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This honey chicken recipe has irresistibly crispy pan-fried chicken that’s coated in a sweet and savory glaze. It’s ready in just 30 minutes and is healthier than takeout!

Try my Beef and Broccoli or Ground Turkey Stir Fry next for more easy takeout-style meals at home.

a bowl of honey chicken with jasmine rice

Why you’ll love it

This is my absolute favorite Chinese food inspired dish. The honey chicken sauce is sooo good. One reader describes it as “Ahhhhhmazing!!”. Even if you’ve never made Asian-style chicken at home, it’s really easy to make this recipe as long as you follow the tips below!

I love the magic that happens when pan-frying the chicken pieces to become delicately crispy and golden. Since we’re not deep frying, this quick Asian-inspired honey chicken recipe is way lower calorie than takeout without the heaviness or sacrificing any of the taste in every delicious bite.

What you’ll need

  • Chicken – we’re dicing up two large chicken breasts
  • Cornstarch – it’s what makes the crust for the crispy chicken
  • Honey – the signature sweet aspect
  • Chicken broth – for more depth of flavor and to make the base of the sauce
  • Soy sauce – that robust savory, umami flavor
  • Apple cider vinegar – a touch of acidity for balancing the sweetness
  • Garlic powder – a little garlic flavor pairs so well with honey
  • Olive oil – for pan frying
  • Scallions – an optional pop of freshness to garnish
ingredients for honey chicken in prep bowls

Pro tips

  • I highly recommend having the sauce ready to go in a bowl before you begin cooking since the process goes very quickly once started.
  • This recipe has the best results when the skillet is nice and hot. The chicken will get properly seared and have less of a chance of sticking to the pan.
  • If the chicken is sticking to the pan, that’s fine; you just have to give it a little more time to release naturally. There’s no need to force it. 
  • It doesn’t make tons of sauce, so feel free to double the sauce ingredients if you prefer more.

How to make honey chicken

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

coating chicken in cornstarch and whisking sauce in a prep bowl for honey chicken

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, and coat in cornstarch. Toss in the prep bowl so they’re coated evenly. In another bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.

pan frying honey chicken in a skillet in two batches

Working in two batches, cook the chicken in a very hot skillet until browned, using tongs to flip. Transfer to a plate once seared. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the sauce, scrape up the browned bits, and return the chicken. Cook until thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

Tools for this recipe

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Substitutions and variations

  • If you want to make this more of a honey garlic chicken recipe, add more garlic powder or a few fresh cloves of minced garlic into the sauce.
  • For some heat, add red pepper flakes to the sauce or a drizzle of sriracha.
  • You can use rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
  • If using chicken thighs instead, note that they may need to be cooked for longer. I’d use four large ones.

What to serve with sticky honey chicken

  • Rice is my go-to. I generally prefer a bed of jasmine rice, but any variety will work or even fried rice.
  • Noodles would work too. I like rice noodles or Udon noodles here.
  • Steamed veggies would be good also, and feel free to garnish this dish with sesame seeds or sliced red chilies for added visual appeal and a touch of heat.

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftover honey chicken in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep in mind that over time the chicken will lose some of its crispiness.
  • Reheat over a low heat in a saucepan slowly until warmed through.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this one.
closeup of a skillet with pieces of honey chicken

If you made this easy honey chicken recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! Ask me any questions the blog post didn’t answer. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.

a bowl of honey chicken with jasmine rice
4.98 from 46 votes

Honey Chicken (Asian Style)

This honey chicken recipe has irresistibly crispy pan-fried chicken that's coated in a sweet and savory glaze. It's ready in just 30 minutes and is healthier than takeout!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil + more as needed
  • Chopped scallions optional, to taste


  • I suggest having all ingredients ready to go before starting the actual cooking part as the recipe does go quickly. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken to a bowl and sprinkle the cornstarch over it. Toss until coated.
  • To another bowl, add the honey, chicken broth, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder. Whisk together.
  • Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot. Cook the chicken until browned on two sides (about 3-5 min/side). Do two batches so as not to crowd the pan. You may need to add another tablespoon or so of oil when cooking the second batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate once it's seared. Important note: If the chicken is sticking, wait a little longer and it will release when it's nicely browned. I use tongs to make turning the chicken quick and easy.
  • Take the skillet off the heat and pour in the sauce from the bowl. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back in. Reduce the heat to medium and return the pan to the burner.
  • Let it cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened up a bit and the chicken is fully cooked through (I spoon some sauce over top). Serve immediately with chopped scallions if desired.


  • Please read the blog post for more troubleshooting tips!
  • This recipe was inspired by my friend Nicky’s Honey Garlic Chicken.


Calories: 281kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 690mg, Potassium: 455mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 34IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on January 22, 2020. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!

Hi! Iโ€™m Natasha.

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4.98 from 46 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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  1. Beth M. says:

    5 stars
    I have loved every Salt & Lavender recipe that Iโ€™ve made, and this is one more! It was super easy, tasty, and it was a hit with everyone!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s lovely to hear, Beth!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for your review!

  2. Michele H. says:

    5 stars
    Greetings from Omaha Nebraska! Thank You for the recipe and the easy print function. ๐Ÿ˜Š This recipe is very easy to follow and very delicious!
    When I get a hankering for something different, I type in ingredients on hand to Google and your recipes came up. It was a hard decision to choose between recipes as all that I saw looked delicious. I decided on the honey chicken.
    I think I tend to turn my chicken too early and it always seems to stick. Well, I followed your tip and sure enough, when I finally turned my chicken, it did not stick and was nice and crisp and golden brown. I prepared the sauce and doubled It so I could have left overs for lunch tomorrow.
    I removed the crispy chicken from the pan, poured in the sauce, then put the chicken back in and finished it up.
    I’m drooling now as I write this review and am looking forward to eating it.
    I will definitely make this again as well as try other recipes of yours!
    Thank You!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Michele! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this one! Thanks for your detailed review, and let me know what else you try. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Nat says:

    I appreciate any recipe creator for sharing their talents with us! That being said, this sauce never thickened up. Ever. And was super runny. I had to use corn starch and to me it lacked flavor. I added ginger, a tbsp of brown sugar and chili paste for some spice. It was an โ€œokโ€ recipe for us! I probably wonโ€™t make again. But canโ€™t wait to try more of your recipes!! I have lots of soups saved โค๏ธ

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Nat!! There’s 2.5 tablespoons of cornstarch in this recipe, which does help thicken the sauce. In any case, I am sorry it wasn’t a hit. ๐Ÿ™ Let me know what else you end up trying.

  4. Joanna M Pope says:

    very good – definitely a keeper in our favorite recipe file.

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks, Joanna!

  5. Nadia Dodson says:

    5 stars
    Amazing!!! So much flavor !!Have you tried making the chicken in the air fryer? Wondering if it would be okay and no mess lol

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Nadia!! I think you could probably adapt it for the air fryer, but I haven’t actually tested any chicken recipes in mine, so I wouldn’t be able to guess on how to do that. I just use it for salmon. Makes me think I should start doing some chicken air fryer recipes at some point, though!

  6. Sabrina says:

    5 stars
    Simple and easy and even my picky eater loved it enough to call it his new favourite (he’s 7 y.o.). Thanks for the share!!

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww I love that, Sabrina!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for your review!

  7. Christelle says:

    5 stars
    Definitively an easy and quick recipe for the week nights. Everyone enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! So glad to hear that!!

  8. Henry Mauer says:

    5 stars
    Really good made it several times the flavor is great

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Henry!! So glad it’s a favorite!

  9. Sarah M says:

    5 stars
    Hubs loved it! I added sesame seeds to mine and had it with rice and grilled veggies. Next time I would make more sauce to pour over the rice.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! I’m so glad you liked it, Sarah!