Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

By Updated on

Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce made with natural ingredients you already have. Better for you than store bought and ready in 10 minutes.


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, make quick Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls, throw together easy 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.

In about ten minutes, you will have a sweet and savory, thick teriyaki sauce that you can use with almost anything.

Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce and Zucchini Meatballs

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.
  • Water
  • 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 saucepan 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.

Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce that

Recipe Ideas

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.

Ways to Use Homemade Teriayki Sauce

There are so many different ways to use this tasty homemade sauce.

  • 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 coleslaw 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.
  • Rice bowls: Make a delicious teriyaki vegetable rice bowl, adding any protein you like.

Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce in a glass jar.

Looking for more healthy Asian recipes?

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.
The Recipe
Homemade teriyaki sauce in a jar with teriyaki chicken meatballs in the background.

Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 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 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Add everything to a small sauce pan and whisk together.


Bring to a boil and stir well to make sure honey dissolves into the sauce. Turn heat down to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is thick and coats a spoon nicely. Taste and season if needed. Make sure to watch the sauce since it can burn quickly.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 tbsp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 39
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 355mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 8g
Protein 1g

* 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.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
On Healthy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
user image
user image
David A Dietrich
November 11, 2023 - 15:23
Definitely going to try this one. Ive never done it with pineapple juice so that sounds really good.
user image
August 5, 2023 - 09:20
what is coconut aminos and does it act as a replacement for low sodium soy sauce or is it added in as an addition? I have recently been diagnosed with heart issues and need a no/low sodium diet. I've been surprised at how good food can be when it's good quality food (organic) and no salt added. I look forward to trying this recipe.
user image
September 28, 2020 - 17:01
Add a Rating:
This is so good! It is in my regular rotation. Thank you!
user image
Earline Taylor
June 23, 2018 - 15:33
Add a Rating:
You all have got to be kidding! The only way to make this sauce healthy is to switch out the soy sauce. 355 mgs of sodium for a tablespoon and a half is not healthy. People always fall for the word "healthy". That much sodium for so little is not "healthy". I am definitely going to switch out the soy sauce, either by making my own or using a sauce with a lot less milligrams of sodium. 4 stars is all I can give it, since the word "healthy" just don't fit this recipe.
user image
Ann Stockton
August 23, 2023 - 08:00
Earline, you could replace the soy for Tamarind, a healthier version of soy sauce, with only one percent sodium.
Calories 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 1 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugar 1 g
Protein 0 g
user image
Mama mia
April 8, 2022 - 05:33
Thinking the same thing. Looking for a stir fry/ teriyaki sauce with less sodium. a 1/3 cup
Of reduced salt soy sauce it still a lot of sodium.
user image
May 10, 2022 - 17:16
Coconut aminos would be a lower sodium option. Just use the same amount of liquid coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.
user image
September 25, 2018 - 13:10
Coconut aminos is an awesome replacement for any recipe that call for soy sauce.
user image
May 7, 2022 - 03:14
What is Coconut Aminos?

And how much would I need to replace the Soy Sauce?

How is it used; is it liquid or powder form?
user image
November 21, 2019 - 22:08
I wanted to share with you that I found that Family Dollar's soy sauce has only 230 mg of sodium in a Tablespoon. There are 5 Tablespoons in 1/3 of a cup. So the entire pan of sauce had 1150 mgs of sodium. I served the chicken with sauce over a bed of rice. I also had frozen mixed vegetables. My friend and I both thought it was very good. I
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.