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Sesame Chicken

I have a feeling this meal is going to be making a lot of appearances in my house from now on. Not only is it delicious, it takes absolutely no time to put together, and tastes like real take-out sesame chicken. It can also be served in a million different ways – as a rice bowl with veggies, over Asian inspired greens as a salad, as an Asian burrito with Sriracha as the hot sauce, with the chicken cut into longer strips and served as chicken fingers – you get the idea. Not only that, I am pretty sure the base of this recipe could be used with lots of different flavor combinations. For example – what if we added dijon mustard, rosemary, garlic, and lemon juice to the chicken stock?

Sesame Chicken
Servings: 5
Serving Size: 1/5 recipe (about 6 oz chicken)
Nutritional Info: 180.1 calories, 6.5g of fat, 2.1g carbohydrates, .4g dietary fiber, 28.2g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *


  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour flour
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (you can also use all regular)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the chicken stock, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and white vinegar together. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, toss the chicken with salt, pepper, and flour.
  4. In a large pan (make sure it’s oven safe) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken in one layer. Cook for three minutes on one side until seared and then flip and cook for another three minutes on the other side.
  5. Turn off the heat and pour the chicken stock mixture over the chicken, stirring to combine.
  6. Place the entire pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Then toss the chicken with sesame seeds and serve.

**Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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53 Response to Sesame Chicken

  1. Darlene Kidman on November 7, 2012

    Loved the sesame chicken! I coupled it with yu choy carrots beans and brown rice.
    Thank you, love your recipes!

  2. Allie on November 8, 2012

    Oh my goodness! I made this last night, paired it with steamed broccoli, and for a minute I thought I was eating out at a Chinese restaurant! I don’t think I used enough chicken-I had more sauce than it looks like you do in your pictures, and I couldn’t find black sesame seeds, but we LOVED it! I was sad that we didn’t have any left overs, because I was looking forward to having them for lunch today :)

  3. Allison on November 13, 2012

    OK. I thought Allie was crazy thinking that this tasted like take out, but……. I made it (w/o sesame seeds, but I will buy them) and it was fantastic!!!! It is probably the most authentic Asian recipe I have found. My kids (3 & 5) loved it too. Bravo!!!!

  4. Ashley H. on December 10, 2012

    Can you use just regular sesame seeds?! I don’t have black ones.

    • Kristen on December 10, 2012

      Regular ones will work perfectly. Hope you like it. It’s one of my favorites.

  5. Kat on February 5, 2013

    I too seemed to have lots of sauce even when using a bit more chicken than specified. Is the sauce thin and abundant for everyone else?

  6. Traci on February 15, 2013

    I made this for dinner. My husband and youngest absolutely loved it.

  7. Petra on February 25, 2013

    OH my gosh! I just made this for a quick wfh lunch (it was that quick!) with half leftover for later! Served with leftover white rice re-energized w/ some water in the microwave.

    Alterations, scaled down to one chicken breast (cubed halfway through defrost, so it was quicker to thaw), eyeballed the sauce and flour ratios to scale down, and only left in the oven for 16 min.

    I also added a whole bunch of asparagus that I’d sliced into 1″ pieces…added the big husky stalk pieces 5 min into chic bake time, and the more delicate stalks and tips after another 5 min. Right as I was nuking aforementioned rice, I just randomly sprinkled plain sesame seeds over the chic and stuck back in the oven so the heat would reinvigorate them a bit too.



  8. Heather on March 12, 2013

    I tried this tonight and the sauce is very runny and there’s a lot of it. In your photo it looks a bit carmelized. The only thing it didn’t specify in your recipe is if you had a lid on or off in the oven. I had a lid on, I’m assuming this is the problem. Would you mind clarifying? thanks.

    • Kristen on March 12, 2013

      Sorry to hear that the sauce came out runny. I think you are right that it is because you placed a lid on the pan in the oven. Next time leave the lid off and the sauce will reduce and caramelize more.

  9. Beth Barker on April 15, 2013

    I made this tonight and served over “cauiliflower-fried rice” ! My huband LOVED it! Thak you so much for the recipe!

  10. Melissa on April 16, 2013

    Hi, I cooked this tonight and it was so so good my husband and 7 year old loved it thank you for sharing! I have a question, and maybe I plugged something in wrong but, when I plugged all the ingredients in the points plus calculator I am getting 7 p+ per serving with 5 servings Are you taking into account we don’t consume all the liquid is that why it is less or do you think I might be doing something wrong I am just trying to keep it all straight. If it is 7 it was still worth it thanks so much:)

  11. Melissa on April 17, 2013

    Ok I have to apologize I figured out what I was doing wrong! I was adding cooked chicken in recipe builder instead of adding raw so sorry :( it kept bugging me so I sat there until I figured it out! BTW I LOVE this site and I am so happy I found it! You cook real food, things people actually like to eat!!!! Thanks again and this was by far my favorite thing I have tried that was weight watcher friendly! Can’t wait to try more from your site! Is the serving of chicken 6 oz raw or cooked? Thanks again

    • Kristen on April 17, 2013

      Don’t worry about it, I was just about to send you a screen shot. I am actually really grateful when people share comments like this in case I made a mistake somewhere. Thanks so much!

  12. Amelia on May 3, 2013

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was pretty good. And super duper easy to make. The thing that took the most time was dicing up the chicken. I didn’t think the sauce was thickening enough so I added a tablespoon of flour to the chicken and sauce halfway through cooking in the oven. It thickened very nicely. Next time I make this I will add a little orange juice. I think that will give it a nice extra bit if flavor. I served with some veggie fried brown rice. Very nice meal. Every bit was eaten (yea!) but that means no leftovers for lunch tomorrow (boo).

  13. Jovan Gonzales on May 8, 2013


    I’d like to say THANKS for this awesome recipe! I definitely cheated a lot, but I used the same thing and it came out GREAT! I added onions and extra garlic to the chicken while it was cooking. I also added the flour after the chicken cooked along with a bit of butter. I didn’t do the oven (I felt like that was doin the most!), so I added a bit more chicken stock and let it simmer on the stove for about 5-10 mins till extra thick. It was so good and it impressed everyone that I cooked for. I felt like an awesome chef! :) Thanks again for this recipe! It is such a great one!


  14. wendy on May 10, 2013

    I’ve made this a couple of times now, with a few modifications to make it paleo-friendly… so good! Thanks for the recipe :)

  15. Krista on June 5, 2013

    I’ve got this ready to cook and realized I don’t have a pan that will go in oven? What to do?

    • Kristen on June 6, 2013

      Although this is probably too late (sorry!) I would pour it into an oven safe dish and bake it in that. Hope it turned out ok.

  16. Leesa on June 13, 2013

    Hi! Thank you for the recipe. It got such great reviews, but I’m afraid I did something wrong. My sauce is thin and watery and not carmelized at all. Followed the directions exactly as specified. Wonder what happened?

    • Kristen on June 14, 2013

      Sorry to hear you had trouble with the sauce. I have two thoughts about what potentially could have caused it. First is depending on the chicken you use, some has more water content then others that could have created extra liquid when the chicken cooked. The second is that perhaps is wasn’t able to get hot enough to reduce during the cooking.

  17. Jackie on June 24, 2013

    Great recipe, I even had everything on hand! I added some broccoli and 3-minute frozen brown rice! Perfection.

  18. Stella Smith on June 26, 2013

    This recipe is awesome! SO TASTY! I doubled the sauce and served with broccoli and rice. Yummy, yummy, yummy!!

  19. Dawn on July 23, 2013

    Delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We made it tonight with sugar snap peas and rice. I also added some crushed red pepper for heat.

  20. Kawal on August 1, 2013

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it turned out just like the picture. I did double the sauce as I had a little of over 2 lbs of chicken and I added in some thai chili paste. Also, I added in little corn starch near the end to thicken up the sauce. The kids had it with jasmine rice and I had it with roasted asparagus. Definitely going into the regular rotation. Thanks!

  21. Amanda on August 25, 2013

    Anyone try an iron skillet?

    • Deeann Carson on August 5, 2014

      I used a cast iron skillet and worked great!!! Was so yummy!!! Had brown rice and stir fried veggies fresh from the garden.

  22. Lori on September 9, 2013

    We love this!! I have to triple the recipe so hubby has leftovers for at least one if not two lunches! Thank you for the great recipe, delist as always

  23. Kera on September 13, 2013

    Just made this for dinner, and wow it was so very good. The whole family loved it. It’s definitely gonna be in my rotation of recipes that I cook.

  24. Liz on September 14, 2013

    Nice recipe. Thank you.

  25. Jane on September 16, 2013

    Just wondering how you would make this a freezer meal? I want to do a large freezing day this Sunday and would love to have this as part of my recipes.

  26. Judy G! on September 30, 2013

    Made this for dinner tonight & it was a huge hit! Do you think this would freeze well or old the chicken get soggy?

  27. Judy G! on September 30, 2013

    *would the chicken get soggy?

    • Kristen on October 2, 2013

      I haven’t had trouble with the chicken getting too soggy when freezing it. Depending on how you reheat it, it may change the texture a bit. For the best results I would let it defrost and then reheat it in a skillet instead of the microwave if you want to keep a crispy exterior.

  28. Michelle on October 9, 2013

    This was delisssshhhh!!! My fussy husband and 5 year old loved it! I asked my husband if we should put it on the rotation and he said, “Uh… YEAH!!”
    It’s even better than takeout, if you ask me. No mystery meat coated in goey, icky breading. Perfection!!

    (Thanks again… It’s so hard to feed fussy eaters, and sometimes I just want to give up and give them pizza and mac n cheese.
    . But every healthy recipe that tastes great inspires me to keep on trying!)

  29. Tom W on January 19, 2014

    Just curious on steps 5 and 6. You turn off the heat and pour the chicken stock mixture over the chicken, stirring to combine. Then, you place the entire pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Do you turn the oven back on at 400 degrees, or just put back in to the oven to finish cooking (with the oven off)? Sorry, I am a newbie cook. Thanks!

    • Kristen on January 20, 2014

      Leave the oven on at 400 degrees so the chicken can finish cooking :)

  30. Orna @OrnaBakes on January 22, 2014

    This sounds absolutely delicious – can’t wait to try it. I think even my picky hubby and toddler will love it! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Mary on February 12, 2014

    This was a hit with the entire family! The sauce didn’t thicken up in the oven as some others mentioned so I played with that a bit. I only had plain sesame seeds on had, but will definitely buy black ones the next time I make this. They will have a nice visual impact.

  32. Monica on February 18, 2014

    I got 3 mmmmmms from my kids and then one from my husband. Then I told the whole world about my success making a meal the whole family loved. I just had to tell people to try it out for themselves.

    I added a bit of cornstarch and cold water to the sauce before cooking. This thickened up with no problem. Pair with rice and broccoli. Easy peasy. Thanks!

    • Monica on February 18, 2014

      Actually I added the cornstarch with the broth.

  33. Lesly on February 26, 2014

    Can you sub almond flour for the whole wheat flour?

    • Kristen on February 26, 2014

      That should work, although I haven’t tried it. If you find the sauce isn’t thickening up I would recommend adding cornstarch/arrowroot to it.

    • Shannon on March 17, 2014

      Did you try the almond flour?

  34. Ginny on March 2, 2014

    Nice flavor, but if you want it to bee more authentic, let it sit for 10-15 minutes for the sauce to thicken up.

  35. Amber on October 4, 2014

    Thank you for the yummy Sesame Chicken recipe! My two picky eaters ( my daughter 11 and husband) both LOVED it, in fact they asked if I would double it next time! Thank you again, your new follower!

  36. Jocelyn on December 7, 2014

    I added a little cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it up a bit. Also used roasted flax seeds instead of sesame seeds and omitted the brown sugar. Served it with brown rice. The whole family loved it! Great recipe.

  37. Janet T> on February 1, 2015

    I know this was posted quite a while ago, but I had the same problem with the sauce being thin. I suspect it’s because I used a glass dish and so it didn’t brown. Since I don’t have a oven proof pan or skillet large enough, what do you think about browning it on the stove and transferring it to a sheet pan? I’d love to have that thick sauce instead of this watery liquid.

  38. Steph on February 9, 2015

    Ive been making this meal twice a month for over a year now. It’s a big win in our house, even with picky kids (age 6,4,2). I always triple and sometimes quadruple the sauce. I remove the chicken from the pan and then add some cornstarch to thicken the sauce before putting the chicken back in. We also steam broccoli and throw in some water chestnuts before serving. Thanks for this staple recipe in our home!

  39. Trista on February 10, 2015

    This is hands down one of my favorite recipes ever! I’m so glad I found it! I’ve been making it off and on for about a year now and both my children, 7 & 2, love it! I had brought leftovers to work to share with my boss and mom and they ate it all before I could have any! Lol it’s a huge hit in my house :-)

  40. CC on March 8, 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made it gluten free with only a couple of substitutions (GF all purpose flour and tamari sauce for the soy sauce). It was SO GOOD!!!! I don’t eat that much Chinese food any more because of my sensitivity to gluten, so this was a real treat that was incredibly flavorful.

  41. Amy on April 6, 2015

    I made this dish last week with the modification you mentioned with adding garlic, brown mustard, lemon, and basil (I didn’t have Rosemary) and we loved it! My picky toddlers aren’t into Asian flavored yet, so it was a perfect compromise. They asked me to make it again! I wanted to make it tonight but realized I am out of chicken. Trying it with cut-up pork chops. Do you think this will turn out? I realize it’s too late as its already in the oven, but maybe someone has a thought?

  42. Carol Pelosi on April 20, 2015

    Made it for the first time today it was awesome. Sauce thicken very nicely next time I am going to make double sauce.


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