Feel like grilling chicken, but you're craving Chinese? Try our Panda Express teriyaki chicken copycat recipe, and you'll get the best of both worlds. The meat is tender and abundant in flavor, and the glaze is thick, sweet, and savory.
All the ingredients for our copycat panda express teriyaki chicken can be easily found at your local grocery store. The exception is the Shoaxing wine, which can be ordered online or purchased at an Asian specialty store. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Meat: We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but breasts would also work.
- Aromatics: Fresh minced garlic and ginger are used in the teriyaki sauce.
- Wine: Shoaxing wine (or substitute with cooking sherry) is used in the marinade and in the teriyaki sauce.
- Oil: We used classic olive oil for grilling and sesame oil in the marinade and in the sauce.
- Acid: We used rice vinegar in the sauce.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Gluten Free: Use arrowroot instead of cornstarch, and tamari instead of the soy sauce.
- Vegan: Use this sauce on top of grilled slabs of tofu, cauliflower florets, or mushrooms.
- Changing the Meat: Use breast, but make sure to not over cook it.
- Lower Carbs: Omit the cornstarch or replace it with glucomannan powder (used in Japanese cooking).
- Adding Veggies: Stir fry broccoli, white onion, red bell pepper, and zucchini.
How to Make
Gather the marinade ingredients for the teriyaki chicken.
- Whisk the ingredients together, then mix up the cornstarch slurry and whisk it into the marinade.
- Place the 4 thighs in a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. Massage the marinade into the meat with your hands, then close up the bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Gather the ingredients for the homemade teriyaki sauce. Place all the ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, in a small saucepan.
- Whisk and bring the sauce to a low boil over medium high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and then reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. It will thicken as it starts to cool.
- Pat the meat with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Brush a cast iron grill pan with olive oil and allow it to heat up until hot, roughly 2 minutes. Carefully place 2 thighs in the pan.
- Cook the boneless, skinless chicken thighs for one minute, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. It's done when it is no longer pink inside and the internal temperature is 165°F when a meat thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.
- Place the meat on a plate and tent with foil. Allow to rest for ten minutes for the juices to redistribute.
- Slice in ½-inch slices and brush with homemade teriyaki sauce.
- Serve the Panda Express teriyaki chicken with steamed rice and place extra teriyaki sauce on the side to use for dipping or on the rice. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
Our Panda Express teriyaki chicken is extremely easy to make, so you can enjoy this at home any night of the week. Satisfy your Chinese food cravings and impress your family with this fragrant and flavorful dinner entrée.
Panda Express states on their website that this entree is "grilled chicken thigh hand-sliced to order and served with teriyaki sauce."
Since the meat is marinated and grilled, it has less fat than most of the other entrees they offer. When ordering this entree from Panda Express, it is served on its own without any vegetables.
For a 6 ounce serving size, Panda Express has 300 calories, 13g of fat, 8g of carbs, 8g of sugar, and 36g of protein.
For a serving size of one chicken thigh with ¼ of the sauce, our copycat version has 390 calories, 22g of fat, 3.9g of carbs, 14.5g of sugar and 24.5g of protein. For more nutritional information, please scroll to the end of the recipe card.
Our recipe also uses all of the ⅔ cup of teriyaki sauce in the nutrition facts. With this amount of sauce, there will be enough teriyaki for dipping or to serve on top of your rice.
When you make our copycat version of Panda Express teriyaki chicken, you can serve this with steamed rice, fried rice, or cauliflower rice.
This recipe makes enough teriyaki sauce to brush some on the meat and still have some leftover to spoon on top of rice. It tastes amazing on rice.
- Make Ahead: You can marinate the chicken ahead of time and make the teriyaki sauce, but it's best to cook the chicken just before serving.
- Leftovers: Any leftover Panda Express chicken or teriyaki sauce can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: You can freeze leftover teriyaki chicken in a freezer friendly container for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Want to save time? Make the sauce and marinade the meat the night before.
- Use fresh garlic and ginger.
- Using a cast iron grill pan? Cook the meat in batches.
- Marinade the meat for at least 30 minutes.
- Want this sweeter? Increase the brown sugar by 2 more tablespoons.
Other Panda Express Recipes
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Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken
For the Marinade
For the Grilled Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Marinating the Chicken
- Place the chicken in a gallon zip-top bag and pour the marinade inside. Massage the marinade into the meat, close the bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Whisk the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, in a small saucepan, then bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and let it simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat to allow it to cool and thicken.
Cooking the Chicken
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and discard the marinade.
- Add the oil to a cast iron grill pan set over medium high heat and heat up the pan until it's hot, roughly 2 minutes.
- Place 2 thighs in the pan and let them cook on medium high for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it has an internal temperature of 165°F and is no longer pink inside. Repeat with the other 2 thighs.
- Place the grilled meat on a plate, tent with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice the meat with a serrated knife against the grain, cutting it in half-inch strips.
- Reheat the sauce over medium low heat, then brush on top of the sliced chicken. Extra sauce can be used for a dipping sauce or served on rice, which is delicious!
- Serve the teriyaki chicken with steamed rice, and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
- Save time by making the sauce and marinating the chicken night before.
- Use fresh garlic and ginger in the sauce for the best flavor.
- If you're using a cast iron grill pan, cook the chicken in batches.
- Plan to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- If you like a sweet teriyaki sauce, increase the brown sugar by 2 tablespoons.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.