//Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken

Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken

Ditch the deep-fryer and whip up a takeout-inspired recipe for Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken made with just a few simple ingredients.

A white bowl containing white rice topped with sesame chicken and chopsticks on the side

It doesn’t get much better than homemade chicken nuggets tossed in a sweet, garlicky sesame soy sauce. But what if I told you that you could achieve that extra-crispy chicken nugget crunch sans any deep-frying?

It is indeed possible, all thanks to simply swapping the fryer for the oven!

Bowls containing beaten eggs and breadcrumbs and a bag with chicken nuggets in flour

Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken has become an instant family favorite around our house. The boys love the combo of the bite-size nuggets and the oh-so-addicting sesame sauce that’s both sweet and tangy in every bite, and I love that it’s on my dinner table (both literally and figuratively) in less than 40 minutes!

A baking sheet lined with foil containing crispy breaded chicken thigh nuggets

The real secret to the one-two punch of crunchy and juicy chicken is that this recipe is made with chicken thighs, rather than chicken breasts.

I’m a big believer in chicken thighs being super underrated in the poultry department. That being said, you can 100% make this recipe with chicken breast nuggets if you prefer white meat to dark meat.

A glass bowl containing crispy chicken thigh pieces with sesame sauce being poured on top

As the chicken bakes, you’ll have just enough time to whip up the sesame chicken sauce, which is a flavor-packed combo of soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar. A little cornstarch slurry gives it that essential syrupy consistency in mere minutes.

All that’s left to do is toss together the DIY nuggets and sticky-sweet sauce for the ultimate Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken!

A white bowl with sesame chicken on top of white rice with a bowl of edamame in the background

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A white bowl containing white rice topped with sesame chicken and chopsticks on the side

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Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken

For the chicken:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1
    pound
    boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 3/4
    cup
    all-purpose flour
  • 3
    large eggs
  • 2
    cups
    Panko breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

  • 2
    Tablespoons
    vegetable oil
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    minced garlic
  • 3/4
    cup
    low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4
    cup
    rice wine vinegar
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    sesame oil
  • 1
    cup
    packed light brown sugar
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    corn starch, mixed with 2 Tablespoons water
  • Sesame seeds, for serving

Make the chicken:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it generously with cooking spray.

Trim any fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into 1-inch pieces.

Add the flour and salt to a sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag, press out any air then seal the bag shut. Shake the bag until the chicken pieces are coated on all sides. 

In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs.

Add the breadcrumbs to a second shallow dish.

Remove each piece of chicken from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Dip the chicken in the eggs, shake off any excess, then dip it in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat the chicken on all sides. Repeat the coating process with all of the chicken pieces, arranging them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. 

Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray then bake them for 10 minutes. Flip each chicken piece once then continue baking until cooked through and crispy, an additional 5 to 10 minutes. While the chicken is baking, make the sauce. 

Make the sauce:

In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, add the vegetable oil and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil then whisk in the cornstarch mixture and boil until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the oven and add it to a large bowl. Drizzle the sauce on top and toss to combine. Garnish the chicken with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Crispy Baked Sesame Chicken

Amount Per Serving

Calories 717
Calories from Fat 180

% Daily Value*

Fat 20g31%

Saturated Fat 9g56%

Cholesterol 230mg77%

Sodium 2559mg111%

Potassium 566mg16%

Carbohydrates 98g33%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 56g62%

Protein 35g70%

Vitamin A 205IU4%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 144mg14%

Iron 5mg28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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