15-Minute Healthier Sesame Chicken — Skip takeout and make this Asian favorite at home in just minutes!! So EASY and HEALTHIER than what you’d get in a restaurant but tastes just as AWESOME!!
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Healthier Sesame Chicken Recipe
The next time you’re in the mood for a sesame chicken stir-fry from your local Asian restaurant, forget about the restaurant and make this skinny version yourself in 15 minutes!
This Chinese sesame chicken and broccoli is so easy, ready in a flash, and tastes every bit as good as from a restaurant. But being that you’re making it at home, you’re in charge of the ingredients and the process.
The sesame chicken is tender, juicy, and the sauce coats every piece of chicken and seeps into the nooks and crannies of the crisp-tender broccoli.
Ingredients in Healthier Sesame Chicken
To make the honey sesame chicken, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Boneless skinless chicken
- Broccoli florets
- Salt and pepper
And to make the homemade sesame chicken sauce, you’ll need:
- Cold water
- Light brown sugar
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Chili garlic sauce
- Ground ginger
How to Make Sesame Chicken
Chinese sesame chicken isn’t traditionally served with broccoli, but since this is meant to be a healthier spin on the classic dish I figured I’d add it to the pan. You may omit the broccoli if you wish!
Here’s how the healthy sesame chicken is made:
- Dice the chicken and cook it in an oiled skillet until it’s nearly cooked through.
- While the chicken cooks, stir together the sesame chicken sauce ingredients in a separate saucepan and cook until thickened.
- Push the chicken to one side of the skillet and dump the broccoli onto the other side. Pour the sesame chicken sauce over top and stir to combine.
- Pop the lid onto the skillet and let the chicken and broccoli cook until the broccoli is crisp tender.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!
Sesame Chicken FAQs
I recommend using fresh broccoli if possible. Frozen broccoli would need additional time to cook through, which may then lead to over cooked, rubbery sesame chicken.
If you don’t have any on hand, it’s okay to omit the chili garlic sauce.
These two Chinese chicken dishes are similar, but unique! General Tso’s chicken is spicier and has a tanginess to it. Sesame chicken is coated in a sweeter sauce with a distinct sesame flavor.
No! It’s a sweeter sauce, with a very slight kick to it. The dish has so much savory unami flavor from the soy and hoisin sauces, while the chili garlic sauce adds a bit of heat and some garlic flavor.
Tips for Making Honey Sesame Chicken
Broccoli was made for soaking up sauce, and I recommend not overcooking it. Mushy broccoli is just not appetizing and keep in mind that the broccoli will continue to soften as it sits in the sauce, even off the heat.
If you’ve never used chili garlic sauce and are sensitive to heat, you may want to start with one tablespoon and you can always add more later if you want to amp up the heat level.
Serve it with rice and if you’re feeling like going that route, although in an effort to keep carbs down we ate it just like this.
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Skinny 15-Minute Sesame Chicken and Broccoli
Skip takeout and make sesame chicken at home in just minutes! So easy and healthier than what you’d get in a restaurant, but tastes just as AWESOME!!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cold water
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 5 cups broccoli florets
- salt and pepper, optional and to taste
- sesame seeds, for garnishing
- To a large skillet, add the oils, chicken, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is nearly cooked through; stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking.
- While chicken cooks, to a small bowl, add the cornstarch, water, and stir to dissolve; set slurry aside.
- To a separate medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, ginger, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow mixture to bubble gently for 1 minute.
- After the mixture is boiling, add the cornstarch slurry, whisk to combine, and allow the sauce to boil and thicken for 2 to 3 minutes; whisking nearly constantly.
- Push the chicken to one side of the skillet, add the broccoli to the other side, evenly pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli, and gently stir to combine and coat evenly.
- Cover skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, or until broccoli is as crisp-tender as desired.
- Optionally add salt and pepper, evenly sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
- Recipe is best fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1106mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 8gSugar: 25gProtein: 52g
More Asian Chicken Recipes:
Favorite CHICKEN RECIPES
Kung Pao Chicken Recipe — An easy, BETTER-THAN-TAKEOUT recipe with juicy chicken and such a flavorful sauce!! Don’t call for takeout when you can make this HEALTHIER version at home in 20 minutes!
15-Minute Spicy Korean Skillet Chicken – Fast, EASY, perfectly SPICY chicken that’s so tender and juicy!! Who needs takeout or a restaurant when you can make this AWESOME chicken at home in 15 minutes!!
15-Minute Orange Chili Chicken and Broccoli – The orange chili sauce is spicy, tangy, and sweet all in one!! The PERFECT sauce to jazz up chicken and broccoli! A FAST and EASY dinner with great Asian FLAVOR!!
15-Minute Chicken, Vegetable, and Ramen Noodle Stir Fry – Don’t call for takeout when you can make this EASY Asian stir fry in minutes!! HEALTHIER and faster than takeout and great for busy weeknights!
Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken – Juicy chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews coated with the best garlicky soy sauce! Skip takeout and make your own restaurant-quality meal that’s easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthier!
Easy Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice – One-skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and you’ll never want takeout again after tasting how good homemade is! Way more flavor, not greasy, and loads of juicy chicken!
P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps – You can skip the restaurant version and make your own in 20 minutes and I promise you this homemade version tastes better!
Chicken Egg Roll Bowls — These egg roll bowls are easy, ready in 15 minutes, full of flavor, have lots of texture, and are healthier than actual egg rolls.
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken — The easiest orange chicken ever because your slow cooker does all the work!! Super juicy, tender, and coated with a sweet-yet-tangy orange glaze that’s irresistible!!
Thanks for the 5 star review!
I happened to have all the ingredients, so I decided to make this recipe. It was easy and fairly quick. Though not really low in calories, definitely lower then this dish from a restaurant. My husband and I thought it was a very good tasting dish. My husband thought it was a little spicy, I thought it was perfect. It would be easy to decrease the amount of garlic chili for those that don’t appreciate so much heat.
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you enjoyed it and yes, very easy to reduce the heat level for next time.
This meal is DELICIOUS!!! I made it tonight for dinner and it tasted like I had ordered take out. I used just one tablespoon of the chili garlic sauce and I’m glad because it was pretty hot as is. Will definitely make rice next time so none of the delicious sauce goes to waste!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am so glad it was delicious and tasted like you ordered take out!
This is a great recipe! Very easy. I made it with chicken and brussel sprouts the first time — tasted amazing! I decided to do “Meatless Mondays” and switched the chicken with cauliflower. Still tasted amazing!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this easy and amazing and that you were able to also make it amazing as a meatless Monday dish!
A family favorite, love the salty, sweet, spicy combination. I do skip the honey and add a bit more water and brocolli, but we love it.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is a family favorite! We also love the salty-sweet-spicy combo!
This was absolutely delicious. Next time I’ll cut down on the chili garlic sauce. I also cooked the broccoli a bit longer as I like mine a little softer and not so crispy.
Thanks for the 5 star review and yes cut down on that next time if it was a little spicy and of course always cook things to exactly how you like the taste and texture such as the broccoli. Thanks for trying the recipe!
The sesame chicken and broccoli was wonderful! As you say, better than takeout. I would not, however, call it “skinny.” As it is, 517 calories is not exactly a light meal, and most people will eat it with some rice besides. Nevertheless, LOVED IT! Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was better than takeout!
The thing with recipes like this is that not every drop of sauce is going to get consumed and there’s where plenty of the (sugar) calories are coming from but I can’t configure the stats that way. Big picture for me, chicken and broccoli are pretty darn healthy, overall.
Oh, believe me… we consumed every drop of the sauce. It was too good to waste! Sopped it up with our rice! Yum!
So.. I didn’t have chili garlic or hoisin sauce. But I used 1tsp of minced garlic, and 2Tbs of honey bbq sauce to sub and this recipe was friggin delish!!! I love Chinese food, it’s a problem, I wanted to experiment healthier options and I’m so glad I tried yours first! I was amazed at this sauce 🤤🤤🤤
I am glad to hear that you were able to use honey bbq sauce with minced garlic and it turned out great!
Frozen broccoli or steam it first??
Fresh is what I recommend.
Could I sub arrowroot/tapioca starch for the corn starch? If so, would it be in an equal ratio?
I am not sure since I have only tried with corn starch.
My whole family loved this! Delicious!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad your whole family loved it!
Yum! Quick and easy! Definitely going to be a repeat!
Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it’s going on repeat!
I was wondering what the serving size was? I couldn’t find it, but was planning on cooking it for 6-7 people.
I would double the recipe then. This feeds about 4.
Delicious! I’ve made this recipe several times and shared with friends.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad you’ve made it a few times now!
This is amazing! So happy to have found a recipe that taste as good as it looks!:)
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad it turned out amazing for you!
What is the serving size?
About 1 cup
I will never order out after making your Skinny Sesame Chicken and Broccoli, Averie. This was phenomenal. My husband would have never ordered this out and he had seconds. Thank you and please keep up the good work.
I’m glad you don’t need to order out and that this was phenomenal and your husband loved it as well!
Made this tonight and it got rave reviews! It looked just like the picture too! heehee. I bought hoisin sauce for the first time in my life! I hope I can use it again sometime.
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this got rave reviews!
For your hoisin https://www.averiecooks.com/tag/hoisin-sauce/
Super recipe–delicious and very quick!! We loved it!!
Where do you add the hoisin sauce? I assume in Step 3?
Yes and I just updated the recipe directions to reflect that.
I agree! This was easy, quick and lighter in calories. This was truly tasty! We loved the sauce and served it with zoodles to keep carbs and calories to a minimum. One thing I question though is the nutritional information. While it is low in calories, I believe with 2 T. of oils, there has to be some fat and surely each serving is more than 79 calories. Please let us know if the nutritional info needs updating. Thanks for a super recipe!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you enjoyed it a lot!
It’s an automated nutrition program and not always perfect. You are welcome to add up each ingredient by hand after looking up the stats and values, tallying, and then dividing by the servings.
Yum! I’m going to give this a go, but use the broccoli stalks as well (peeled and cut into coins). I’ve got broccoli floret haters but they don’t mind the stalks. Who knew there was a difference?! Lol. Thanks for sharing!
I actually love the stalks. I feel they almost have a sweet taste at times but I also am a broccoli fan through and through! Enjoy the recipe.
I’m not familiar with chili garlic sauce. If I wanted to make it as least spicy as possible since my 1 and 2 year olds will be eating some too, will it taste ok if I omit it altogether?
Definitely omit it if you do not want it spicy at all.
Could you please check your calculation for the calories. I’d like to try this recipe, but I think the nutrition counts are off.
That could be. It’s an automated program. You are welcome to add up each ingredient by hand after looking up the values, tallying, and then dividing by the servings.
I love your stir frys–can’t wait to try this one later in the week! I always appreciate these kinds of quick-to -prepare recipes!
Quick, easy (and as a bonus healthy too) are always welcome for just about everyone I think!