5 Ingredient Classic Baked Chicken Teriyaki

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Baked Teriyaki Chicken is a SUPER EASY weeknight meal that takes just 5 minutes of prep. The chicken marinates in a 5-ingredient marinade during the day, and then you bake it while the rice steams and your kids set the table! 

baked chicken teriyaki on bed of rice and green beans

Baked Teriyaki Chicken – A Love Story

This baked teriyaki chicken recipe was the first meal I ever made for my husband when we moved in together. We felt like such grown-ups, in our own apartment with furnishings we purchased together. My memories of that time are so precious. You cram two (very different) people’s worth of belongings into a small one bedroom where you don’t even have room for a microwave on the counter. Your dinner table doubles as a desk and a kitchen counter since your kitchen has ten inches of prep space. But I wouldn’t trade that apartment for anything. Because the memories and experiences created while working together in a kitchen we could barely fit in at the same time are priceless to me.

It was so exciting we decided to go down the street to the local Asian grocery store and browse to get away from all the unpacking. While I was in the produce department loading up on veggies for the week, I struck up a conversation with another customer. One thing led to another and I suddenly had a recipe for teriyaki chicken marinade scribbled on the circular for the week. Her exact recipe was “1-1-2-2 sake, soy, mirin, sugar,” and she said the longer I could marinade the better. I bought the sake and mirin while we were in the store that day, and that very night we were eating her teriyaki chicken.

best teriyaki chicken marinade for baked teriyaki chicken

Classic Baked Teriyaki Chicken, An Evolution

This baked teriyaki chicken has morphed over the years, increased in volume of marinade, and cooking styles changed. The original recipe called for it to be cooked in a wok, then I changed to grilling it, then to a saute pan. I always use dark meat because I like to let the sauce really cook down, and white meat gets dry.

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I’ve used the sauce as a topping for burgers after cooking in a saucepan with a bit of cornstarch stirred with water. I’ve grilled chicken breast on the bone and brushed the sauce on. I’ve even grilled pineapple that I glazed with this mixture (minus the chicken of course). This is a classic, easy, no fuss, authentically delicious baked teriyaki chicken I hope you adopt into your family the way we have adopted it into ours.

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teriyaki chicken marinade for classic baked teriyaki chicken

How to MAKe baked Teriyaki Chicken

  1. Place all the ingredients into a large Tupperware or Ziploc bag. Spread foil over pan, spray with cooking/canola oil spray if desired. Put chicken on foil, pour over remaining marinade.
  2. Marinade for at least 30 minutes but preferably 12-24 hours.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Once the chicken is a bit crispy and has finished cooking, put on a platter. Pour leftover pan liquids into fat separator measuring cup, skim oil and pour sauce over chicken.
  5. Add scallions or sesame seeds as a garnish. I also almost always use a microplane to grate fresh ginger and fresh garlic over the chicken once it is already done cooking.
  6. Then I add the sauce over the top and the heat of the chicken and the sauce help mute the flavors a little without killing them in the cooking process. Certainly, it appears a small thing but the flavors are so bright and fresh it gives it a new level of flavor.

5 ingredients marinade in a ziploc back during the day and get baked in the oven just in time for your rice to steam and your kids to set the table! This is a SUPER EASY weeknight meal that takes 5 minutes of prep in the morning or night before! This will make it's way into your weekly rotation!

 

Recipe

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5 Ingredient Baked Chicken Teriyaki

5
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese

5 ingredients marinade in a Ziploc back during the day and get baked in the oven just in time for your rice to steam and your kids to set the table! This is a SUPER EASY weeknight meal that takes 5 minutes of prep in the morning or night before! This will make it's way into your weekly rotation!

Ingredients

  • 10-12 chicken thighs
  • 4 tablespoons sake (or white wine)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 tablespoons mirin
  • 8 tablespoons soy sauce
  • grated ginger and garlic (optional)

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Put all the ingredients into a large Tupperware or Ziploc bag.

  2. Marinade for at least 30 minutes but preferably 12-24 hours.
  3. Spread foil over pan, spray with cooking/canola oil spray if desired.
  4. Put chicken on foil, pour over remaining marinade.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Once chicken is a bit crispy and done cooking put on platter.
  7. Pour leftover pan liquids into measuring cup, skim oil and pour sauce over chicken.

Recipe Notes

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Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Dinner then Dessert TIPS If your foil is not big enough for your baking sheet do what I did above. Use two sheets of foil and make the inside edge stand up against the other half. That way the sauce won’t go under the foil and all over the pan and you don’t have to go out and buy XL foil that is way overpriced. I use half sheet pans and the normal foil is not quite wide enough to go up the sides of the pan.

5 ingredients marinade in a ziploc back during the day and get baked in the oven just in time for your rice to steam and your kids to set the table! This is a SUPER EASY weeknight meal that takes 5 minutes of prep in the morning or night before! This will make it's way into your weekly rotation!

5 ingredients marinade in a ziploc back during the day and get baked in the oven just in time for your rice to steam and your kids to set the table! This is a SUPER EASY weeknight meal that takes 5 minutes of prep in the morning or night before! This will make it's way into your weekly rotation!
5 ingredients marinade in a ziploc back during the day and get baked in the oven just in time for your rice to steam and your kids to set the table! This is a SUPER EASY weeknight meal that takes 5 minutes of prep in the morning or night before! This will make it's way into your weekly rotation!

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Comments

    1. Oh yes, SUPER simple. But I swear letting it just chill in the fridge for a while makes it so flavorful, I mean like awesome restaurant quality flavorful!

  1. Wow, make with Sake? Would never have thought… Not sure what Mirin is, though. I will have to see if I can find it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Mirin is a sort of sweet cooking wine. I have seen it in Safeway too. If you don’t have sake I highly recommend white wine, in fact I routinely use two buck chuck for it!

    1. Awesome! I hope you love it! That is one of my favorite things about this recipe the ingredients other than the chicken are shelf stable so it is pretty much always in my back pocket if I need something for a menu or dinner.

    1. Awesome!! I’ve made this recipe so many times it feels like it is a part of me now. I’m officially 1% Japanese Grandma now! Haha.

  2. Oh that sounds really good and I think I’d be able to follow this recipe. I’ve always gone the lazy way and used pre-cooked chicken so this will be a nice change of pace!

  3. I’ve finally got my family eating chicken other than boneless skinless breasts, things like this are next step! Getting a good marinade on a nice crispy skin on a thigh or drum is amazing!

  4. Great marinade, I use it frequently without the sake and using white vinegar instead of mirrin (the prices are too high in my country) I recommend it not only with chicken, try it with pork, beef even shrimp, but in those cases I cut the meat in pieces (bit size) let it in the marinade then I throw the pieces in a very hot pan with a little of oil and saute, when they are about to be ready I add a little marinade and let it reduce, it makes a great sauce. The Idea of grate ginger and garlic in the last moment is superb. Thanks.

    1. You could but it would be really soupy. The chicken itself will release a lot of liquid into the slow cooker. That, mixed with the sauce is going to thin out the sauce to a watery consistency. I made chicken thighs in the slow cooker all the time (I have one on the site called Crisp and Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken) but you can even see in that post where the chicken goes in with no water at all and when it is done it comes up the side of the chicken by almost 80% of the way. So all that liquid will mix with your marinade. If you would like, you can cook it in the slow cooker, then take the chicken out when done, take the liquid and pour it into a pan, add in a premixed combo of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and two tablespoons of room temperature water. Cook the sauce until thick and then add on top of the slow cooker chicken. Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. Hey Chase, I’m sorry to hear something went wrong for you. I’d be happy to troubleshoot with you if you would like? This is one of my staple recipes and it is pretty limited in directions and ingredients. If you would like you can email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert.com.

  5. Hi Sabrina! I am ready to give this recipe a try. Quick question. The ingredient list says thighs, but in the pan pictures you have a few drumsticks. Can other pieces of chicken be used? (Breasts, wings, etc) If so, would the cooking time have to be adjusted? Thanks!

    1. Yes, the thighs will work the best (but toddlers as they are for some reason love drumsticks!) but other cuts will also work. I find the thighs have the best flat surface area to keep the coating on long enough to let it caramelize. The drumsticks look significantly less covered (but still taste good!).

  6. This looks yummy and would be great for a dinner I’m planning with family! I’m wondering what type of dessert you made with this (maybe I missed it??).

    1. Sorry for the delay, this message got snared in the spam filter. I love a good pineapple sorbet for dessert after this or even a vanilla ice cream with grilled pineapples (//dinnerthendessert.com/brown-sugar-grilled-pineapple/) on top and shredded toasted coconut.

  7. Hi Sabrina.Im planning on following the direction through the 20min of baking. Then finishing off on the grill. Im going to discard the marinade that is has been baked in, and make up a half batch on the marinade and combine with 1 and 1 starch and water to thicken in a sauce pan to glaze while grilling with some sliced pineapple .The marinade is very tasty with a garlic clove and a teaspoon of grated ginger! Five stars for the marinade its self! Might try this with beef as well!~

    Rating: 5