Ground Sesame Chicken

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Easy Ground Sesame Chicken has all the sticky sweet sesame flavor you crave with half the calories. A healthy twist on a food court favorite in 20 minutes!

Mall-inspired Sesame Chicken is a go-to family favorite! It’s an Asian Dinner Recipe that is the perfect amount of sweet and savory, mild enough for everyone to enjoy.

Ground Sesame Chicken in pan


Sesame Chicken is one of the best classic take out dishes with a sticky sweet sauce that’s so finger lickin’ good. This ground version is tastier, cheaper, and healthier than anything you get at the mall. No need to wait for a fresh batch, or worse, suffer through what’s left under the heat lamps. In just 30 minutes you’ll have dinner on the table and a lot of happy “customers”.

Made with just a handful of ingredients, this easy Ground Sesame Chicken packs in a lot of flavor! The key is a good quality sesame oil for the best Ground Sesame Chicken. Grab a small bottle where they sell Asian food products in the store. It may seem a bit pricey, but you only need a little bit for a lot of flavor.

Brown sugar is the other big flavor maker in Ground Sesame Chicken. Unlike other Chinese chicken dishes that use white sugar, like Orange Chicken, the sauce is less sweet and sticky thanks to the molasses in brown sugar. You don’t want use white sugar in this dish, instead swap in honey if you don’t have brown sugar.

Ground Sesame Chicken makes amazing lettuce wraps! Chop up some water chestnuts and cook them with the chicken for extra crunch. Serve Ground Sesame Chicken with other food court favorites like Chow Mein and Steamed Rice, both easily made in about the same time. Make dinner even more healthy with a side of Roasted Broccoli

Tips for Ground Sesame Chicken

  • When it comes to sesame oil, a little goes a long way! Too much sesame oil can quickly overpower a dish. You can cook the ground chicken in sesame oil instead of vegetable oil, but you don’t want to add more than that without tasting first.
  • Ground chicken cooks differently than ground beef. Instead of browning, cook until the meat is opaque. Since this recipe only tosses the chicken in sauce at the end versus simmering make it is fully cooked.
  • A wok is the best way to cook stir fry dishes like Ground Sesame Chicken. It will reach the high heat needed to cook the meat quickly and thicken the sauce without overcooking anything.
  • Use low-sodium soy sauce to keep the salt flavor low in Ground Sesame Chicken. You can always season with salt later, but too much salt flavor you can’t take away.



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  • Meat: You can use other lean meat like ground turkey or ground pork. If you use ground beef, make sure to drain before seasoning with the garlic and red pepper flakes.
  • Stir-Fry Veggies: Once the meat is cooked, transfer to a plate. Stir fry veggies like snow peas, sliced carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli until crisp tender. Add the ground chicken and sauce to the pan, tossing until hot.
  • Seasonings: Asian flavorings that taste great with Sesame Chicken sauce are ground ginger (or fresh ginger), orange zest, hoisin sauce, and chili garlic sauce. For a Kung Pao Chicken kick, add diced dried chiles!
  • Honey Sesame: Swap honey for brown sugar to make Ground Honey Sesame Chicken. You could also leave out the sesame flavors and add orange zest with the honey for a sticky, sweet Honey Orange Chicken.

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  • Serve: You can keep Ground Sesame Chicken at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it will need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Store: Cool Ground Sesame Chicken before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop for the best sauce consistency and taste.
  • Freeze: Once cooled, transfer Ground Sesame Chicken to a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop.

Ground Sesame Chicken in bowl

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Ground Sesame Chicken

5 from 3 votes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Course: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Easy Ground Sesame Chicken has all the sticky sweet sesame flavor you crave with half the calories. A healthy twist on a food court favorite in 20 minutes!


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Sesame Chicken Sauce Ingredients:


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

  1. To a large pan add 1 tablespoon oil and ground chicken.
  2. Cook until a good crust forms before breaking apart, then finish cooking by breaking it apart with a spatula and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.

  3. Once the chicken is cooked add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 10 seconds.

  4. For the Sesame Chicken Sauce: Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce water, brown sugar, water, sesame oil, and tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together.
  5. Add the Sesame Chicken sauce and bring to boil. Cook for just a few seconds, stirring until it thickens.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 343 calories, Calories: 343g, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 890mg, Potassium: 659mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 37g, Vitamin C: 1g, Calcium: 46g, Iron: 2g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Ground Sesame Chicken

Ground Sesame Chicken collage

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  1. I made this for the first time last night as lettuce wraps with jasmine rice on the side. We all loved it, even my picky teen. It was super easy, if a bit on the salty side for us. The jasmine rice, however, cut the saltiness to just the right amount. I’ll be making this again soon!