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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?
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
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Honey Garlic Chicken
- 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.