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How to Make Teriyaki Chicken Into a Balanced Meal

Our chicken teriyaki recipe serves four and can be ready in under 20 minutes! Make it a new go-to recipe that can be made even on a busy weeknight.

How to Make Teriyaki Chicken Into a Balanced Meal


Chicken teriyaki, a traditional Japanese dish, is made with juicy chunks of chicken in a sweet, savory, and slightly sticky sauce. Easy to crave and order out, you might be surprised to know teriyaki chicken is even easily made at home. In addition, making teriyaki chicken can be made into an easy, healthy, balanced meal!

Curious about how to make chicken teriyaki easily in your own kitchen? Discover how to make a chicken teriyaki recipe and ways to make it into a healthy, balanced meal the whole family will love. 

Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

Chicken teriyaki can be easier to make at home than you think with a shortlist of ingredients. It is also prepared in 20 minutes from start to finish, making it the perfect weeknight dinner in a pinch!

Yield: 4 servings 

Nutrition per serving: 240 calories, 8g fat, 27g protein, 15g total carbs, 0g fiber

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (recipe can be made with either dark or white chicken or a mix of both, including chicken thighs and breasts)
• 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 Tbsp honey
• 1 1/2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
• 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
• 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
• 2 tsp peeled and minced fresh garlic (2 cloves or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
• 2 tsp cornstarch
• Sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add cubed chicken and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

3. While the chicken is cooking, add soy sauce, water, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until well-combined.

4. Toss sauce with the cooked chicken in the skillet for about 60 seconds, or until the sauce has thickened.

5. Serve warm and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion as desired. Read on to learn how to create a balanced teriyaki chicken stir-fry meal

How to Make Chicken Teriyaki Into a Balanced Meal

Elevate the teriyaki chicken's nutrition with these ideas, including veggie-packed and low-carb tips and options!

Balance Chicken Teriyaki with a Whole Grain

The chicken provides a good source of protein for a meal. But to make chicken teriyaki a balanced meal, round it out with whole grain and vegetables for a delicious teriyaki chicken and veggie rice bowl!

Chicken teriyaki is often served with white rice. However, making it with brown rice can bump up the fiber content and make it a more filling and nutrient-packed meal. 

Want to change up your options besides rice? Other whole grains that could pair well with chicken teriyaki could include quinoa, barley, or farro.

Whatever whole grain you choose, make it ahead of time and quickly heat it on the stovetop with a splash of water to prevent sticking. This meal prep step of making the whole grain ahead of time will help minimize cooking time when making chicken teriyaki.

Elevate Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Vegetables can be an easy and healthy addition to chicken teriyaki. Vegetables can easily be sauteed along with the chicken or added to the pan after the chicken is cooked. For example, Gimme Delicious suggests two cups of chopped broccoli and one cup of chopped red bell peppers can be added to the chicken pan after the chicken is cooked through. 

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until desired tenderness for vegetables. The vegetables will absorb some of the teriyaki sauce making for a flavorful, colorful, and balanced meal.

Roasted sesame carrots can also pair well with chicken teriyaki, as similar ingredients are used as the teriyaki sauce base. This flavorful dish can also be made in about 15 minutes making it an easy pairing for a balanced meal.

If you are following a low-carb diet, serve up chicken teriyaki with vegetables and cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice for a balanced meal option.

Lower Sugar Content in Chicken Teriyaki

The sweet, sticky teriyaki sauce comes from using the sweeteners honey and brown sugar. If you want to make a healthier, lower-sugar version, cut back 1/3 to 1/2 of the sugar amount. 

Note this may change the consistency of the sauce, but it can work to cut back on the sweetness while still providing the teriyaki flavor. Adding more ginger and garlic can also help provide a strong taste without adding more sugar.

Chicken teriyaki can provide an average of 9-13 grams of sugar per serving. Making chicken teriyaki yourself allows you to cut back on the sugar instead of having to eat the dish with a pre-made sweet sauce.

Teriyaki Chicken Recap

What may seem like an intimidating recipe to make, chicken teriyaki is surprisingly simple to make with minimal time and ingredients. Make it a balanced meal by serving it with a whole grain, like brown rice, and additional sauteed or roasted veggies. 

Chicken teriyaki can pair well with sauteed broccoli and red pepper, or roasted sesame carrots. Lastly, another benefit is the sugar amount in the teriyaki sauce can be controlled when you make it at home.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on April 28, 2022. Updated on April 29, 2022.

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