This recipe for honey garlic chicken is absolutely delicious! Smothered in a scrumptious sweet and savory sauce and so easy to make. This recipe creates honey garlic chicken so flavourful and juicy, that it will become a new family favourite! The sweet and savoury sauce is absolutely delicious, and the chicken comes out so tender. You can make this in the oven, in a slow cooker or your instant pot. Serve with rice and vegetables for a complete meal.
This recipe is so simple to make, and the results are absolutely amazing! I know you'll love this honey garlic chicken as much as we do. Give it a try tonight and let me know what you think.
Many of you found my site originally through this recipe as it was one of my very first posts to go viral. It's been a reader favourite since 2015, with over 440K shares across social media! Wow! Thank you so much to everyone who's tried the recipe and to those who haven't tried it yet, I'm so excited for you to dig in! ❤️❤️❤️
*This post has been updated from an earlier version to include new photos and a few tweaks to the original recipe to make it even more scrumptious!*
I hope you enjoy this recipe! ❤️ If you give it a try, please let me know how it turned out for you in the comments section at the bottom of the page or share a pic of your om noms on Instagram and tag @dishesanddustbunnies! ❤️
What kind of chicken should I use for this honey garlic chicken recipe?
For this recipe, I use skin on bone in chicken thighs as they add a wonderful depth of flavour, but you can also try using chicken breasts or drumsticks.
How to make honey garlic chicken – Overview
Homemade honey garlic chicken is super easy to make! You can find detailed instructions in the recipe at the bottom of the page, but here is a little overview of how it's done:
The first step to making honey garlic chicken is to make the sauce. Combine grated onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar. I find that it's a real time saver to mix these ingredients in the food processor.
Next, the chicken is placed in a baking dish and the sauce is poured over the top, then placed into the oven to cook for about an hour. While the chicken is cooking, I like to spoon the sauce over the tops a few times.
Once the chicken is finished cooking it's time to make the sauce on the side. To do this, I take the drippings from the baking dish, put them in a sauce pot, and whisk them together with some cornstarch to thicken. I let the sauce reduce for a bit, then serve it on the side with the chicken. The sauce is amazing on rice!
Tips for the Perfect Honey Garlic Chicken
Before we jump right into the recipe and make this AMAZING honey garlic chicken, there are a few tips you need to know so the recipe turns out absolutely perfect every single time.
- Marinate, if you like!
Honey garlic chicken is one of those recipes that you can mix up ahead of time and marinate if you like. Although it's not absolutely necessary, marinating the chicken for a little while before you cook it can give it a more developed flavour.
- You can prepare the sauce and the chicken ahead of time for an easy meal!
Just place the ingredients in a zip top freezer bag and put it in the freezer.
When you're ready to make it, just take the bag out of the freezer the night before so that it will thaw. Then prepare as usual the next day. So easy!
- What is the best cut of chicken to use to make honey garlic chicken?
One of the other great things about this recipe is that you can use any kind of chicken you like as long as it's 3 to 4 pounds worth of meat. I find that using chicken thighs or any kind with the bone in it gives it a fantastic flavour. You could also use chicken breasts if you like.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken a few times as it cooks
I highly recommend spooning the sauce over the chicken a few times while it's cooking so you get all the honey garlicky goodness on top. This will also make the tops darken like it did for the chicken in the photos.
- Use the drippings to make a side sauce!
Another fantastic thing about this recipe is the delicious sauce that can be made to serve on the side! The sauce is made from the drippings of the cooked chicken and thickened up on the stove using a little cornstarch. This is really similar to making gravy and indeed it is YUM!
If you'd like a thicker, stickier sauce to go with your chicken, just let it simmer for a little longer on the stove until it reaches the thickness you prefer. 🙂
Other ways to make Easy Honey Garlic Chicken
How to make Honey Garlic Chicken in a Slow Cooker or crock pot
How to make Honey Garlic Chicken in a Slow Cooker or crock pot
To make honey garlic chicken in a slow cooker, add the chicken, then pour the sauce ingredients over top. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Thicken the side sauce according to the recipe instructions in a saucepot, or if your slow cooker has a simmer function, you can use that.
How to make Honey Garlic Chicken in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker
To make honey garlic chicken in an instant pot or pressure cooker, add the chicken, then pour the sauce ingredients over top. Set the pressure to High and cook for 30 minutes.
Once cooking has finished, allow the Instant Pot/pressure cooker to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then open the pressure release knob.
Remove the chicken and place it on a serving plate. Thicken the side sauce using the “saute” function on your instant pot or in a saucepot on the stove.
How to make the really tasty sauce served on the side?
How to make Honey Garlic Sauce on the side:
You can find detailed instructions on how to make the side sauce in the recipe at the bottom of the page, but here is a little overview of how it's done:
Once the chicken has finished cooking (according to the recipe at the bottom of the page), remove the drippings and liquid from the baking dish and put them into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer. Skim off any excess fat from the top of the pot and discard.
Next, combine some cornstarch with about 1/4 of the drippings in a small dish and set aside, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk this mixture into the saucepot with the rest of the drippings. The sauce thickens as it reduces while simmering.
Serve with the chicken! 😋
Can I substitute the honey for something else?
While honey is traditional in this dish, you could try using maple syrup or agave nectar instead. Keep in mind that these substitutes will change the flavor of the dish slightly.
I don't have fresh garlic, can I use something else?
You could try using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. If you do use powdered garlic, one medium sized clove is equivalent to about 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.
I don't have rice wine vinegar. What can I use as a substitute?
You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a substitute for rice vinegar. Just keep in mind that the flavor of your dish will be slightly different than if you had used rice wine vinegar.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes! This delicious recipe actually gets even better when made ahead of time. Simply prepare the chicken as directed, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you're ready to eat, simply cook according to the recipe instructions.
Allow the chicken to rest for approximately 15 minutes before cooking; if you put your chicken in the oven when it's still chilly, it will take longer to cook. This is especially essential if you're baking with a dish straight out of the refrigerator – you want to avoid temperature shock and end up with an exploded dish.
- For a bit of extra sweetness, add a tablespoon or two of honey to the sauce.
- If you like your food with a bit of a kick, add some crushed red pepper flakes, chili garlic sauce or Sriracha to the sauce.
- For a more intense garlic flavor, add an additional clove or two of garlic to the dish.
- To make this dish gluten-free, simply use tamari in place of soy sauce.
- Don't like chicken? This recipe also works well with pork, shrimp, or tofu. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Serve this dish over rice or noodles for a complete meal.
- Top with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, fresh chopped parsley, and/or cilantro for a bit of extra flavor and color.
This honey garlic chicken recipe is so easy and versatile – it can be adapted to suit just about any taste! Whether you want it sweeter, spicier, or more intense, there's a variation for you. And it's not just limited to chicken – pork, shrimp, and tofu all work well too. So go ahead and give it a try – I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do!
What sides go well with honey garlic chicken?
So many different sides go well served with honey garlic chicken. Here are some ideas:
Storage and Reheat Instructions
Honey garlic chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, place leftovers in an oven proof dish (cover on) and heat at 350 degrees until warmed through. You can also reheat in the microwave, but be sure to cover the dish so the chicken doesn't dry out.
- 3 lbs skin on chicken thighs (you can use any chicken you like really, not only thighs)
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 small onion, grated or minced into fine pieces
- ¼ cup soy sauce (I used the reduced sodium kind)
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp honey
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsps brown sugar
For the Sauce on the Side:
- 2 tsps cornstarch
- Drippings from the baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a glass 9″x10″ baking dish, whisk together all ingredients except for the chicken. Combine well.
- Place the chicken into the dish and spoon some of the mixture over top of each piece.
Optional: You can marinate the chicken in this mixture ahead of time if you like.
- Place the baking dish in the oven uncovered and bake for 45 – 60 minutes. (Make sure also to spoon some of the sauce over the chicken a few times as it cooks)
- Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove each piece from the baking dish and place them on a serving plate.
- Serve with rice, veggies or anything else you might enjoy it with!
How to make the Sauce on the side:
- Skim the fat off the top of the drippings as much as possible. If there's a little fat left, that's ok too. You can also remove most of the fat using a gravy separator if you have one.
- Combine about 1/4 of the drippings and the cornstarch in a small dish and set aside. Mix it together using a whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
- Pour the remaining drippings into a sauce pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and lower the heat. Stir constantly using a whisk until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Remove from the heat and serve with the chicken.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you'll love my Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings! 🙂
You can combine the ingredients for the sauce (onion, garlic, etc.) using a food processor if you have one. Rather than grating the onion and garlic by hand, popping them in the processor with the other sauce ingredients will save time and creates a nice texture for the sauce.
Slow Cooker Instructions: To make honey garlic chicken in a slow cooker, add the chicken, then pour the sauce ingredients over the top. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. Thicken the side sauce according to the recipe instructions in a saucepot, or if your slow cooker has a simmer function, you can use that.
Instant Pot/Pressure cooker Instructions: To make honey garlic chicken in an instant pot or pressure cooker, add the chicken, then pour the sauce ingredients over the top. Set the pressure to High and cook for 30 minutes.
Once cooking has finished, allow the Instant Pot/pressure cooker to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then open the pressure release knob. Remove the chicken and place it on a serving plate. Thicken the side sauce using the “saute” function on your instant pot or in a saucepot on the stove.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Main
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Asian/Chinese