We've had this Teriyaki Chicken Bowl on repeat in our house lately. Healthy weeknight dinner has never been easier! This recipe is also super easy to freeze, so it's the perfect make-ahead freezer meal.
Growing up in Hawaii, shoyu chicken and rice was something that I ate all the time. We used to have a food truck across from my high school where you could buy teriyaki chicken bowls or ramen.
Shoyu is the Hawaiian version of soy sauce. It's a little bit sweeter than soy sauce and has a distinctive flavor that you'll recognize if you've ever eaten it.
I learned to make authentic shoyu chicken in my home economics class in middle school. This is where my love of Hawaiian recipes was born!
What You’ll Love About This Recipe
Besides the fact that this recipe is so easy, you're going to love all the flavor in the Teriyaki Sauce!
- Easy: Teriyaki chicken recipes are so easy to make, especially when you can make the marinade and Teriyaki Sauce in one bowl at the same time. It's one of my top secret meal prep tips!
- Healthy: These teriyaki chicken bowls are full of protein and veggies. Add a healthy serving of rice and you have the perfect bowl of yumminess.
- Kid-Approved: If you have picky kids, this recipe is perfect for them. I've never met a kid that doesn't fall in love with the sweet teriyaki sauce. And don't worry, it really doesn't have that much sugar in it. Plus, no additives!
You can use chicken thighs or chicken pieces in this recipe. I am partial to chicken thighs. You'll also need to make some steamed veggies and a pot of rice. Check out my post on how to make perfect rice.
This recipe starts with a teriyaki marinade that is going to do double duty as our teriyaki sauce. You will mix up the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce and then pull out ⅓ of a cup and dilute it with a cup of water to make the teriyaki chicken marinade. Genius!
- Soy Sauce: You can substitute tamari if you are gluten-free, or even coconut aminos if you are avoiding soy.
- Brown Sugar: You can also use coconut sugar.
- Aromatics: Minced garlic and ginger here! If you need a shortcut, you can use jarred garlic and ginger.
- Rice wine vinegar and mirin: Rice vinegar is available in the "ethnic" section of your local store. Mirin is more like a sake. It adds another element of flavor that I love. You can leave it out if you don't have it or can't find it.
- Spices: I love sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, and both of these are optional. I like almost everything a little bit spicy🔥.
- Thickener: You will also need either cornstarch or arrowroot starch to make a thickening slurry.
Other Ingredients You'll Need
- Chicken: I usually make 8 chicken thighs OR 4 chicken breasts.
- Steamed Veggies: My go-to veggies for this teriyaki chicken bowl are steamed broccoli and carrots.
- Steamed Rice: You will want a ½ cup to a cup of rice for each teriyaki bowl.
All right, so now, how to cook teriyaki chicken! This recipe can be used for grilled chicken or baked teriyaki chicken. You can even cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and pan-fry it.
Start with the teriyaki sauce:
You'll be using a portion of this to make the teriyaki chicken marinade.
Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan.
Step 2: Take out ⅓ cup of the sauce and put it in a bowl or a plastic bag. Add ½ cup of water to the reserved sauce and then add the chicken into it. Cover and refrigerate.
Step 3: Place the saucepan the stove and bring the teriyaki sauce to a simmer.
Step 4: Add the cornstarch slurry. Whisk continuously while the sauce thickens.
Step 5: Bring the teriyaki sauce to a boil and heat for about 30 seconds. You will want the sauce to coat the spoon. It should be the consistency of warm maple syrup.
Step 6: Add the sesame seeds.
Make steamed rice and veggies:
Steamed rice can be made on the stove top, in your instant pot, or in a rice cooker (my favorite).
I like to steam my veggies in the steamer basket of my rice cooker. Talk about super easy meal prep.
I usually use a combination of broccoli, carrots, onion, and green cabbage. You can use use whatever veggies you like. They all taste amazing when slathered with teriyaki sauce.
If you're feeling decadent, you can also stir fry your veggies in a drizzle of sesame oil.
Grill the teriyaki chicken thighs
Of course, you can use chicken breasts here as well. Baking or pan-frying the chicken is also perfectly acceptable and delicous!
Assembling your teriyaki chicken bowl
You don't have to make this in a bowl, of course. For these photos, I used a small plate.
We make this chicken at least twice a month. I keep a batch in the freezer so it's easy to just thaw out the already marinated chicken and then grill it or bake in the oven. Double the sauce and you'll be set for months!
Step 1: Add about 1 cup of steamed rice.
Step 2: Dice the grilled teriyaki chicken thighs and place on top of your rice.
Step 3: Add the steamed veggies.
Step 4: Slather with teriyaki sauce.
Step 5: Get all that yumminess in your belly!
FAQs and Expert Tips
It depends! A lot of times, the teriyaki bowls that are in restaurants have sauce that contain a lot of sugar and additives like MSG. However, this homemade chicken teriyaki bowl is big on flavor and protein with NONE of the artificial ingredients.
Yep! I do it all the time. In fact, this is one of my go-to make ahead freezer meals. All of the ingredients in this marinade freeze beautifully.
Other Healthy Bowl Recipes That You’ll Love
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl Recipe
- 2 to 3 lbs chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup Teriyaki Sauce below
- 1 cup water
Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade
Additional Bowl Fixins
- 8 cups steamed rice
- 6 to 8 cups steamed vegetables broccoli and carrots
- Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
- Take out one-third of a cup and place it in a bowl to make your marinade.
- Place the remaining teriyaki sauce in saucepan on medium-high heat and bring the teriyaki sauce to a simmer.
- While the teriyaki sauce is heating, mix up the thickening slurry and and set it aside.
- Once the sauce is simmering, add the slurry to the pan and whisk. Continue cooking, while stirring continuously until the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside. You will have extra.*
- Store for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container.
- Add one cup of water to the reserved teriyaki sauce.
- Add the chicken thighs and marinate for several hours, up to over-night, before grilling, baking or pan frying.
How To Cook Teriyaki Chicken
- Grill: Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill for approximately 6 min on each side.
- Bake: Heat the oven to 425°F. Bake for 12 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet
- Pan-Fry: Heat a few teaspoons of oil, on medium-high heat, in a skillet. Add the chicken and pan-°fry until the chicken is cooked throughout.*