Healthy Sesame Chicken

This sesame chicken is made easier by pan frying instead of deep frying. The sauce is made up of honey, tamari and sesame oil.

I know what you’re thinking. Sesame chicken, healthy? Ohhh yesss my friends, it-tis!

Healthy Sesame Chicken

I’ve had sesame chicken a bunch of times from tons of places and I kinda consider myself somewhat of an expert. I’ve had it more on the sweet side and I’ve had it ginger-y, but I really like it spicy but unfortunately most of the time the chicken is deep fried. Which (obviously) is probably the reason why I love it so much. Anyways, that’s when I started thinking about how could I make it a bit healthier and let’s face it… save on gas by not driving 50 minutes to the nearest Pei Wei.

the stuff

This is sooo easy and in all honestly once the prep is out of the way this whole thing just takes a few minutes to whip up! Oh and feel free to play with ingredients. You could always add a little fresh ginger {I didn’t have any on hand or I so would have} add a teaspoon of chili paste for a little kick if you wanted to. I made this non-spicy since my youngest wouldn’t have eaten it if it was…but issss good with the spice lemme tell ya. Thank you Kristin for the inspiration!


Start by adding a half cup of honey into a medium bowl, I eyeball it.


Then measure and pour in 5 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce if you have that {only soy sauce is NOT gluten free}.

garlic pressed

Then press in two cloves of fresh garlic. You know how I love this press!


This is what 4 tablespoons of sesame seeds look like…

add to bowl

Now add these to the bowl.

sesame oil

Again, I eyeball the sesame oil which is somewhere around a half to a full teaspoon. I knowwww but if you’re unsure start with a half a teaspoon and if it tastes good to you, you can totally stop there.


Give it a good whisk until the honey is dissolved into the tamari and then set that off to the side.


Dice up a half a green and red pepper and a medium yellow onion and scootch those off to the side.

trim and slice

Take each chicken breast and slice thin strips…


And then cut the strips into 1 inch pieces.

S & P

Season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.

chicken prep

Then simply whisk the egg whites and corn starch together in a large bowl. Throw in the chicken and toss it around to coat evenly.


Add a tablespoon of the coconut oil into a hot pan over medium-high heat. I really wasn’t thinking when I reached for my cast iron pan because it’s simply not big enough. 

remove to a bowl

Cook those until softened yet still a bit firm. Remove them to a plate and set aside for just a sec.

add in

See what I mean? Too much chicken in one pan. So I really couldn’t do much at this point until the chicken had formed a good enough crust to scrape out into a larger pan.


Ahhh much better! Cook for 5-8 minutes until golden and the chicken is fully cooked through.

Peppers & Onions

Add in the peppers and onions…

pour sauce

The sauce…

stir and bubble

Stir and let the sesame chicken bubble for a minute or two before serving over prepared rice.

Healthy Sesame Chicken 04

Chopsticks are optional. Oh gosh is this good!


Enjoy! And if you give this healthy Sesame Chicken recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Healthy Sesame Chicken

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 6 servings

Healthy Sesame Chicken

Healthy Sesame Chicken
This sesame chicken is made healthier and easier by pan-frying instead of deep frying. The addictive sauce is made up of honey, tamari and sesame oil.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons tamari (or low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, squeezed in a garlic press or grated
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • kosher salt
  • white pepper


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 servings of cooked white or brown rice
  • 4 green onion, sliced


  1. In a medium bowl, combine honey, tamari, sesame oil, garlic and sesame seeds. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the egg whites and corn starch. Add in the seasoned chicken, season with salt and white pepper and toss to combine.
  3. In a large 12 inch non-stick skillet or wok, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot add in the peppers and onions with a pinch of kosher salt and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened. Remove to a plate.
  4. In the same skillet heat up 1more tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and cook for 5-8 minutes until golden and fully cooked. Add the peppers and onions back in along with the sliced green onions and the sesame sauce.
  5. Stir and serve over prepared white or brown rice.


Consider adding a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger and/or a teaspoon of chili paste to the sesame sauce for a boost of flavor

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65 Responses to “Healthy Sesame Chicken”

  1. #
    Carlee — January 14, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Just perfect Laurie!

  2. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — January 14, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I am always in love with any Asian inspired recipe that keeps me from ordering takeout! This looks amazing.

  3. #
    Azzina — January 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Hmmmmmm healthy Sesame Chicken its sound is so yummy.
    Nutrition clinic

  4. #
    Bama Girl — January 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this healthy version of Sesame Chicken! My son will love it! Blessings from Bama!

  5. #
    Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf — January 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    YUM! I do love healthier version of my restaurant favorites. I’m going to have to try this with tofu! 🙂

  6. #
    Janis S. — January 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Pretty! Can’t wait to try this one!

  7. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — January 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    This is my favorite kind of weeknight meal. It looks amazing!

  8. #
    tijuana (po' man meals) — January 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    this looks delicious. my family would love this recipe. trying very soon!

  9. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — January 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Sesame chicken is one of my faves! Love this!!! I am so trying this recipe, thank you!

  10. #
    Jenny @ BAKE — January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    this dinner looks so good! I can’t wait to try it! and I think I have all those ingredients handy too!

  11. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    YES OH YES OH YES! This is on the menu next week – only because I already went shopping for this week 😉

  12. #
    sarah k @ the pajama chef — January 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    i was gonna make a stir fry later this week, but this might just have to replace it! yum!!

  13. #
    Kori — January 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Oh my word!!

  14. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — January 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    omg laurie. for this, i love you even more. saving this recipe. ahh!! I love sesame chicken!

  15. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Sesame chicken is one of my favorite take-out dishes! Love that you added so many veggies – I really need more healthy recipes – my clothes are on the verge of not fitting anymore!

  16. #
    Shea Goldstein — January 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Looks delicious – one of my faves!

  17. #
    Bree {Skinny Mommy} — January 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    This looks absolutely, perfectly delicious! I also make a honey sesame chicken that I bake

  18. #
    Kathryn — January 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I’m totally in love with asian flavours at the moment so this sounds absolutely right up my street. Can’t wait to try!

  19. #
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — January 14, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    What’s not to love about Pei Wei, it’s cheap & good!
    This sauce…I could drink this sauce! Yummo Laurie!

  20. #
    Amber {Sprinkled With Flour} — January 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I definitely love this version! It looks ten times better than any kind you’d order out. Putting this on my menu plan soon. 🙂

  21. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — January 15, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I love that you made this take-out dish into a healthy at-home dish! looks wonderful!!

  22. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — January 15, 2013 at 5:00 am

    You know what I was thinking about all weekend? Sesame chicken! I’ve been craving Chinese takeout like no other and thought to myself I needed to figure out a way to make it at home so that it’s less fatty and bad for you. I’m all over this recipe like white on rice (teehee!) 🙂

  23. #
    Anna @ Hidden Ponies — January 15, 2013 at 5:26 am

    This looks so good – what gorgeous photos!

  24. #
    Azzina — January 15, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I love the manner you have represented the recipe and must tell you great illustration. It made me so easy for me. Thanks.

    assorted cheese

  25. #
    Patricia @ ButterYum — January 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Looks really, really good. Oh, and I always love your ingredient pics.

  26. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — January 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    This was incredible! I made this for dinner last night and my husband asked me to add it to the rotation! My son ate it, and I haven’t been able to get him to eat chicken in months! Thank you!

  27. #
    Laura — January 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Look at all those sesame seeds. Love! Always enjoy healthier spins on Chinese favorites.

  28. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — January 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    One of our favorites – love this healthier version, definitely will be trying it soon!

  29. #
    Jennifurla — January 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I only need you to come make this for me! ha, looks delish and so bright.

  30. #
    Sara — January 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I made this last night and it was fantastic. My husband loved it and my picky 2 year old took a few bites (I’ll take what I can get!). Thanks for the recipe.

  31. #
    Herbivore Triathlete — January 16, 2013 at 12:04 am

    I made my own version of this tonight for my family, too funny! They had chicken and I made tofu for myself. It is so easy and delicious!

  32. #
    Denise — January 16, 2013 at 12:28 am

    This use to be my favorite thing to order at a Chinese restaurant. Haven’t had in years …. inspired to make it. Your recipe looks and sounds so easy.

  33. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — January 16, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I looooooove sesame chicken! And this looks so good!

  34. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — January 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Love that you lightened up sesame chicken! I might have to change my plans for dinner tonight!

  35. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — January 17, 2013 at 6:46 am

    This looks and sounds delicious. I love sesame chicken, but I don’t like how thickly fried it always is. Yours sounds much better! Can’t wait to try it.

  36. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — January 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This looks both beautiful and delicious. You’re supposed to eat a rainbow to be healthy, right?!

  37. #
    Ashley — January 18, 2013 at 2:45 am

    This looks amazing, and I’ll totally be making it this week. Miss you! -Ashley D-A 🙂

  38. #
    Mackenzie — January 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I made this last night. It was AMAZING! The boyfriend and I ate the entire thing. Ha, we were hoping for leftovers for lunch. This is definitely something that I will make again soon. New to your blog and I love it!

  39. #
    Laura D. — January 20, 2013 at 12:39 am

    I am way too excited to make this! I went out and bought all the ingredients today. Looks so delicious!!! I LOVE all your recipes!!

  40. #
    Chelsea — January 26, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it out!

  41. #
    Alycia Reid — January 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I made this last night and it was delicious! Sticky and sweet and a little spicy (I added Sriracha to the mix). An awesome and quick dish I will sure make again. Thanks 🙂

    • simplyscratch replied: — February 4th, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

      Oooh I like the Sriracha addition… strong work!

  42. #
    Julia W — February 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve made this twice now, and it’s SO amazing. It’s easy and the sauce is such a balance of sweet & salty. And the best part is that it’s made with honey instead of sugar – really happy to see that. THANKS!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — February 4th, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

      So glad Julia! It’s a big hit at our house too my husband is always requesting it {like ALWAYS}:)

  43. #
    Christine — February 6, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Made this tonight it was delicious…my husband and I loved it. In fact we ate at 5:30 EST and I am still gloating about dinner 2 hours later. Thank you…yummy!

  44. #
    Linda — February 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Another winner!!!! not only did we enjoy it the first time but, the leftovers were AMAZING. I enjoy the tastes and health benefits that stir fry meals afford…and usually my wok is loaded with a ton more veggies (bok choy, ect) but this meal was made after a day of work and I appreciated the simpleness of the ingredients and decrease in workload of all the chopping. Once again, you have “knocked it out of the park” !!!!

  45. #
    Jeff — March 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Love, love, love this Laurie! I loved it so much that I just had to post about it and I totally linked back to you 582 times. Okay, it was twice, but I wanted to link back that many times because this recipe was DE-lish! Thanks so much and cheers!

  46. #
    Sandra — April 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

    We don’t order out Chinese foods because of food allergies, so I was really happy to find this recipe and also that it’s healthy! I know this is just a small thing, but I was impressed with the egg and cornstarch coating on the chicken. When cooked, each piece had a nice coating. I guess I really liked the texture! Before starting the cooking process, I cut up a head of cauliflower and started roasting it so it’d be done at the same time. Since my family wouldn’t go out of their way to eat that, I tossed it in with the chicken. Everyone ate happily!

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 26th, 2013 @ 10:10 am

      Hi Sandra! I don’t think it’s a small thing at all! Texture is everything… it’s why I prefer chunky pb as to smooth:) So glad to hear you and your family enjoyed it… happy Friday!

  47. #
    Teresa@SassySuburbanite — May 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I”m so happy when I find a recipe that is usually fried, but actually seems yummier not be fried.

  48. #
    Traci — February 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I made this tonight for myself and my boyfriend! We are both trying to eat healthier and this recipe was so perfect for that without sacrificing flavor. I made a few changes and will make it spicier in the future, but that isn’t to say it wasn’t already perfect on its own! Thanks!

  49. #
    Michelle — March 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I have made this twice and my family loves it! In fact, my husband requested it this week and was super amped when I told him I was making it today! 🙂

  50. #
    Kathy — June 24, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Great recipe. I have been trying to find a foolproof sesame chicken recipe that
    my college age son would like. I have tried quite a few but this one is the winner! Great sauce and the chicken cooks up nice and crispy…a must for my son.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:12 am

      I’m so glad Kathy! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a review 🙂

  51. #
    Melissa — July 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I made this today, my boyfriend and I loved it! Will definitely be making it again. The sauce was perfect and I added some ginger and chili paste. We moved from Chicago to South Florida and there are NO good Chinese restaurants in the area where we live. Thanks!

  52. #
    Sarah Friedson — July 29, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Didn’t have any chicken in the house so made this with salmon and threw in some broccoli…came out AMAZING. Planning on trying it with chicken and beef in the future. Thank you for posting such a yummy, easy recipe!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — July 30th, 2014 @ 8:59 am

      That’s awesome Sarah… I would never think to use salmon! I’m picking some up this weekend to try it out! Thanks for coming back and commenting!

  53. #
    Michael — November 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    This was so delicious! I used a little less honey, and added red pepper flake. I love the cornstarch and egg white coating on the chicken.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — November 9th, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

      So happy you enjoyed it Michael

  54. #
    Jenny s — June 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    This is THE best! Way better than any take-out. I love knowing that the ingredients I’m serving my family are healthy. The only thing I did different is I did not coat the chicken in corn starch. Just added some to the sauce. So delicious! Thanks for recipe!!

  55. #
    Jenny s — June 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Oh and I did add the ginger and garlic/chili paste- love that stuff!

  56. #
    Liz Stack — October 19, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    We love your site and cannot wait to buy your cookbook! My husband loves sesame chicken from the local Chinese restaurant but it’s so unhealthy – this was flawless! Thanks a million!

  57. #
    Ra — July 11, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Another hit! I add some broccoli. Made me do my happy dance

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