Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken (Copycat)

Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken is a perfect copycat at home!

Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken made with just a few ingredients and cooked on a super hot grill pan, you'll be saving yourself a ton of time and money by making it at home!

Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken is one of the few dishes you can order at Panda Express and have that cool moment where they take a cleaver and chop up a whole chicken thigh in front of you. A tiny bit of theatrics in a fast food establishment is never bad, plus you can see that they used a whole chicken thigh and not just pre-cut pieces.

There are a lot of teriyaki sauces out there for you to choose from. This Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken has that thick sweet glaze that you know from your favorite 2 item plate. I used powdered garlic and ginger for the sake of the copycat recipe. Their glaze does not have any chunks of garlic or ginger in it that I could see. You absolutely could use fresh ginger and garlic (which I actually prefer) but you’ll be deviating from that “copycat” style. If you are using fresh garlic and ginger instead of spices, use 1-2 teaspoons of each, minced finely.

Keeping track of all the Panda Express copycat recipes here on the blog?

Tools used in this recipe:
Lodge Grill Pan – I use this double sided pan for SO much, anytime I need a big flat surface for “grilling” or breakfast prep
Pig Tail Flipper – I use this *almost* more than I use tongs in the kitchen. Flipping is so quick and doesn’t smash foods.
Oil Mister
Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Sauce – In case you don’t want to make this sauce, but really this sauce is super easy.

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Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken (Copycat)

Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken made with just a few ingredients and cooked on a super hot grill pan, you'll be saving yourself a ton of time and money by making it at home!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pound chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water mixed together

Instructions

  • In a bowl, add the canola oil to chicken thighs while waiting for grill pan to heat up on high.
  • Add the chicken to grill pan and grill on high for 3-5 minutes on each side.
  • While the chicken is cooking, Add the sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, ground ginger, ⅓ cup water and bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Lower temperature to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the water/cornstarch mixture then cook over low heat until just thickened.
  • Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve with brown rice and grilled pineapple.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword: Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken (Copycat), Panda Express recipes

Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken made with just a few ingredients and cooked on a super hot grill pan, you'll be saving yourself a ton of time and money by making it at home!

Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken made with just a few ingredients and cooked on a super hot grill pan, you'll be saving yourself a ton of time and money by making it at home!
Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken made with just a few ingredients and cooked on a super hot grill pan, you'll be saving yourself a ton of time and money by making it at home!

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 upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being 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.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I’ve been making this for at least the past year, several times a month sometimes. It’s awesome ?. Sometimes I slide the chicken onto squewers, pop them on the grill. Also yum!

  2. I’ve been making this for at least the past year, several times a month sometimes. It’s awesome ?. Sometimes I slide the chicken onto squewers, pop them on the grill. Also yum!

  3. Love it! Taste like the original. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking it. It turned out fantastic!

  4. Tha ks for the recipe! This saved dinner tonight. We ordered delivery from Panda and they forgot to put the sauce in the bag. :O This sauce only took about 10 minutes and was WAY better than what you get at the store. I have made several of your recipes now and your blog is now a go to for me! Thanks again!!

  5. This is an AWESOME recipe. Thanks for sharing. My kids love panda express and we eat there often. It’s the second time this week that I have made it. Comes out perfect every time! I buy the boneless, skinless chicken thighs from Costco and double the batch. For the sauce I double the recipe but only use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, this makes it take longer to thicken but is ok. Excellent recipe!

  6. My kids love this chicken but I hate spending so much on it. I definitely want to try this! I need to clarify. #3 states – While the chicken is cooking, Add the sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice….
    Does that mean to add those ingredients to the same pan as the chicken or a separate pan? Thanks!

  7. I’m so frustrated! I have made this recipe a couple of times and it only came out good once. Ever since then I try to make it and I’m getting nothing but cornstarch taste. What the heck am I doing wrong?!

  8. I have never once had a copycat recipe turn out how it was supposed to. This one is amazing and tased exactly like the original. I will for sure be making this on a regular!

  9. Can you make the teriyaki chicken in the oven instead of grilling it? It looks awesome but I don’t have a grill.

    1. You can use any skillet you have for the stove top cooking. You don’t necessarily need a grill pan. If you still want to use the oven, make the sauce on the stove top and then pour over the chicken in a baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, flip the chicken over and cook an additional 15 minutes. Hope this helps!

  10. Panda’s Teriyaki chicken is marinated before cooking. It’s so thick with flavor it does not need sauce added. You have not duplicated Panda’s recipe, but rather just posted a basic teriyaki chicken recipe.

    1. I haven’t tried the recipe, yet, but Teriyaki Chicken is the only thing I get at Panda (besides the cream cheese wontons!), so I’m looking forward to trying it (been looking for a great Teriyaki recipe). The photo looks good, but it doesn’t look like Panda’s TC (also, yours are thigh pieces? Looks like white meat!). As another person commented, Panda probably marinates their chicken before cooking, which would be an added bonus to this recipe. Additionally, I think Panda DOES use real minced ginger and garlic ~ not powdered. Also, I purchased a bottle of Panda’s sauce at the grocery store, and it has bits of something in it! They don’t sell it at Panda anymore (at least my restaurant), but they once told me that the bottled sauce is not exactly the same sauce that’s on the TC. Anyway, thanks for the recipe ~ it’s worth a try!

  11. I rarely leave recipe reviews but this turned out wonderful. I followed the recipe almost exactly. I added a little less sugar (I used brown). The chicken was a tender and flavorful and the sauce really did taste like Panda Express, which is what we were craving 🙂

  12. i was wondering if you have seen the new five flavor shrimp at panda and are working on a recipe? I would absolutely love that!!! This recipe was delicious by the way and the family enjoyed it as well.

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Good catch! This is what happens when you skip the ever important proof read after not looking at the post for a couple of hours! It is in fact supposed to say water.

  13. Thanks! I love Panda Express! I’m making this right now!
    I’m guessing the recipe should say mix 2 tbls of cornstarch and 2 tbls of *water*? 🙂

  14. The recipe doesn’t look complete… after you grill the chicken and boil the sauce what do you do with the chicken then to finish cooking it? Did I miss something??

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Yes sorry, you spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve. I don’t know how that line went missing!

    2. Umm… it should be cooked when you finish grilling it. I worked at panda express and we just chopped it to pieces, gave it to customers along with the sauce and thats it

  15. Wow!! This looks amazing! Love all the Panda Express recipes you have here on the site! I never have to actually go there again 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s gotten too expensive for the Middle Class to eat out that much. So, I like how Chef Sabrina is teaching us how to make more things at home. And, I hope that she applies her skills to copycatting many other restaurant entrees (just like Todd Wilbur does). Again, thank you Chef Sabrina for all you do.

  16. I love finding recipes to make take out food at home. This sounds perfect for a friday night Chinese fix.

  17. I must try this, their mandarin chicken is one of my favorite dishes there and if you can get it less salty, then you are my hero!

  18. I was wondering what you’ll make next to that gorgeous grilled pineapple… the perfect meal, gotta make it for my hubby asap. I might cheat too, don’t tell anyone 😉

  19. I’m going to have to check out all of your Panda Express copycats! This one looks wonderful! I’m craving it now!

  20. Oooh that looks just wonderful! Perfect sear on the chicken and the pineapple. What a yummy meal, easy enough for a weeknight meal too!!