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. We LOVE this chicken ! It has become a staple for us, the thing I whip up when I’m craving Orange Chicken from my favorite Chinese restaurant! Thank you!

    1. That is so awesome to hear! Going out for Chinese is awesome but there is just something about making it at home and eating with the family! I am so glad it is working for you!! Thanks so much for sharing! XOXO

  2. Just polished this chicken dish off.. .delicious (if I do say so myself!!) Our 2 boys devoured it like I haven’t seen before (my husband thought it a tad sweet but still enjoyed it) I loved it being in the oven so you can do some rice and clear up before sitting at tabke! thank you it really was yummy

  3. Notoriously picky fiance and son are ALWAYS happy when I break this recipe out. Paired with simple jasmine rice they can’t get enough! Thanks so much!

  4. Think Szechuan pepper flakes would pair well with this to make this a bit spicy. Any nutritional info on this. Know it sounds silly but on a diet and trying to have things I love, tho maybe less of it…

    1. Tried this and immediately had flashbacks to my time staying at a host family in the States. I liked it but it’s a bit too ketchup-y and sweet for European tastes, especially when you’re used to genuine Chinese food. You can’t really taste the honey anymore either. Next time I try this I will probably leave out the ketchup altogether.

    1. The best substitute is apple cider vinegar with a mild and slight apple flavor. It may change the flavor and such but it will be good and keep the asian flavor that you are looking for in the meal.

  5. Hi. Thank you This is now a family favourite for the last couple of years. Do you think I could freeze the chicken before it goes in the oven as I would like to save time whilst cooking a Chinese banquet, or would this spoil the batter?

    Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      I enjoy having “new recipe night” and this was my choice while staying at my daughters house. Served it with garlic jasmine rice and stir fry veggies. I added a bit of fresh ginger to the sauce. My son in law went back for seconds and my daughter took the rest for lunch the next day. This recipe definitely a hit

  6. About how long does the chicken need to be cooked in the canola oil? I know until browned, but could you or someone give me an approximate time it takes? I am not the most experienced cook!

      1. Hi I’m just trying this recipe tonight want something a lil different an any suggestions too go with it would be nic, Thank u

  7. 5 stars
    I have been cooking for many, many years…..my husband said this was the best chicken dish I have ever made! I actually used chicken thighs instead. He said the meat was so tender. Thank you for sharing!

  8. 5 stars
    Brand new to your site Alyssa and love it and what you do!!! Mom of 5 one child with autism you have done awesome to help us!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this with thighs instead of breasts. Turned out great and the family says it is a keeper recipe.

  10. Delicious! Easy and quick to put together. It was a bit on the sweet side. Next time I make it, I think I will cut the brown sugar in half. Maybe add some pineapple?

  11. Can I substitute Olive or Vegetable oil for the Canola oil? Just wondering since those are the two I usually stock.

  12. 4 stars
    This recipe is great and tastes amazing!
    My only complaint is that I used 4 thick, fresh breasts when I think the author used the thinner, frozen ones so I essentially used 8 breasts. Because I had to quadruple everything which used all of my cornstarch and most of the honey. I’m excited to have freezer meals prepared but I wasn’t expecting to use so much.

    So keep that in mind when you make this recipe

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