This honey sesame chicken is crispy, flavorful, and just downright incredible. It’s baked to perfection (so, no frying necessary) and then smothered in a tangy, sweet, thick honey sauce. It’s the most flavorful, healthier spin on the beloved takeout dish!

A parchment paper lined sheet pan with honey sesame chicken on it. Also on the sheet pan: a jar of honey sesame sauce, a small wooden bowl of sesame seeds, and two spoons.

This recipe is…

Get ready to elevate your dinner game with this irresistible Crispy Baked Honey Sesame Chicken recipe! If you’re a fan of the sweet and savory combo, this dish is about to become your new favorite.

Picture this: succulent chicken pieces coated in a perfectly crispy breading, and then tossed in the most delicious thick, tangy, honey sauce. No need to fry a thing for this dish – we’re keeping things easy and healthier by baking the chicken to golden perfection instead. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a casual get-together, this recipe brings a burst of flavor that’s guaranteed to impress.

If you’re looking for more recipes similar to this one, we’ve got you! This orange chicken recipe, this sweet and sour chicken recipe, and this General Tso’s chicken recipe are all REALLY similar and equally as delicious.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s homemade, healthier takeout – who doesn’t love a healthier spin on a takeout favorite? This one is easy, better-for-you, and every bit as delicious.
  • It’s baked – skip the hassle and mess of deep frying and follow the instructions below to bake your chicken to crispy perfection.

Recipe Ingredients

You’re going to need a handful of ingredients for the chicken marinade, a handful for the flour coating, and a handful for the sticky, sweet sauce. Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.

All of the ingredients for honey sesame chicken in small bowls on a marble surface.
  • White rice flour – be sure to grab white rice flour here. Brown rice flour it heftier, grittier, and yields a less crispy final product.
  • Spray oil – we used spray oil for this recipe (it’s the easiest way to get the chicken coated) but you can absolutely brush avocado oil on the chicken if you’d like to do that instead.
  • Corn starch – because you already need arrowroot starch for the chicken marinade, know that you can absolutely substitute the corn starch for arrowroot if you don’t have corn starch on hand. No need to buy two ingredients that will, essentially, do the same thing!

A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

  • Make it gluten-free – use tamari instead of soy sauce to make this dish gluten-free (that’s what we did!).

How to Make Honey Sesame Chicken

Making this honey sesame chicken is easier than it may sound. Follow along below for a complete step-by-step.

A person using a small whisk to guide chopped chicken thighs into a large glass bowl of whisked egg white, arrowroot starch, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
A person adding a small bowl of white rice flour to a large glass mixing bowl of arrowroot starch.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment with avocado oil spray, or brush with oil. In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the marinade (with an exception of the chicken), then add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the arrowroot, white rice flour, and salt.

A person using tongs to coat small chunks of raw chicken thighs to a large glass mixing bowl of arrowroot starch, white rice flour, and salt.
Small chunks of raw chicken thighs coated with a arrowroot starch and white rice flour coating spread out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Step 3: Remove the chicken from the marinade, then dredge in the flour mixture.

Step 4: Shake off any excess flour, and place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer (do not overlap your chicken). Then lightly spray the chicken with avocado oil spray or brush with oil.

Small chunks of crispy chicken thighs coated with an arrowroot starch and white rice flour coating spread out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Homemade honey sesame chicken sauce in a enameled cast iron pot before being thickened.

Step 5: Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, flip the chicken, then bake for an additional 15 minutes, until browned and crisp.

Step 6: While the chicken is baking, in a small bowl, use a fork to combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk together the sesame oil, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Slowly pour in the cornstarch slurry while continuing to whisk the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce just starts to thicken.

A parchment paper lined sheet pan with honey sesame chicken on it. Also on the sheet pan: a jar of honey sesame sauce, a small wooden bowl of sesame seeds, and two spoons.

Step 7: Toss the chicken with the sauce, garnish with white sesame seeds, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • Use half white rice flour + half arrowroot starch – this is the key to crispy chicken. Don’t go all arrowroot or all rice flour – use half and half!
  • Use chicken thighs – while the chicken breast has its place, this recipe is all about chicken thighs! Trust us on this one.
  • Spritz the chicken with oil – give the chicken a good spray of avocado oil before baking or air frying it. While you can use a brush to spread the oil on the coated chicken pieces, the spray is MUCH easier and creates a more even coating.
  • Flip the chicken halfway through – you’ll bake the chicken for 15 minutes, then flip it, and bake it for another 15 minutes. This is key in helping the chicken to get nice and crispy on all sides.
  • Don’t overlap the chicken – when laying the chicken on the sheet pan to bake, be sure that none of the pieces are overlapping. In fact, if you need to use more than one sheet pan in order to not overlap, do that.

How to Serve

Because the chicken is so flavorful, we suggest going simple on accompaniments. Perfectly-cooked white rice and steamed broccoli or steamed green beans would make for delicious pairings.

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover honey sesame chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To reheat it, either pop a serving in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, on a sheet pan in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or in an air fryer for 4-5 minutes.

Two light pink plates, each with a portion of honey sesame chicken and white rice. Also pictured: a parchment paper lined sheet pan of honey sesame chicken and a glass of ice water.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between orange chicken and honey sesame chicken?

Both orange chicken and honey sesame chicken are breaded and baked (or deep fried, if you’re eating takeout) to crispy perfection. Our orange chicken sauce includes coconut aminos and orange juice for a tangy, sweet taste, while this honey sesame chicken includes things like soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey for a slightly deeper savory flavor (though it is plenty sweet, also).

Why is sesame chicken so sweet?

The sauce in this recipe includes things like honey, coconut aminos, and ketchup, all of which certainly sweeten things up.

Which is sweeter – General Tso or sesame chicken?

This recipe is definitely sweeter than our General Tso’s chicken recipe.

If you tried this Honey Sesame Chicken or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Crispy Baked Honey Sesame Chicken

4.25 — Votes 4 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings
This honey sesame chicken is crispy, flavorful, and just downright incredible. It's baked to perfection (so, no frying necessary) and then smothered in a tangy, sweet, thick honey sauce. It's the most flavorful, healthier spin on the beloved takeout dish!

Ingredients  

For the Chicken Marinade

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the Flour Coating

For the Sauce

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment with avocado oil spray, or brush with oil.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, arrowroot starch (for the marinade), coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the arrowroot starch (for the flour coating), white rice flour, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, then dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour, and place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer (do not overlap your chicken). Lightly spray the chicken with avocado oil spray, or brush with oil.
  • Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, flip the chicken, then bake for an additional 15 minutes, until browned and crisp.
  • While the chicken is baking, in a small bowl, use a fork to combine the corn starch and water to make a slurry. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk together the sesame oil, garlic, honey, ketchup, tamari, and rice vinegar. Slowly pour in the cornstarch slurry while whisking. Bring the sauce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce just starts to thicken.
  • Toss the chicken with the sauce, garnish with white sesame seeds, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Use half white rice flour + half arrowroot starch – this is the key to crispy chicken. Don’t go all arrowroot or all rice flour – use half and half!
  • Use chicken thighs – while the chicken breast has its place, this recipe is all about chicken thighs! Trust us on this one.
  • Spritz the chicken with oil – give the chicken a good spray of avocado oil before baking or air frying it. While you can use a brush to spread the oil on the coated chicken pieces, the spray is MUCH easier and creates a more even coating.
  • Flip the chicken halfway through – you’ll bake the chicken for 15 minutes, then flip it, and bake it for another 15 minutes. This is key in helping the chicken to get nice and crispy on all sides.
  • Don’t overlap the chicken – when laying the chicken on the sheet pan to bake, be sure that none of the pieces are overlapping. In fact, if you need to use more than one sheet pan in order to not overlap, do that.

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 1214mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: asian-inspired
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 521
Keyword: honey sesame chicken

Like this recipe?

Leave a comment


About the Author

Brandi Schilhab


More Like This

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 2 stars
    This recipe took a long time to put everything together and wasn’t worth the effort. Meh.

    1. Oh man! We’re really sorry it wasn’t a win for you, Kelsey!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the closest I’ve ever come at home to achieving takeout Chinese crispy chicken texture! Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    This was so good and crunchy! I wanted some spice so I added red pepper flakes and some cayenne and used a little less honey. Excellent with some rice and a green veggie!