Honey Sesame Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

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Making this easy honey sesame chicken breast recipe at home is so much better than going for takeout! Affordable and flavorful, this copycat Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken recipe will become a family favorite.

Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the completed honey sesame chicken recipe ready to be served

We love Chinese food, but getting takeout for the whole family can be expensive. This flavorful Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is so easy to make at home you can skip the restaurant and save money.

Honey Sesame Chicken is a delicious and satisfying meal that always hits the spot. It’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet and always leaves me feeling full and satisfied.

There’s nothing quite like homemade honey sesame chicken. It’s seriously one of my favorite meals! This easy honey sesame chicken breast recipe takes just over 30 minutes to make and is affordable. Plus, just like my easy Chicken Meatballs, it freezes and reheats well. 

Top down view of the finished honey sesame chicken recipe

Why Make This Recipe

  • Better Than Takeout – Crispy honey sesame chicken is a favorite option for take-out. This homemade version is simple to make any time and tastes great. 
  • It’s Fast – I can make this at home faster than I can get delivery from my favorite Chinese restaurant. 
  • Crowd Pleaser – Crispy chicken and veggies bathed in a sweet and sour sauce. What’s not to love? 
one portion of the finished honey sesame chicken recipe

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – Cut boneless skinless chicken breast into even strips. You can also make honey sesame chicken thighs.
  • Bell Pepper – Coarsely chop a yellow pepper. You can use any color of sweet bell pepper. 
  • Green Beans – Cut fresh green beans into 1-2 inch pieces.
  • Vegetable Oil – Select your favorite oil for frying.
  • Dredge – a combination of all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and baking soda creates a crispy coating.
  • Seasoning – Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Egg – Beat a room-temperature egg to coat the chicken. 
  • Olive Oil – Or use your favorite light, neutral-flavored oil. Sesame oil can also be substituted and gives the dish a nutty flavor.
  • Garnish – Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.
  • Honey – Honey makes a thick sweet sauce.
  • Hot Sauce – Add your favorite hot sauce for some heat. Omit if desired. 
  • Acid – A combination of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice gives the sticky honey sesame sauce a hint of sourness. You can also use rice vinegar (rice wine vinegar) instead of ACV.
  • Water and Cornstarch – To thicken the sauce. 
the ingredients for making honey sesame chicken

Ready to make this delicious Honey Sesame Chicken? Gather your ingredients and I will show you…

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Make Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Fill a cast iron skillet with 1 to 1½ inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. 
  2. While the oil heats, cut chicken breasts into strips and pat dry with a paper towel. 
  3. In a shallow bowl, beat an egg and add salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil. 
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cornstarch.
  5. Dip chicken strips into the egg mixture then roll in the flour mixture until coated. 
  6. Fry the chicken strips in hot oil for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil. 
  7. In a separate pan, fry the strips of pepper and green beans in olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  8. In a saucepan, mix the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil while stirring with a spatula or a whisk until smooth and thick.
  9. Toss the fried chicken with the vegetables and the sweet honey sauce and heat everything together for 2-3 minutes. 
  10. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. 
image collage showing the beginning steps for making honey sesame chicken

Note: Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.

image collage showing the final steps for making honey sesame chicken

Expert Tips 

  • Dry your chicken with paper towels before coating it in the dredge mixtures, it will adhere better, and the chicken will fry crispier. 
  • You don’t need a fancy fryer or wok to cook this recipe. Two inches of hot oil in a cast iron skillet or pan will cook the chicken perfectly. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying. Cook the chicken in batches and ensure the oil temperature stays around 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.  
  • Use high-quality honey as it’s a central component of the dish. 
  • Allow the sauce to thicken appropriately before adding the chicken and vegetables. This will help prevent the chicken from becoming soggy. 
one serving of honey sesame chicken in a white bowl

Delicious Variations

  • Add Soy Sauce – Add soy sauce or tamari to the honey sauce for more umami flavor. 
  • Add More Veggies – Include your favorite vegetables such as onions, broccoli, snow peas and fresh garlic. 
  • Chop The Chicken – You can cut the chicken into smaller chunks rather than strips. 
  • Swap The Protein – Prepare with your favorite protein like shrimp or beef. 
  • Adjust The Heat – Increase or decrease the amount of hot sauce to make this dish more or less spicy.
  • Use Other Chicken Pieces– This recipe works well with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. 
honey sesame chicken served in a white bowl

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – If using frozen chicken, thaw completely. 
  • Store – Leftover honey sesame chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze – Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. 
  • Reheat – Reheat in a skillet over medium-high heat until the chicken is warmed through and crispy. The chicken will not be as crispy when reheating. 
close up view of the completed honey sesame chicken recipe

FAQs

What is Honey Sesame Chicken?

This popular Chinese-American dish consists of crispy chicken pieces coated in a sweet and savory sauce with honey and sesame seeds.

Is Honey Sesame Chicken Authentic Chinese Food?

Honey sesame chicken breast is a fan-favorite at Panda Express and Chinese restaurants across North America. Although not authentically Chinese, this favorite dish and similar versions are on the menu in many Asian restaurants. 

Can I Make This Gluten Free?

Yes! Simply replace the flour with gluten free flour to make this recipe celiac-friendly. 

top down view of the finished honey sesame chicken recipe

Similar Recipes

Serve With

  • An awesome skillet for easy and even cooking.
  • Sharp knives for making prep work a breeze.
  • This digital meat thermometer helps ensure your chicken is done.
  • For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

More Chicken Recipes

Be sure to check out more easy and delicious chicken recipes.

Weight Watchers Points

There are 9 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Thank you for reading my Panda Express Copycat Chicken recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog. 

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the completed honey sesame chicken recipe ready to be served
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Honey Sesame Chicken

Fried chicken and veggies are tossed with a sweet honey sesame sauce.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: asian, Chinese
Servings: 6
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast fillets cut into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
  • cup (135g) green beans cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • cup (83g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sauce

  • ½ cup (170g) honey
  • cup (79ml) hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup (118ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • Fill a cast iron skillet with 1 to 1½ inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  • While the oil heats, cut chicken breasts into strips and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • In a shallow bowl, beat an egg and add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cornstarch.
  • Dip chicken strips into the egg mixture, then roll in the flour mixture until coated.
  • Fry the chicken strips in hot oil for 6-7 minutes or until golden or light brown. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C. Drain on paper towels.
  • In a separate pan, fry the strips of pepper and green beans in olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • In a saucepan, mix the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil while stirring with a spatula or a whisk until smooth and thick.
  • Toss the chicken with the vegetables and the sauce and heat everything together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Serve hot.
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Video

Notes

  • Dry your chicken with paper towels before coating it in the dredge mixtures, and it will adhere better, and the chicken will fry crispier. 
  • You don’t need a fancy fryer or wok to cook this recipe. 2” of hot oil in a cast iron skillet or pan will cook the chicken perfectly. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying. Cook the chicken in batches and ensure the oil temperature stays around 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.  
  • Use high-quality honey as it’s a central component of the dish. 
  • Allow the sauce to thicken appropriately before adding the chicken and vegetables. This will help prevent the chicken from becoming soggy.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for 4 days.
  • There are 9 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 835mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
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