If there’s one cuisine I love it’s Chinese food, and Mexican… well and Thai, and definitely Italian. Okay, I just love food, but the craving today was Chinese. Luckily, this honey sesame chicken recipe always hits the spot. And with a very classic honey sesame chicken sauce, you’d never guess this is paleo sesame chicken.
This easy sesame chicken recipe is based on a Budget Bytes recipe, but I’ve changed it pretty substantially to fit a paleo diet and make it a little more saucy and veggie filled. Because, let’s be real here, the sesame chicken sauce is the BEST part.
What Is Sesame Chicken?
Sesame chicken is a Chinese American dish consisting of battered chicken tossed in a thick, sweet (sugar-y!) sauce. It’s usually served with vegetables and rice.
Is Honey Chicken The Same As Sesame Chicken?
It depends on what you mean by honey chicken. 🙂 The most common names are General Tso’s Chicken and Sesame Chicken. These are fairly similar, but the former is a bit more spicy. Sweetness can also vary, but there doesn’t seem to be an agreed consensus about which is supposedly sweeter. Either way, sesame chicken always has sesame seeds, while General Tso’s could have them or not.
Is Sesame Chicken Healthy?
Sesame chicken stir fry is not usually very healthy. Both takeout and homemade sesame chicken sauce is usually made with soy, loaded with brown sugar, thickened with cornstarch… plus the chicken is usually coated in flour and/or cornstarch, too.
But, this easy sesame chicken recipe is healthier! I’ll show you how to make sesame chicken paleo using natural ingredients – without sacrificing the flavor you know and love.
How To Make Sesame Chicken Sauce The Right Consistency
I’ve been making this Chinese sesame chicken recipe for a while, but up until recently I hadn’t quite tweaked this paleo sesame chicken version enough for it to be good enough to publish.
I had been using tapioca starch in place of the typical cornstarch component, but I was ending up with an incredibly ‘gummy’ sauce. It still tasted great but gummy sauce isn’t my favorite and I doubt it would be yours either.
Figuring out how to make sesame chicken sauce with arrowroot as the thickener was the game changer. If you don’t already have arrowroot in your kitchen cupboard, then go get some right away. Arrowroot is my go-to ingredient for thickening sauces and glazes gently with no sour flavor!
In this recipe for honey sesame chicken, the texture is spot on for a 1:1 substitution for cornstarch. It makes a great crispy sesame chicken crust (not a thick batter, I’ll stick to tapioca for that – like for baja fish tacos!).
How To Make Sesame Chicken (The Paleo Way!)
Grab your skillet or wok and get ready to prepare a quick, satisfying and tasty dinner in under 30 minutes!
Here is how to make sesame chicken that’s super easy and paleo-friendly:
- Make the honey sesame chicken sauce. You’ll simply whisk together coconut aminos, honey, white wine vinegar, water, arrowroot powder, toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, minced garlic, sesame seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, and sea salt.
- Coat the chicken. Toss cubed chicken pieces in a mixture of arrowroot powder, egg, salt and white pepper.
- Fry the chicken. Heat coconut oil in your skillet or wok, and fry the chicken pieces in small batches, until golden and crispy.
- Add the broccoli. Add all the chicken back to the pan along with the broccoli. Heat for a few minutes to cook the broccoli.
TIP: If you like extra veggies in there, throw in some green beans, water chestnuts, bell peppers, or onions!
- Toss the healthy sesame chicken in sauce. Add the sauce to the pan, and it should turn thick and glossy right away.
There you have it – it’s sweet, it’s flavorful, it’s sticky… it’s seriously the best sesame chicken recipe, whether you’re paleo or not!
Chinese Sesame Chicken Calories
Sesame chicken calories can be all over the board, depending on the place, but are often quite high at takeout joints. Here are the stats for this healthy sesame chicken recipe:
- 439 calories
- 23g fat
- 35g protein
- 21g carbs
It sounds fairly high, but this is a very generous serving – 1 cup of chicken PLUS 1 cup of broccoli – so it’s enough for your whole meal.
Can You Make Healthy Sesame Chicken With Chicken Thighs?
Yes, of course you can. This cheaper cut of meat is often more flavorful and just as good for you. Sometimes it can be hard to cut it into attractive looking pieces, though.
Can You Make Sesame Chicken In A Slow Cooker?
This recipe is designed to be cooked fast and furious. If you are looking for a great version of paleo sesame chicken that can be made in a Crock Pot, then check out my slow cooker sesame orange chicken instead.
More Chinese Paleo Recipes
This honey sesame chicken recipe is great just served simply with cauliflower rice and maybe some shredded cabbage.
If you want to go for full Chinese buffet style meal, try:
Easy Paleo Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe
This 30-minute, easy sesame chicken recipe is actually paleo sesame chicken, but it tastes just like takeout Chinese honey sesame chicken! Learn how to make sesame chicken that's both healthy and delicious.
Recipe VideoClick or tap on the image below to play the video and learn how to make this recipe!
Please ensure Safari reader mode is OFF to view ingredients.
Paleo Battered Chicken
- 1 large Egg
- 2 tablespoons Arrowroot powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1.5 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons Coconut oil (for frying)
- 2 cups Broccoli
Sesame Chicken Sauce
- 1/3 cup Coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 3 tablespoons White wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 1.5 tablespoons Arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon Toasted sesame oil
- 1 2-inch piece Fresh ginger (grated)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup Sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
Cut the chicken into small bite size pieces. In a large bowl whisk the egg, 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, salt, and white pepper together until smooth. Toss in the chicken and toss to coat.
- In a small bowl whisk all of the sauce ingredients together until no clumps of arrowroot remain.
Heat about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet (I use my wok) over medium-high heat.
Working in batches fry the chicken 2 minutes per side until golden and crisp and almost cooked through.
When you only have a few pieces of chicken left just add the entire rest of the mixture, egg and all into the oil making sure you nudge the chicken pieces away from each other so they don't stick together.
Once all chicken is cooked add the other chicken back to the skillet and add in the broccoli. (If using frozen be sure to thaw them quickly under warm water so the moisture doesn't ruin the chicken)
Toss the broccoli and the chicken for a few minutes to crisp up. Pour in the sauce and toss. It should instantly become thick and glossy. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with sliced green onions.
Serving size: 1 cup chicken + 1/2 cup broccoli (1/4 of entire recipe)
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.