Skillet Sesame Chicken

8 Servings
Prep Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 13 minutes

Skillet Sesame Chicken is an easy way to make a favorite Chinese dish. It’s just as quick as takeout and even more delicious with sweet and tangy flavors.

This recipe takes a classic Chinese food takeout dish and turns it into an easy Weeknight Dinner to make in your own kitchen. Serve it chicken over a bowl of Fried Rice and your favorite veggie sides to complete the meal.

Skillet Sesame Chicken on a plate with rice and veggies

This is one of those quick dinners that you’ll turn to time and time again on busy weeknights. It only takes a few simple ingredients like soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, and sesame oil to soak the chicken in traditional Asian flavors. Then all you have to do is cook the chicken pieces on the stovetop.

Any fans of Chinese food are sure to love this homemade version. The chicken and flavorful sauce cook to crispy perfection, that’s just as good as takeout. Plus, making it at home means you get to enjoy the chicken when it’s perfectly fresh.

Skillet Sesame Chicken collage

To complete your chicken dinner, serve it up with some classic side dishes. Scoop the sesame chicken entree over a bowl of white rice or Brown Rice. The Skillet Sesame Chicken is sticky, sweet, and has a mild nutty flavor from the sesame oil, which is perfect to pair with an Asian vegetable mix. Try sautéing or steaming your favorite veggies like a head of broccoli, carrots, peppers, or snow peas, for instance. The juicy chicken and crisp-tender veggies are absolutely amazing together! Additionally, you can toss the veggies in a classic dish like Vegetable Chow Mein for another filling dish.

More Asian Dishes

Cooking Tips 

  • Slice: First, cut the boneless skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized chicken pieces. You want the pieces in a flattened square shape. Each one should be about ¼ inch thick, but more like an inch or so wide.
  • Marinade: In a medium bowl add the soy sauce, cornstarch, minced garlic cloves, sesame oil, honey, and red pepper flakes. Whisk the ingredients together. Then put the chicken in a ziplock bag and pour the sauce ingredients over the top. Seal the bag and shake to coat in the sesame chicken sauce before putting it in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours. However, you can marinate longer if you have extra time for a more developed flavor.
  • Cooking Time: Add vegetable oil to the base of a heavy skillet over medium heat. Transfer chicken mixture from the marinating bag to the hot skillet. make sure the chicken can lay in a single layer over the bottom of the pan. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. It should take about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Serve: Top the chicken with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and serve with vegetables, rice, and any other sides you like.

Skillet Sesame Chicken cooking in skillet


  • Seasonings: For some more bold flavors in the recipe, try adding your favorite spices. Fresh ginger, turmeric, or anise would taste great.
  • Brown Sugar Sesame Chicken: To add some extra sweetness to the Sesame Chicken, whisk 3 tablespoons of brown sugar in the marinade sauce. The chicken will soak up the rich flavors while it sits in the fridge.
  • Vegetables: Try adding vegetables to the skillet to sauté along with the boneless chicken breast. Chopped yellow onion, green onion, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, or water chestnuts are excellent options to add more texture and color to this delicious recipe.

Skillet Sesame Chicken cooking in skillet

More Easy Chicken Dishes 

How to Store Skillet Sesame Chicken 

  • Serve: Don’t leave this sensational Sesame Chicken out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Let any leftover chicken cool before you transfer it to an airtight container to store in the fridge. It will stay good for 3-4 days. Reheat the sesame chicken in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven for leftover night.
  • Freeze: You can also freeze the dish for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating the chicken.

Skillet Sesame Chicken on a plate with rice and veggies

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Skillet Sesame Chicken

Skillet Sesame Chicken is an easy way to make a favorite Chinese dish. It's just as quick as takeout and even more delicious with sweet and tangy flavors.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 13 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese Food
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes , optional
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Cut the chicken breasts into matchbox-sized pieces, about ¼ inch thick but in a wide, flat square shape.
  • Add pieces to large ziplock bag.
  • Add in soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic, sesame oil, honey, and red pepper flakes.
  • Marinate for 2 hours.
  • Add vegetable oil into a large heavy skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken to the skillet and brown on both sides (do not crowd your skillet, it is better to cook in batches).
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, serve with steamed vegetables and rice.


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 439mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Skillet 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. Hi! This sounds amazing! Do you pour the marinade in the skillet or pull out the individual pieces of chicken?