Healthier Honey Garlic Chicken

My Healthier Honey Garlic Chicken recipe just became a new family favourite. Golden, tender bites of chicken sticky, glossy with honey-garlic sauce. So good. No deep fry. I have never seen the kids inhale their dinners so fast.

Classic Honey Garlic Chicken is a mall Food Court favourite for me but I wanted to make a lighter, quicker version that was more weekday friendly. I can’t believe how yummy it turned out with such a simple line-up of ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs: thighs are more forgiving than chicken breasts and stay juicy and delicious without obsessing over perfect timing.
  • Cornstarch: coating the chicken pieces with cornstarch helps them to retain their moisture as well as providing a dry surface to allow them to brown and crisp beautifully without deep frying.
  • Quick, 4-ingredient healthy honey garlic sauce for chicken. All pantry staples — soy sauce, chicken broth, honey and garlic. For the soy sauce and broth, be sure to use regular and not low-sodium versions or the final dish will lack seasoning. (If low salt is what you have on hand, mix 3/4 tsp of kosher salt with the cornstarch before tossing the chicken).

How to make it:

My version of Honey Garlic Chicken lightens up not only the final dish, but also the workload. In this recipe, I skipped the deep fry and did everything in one pan, cutting back on effort majorly. The flavour, however, remains amazing.

  • Toss chicken with cornstarch and cook in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until deeply golden on the bottom. Flip and cook until golden on the other side (don’t worry about cooking it through yet).
  • Cook the garlic on one side of the pan. If you just stir it in with the chicken, it will have less contact with the heat and some raw garlic flavour will remain.
  • Pour in the sauce ingredients. It has a brief awkward stage where the sauce is super thin and you’ll be like — is this soup??! But be patient. The cornstarch on the chicken will thicken the sauce as it reduces, and in a few minutes of simmering you’ll have a glossy, shiny, sticky sauce.

If you have a few extra minutes, you can transfer the browned chicken to a plate before you add the garlic to the pan. Let the sauce reduce and thicken before you add the chicken and toss to coat. This will preserve the chicken’s crispy crust (but dirties another plate). Choose your own adventure.

Need more one-pan quick and delicious dinners? I’ve got you.

3-Ingredient Lazy Lasagna – This Lazy Lasagna recipe serves us both a shortcut weeknight dinner and an easy entertaining hack. Cheesy and delicious, no one will know you pulled this together in 5 minutes with 3 store-bought ingredients. 

One-Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole – This easy, one-pot Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe is a creamy and satisfying upgrade from simple Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Spaghetti Squash Noodles – This easy chicken soup with spaghetti squash noodles is light but satisfying, loaded with protein and veggies. Ground chicken makes it easy to make anytime without waiting for leftover roast chicken.

Healthy Honey Garlic Chicken on a plate with bok choy

Healthier Honey Garlic Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Dinner
Asian
Keyword Healthy honey garlic chicken, Healthy honey garlic sauce, Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil or other high smoke point oil
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 green onions sliced

Instructions
 

  • Toss chicken pieces with cornstarch and salt to evenly coat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add chicken in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until deeply golden on the bottom. Flip and cook another 2 minutes ((don't worry about cooking it through yet).
  • Meanwhile, whisk together honey, chicken broth and soy sauce and set aside.
  • Push chicken to one side of the skillet. Cook garlic in the empty part of the skillet until soft, about 2 minutes. Add honey mixture and stir through chicken to coat. Let it come to a simmer and thicken, 2-3 minutes more. Chicken should reach 165ºF inside. Top with green onions.

Notes

  • For the soy sauce and broth, be sure to use regular and not low-sodium versions or the final dish will be a bit bland. (If it’s what you have on hand, mix 3/4 tsp of kosher salt with the cornstarch before tossing the chicken).
  • If you have a few extra minutes, you can transfer the browned chicken to a plate before you add the garlic to the pan. Finish the sauce like this on its own (letting it reduce and thicken) before you add the chicken and toss to coat. This will preserve the chicken’s crispy crust (but dirties another plate). Choose your own adventure.

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 20gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 860mgPotassium: 291mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 149IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Healthy honey garlic chicken, Healthy honey garlic sauce, Honey Garlic Chicken

Last Updated on June 21, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

4.7 3 votes
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Ari
Ari
15 days ago

5 stars
I’m not usually a fan of sweet sauces on my chicken, but this honey garlic sauce was a game-changer!

Rebecca
Rebecca
15 days ago

5 stars
My whole family loved it! Gonna make it again next week when friends come over

Zoe
Zoe
15 days ago

5 stars
I’ve been trying to eat healthier but I don’t want to sacrifice flavor. This recipe was just what I needed! I used chicken thighs and they came out so juicy and delicious. Plus, the sauce was super easy to make.

Lily
Lily
15 days ago

5 stars
I made this Honey Garlic Chicken last night and it was a hit! The sauce was just the right amount of sweet and savory, and the chicken was so tender. I added some red pepper flakes for a little kick and it was perfect!

kayla
kayla
7 months ago

5 stars
Holy heck this was delicious! Made it as soon as I saw your Instagram post and I’m going to make it again this week.

Wendell Estate
Wendell Estate
9 months ago

Wow! Thank you for sharing these healthy recipes with honey.

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