and amino acids. The potent nutritional benefits of sesame seeds include their ability to prevent cancer, improve heart health, lower blood pressure, build strong bones, improve male fertility, and prevent diabetes. They also are used to help cure sleep disorders, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, boost respiratory health, aid in dental care and eliminate depression and chronic stress.
What if I Want to Thicken my Sauce?
If you like the sauce more on the thick side, you can thicken your sesame honey chicken with cornstarch. Start with 1 teaspoon at a time so you don’t over-thicken the sauce. In a small bowl, add about 1-2 tsp of cornstarch and then add equal amounts of cold water and mix. Pour slowly into your skillet and watch your sauce thicken up.
And to Serve?
Given that this is only going to take 25 minutes out of your nigh, it’s ideal for low-mood or low-energy nights when you’re not feeling delighted at the prospect of cooking and cleaning. If you want to get extra fancy, serve this with “rice”: our healthy Cauliflower Fried Rice. I also like to serve mine with some steamed broccoli and sugar snap peas to just boost the health factor. Equally, go down the traditional Chinese route by serving with a bowl of high quality steamed white rice and whatever vegetable side dishes your heart desires: bok choi, fried mushroom, Chinese-style eggplant. Get out the chopsticks and enjoy this feast family-style?
Need help navigating the Chinese takeout menu? We’ve written down some great tips on how to make those choices just a little bit cleaner.
Our sesame honey chicken recipe helps you satisfy your craving for Chinese take-out without all the detrimental ingredients. All of our chicken recipes are healthy and this one is no exception. The next time you have a hankering to pick up the phone for Chinese delivery, give this recipe a try instead. Don’t let the fat content scare you. About 98% of the fat in this recipe comes from the sesame seeds which contain very healthy fats. Learn more about healthy fats here.
Quick & Easy Sesame Honey Chicken Recipe
- 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup chicken broth low sodium, no sugar added
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds roasted
- 1/4 cup honey
- Cut up the chicken into bite-sized cubes (about 1 x 1).
- In a large skillet add chicken and broth, turn to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduced heat to medium and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through.
- Pour in the honey and sesame seeds and stir well. Cook until all liquids have cooked out and the chicken is a light golden brown.
Have you made this recipe?
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What "skinny" or healthy side dishes do you recommend with this? 🙂
Can you use a wok or regular frying pan for all these skillet recipes? Or does it have to be an electric skillet?
At what heat should the chicken be cooked??
Medium-Low is the best temp.
So incredibly easy to make that I was scared it would taste bad. Even my kid who eats nothing but buttered pasta liked it!!
YEAH!! If kids like it…we're happy! 🙂
had read previous comments, so didn't allow all to cook off. still not worth the time or minimal effort. a waste of very good local honey. bland, dry, blah. two thumbs down.
I thought it was delicious! I had no trouble getting the liquid to cook out. In fact I added a little more broth. I am definitely making it again. I might add a little ginger and a dash of rice vinegar this time.
Wendy, Thanks! Great idea.
If you like Pei Wei's Honey Seared Chicken then this recipe is for you! Family ate it up complete with rice and broccoli..what a great healthy meal prepared at home! Fantastic!
what do you need to do for roasting the sesame seeds??
Jenny, Add them to a small skillet and cook on med-low heat for a few minutes…be careful not to burn.
How many ounces would you say 5 chicken breasts is?
Wendy, About 5-6 ounces each.
I used boneless, skinless thighs instead of breasts and I added 1 clove of garlic and 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced ginger and 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil ( I can't eat sesame seeds) with the cubed chicken. Everything else worked out fine and 3/4 cup broth was perfect. We really enjoyed it!
I agree. Mine ended up being really tough! Next time will try a very small amount of broth (or none at all).
The recipe was for 1/4 cup of broth, not 3/4 cup …. that's probably the issue … I ended up adding garlic and onions etc., and was yummy 🙂
I added garlic and onions, sauteed them in a little chicken broth first, then added the chicken and broth etc … it did taste good, however I felt my chicken was a little overdone, and was really quite dry when all was finished …. however, it tasted really good, with some spinach salad, was awesome
Thanks for the feedback! 🙂
It said to use a large skillet, I'm wondering if the problem people are having with cooking off the broth is because they're using a smaller skillet ?
Made this last night and it was a big hit with my kids.
Great! Thanks so much for the feedback.
I’m so excited for these easy, quick fixing, high protein recipes! Thanks