Oven Baked Chicken Teriyaki: A Healthy, Delicious and Easy Recipe for Every Home Cook

Oven Baked Chicken Teriyaki: A Healthy, Delicious and Easy Recipe for Every Home Cook

Teriyaki chicken originates from Japan, combining “teri,” meaning luster, and “yaki,” meaning grill. Traditional teriyaki involves grilling or broiling meats, then glazing them with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. This method creates a glossy coating with a rich flavor.

Oven-baked teriyaki chicken adapts the classic method for convenience. Instead of grilling, you bake the chicken, achieving a similar taste with less effort. Baking also allows the sauce to thicken and caramelize, ensuring a flavorful dish.

Traditional Method:

  • Uses grilling or broiling
  • Requires constant attention
  • Creates a glossy, rich coating
  • Incorporates soy sauce, mirin, and sugar

Oven Baked:

  • Uses baking
  • Requires less supervision
  • Thickens sauce through caramelization
  • Adapts to modern kitchens

Both methods offer the savory profile of teriyaki but suit different cooking environments and time constraints.

Key Ingredients for Oven Baked Chicken Teriyaki

Choosing the Right Chicken

Select boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts for oven-baked chicken teriyaki. Thighs offer a juicier texture and richer flavor due to higher fat content. Breasts provide a leaner option but may require extra care to avoid drying out. Always ensure the chicken is fresh and of high quality to achieve the best results.

Making the Perfect Teriyaki Sauce

Create a balanced teriyaki sauce with soy sauce, mirin, honey, and garlic. Soy sauce provides the salty base, while mirin adds a sweet acidity. Honey acts as a natural sweetener, helping the sauce caramelize during baking. Garlic adds depth and complexity. If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix in a small amount of cornstarch dissolved in water. Adjust the ingredients to taste, ensuring the sauce complements the chicken perfectly.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Chicken

Select boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts for oven-baked teriyaki chicken. Rinse the chicken under cold water to remove any residue. Pat dry with paper towels to get an even bake. Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl. Use a knife to make shallow cuts on the surface for better sauce penetration. Add salt and pepper to both sides.

Baking Techniques

Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) to ensure even cooking. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack on top to prevent the chicken from sitting in its own juices. Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on the wire rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway for even browning. Check internal temperature, ensuring it reaches 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

In the final minutes, brush additional sauce on the chicken for a glossy finish. Set the oven to broil, watching closely to prevent burning. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Pairing with Sides

Oven-baked chicken teriyaki pairs well with a variety of sides. White or brown rice complements the teriyaki sauce, soaking up the flavors. For a healthy option, consider serving with quinoa or cauliflower rice. Steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or snap peas add color and balance the meal. A crisp green salad with a light ginger dressing can enhance the dish’s freshness. Don’t forget traditional Japanese sides like miso soup and pickled vegetables for an authentic touch.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishes elevate the presentation and add layers of flavor. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken for a nutty crunch. Chopped scallions provide a fresh, mild onion bite. If you prefer heat, consider adding thinly sliced chili peppers. Fresh cilantro or parsley brings a burst of color and herbaceous note. A drizzle of extra teriyaki sauce before serving ensures every bite is packed with umami. For a final flourish, serve with a wedge of lemon or lime for a zesty contrast.

Each of these elements contributes to a more diverse and interesting dining experience, making your oven-baked chicken teriyaki memorable.

Health Benefits of Oven Baked Chicken Teriyaki

Low-Fat Cooking Options

Oven-baked chicken teriyaki provides a low-fat cooking option by avoiding deep frying. Baking chicken reduces the amount of added fats while retaining moisture and flavor. When opting for skinless chicken breasts or thighs, you further diminish the fat content. Marinades made with low-sodium soy sauce and minimal sugar enhance taste without adding unnecessary calories, ensuring a healthier dish. This method helps manage cholesterol levels, contributing to overall heart health.

High Protein Content

Chicken acts as an excellent source of lean protein. A 3.5-ounce serving of chicken breast delivers about 31 grams of protein. Protein supports muscle repair, immune function, and satiety. Adding teriyaki sauce, made primarily from soy sauce, doesn’t offset the protein benefits. The combination makes oven-baked chicken teriyaki a nutritious meal supporting muscle maintenance and body repair.

Vitamin and Mineral Rich

Oven-baked chicken teriyaki contains essential vitamins and minerals. Chicken offers B vitamins like B6 and B12, which are vital for energy production and brain function. Sesame seeds, used as a garnish, provide calcium and iron, supporting bone health and oxygen transport. Soy sauce contributes small amounts of manganese, which aids metabolic functions. These nutrients collectively promote well-being.

Lower Sodium Alternatives

Using low-sodium soy sauce in your homemade teriyaki sauce can significantly reduce the dish’s sodium content. Regular soy sauce has about 879 mg of sodium per tablespoon, while low-sodium versions contain roughly 500 mg. By controlling sodium intake, you can manage blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Making your sauce also allows the inclusion of healthier sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead of refined sugar, improving the dish’s nutritional profile.

Antioxidant Benefits

Ingredients used in teriyaki sauce, like ginger and garlic, offer antioxidant benefits. Ginger contains gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory properties, whereas garlic provides allicin, known for boosting immune function. These antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Incorporating fresh vegetables when serving the dish can further enhance these benefits, making your meal not only delicious but also health-promoting.


Oven-baked chicken teriyaki offers a convenient and delicious way to enjoy a traditional Japanese dish with a modern twist. By opting for this method you get to savor the rich flavors of teriyaki while benefiting from a healthier cooking process. Whether you’re looking to manage cholesterol levels support muscle repair or enhance your immune function this dish has got you covered. Embrace the ease and health benefits of oven-baked chicken teriyaki and make it a staple in your meal rotation.

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