Ground Sesame Chicken

4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

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.




  • 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.

More Delicious Chinese Food Recipes You NEED to make:


  • 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

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!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Author Sabrina Snyder


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

Sesame Chicken Sauce Ingredients:


  • To a large pan add 1 tablespoon oil and ground chicken.
  • 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.
  • Once the chicken is cooked add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 10 seconds.
  • 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.
  • Add the Sesame Chicken sauce and bring to boil. Cook for just a few seconds, stirring until it thickens.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 890mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg

Ground Sesame Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. Edit: I added a good bit of Oyster sauce, some fresh ginger and some Sambal Oeleck. That gave it some depth of flavor. But I’m not sure that I’ll make this again. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed the chicken and thanks so much for the 5 star review 🙂

  2. I followed this recipe to a T. There was so much sauce that I had to let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to get it to reduce to an amount that would not flood the plate. The flavor was also pretty pallid. I guess if you’re just not used to asian food you might find this tasty, if the idea of a little bit of red pepper flakes is your idea of spicy, sure. Go for it.

    But those who like depth of flavor? Avoid this recipe.

  3. 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!