Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce made with natural ingredients you already have. Better for you than store bought and ready in 10 minutes. Jump to Recipe
Healthy Teriyaki Sauce that tastes better than store bought and isn't full of ingredients you can't pronounce. It tastes great in stir-fries, as a marinade, over grilled chicken or veggies, and drizzled on Asian inspired salads and wraps. We love it with these Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs.
I have always loved teriyaki sauce. The sticky, sweet, savory sauce makes everything taste better in my opinion and it is something I almost always have on hand to marinate meats, create quick stir-fries, and drizzle over Asian inspired meals. However as I try to focus on eating more whole and natural foods, I have quickly realized that my favorite store-bought versions are packed with corn syrup and all kinds of ingredients I can't even begin to pronounce.
Luckily for us, it's surprisingly easy to create a healthy homemade teriyaki sauce at home that tastes just as good as the store bought , even better in fact. All you need is some soy sauce, pineapple juice, cornstarch, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger - ingredients you probably already have at home. And in about ten minutes, you will have a sweet and savory, thick teriyaki sauce that you can use with almost anything.
How to make homemade teriyaki sauce?
There are actually lots of different recipes out there for teriyaki sauce ranging from very simple to super complex. This recipe falls somewhere in the middle, but is worth the extra work. It is so good and so much better than the bottled stuff. Here are the basic ingredients to make teriyaki sauce. Here is what you need:
- Pineapple juice isn't a typical ingredient but adds sweetness and a bit of tang to the teriyaki sauce.
- Reduced sodium soy sauce helps keep the sodium levels in check. You can also use coconut aminos to reduce the sodium even more.
- Honey (or brown sugar) is a healthier option for sweetening the teriyaki sauce. You could also use brown sugar, white sugar, or maple syrup.
- Rice wine vinegar adds some acidity to the sauce and some sweetness.
- Garlic to punch up the flavor.
- Ginger to add some spice.
- Pepper is optional but adds some spice and balances the sweetness.
- Cornstarch is only needed for the sauce version. If you are just using it as marinade you can leave this out.
- This is all combined in a sauce pan and cooked down until it gets nice and thick. If you are using it as a marinade, you can skip the extra step of cooking down the sauce.
Depending on how you like your teriyaki sauce, you can also spice up this sauce to make it taste just like your favorite store bought version. If you like a spicy sauce, add some Sriracha or Asian chili paste. For a sweeter sauce, add more honey to the recipe. If you love garlic or ginger, consider adding some extra. You can also add some sesame seeds to the mix and a touch of sesame oil to bring out more of a sesame flavor.
- Marinade: I love using this to marinate chicken, steak, and pork. Normally I will marinate the meat in the sauce before I thicken it. Then after I remove the protein, I will add the remaining marinade to a saucepan with the cornstarch and make a quick teriyaki sauce. I find the meat absorbs more of the flavor with the thinner sauce.
- Stir Fries: Teriyaki sauce is a great option for quick and easy weeknight stir fries. Saute your favorite protein with vegetables and then toss everything with the homemade teriyaki sauce once it is finished cooking. The thick sauce will coat the protein and veggies, giving it tons of flavor and punch.
- Asian Inspired Salads and Grain Bowls: I am always a huge fan of salads and grain bowls and teriyaki sauce can act as the perfect dressing. To complement the Asian flavors of the sauce, I like to add things like edamame, bean sprouts, crunchy cabbage, bok choy, and cashews to my salads and bowls.
- Glaze: Teriyaki makes a wonderful glaze for quick cooking proteins like salmon, flank steak, shrimp, and chicken thighs. Brush the protein with the teriyaki sauce and cook it at a high temperature in the oven.
- Lettuce wraps: For a quick and easy lettuce wrap, brown either ground turkey or chicken in a pan with a bag of packaged cole-slaw mix. Once the meat has browned, toss it with the teriyaki sauce and wrap it up in butter lettuce for a lettuce wrap that is as good as any restaurant.
Looking for more healthy Asian recipes?
- Healthy Korean Ground Beef with Vegetables
- Healthy Fried Rice
- Sheet Pan Asian Chicken Stir Fry
- Healthier Kung Pao Chicken
- Healthier Mongolian Beef
Here are some of the products I used to create this recipe:
- Glass storage jars: I make a lot of homemade sauces and dressings and love using these small glass jars to store the sauces in the fridge.
Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
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- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. water
- 3 tbsp honey (or brown sugar)
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 U clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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