This Honey Sesame Chicken recipe tastes just like your favorite Chinese carryout, but much more affordable! Crispy chicken pieces in a sticky honey sesame sauce.

I don’t know about you, but we’re ordering carryout a lot less this year! Things have gotten super expensive in our area, even Chinese food, which has traditionally been pretty affordable. Making your own Chinese takeout at home is easier than you think when you have easy recipes like this! I love this easy chicken recipe because it almost entirely uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. And it’s so delish that the whole family will ask for it over and over again! 

a close up photo of honey chicken topped with sesame seeds and green onions

It’s important that delicious honey sesame chicken is made with crispy fried chicken, so I do recommend deep frying your chicken pieces as I detail in the recipe card below.

a close up photo of crispy honey sesame chicken

You can also try air frying them, but if you do, make sure to spray the battered pieces of chicken with oil to help them crisp up! Also, if you are deep frying, you can always add a second fry to make the juicy chicken even crispier! 

a photo of honey sesame chicken in a skillet

I think of the savory honey sesame sauce in this recipe as a more complex version of the sauce you normally find on sweet and sour chicken! It’s a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and a bit savory.  It’s a nice, sticky sauce, which is what we want! 

a photo of pieces of chinese honey sesame chicken on a spoon

To keep it simple, I did not add vegetables to this honey sesame chicken recipe. But you could absolutely toss in some broccoli, carrots or snow peas to make this Chinese sesame chicken a complete meal! 

Recipe Substitutions and Additions

  • You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. 
  • If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, you can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Substitute maple syrup for the honey.
  • Toasted sesame oil an important part of the flavor of this recipe! But, if you don’t have sesame oil, use any neutral tasting oil in it’s place.

Add extra heat to the sauce with a heaping spoonful of this Garlic Chili Oil recipe.

a horizontal photo of honey seame chicken in a skillet

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve this crispy sesame chicken with white rice or brown rice and some simple sauteed bell peppers or green beans. It’s also delicious with these garlic chili oil noodles!

If you love this recipe, I think you’ll also enjoy: Sesame Sautéed Asparagus | Easy Hibachi Steak and Shrimp | Kung Pao Beef

a photo of honey sesame chicken in a skillet

Storing Leftover Honey Sesame Chicken

I doubt that you’ll have any of this easy sesame chicken recipe left!

But, if you do, store your leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like to reheat it gently in the oven on a sheet pan, which helps the chicken crisp back up just a bit. You can also reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes. 

a close up photo of crispy honey sesame chicken

Honey Sesame Chicken

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Honey Sesame Chicken recipe tastes just like your favorite Chinese carryout, but much more affordable! Crispy chicken pieces in a sticky honey sesame sauce.


  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken breast tenderloins
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the batter:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cornstarch

Sauce ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup lite soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

For topping (optional):

  • sesame seeds
  • green onions, diced


  1. Prepare your chicken by cutting it into bite-sized pieces. 
  2. In a large bowl, make the batter by whisking together the eggs and cornstarch.
  3. Add the chicken to the cornstarch mixture and toss to coat. You can also do this by adding the batter and chicken pieces to a large, sealed Ziploc bag, and shaking to coat. 
  4. In a large skillet over medium high heat up about an inch of oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer.
  6. Fry until golden brown on each side and cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the chicken to a paper towel lined plate and allow to drain. 
  8. Repeat with the rest of the chicken in batches. 
  9. In a small bowl, make the sauce. Combine the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, corn starch and red pepper flakes. Whisk vigorously to combine.
  10. Add the sauce to a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk until the sauce comes up to a simmer and begins to thicken. 
  11. Remove from heat and toss your cooked chicken in with the sauce. 
  12. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.
  13. Serve!
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 436Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 165mgSodium 1008mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 1gSugar 24gProtein 42g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

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