In this easy keto sesame chicken recipe, perfectly juicy chicken pieces are coated in an exquisite, very flavorful Asian-style sauce.
Most stir-fry recipes are very easy. The only "difficult" part is prepping the veggies and mixing the sauce, and even that's not truly difficult to do. The cooking itself is usually a matter of minutes.
This keto sesame chicken recipe is easier than most. It all happens in one saucepan and there's hardly any prep work. You simply mix the sauce, cook the chicken, then add the sauce and cook until it thickens. The result is so juicy and flavorful. My teenage tester - my toughest critic - took a few tentative bites, chewed thoughtfully, then announced "Wow. This is ten out of ten." Can you tell I'm beaming? 😁
The ingredients you'll need
Like most stir-fry recipes, the list of ingredients needed to make keto sesame chicken may seem daunting. But it's quick to gather, and the cooking itself happens very fast. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
For the sauce:
Reduced-sodium soy sauce: I find the regular soy sauce too salty, so I prefer to use the reduced-sodium variety.
Unsweetened ketchup: The Primal Kitchen brand is good. I get it at Whole Foods or on Amazon.
Honey: I only use one tablespoon. Feel free to use a sugar-free syrup.
Rice vinegar: White wine vinegar works too.
Cornstarch: It helps thicken the sauce and doesn't add many carbs per serving. However, you can feel free to use a keto alternative such as konjac flour (use the package directions for converting).
Aromatics: Minced garlic and grated ginger. To make my life easy, I use the jarred ones.
For the chicken:
Avocado oil for cooking: I like using this versatile, neutral-flavored oil in stir-fry recipes. It has a high smoke point which is definitely a plus.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts: I cut them into 1-inch pieces.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to use less of it.
Toasted sesame oil: This is a must. It adds TONS of flavor to this dish.
Sesame seeds: I use them mostly for garnish.
Sliced green onions: Again, used mostly for garnish. So if you don't have them on hand, it's fine to skip them.
How to make keto sesame chicken
It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to whisk together the sauce ingredients, then set the sauce aside.
2. Now, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and cook them in avocado oil until cooked through.
3. Your next step is to give the sauce one more stir and add it to the pan. Reduce the heat and keep cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and the chicken is well-coated.
4. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Drizzle it with sesame oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, then serve.
Using non-keto ingredients
One of the most common criticisms of my recipes is that I title them as "keto" but then proceed to use non-keto ingredients. My personal philosophy is that if the final product is low-carb, I don't worry about using these ingredients.
But if you're more of a purist than I am, I suggest you replace the honey with sugar-free syrup and the cornstarch with a low-carb thickener such as konjac flour. As for how much of the konjac to use, you'll need to follow the package directions. Certainly, use much less than the amount listed for cornstarch.
If using a sugar-free syrup and a non-starchy thickener such as konjac, each serving of this recipe has 302 calories and 3 grams of carbs.
How to serve keto sesame chicken
It's great all on its own with a simple side of a vegetable such as sauteed green beans. It's also good when served over cauliflower rice. If your digestion can handle shirataki noodles, those are another good option.
Sometimes I line the plates with raw baby spinach leaves, ladle the chicken on top, and then the spinach gets lightly cooked by the sauce. Perfect!
How to keep the leftovers
You can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to four days. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power. You can also freeze individual portions for up to three months.
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Keto Sesame Chicken
For the sauce
For the chicken
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken: In a large frying pan, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Sauté them on all sides in the hot oil until cooked through, about 7 minutes.
- Give the sauce one more stir and add it to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Keep cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and the chicken is well-coated, about 2 more minutes.
- Transfer the sesame chicken to a serving platter (lined with cauliflower rice if you wish). Drizzle it with sesame oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onions, then serve.