Baked Honey Sesame Chicken

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Honey Sesame Chicken is sweet, savory, and perfect for any night of the week. This is so good, it is even better than take out!

Serve this restaurant worthy meal on a bed of rice and with sides such as Wontons, Egg Rolls or Fried Rice for the complete take out from home.

Honey baked chicken in a bed of rice.

Homemade Honey Sesame Chicken

There are recipes that I make that I hope that everyone tries. This is one of those recipes. It all began with my sweet and sour chicken that changed my life. It is actually possible to make the same quality Chinese food as P.F. Chang’s at home. Then came a spicy version of this delicious chicken, my firecracker chicken. I had died and gone to Chinese food heaven with these recipes. I didn’t think that it could get any better than this. Since I love Chinese food so much my life was complete. But then I created honey sesame chicken. Let me tell you this. This is the best of them all!

It first starts with the breading. The cornstarch and egg combo makes it taste straight from a restaurant. Then there is something about baking this chicken that makes the sauce thicken, the chicken brown and absolutely blow your mind. Seriously I could hardly believe how amazing this was while I was eating it. The sauce has a sweet honey flavor to it and is absolute honey sesame perfection. If you love Chinese and make one thing from my blog, make this!

Sesame Chicken Ingredients

These simple ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry right now. I love that this comes together so easily. You are going to love the luscious sauce.

  • Chicken Breasts: About 4 chicken breasts
  • Cornstarch: Needed for the breading
  • Eggs: The binder
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Canola: Just enough to fry in

Honey Sesame Sauce

  • Honey: The queen of the sauce
  • Soy Sauce: Adds a bit of salty and flavor to the sweet
  • Ketchup: Adds a good balance to the sweet
  • Brown Sugar: Helps bring out the sweetness of the honey
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: The zing to the sweet, you’ll want the tang to balance it
  • Sesame Oil: Adds perfect sesame flavor
  • Garlic: A necessity in asian food
  • Cornstarch: This is the thickener for the sauce

How to Make Easy Honey Sesame Chicken

This could not be any easier. Remember you are just flash frying the chicken, it will finish cooking in the oven.

  1. Cut: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper
  2. Bowls: In one bowl place the cornstarch. In the other bowl place the eggs and beat them slightly. Dip the chicken into the cornstarch first, then into the egg mixture.
  3. Flash Fry: In a skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Cook the chicken till just golden brown on all sides. Place in a greased 9×13 pan.
  4. Mix: In a medium bowl mix all of the sauce ingredients till thoroughly combined. Pour over the chicken.
  5. Bake: Bake the chicken for 45 min stirring every 15 min to evenly coat the chicken.
Cut up chicken, breading it and dipping it in egg mixture.

Trust Me on these Pro Tips!

This is the same method as my Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken so it shares my same tips.

  1. Method to the Madness: Make sure you first coat your chicken in the cornstarch and then the egg. This method makes the perfect breading for the chicken. You can also use a large gallon ziplock bag to coat the chicken in the cornstarch.
  2. Fast: Do not cook the chicken all the way through before baking.  You just want to get the chicken lightly brown on the outside, and then it bakes to perfection.
  3. Low and Slow: Baking the chicken at a low temperature will not over cook the chicken. This helps to cook the chicken all the way through and thicken up the sauce.
Flash frying chicken in a pan then pour sauce over it in a 9x13 pan.

Tips for the Best Honey Sesame Chicken

Besides taking time to cook in the oven this baked honey chicken comes together really quickly. Cut your chicken when it is still partially frozen to make it easier to cut. But wait to bread and cook them till thawed.

  • Chicken: You can use chicken thighs if you like. Just make sure your pieces of chicken are cut evenly so they cook at the same rate.
  • Vinegar: If you don’t have rice wine vinegar you can easily substitute apple cider vinegar without ruining the taste.
  • Vegetables: You can add in broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini or other vegetables to round out the meal a bit more.
  • Serve: This is definitely delicious on its own but we love to serve it over rice. You can also try quinoa, brown rice or ramen noodles.
  • Side Dishes: Serve this luscious dish alongside Air Fryer Egg Rolls, Grilled Pineapple, and Vegetable Stir Fry.
  • Sauce: If you want more sauce, make a double batch of the sauce. Pour half over the chicken to bake and heat the other half in a small saucepan over medium heat till thickened. Pour the extra sauce over the chicken once done, or over individual portions. This will help it not get soggy while it cooks, but gives you extra sauce.

Storing Leftovers

Leftovers are some of the best. The sauce really melds into the chicken. The breaded chicken will lose a bit of its crispy tender outside, but the taste is still amazing.

  • Fridge: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: This can be frozen too. Just place in a freezer safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: Sweet and Sour Chicken is best reheated on the stove. Reheating it in the microwave can make the chicken rubbery and overcooked. Place leftovers in pan on the stove top and heat on medium heat, stirring often, till heated through.
Baked honey sesame chicken in a white dish.

More Asian Inspiration for Dinner

Asian food is a staple around here at our house. We love to make our favorites at home, instead of getting take out. It always tastes ten times better and when making it at home you can customize it to your tastes. Cooking these take out favorites is actually easier than you think too. I have plenty of tried and true favorites here on the blog, but these favorites are a good place to start.

Baked Honey Sesame Chicken

4.8 from 5 votes
The sauce has a sweet honey flavor to it and is absolute honey sesame perfection. If you love chinese and make one thing from my blog, make this!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • additional sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture then back into the cornstarch. I have also found that you can put the chicken pieces in a gallon size bag and shake to coat.
  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, and 1 T cornstarch. Pour over chicken and bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

Video

Notes

Updated on April 2, 2021
Originally Posted on September 16, 2013

Nutrition

Serves: 6

Calories622kcal (31%)Carbohydrates81g (27%)Protein38g (76%)Fat16g (25%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Cholesterol178mg (59%)Sodium2017mg (84%)Potassium759mg (22%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar58g (64%)Vitamin A267IU (5%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium47mg (5%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked honey sesame chicken, chicken recipes, honey sesame chicken, sesame chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

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Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. I don’t know what happened, but my chicken sauce came out WAY too “soy-sauce-y” and salty and it looked nothing like the picture (it was much darker brown). What could I have done wrong? I followed the recipe exactly 🙁

  2. Hi,
    I cooked this recipe last night, but it came out very dark in colour with a strong soy sauce flavour, thought I must have read the recipe wrong but the honey and the soy sauce are the same quantities. Love honey chicken and yours look amazing, have you got any idea of what I am doing wrong please..
    Thanks..

  3. I made this tonight. It came out wonderful. I had to use regular sugar, but it was still great. Thanks!

  4. Hi. I would like to know whether the degrees refers to Fahrenheit or Celsius? As 325 degrees Celsius sound to hot?

  5. The chicken was nice and tender. I was concerned about frying plus 45 min in the oven, but that all worked well. The reversed from normal process for breading the chicken is not a mistake as people keep questioning. Trust this. In fact it is a lot less messy than the other way around. Not sure how people are ending up with egg falling off/scrambled eggs? I followed the recipe exactly, however I was disappointed in the flavor. The ketchup/vinegar taste combined with overwhelming sweetness was not pleasant for me nor reminiscent of any sesame chicken I’ve ever had.

  6. Made this last night and it was a hit! It tasted just as great warmed up for lunch today too. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I can’t believe my partner ate seconds. He is beyond fussy and gave it 2 thumbs up. I used low sodium soy and it was perfect. Thank you so much for a winner. Can’t wait to try another.

  8. you can make a batter without eggs
    flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, pepper, and sugar and water
    and you can fry then without baking if the chicken pieces are not to thick and large

  9. Thank you so much for an awesome recipe! I live on an American Military base overseas and Chinese food is hard to come by. This is just what the doctor ordered! I will be making this again and again…well, until my jeans feel too tight! 😉

  10. I just made this tonight as I was craving something Chinese and really get freaked out by the “chicken” they often use at our local restaurants. It is really good!
    I did find that it is too salty. I think next time I will use a low-sodium soy sauce. Also, I would like to spice it up just a little bit. What do you think would be the best way to do that who this recipe? Add some sezchuan, or just some red pepper flakes?

    1. Yes try low sodium soy sauce next time…. you definitely need to try the firecracker chicken! That one has a little kick and it is awesome!

  11. I made this last night for dinner and found that it was a bit on the salty side.My wife and 3 year old son loved it. It’s weird how many people had trouble with the breading, once browned, it shouldn’t fall off. I would definitely use less soy sauce.Use a low-sodium soy sauce, maybe add some tomato sauce instead of ketchup.

  12. Made this last night and it was delicous! Thank you so much, the recipe is amazing. I left out the sesame seed oil as I did not have any, and it was still amazing. Might leave out just a bit of honey next time though. Plan on trying your firecracker chicken next!

    Thank you so much!

  13. Well – not quite sure what to say about this. Looked good but the first bite was a bit of a surprise … thought it would be sweet. It really wasn’t. Like Cyndi said – it was kind of strong. I am not sure if its the 3/4 c. of soy sauce or the vinegar. Surely, I shouldn’t have to add more sugar but actually, I did. Just found it surprisingly not sweet. It was much better after I added several heaping tablespoons of brown sugar. I think I’d make it again … just maybe use less soy sauce and perhaps vinegar. Some people enjoyed it but only after I added the extra sugar. The chicken part was great – but maybe I’d make the changes to the sauce or just use a different sauce.

    1. We made this for the first time tonight. Way too much vinegar it overpowered everything! I would use 1/4 at the most, maybe even 1/8… rice vinegar is even stronger than rice wine vinegar in the vinegar taste… we used the rice wine vinegar as per recipe…love the batter the cornstarch and egg made for the chicken! We added another cup of honey and 1 1/2 cup of brown sugar after baking to try to cut vinegar, and still could not taste the other flavors but the vinegar and sugar….perhaps the ketchup acid contributed to it as well… will try it again with the the much less vinegar…

  14. I was wondering if you knew what the measurements were in grams not cups, I tried converting it online but it seems really complicated?

  15. I made this today and omg its so good. Sweet but delicious. I would reduce the brown sugar and/or honey next time. I also did it in a hotter oven for shorter time. The sauce thickened nicely. I cooked it in a high fan forced oven at 200C, which converts to 392F , for 15 mins, then added another 5. So a total of20 mins. Chicken was still soft and not dry

  16. I’m giving this one 5 out of 5! This recipe is so amazing! I really don’t like eating take out because I’m sensative to colours and preservatives, but my partner loves it. This honey sesame chicken totally saved the day. Now we can both enjoy a bit of ‘take in’ with all the ‘take out’ feel without having to worry about hidden additives. Thanks for the perfect recipe, it is one of the few online recipes I haven’t had to change at all (which is super impressive). I’ve made this twice now and it works great! I’m adding this to my list of new favs!

  17. I was looking for new ways to prepare chicken to help me lose weight. I wrap the chicken in a tortilla, filled with all kinds of veggies, cooked fruits, and spices. This with exercise works wonders. Thanks

  18. Made this tonight. I will admit that I am not the most exact at measuring, so I don’t know if my attempt should really count. Bit of a pain the butt to fry up all those little pieces of chicken; however, my main difficulty was with the sauce. It tasted kind of excessively vinegar-y and ketcup-y. Again, this may be my hurried measurements at fault, and reluctance to use that much sugar (yikes!). All in all it came out pretty good, but not spectacular. If you make this, don’t be scared of the sugar.

  19. Still waiting to see how it turns out but the first part seemed to just be like I was cooking eggs with chicken in it. My place smells like eggs right now. hoping this works because my son loves chicken from a Chinese place but when I make it at home not so much.

  20. Hello!

    I tried this recipe last night, and the final product was so tasty! I just have a question about the chicken breading. I followed the recipe, yet the breading fell off the chicken during the baking process. Do you know any possible reasons why? I’m think I might have dipped the chicken into the egg mixture too much.

    Please let me know!
    Alana

  21. This looks amazing…trying it tonight!

    On a side note: Alyssa, do you get exasperated by some of the questions people ask on here? I understand the need for some clarification but it’s ridiculous that people can’t infer simple things! lol It’s almost as if they’ve never cooked a single thing in their lives. That might be the reason, but I just think it’s sad that someone can’t come to their own conclusion that sesame seeds were added as a garnish after the fact regardless if it wasn’t added in the directions. 😛

    1. Oh trust me! You don’t know the half of it! I am currently hiring for a comment answerer if you are interested. 😉 😉

  22. You think I can make it in the evening and take it out for lunch the next day??

    Actually for all of the dishes (Firecracker Chicken, Baked Orange Chicken, Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Peppers and Pineapple etc) for that matter!

    Or maybe brown the chicken in the evening and bake it with the sauce the next morning to save time??

  23. Thanks for the recipe! I made this tonight and it was a HIT! I did change a couple of things: Substituted red wine vinegar for 1/4 rice vinegar + 1/4 apple cider vinegar. Plus I think I missed the fact that I was supposed to coat with corn starch THEN egg! LOL I dipped in egg then corn starch! plus I noticed I needed more cornstarch probably used 1 1/2. and corn oil was too little..so I just poured more, fried them, removed and baked in oven..and only baked for 15 minutes..IT WAS DELISH!!! I also made the Easy fried rice! Another success! Giving this 5 stars!

  24. So glad I found you!! Your recipes are my families favorite. I had to google you. I don’t know if you know this, but you’ve been blocked on Pinterest!!! Not sure why?

  25. I made this last night and it didn’t taste right I used just under 1/2 a cup of rice wine vinegar and I put in extra hone and brown sugar and all it tasted like was vinegar. So not really sure what went wrong?

  26. I made this last night and it was an enormous hit. My 98 year old mother-in-law loved it too and she’s super picky.

  27. Just made this for dinner…all of my guests asked for the recipe to take home! I did cook it an extra 10 minso the sauce would be a bit thicker. amazing!

  28. I made this last night and it was AWESOME!! I was going to get takeout because I was craving Chinese food but the place close to me has gone down. The food last time was disgusting. I do have a PF Changs pretty close but this was better! I followed it exactly. Well I messed up at the very beginning and forgot to salt/pepper the chicken. I just did it after I got the breading on. Worked just fine. It took me a bit longer than I thought to make but next time (and there will be many more times for sure!) it will be more simple for me. First time can be a challenge but this could and will be a quick and easy one for me. The one thing that I hated was putting my hands in the cornstarch. I cringed. I guess I don’t really ever cook with it and it was like scratching a chalkboard to me. I’ll just wear gloves lol. It all turned into a gloppy looking mess but I think that made it work out so well for me. Meaning, I wasn’t trying to keep the cornstarch out of the eggs when I was coating the chicken. I was worried at first because my sauce was thin when I poured it over the chicken. I was expecting it to be thicker. No problem there either. It thickened so nicely while in the oven. I tossed in the sesame seeds when it was done and added in some of the chopped green onions. Looked just like the restaurant! Better than takeout and the best part it tasted amazing. I just had leftovers and I still can’t believe I made this! I made your fried rice recipe with it. I thought it was good but I for one never cook rice and I think I overcooked it. I also had to add WAY more soy sauce. I think it’s because I messed up the rice. I’ll post over on that one and maybe I can get some tips lol. Thanks so much for sharing these! I already shared with my sister and plan to spread the good word!! 🙂

  29. This was lovely! Was a little too sweet, so may reduce sugar next time. All the family really enjoyed this dish. Thanks for a great recipe.!

  30. Am I able to get this recipe please It sounds so good but there is no “print” option and I am no techno! Thanks
    Barbara

  31. Made this tonight. I didn’t realize I had run out of brown sugar, so had to substitute for white. My little picky family of 4 LOVED it! I on the other hand found it to be too sweet, for my taste. It was good. I’m just not much of a sweet food eater. Will definitely make again for my loves.

  32. I do love stuff like this and your recipe seems really simple and easy so will give it a go next time I am in the mood for something a little Asian in flavour 😀

  33. This chicken is soooooo good! I use about half the sauce and save the rest for the next week. My picky husband and his family told me I have to make it at the next family party

  34. loved it! Picky husband is in love with it. Although I use half the sauce and save the rest for the next week. My MIL told me I have to cook it at the next family party.

  35. Hi Alyssa;
    You are quite loved here. I had a question and I went through the comments and nobody mentioned it. My concern is the CORNSTARCH. Cornstarch is nothing but carbs. I have been on a low carb-high protein diet since 2007. I usually use a tsp. or a tbsp. of cornstarch if needed never a whole cup. I looked up substitutions, but they were all just as bad, such as flour.
    How come you use so much cornstarch in your recipes? Obviously you don’t have a weight problem.
    What would you recommend for substitutions?
    Thanks so much.
    Bev
    If possible could you send the answer to my e-mail?

  36. Could the sesame chicken be baked in roasters after frying it to serve large quantities for about 80 people?

  37. I have made this a number of times. Forget take out, you will never order in after eating this.

    It is awesome.

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