There’s no need to reach for the take-out menu with this Healthy Honey Garlic Chicken recipe in your back pocket! Made with simple ingredients and ready in just 20 minutes, this chicken stir-fry is an easy but epic dinner the entire family will love!
Are you a tired mom (or dad….or single person)? Broke college student? Trying to quit a bad take-out habit? Lover of yummy food?
Super. This stir fry is for you!
This honey garlic chicken is a weeknight warrior in all of the most important ways:
- It’s delicious, but also super healthy (no processed ingredients!).
- It’s quick (20 minutes) and easy (made in one pan).
- It’s frugal, using basic pantry supplies.
- And look how darn pretty it is too!
Ya want in on this action? I know you do! This sweet and savory delight can be in your belly in just 20 minutes – that’s faster than delivery around these parts, and I can guarantee it’s cheaper too! Plus it’s made with healthy, real food ingredients – no sugar, no additives, no junk. Nom nom, yes!
What Makes this Recipe Healthy?
Many recipes for honey garlic chicken include some processed ingredients, along with additional sugar, and a flour batter. My version is a healthier take on the classic that’s naturally gluten free, soy free, sugar free, and paleo– all without sacrificing a bit of flavor!
- No processed ingredients
- No ketchup
- No refined sugar
- No gluten
- No soy
So yes, you can totally make a super healthy and delicious honey garlic chicken stir fry sauce with just a handful of real, whole food ingredients. Ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Go ahead and check…I’ll wait.
- Coconut Aminos: you can also use tamari (it’s gluten free) or regular soy sauce
- Rice Vinegar
- Cornstarch: or arrowroot powder for paleo and grain-free diets
- Sesame Oil
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: you can also use chicken thighs
- Stir Fry Vegetables: we used carrots and broccoli
I use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce. Health-wise, it’s gluten free and obviously soy-free, but it’s also lower in salt. Flavor-wise, I love the sweeter profile of coconut aminos, and it works particularly well in this honey garlic sauce. It also doesn’t overwhelm the finished flavor of stir fry sauces the way that soy sauce does, so it’s perfect here to allow the honey and garlic to really shine while bringing just the right punch of umami.
How to Make Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
This honey garlic chicken is a quick, healthy stir fry that’s ready in just 20 minutes. Diced chicken breasts are simmered with sliced carrots (or your favorite stir fry vegetables) in a simple honey garlic stir fry sauce that’s perfectly savory with just enough sweet and sour. It’s so easy, and so tasty, you’ll ditch the take-out menu for good!
The sauce is more savory than sweet, with just a little pucker of sour. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, go ahead and increase the honey to a third of a cup.
- Make the Sauce. Dump all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until the garlic is completely pulverized and the sauce is smooth. It takes about a minute to really get the garlic processed. You can also use a food processor.
- Stir Fry the Chicken. Sautee the diced chicken in a splash of olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil until it’s not longer pink. Season it with a bit of salt and pepper while it cooks.
- Add Carrots and Sauce. Add some sliced carrots to the pan, then pour in the honey garlic sauce. Simmer the chicken and carrots in the sauce, stirring every once in awhile, until the sauce thickens up and the chicken is cooked through.
- Simmer. It’ll take 5-7 minutes for the chicken to finish cooking through, and for the sauce to thicken and turn a lovely golden brown hue. Test the chicken with an instant read thermometer for doneness – it should read 160-165°F.
- Garnish. Finish the stir fry with some scallions and sesame seeds, and you’re done!
TIP: If you don’t have a blender (or don’t want to bother with it), simply finely mince the garlic and whisk all ingredients until smooth.
Note: adding the carrots after the chicken has browned will cook them through but they’ll still have a nice bite – much the same consistency as a traditional stir fry. If you prefer softer carrots, add them in with the raw chicken.
Um, let’s just admire this sauce for a minute. YUM!
Seriously. It’s finger-licking good and bubbles up into golden brown awesome-sauce in no time. Make sure you pour some sauce over your rice or noodles or other base of choice – it’s not to be wasted!
Now pat yourself on the back, do a little dance, and enjoy your 20-minute super healthy dinner. YOU DESERVE IT!
What to Serve With Honey Garlic Chicken
- Over brown rice, white rice, or quinoa.
- Over cauliflower rice or sweet potato glass noodles for a paleo meal.
- Over your favorite cooked asian noodles, like soba, udon, or rice noodles.
- Over sautéed vegetable noodles (sweet potato or zucchini are best!) for a veggie-packed bowl of goodness.
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to sliced carrots, try broccoli florets, snow or snap peas, or diced bell peppers. Add them to the skillet when you add the carrots.
Nope! Diced chicken thighs or whole chicken breast tenderloins work great too! If using thighs, be sure to trim any visible fat, or it will gum up. If using tenderloins, they’ll need to cook a bit longer to reach 165°F.
Yes. Add up to 1 tablespoon sriracha to the stir fry sauce.
Yes. Increase the honey to ⅓ cup and/or add 1 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar.
It’s a great sauce for chicken wings! Prepare the sauce per the recipe. Then, simmer the sauce in a small sauce-pot over medium heat until it thickens and turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Brush the the sauce onto chicken wings, then broil the wings for 5 minutes.
Storing and Reheating
- In the Fridge: The chicken keeps for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge and reheats well in the microwave; reheat in 45-60 second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through
- As Meal Prep: store the cooked honey garlic chicken over your base of choice in meal prep containers.
More Quick Stir Fry Recipes
- Mostly Veggie Steak Stir Fry
- Healthy Chicken Stir Fry
- Stir Fry Noodles
- Chicken Teriyaki Bowls
- Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Whole30 Bulgogi (Korean Beef BBQ)
Did you make this honey garlic chicken recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 1 tbsp olive oil, or coconut oil
- 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1″ cubes
- ½ tsp sea or kosher salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 large carrots, shaved and sliced into ½″ coins
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Honey Garlic Stir Fry Sauce
- 6 tbsp coconut aminos
- ¼ c honey
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch, or arrowroot powder for paleo
- Make the Honey Garlic Sauce. Combine the coconut aminos, honey, garlic, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a blender. Blend until the sauce is smooth and the garlic is pulverized.
- Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the cubed chicken breast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss in the fat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes.
- Add the carrots to the skillet, then pour in the honey garlic sauce. Toss the chicken and carrots and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is a thick, golden brown. Stir the chicken and vegetables occasionally. Test the chicken for doneness using an instant read thermometer; it’s cooked through once it reaches 165°F.
- Remove the honey garlic chicken from heat. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and toss to combine.
- Serve the chicken over steamed white or brown rice, cauliflower rice, or your choice of noodles. Garnish with additional scallions and sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately. Leftover honey garlic chicken keeps in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.