Put the takeout menu down! This homemade Honey Garlic Chicken tastes so much better and is budget-friendly, too! Drenched in a sweet and sticky sauce, the chicken bites are easy to make in one skillet and are ready to eat in just 15 minutes.
Are you a die-hard fan of the classic takeout chicken dishes, like General Tso’s and orange chicken? Then you’re going to love this Honey Garlic Chicken recipe! It’s easy to make, ready in 15 minutes, and is equally as satisfying as your favorite takeout order.
A skillet full of garlicky pan-fried chicken bites is finished in a sweet, savory, and spicy glaze. Not only are the bites completely succulent and bold, but they’re best served over a bed of fluffy rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice to soak up every last drop of sauce.
The honey garlic sauce has only 4 ingredients, which you probably already have on hand. I recommend making a double batch because it’s fantastic over chicken wings, pork chops, as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders, and so much more.
- It’s simple, made in one skillet, and uses minimal ingredients.
- The recipe takes 15 minutes from start to finish, making it a great choice for quick weeknight dinners.
- You won’t be able to get enough of the sauce! It’s the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy, and made with only 4 ingredients.
Chicken thighs - Boneless and skinless chicken thighs are easiest here. They’re full of flavor, very juicy, and affordable. If all you have are bone-in chicken thighs, go ahead and use them, but remove the bones before getting started. Chicken breasts can also be used but they cook even faster, so watch them carefully and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Olive oil and butter - Yes, you need both. Oil prevents the chicken from sticking to the skillet and creates a beautiful golden crust while butter infuses the sauteed garlic with extra rich flavors.
Honey - Equal parts honey and soy sauce are the base of the honey garlic sauce. Honey is a must for the signature bright, sweet flavor and sticky finish. You could use maple syrup instead but the flavor won’t be quite as vibrant.
Soy sauce - Or use tamari, coconut aminos, or gluten free soy sauce if you’re gluten free.
Cornstarch - To help thicken the sauce. Arrowroot works just as well.
Step 1: Season and brown the chicken. Season the diced chicken thighs with salt while you wait for the oil to warm in the skillet. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and cook until the pieces are golden brown and cooked through.
Step 2: Make the honey garlic sauce. Whisk the honey, soy sauce, sriracha, and arrowroot together in a bowl. Set it aside while you work on the rest.
Step 3: Sauté the garlic. Add the butter and garlic into the skillet with the chicken. Cook until the garlic is very fragrant.
Step 4: Coat the chicken in sauce. To finish, turn the heat down and pour the sauce over the chicken and garlic. Stir until the chicken is coated and the sauce is starting to thicken.
Step 5: Serve. Plate the honey garlic chicken bites on their own or over a bed of grains. Garnish with green onions, then enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Leave the chicken alone as it cooks. This will help to form a seared crust on the surface of each piece while the middle stays tender. Flip the pieces once or twice while they cook, but avoid continuously stirring.
- You’ll know the chicken bites are done cooking when the inside is no longer pink, the juices run clear, and the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Chicken thighs are slightly more forgiving if overcooked, but chicken breasts dry out quickly.
- Is the sauce not thick enough? Turn up the heat on the stove after pouring the sauce over the chicken. The medium-high heat should speed up the thickening process.
What do you serve with honey garlic chicken bites?
I love serving this chicken over a bed of fluffy rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, or quinoa, and a side of vegetables, like steamed broccoli or green beans.
What else can I use the honey soy sauce for?
Repurpose the honey soy sauce for a variety of delicious uses, such as:
- Meat marinade - Omit the arrowroot and add a splash of lime juice, lemon juice, or rice vinegar to loosen the thick and sticky sauce. Pour it over chicken, pork, and steak bites in a shallow dish and let them marinate for up to 8 hours.
- Finishing glaze - Once the chicken wings, sauteed shrimp, or crispy tofu are finished cooking, toss them in the sauce as a beautiful and flavorful finishing glaze.
- Dipping sauce - Serve a bowl of sauce with chicken tenders, nuggets, dumplings, sushi, sashimi, sweet potatoes, pretzels, and more for dipping.
Refrigerator: Store the cooked and glazed chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Transfer the cooked and cooled honey garlic chicken to an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in a skillet.
More healthy takeout-inspired recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Honey Garlic Chicken
- 1.5 lb. chicken thighs boneless, skinless; diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- green onion for garninsh
for the sauce:
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch or sub arrowroot
- If you haven't already, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then season it with salt.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, then add the chicken and cook it until it's cooked through and golden brown on the outside.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce: whisk honey, soy sauce, sriracha, and cornstarch together in a glass measuring cup or bowl.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the butter and garlic to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to low, then pour in the sauce and stir until the chicken is coated. If the sauce isn't thickening, turn the heat back up to medium, and if it's thickening too quickly, remove the skillet from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of water to the skillet to thin it out.
- Top with green onions and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in January 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in September 2022.
Evelyn Carter says
Great idea. I love that it's so much healthier than using regular white rice. Thanks for sharing,
Substituted coconut amino for soy sauce since I have soy allergies and my hubby couldn't tell a difference! This nite weekly dinner! Thanks third recipe!!
This makes me so happy--I'm glad the coconut aminos worked and that you and your husband loved it!
We add shredded carrots and fresh chopped green onions for crunch. Fave with my 3 (4 if you count the hubby) boys!
I'm so glad your family enjoys it! Thanks for the feedback 🙂
Made this tonight and added a chopped bell pepper. It was so delicious! Bought the pre-prepared cauliflower "rice" from Trader Joes. Super easy and seriously tasty! Thanks for the great recipe. 🙂
I'm so glad you liked it!
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes says
I've totally gotten on the cauliflower rice train and I'm obsessed with it! This looks so yummy!
This honey garlic chicken looks like the dinner I didn't even know I've been needing! I'm looking forward to trying this, and SOON! The sauce looks downright irresistible.
It IS irresistible 😉 I hope you try it!
I made this tonight. Chicken was excellent and very easy. My hubby was not a big fan of the cauliflower rice. Maybe I let it get too soft. You didn't specify how long to cook cauliflower for, so I sorta tested it and guessed. Will try it again another time. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Tracy, I'm so glad you and your husband liked the chicken! As for the cauliflower, I typically just cook it until it's soft--slightly softer than I'd make it if I were just eating cauliflower as a side. I hope that helps, and thanks for the feedback!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health says
I wish I could get myself to wake up earlier but I hate getting up when it's dark outside, waaaah. I would probably be so much more productive too. Especially if I could get my workout in before I start shooting recipes, that way I'm not rushing, trying to beat the sunlight.
Anyways, this sounds like a delicious meal. I can see why Miguel craves it. I bet it would be great with tofu too!
Waking up early sucks if you don't go to bed early...which I learned this morning when I slept in until 6:30 because I didn't go to bed until late. Whooooops! Hey, it's a work in progress 😉 And Yes it would definitely be good with tofu!
Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says
Okay, wow. That sauce? So easy and amazing. I actually just had Drewbert buy some cauliflower so maybe we will have this one night this week!
hehe Yes! Miguel liked the cauli rice so I bet Drew would too.
Margaret @ Simple Fit Foodie says
Cauliflower rice is the BEST! I dont make it much and I dont know why. Its so great!
This looks like such an easy, delicious week night meal. I don't know if you have a Trader Joe's near you but they sell bags of "cauliflower rice" now.
Yes I've seen them! Next time I think I'll buy it because I can't imagine it NOT being good.
girl you know i love me some garlic and asian goodness! that sauce, divine!
ACKTIVE LIFE says
As of right now, I LOVE watching "Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce"...It is like the new version of "Sex and the City". I love the characters, the fashion, and that the women are real and totally kookie...
Ohhhh I think I've heard of that show? I love SITC, so I bet I'd like it.
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
I discovered recently that you can get cauliflower rice in the produce section now. I found mine at Target. Total game changer!
WHAT. I've seen the frozen kind at Trader Joe's before but I'll have to check target for those days when I don't feel like busting out my food processor.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
That's perfect <3 This should be a twice a week dinner 😉
I've cooked chicken every which way, except in an open skillet on the stove....I'm scared it won't cook though! I need to get over that fear and actually try doing it! Haha!
It's starting to be a twice a week dinner! And that's crazy! Only because that's how I usually cook my chicken because it's fastest, though lately I've been baking my chicken a little more frequently. So basically both ways work 🙂
Alysia at Slim Sanity says
Most of the time when I make cauliflower its puréed to sub as potatoes. I'll try the rice one of these days, if I can resist 🙂
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
Oh my goodness, I need this in my life! It looks amazing!!
rachel @ athletic avocado says
These are the kind of dinners that I love , quick, easy and simple! Chicken is always my go-to protein so this is perfect 🙂
YUM I love these flavors, and I love that you used cauli rice. This look so sweet and tangy and I want itttt
It IS sweet and tangy and YES cauli rice ftw. Thanks Christina!