Easy Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

By Sally Cameron on January 23, 2018

Chicken & Turkey, Dinner, featured, Gluten-Free, Sauces & Dressings, the daniel plan

These sesame teriyaki chicken thighs are super simple and tasty. Put the chicken in a casserole dish, pour homemade teriyaki over the top and bake for about 18 minutes. Serve with rice and veggies such as sugar snap or snow peas and your set.

Teriyaki chicken | AFoodCentricLife.com

Easy Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs might be the ugly ducklings of the butcher counter but they taste moist and rich. While they don’t look pretty going into the oven,  they look great when they come out. More important, they taste delicious. While they are baking, do a side of sliced sugar snap peas and a little sprouted organic short grain brown rice or forbidden black rice.

teriyaki chicken thighs | AFoodCentricLife.com

teriyaki chicken thighs | AFoodCentricLife.com

Teriyaki Ingredient Tips

Store bought teriyaki sauce is filled with unhealthy ingredients such as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, mega sodium, sugar, MSG, GMO ingredients and preservatives. If you eat gluten-free, they contain gluten as soy sauce is fermented with wheat. The solution is to make homemade teriyaki sauce. No gluten, no preservatives, lower sodium and great flavor.

To make gluten-free teriyaki sauce start with wheat-free tamari instead of soy sauce. Next, choose either organic, low-sodium tamari or a brand that carries the non-GMO Project verified label to avoid genetically modified ingredients. I buy the San-J brand (their 50% less sodium version).

teriyaki chicken thighs | AFoodCentricLife.com

Mirin is the traditional rice cooking wine used in Japanese cuisine. When buying Mirin, be sure to read labels. The most common brand at the store is Kikkoman: avoid it. It’s made with glucose syrup and corn syrup.  Eden Foods makes great Mirin with organic short grain brown rice  brewed traditionally in cedar kegs. No added sugar, glucose or corn syrup. Find it at health food markets and online.

Organic coconut sugar is a nice alternative to regular brown sugar. If any of these ingredients are new to you and you have questions, please let me know in comments.

teriyaki chicken thighs | AFoodCentricLife.com

For another delicious chicken recipe using thighs try my Braised Italian Chicken Thighs. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Sesame Teriyaki Chicken Thighs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 361 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 215mg72%
Sodium 812mg35%
Potassium 584mg17%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 69IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Teriyaki chicken thighs | AFoodCentricLife.com
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Easy Sesame Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Homemade teriyaki beats the store stuff or fast food, hands down. The sauce takes minutes to make. Pour over chicken thighs and bake. Serve with sugar snap peas and brown or black rice. Tamari is wheat-free, gluten-free soy sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword chicken, Teriyaki, thighs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 361kcal


Sesame Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry optional
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger or jar puree
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons cold water


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions for garnsh optional


Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

  • Make teriyaki sauce. Combine tamari, water, mirin, coconut sugar, sherry, rice vinegar, ginger and sesame oil in a jar and shake until well combined.  Add the corn starch and water to a separate small bowl and whisk or stir until smooth. This is called a slurry. Place sauce liquid in a small (2 quart) pan and bring to almost a boil.  Add slurry whisking fast until smooth. Cook for 1 minute to get rid of any starchy taste. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water. If it is lumpy from the slurry, strain or puree the teriyaki sauce in a blender. 
  • Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Spread the coconut oil over the bottom of a medium casserole dish. Place the thighs in a flat layer in the dish, smooth side up. Pour 1/2 cup of the teriyaki sauce over the top and spread across the chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until thighs reach 165°F internally when measured with a digital thermometer. Serve baked chicken thighs with the sauce from the casserole, sprinkled with green onions. If you want, serve extra sauce on the side. 


Ingredient Notes – Tamari is gluten-free, wheat-free soy sauce. I buy San-J 50% Low Sodium Tamari, and it’s non-GMO. Mirin is a Japanese rice cooking wine. Be sure to read labels when you buy it and skip the fake stuff with corn syrup. I buy only Eden Foods brand. For cornstarch, buy organic only or you will be buying GMO. If you want to skip sugar, try using a little stevia or honey.


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
  1. Karen - January 30th, 2018

    Sally, Thoroughly enjoyed these Easy Sesame Teriyaki Chicken thighs! Very tasty and very fast to make! I followed the recipe exactly as it was and would not make any changes next time! I paired it with your Asian Coleslaw dressed in your Asian Almond Butter Sauce….2 more winners, and a side of Quinoa. Awesome flavors and sooo healthy! Thank you!

  2. Sally Cameron - March 3rd, 2021

    Yay! Love to hear that Karen, thanks for reporting back.

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