May 21, 2024

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Cooking Is My World

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

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This is the best recipe for Grilled Teriyaki Chicken! Chicken is marinated in a delicious homemade teriyaki sauce and then grilled to perfection, resulting in tender, juicy, flavorful chicken teriyaki you will want to make on repeat!

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and grilled pineapple on white plate.

Fire up the grill and make one of the most flavorful versions of grilled chicken!

Marinated and then glazed in a homemade teriyaki sauce, Grilled Chicken Teriyaki is sweet, tangy, sticky, and one of my all-time favorite ways to prepare grilled chicken.

Instead of relying on a storebought teriyaki sauce that is filled with preservatives and high in sodium, this recipe for Chicken Teriyaki uses a homemade teriyaki sauce that is not only better for you, the flavor is superior.

Sweetened with pineapple juice and honey and flavored with fresh garlic and ginger, this sauce is nuanced, rich, and perfectly balanced. It is delicious on anything–but especially fabulous paired with chicken.

Given the ease and the flavor of this recipe for Chicken Teriyaki, this will be one recipe you will be making again and again!

Notes on Ingredients

Ingredients for Chicken Teriyaki labeled on counter.

This recipe for chicken teriyaki is made with a homemade, naturally sweetened teriyaki sauce and chicken of course.

  • Chicken: Some will argue that Teriyaki Chicken must be made with chicken thighs. I personally think this recipe works equally well with either boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Use whatever you have on hand or prefer.
  • Soy Sauce: Use reduced-sodium soy sauce to control the level of sodium. Alternatively, you can use Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce to keep this recipe gluten-free.
  • Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice will add so much flavor and natural sweetness to the teriyaki sauce. Be sure to use 100% pineapple juice for the best results.
  • Honey: The honey will work with the pineapple sauce to naturally sweeten the teriyaki sauce and balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce. Feel free to use brown sugar in place of the honey.
  • Mirin: Mirin is a sweet Japanese wine that will add acidity and sweetness to the sauce. If you don’t have mirin on hand, feel free to use sweet Marsala or Sherry wine in its place. If you don’t want to cook with alcohol, use additional rice wine vinegar along with an additional tablespoon of honey, to counteract the acidity of the vinegar.
  • Gingerroot: Be sure to use grated fresh, peeled gingerroot, rather than dried ginger. The flavor is superior.
  • Cornstarch: A bit of cornstarch will help to thicken up the teriyaki sauce. If you need this recipe to be corn-free, use an equal amount of arrowroot powder in place of the cornstarch.

How to Make Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

  • Prepare the teriyaki marinade by combining the pineapple juice, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, honey, garlic, and ginger together in a mixing bowl or large measuring cup.
Ingredients for Homemade Teriyaki Sauce in mixing cup.
  • Remove ¾ cup of the teriyaki sauce and place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for later use. We are going to thicken this up and use it to glaze the chicken once grilled.
  • Place the chicken into a large storage bag and pour the remaining teriyaki mixture over the chicken.
Chicken and teriyaki sauce in ziplock bag.
  • Seal the bag and toss the chicken in the marinade to coat.
  • Place the chicken into the refrigerator and allow it to marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  • After the chicken is marinated, remove it from the marinade and place the chicken onto a grill or grill pan that has been preheated to medium-high heat.
  • DISCARD THE MARINADE!!! Remember that we reserved some marinade–we will use that to brush onto the chicken after it has grilled!
  • Grill the chicken for 4-6 minutes per side, or until the center registers 165 degrees F.
Side by side photo of marinated teriyaki chicken grilling on grilled pan.
  • While the chicken is grilling, heat the reserved marinade in a small saucepan until simmering.
  • Prepare a cornstarch slurry by mixing together cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is dissolved, and then whisk into the sauce.
  • Let the teriyaki sauce cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until thickened. It forms a thick, rich glaze that will add so much flavor to the already marinated chicken.
Teriyaki Sauce in sauce pan simmering.
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the grill to a plate and generously brush it with the thickened teriyaki sauce.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute. If I have fresh pineapple, I use this time to lightly grill slices of fresh pineapple which pair beautifully with the Teriyaki Chicken.
  • Serve the chicken with additional teriyaki sauce on the side and if desired, top with sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and grilled pineapple on white plate.

Serving Suggestions

My absolute favorite way to serve this Grilled Chicken Teriyaki is to pair it with grilled pineapple slices, along with a side of pineapple rice. Because the teriyaki sauce is made with pineapple juice, pairing it with fresh pineapple and pineapple rice, really enhances the pineapple flavor.

To grill the pineapple, I suggest grilling over medium heat on a lightly greased grill. I do this while the chicken is resting. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side and then remove from the grill and glaze with the teriyaki sauce and serve with the chicken.

This grilled chicken also pairs well with Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Vegetable Fried Rice, or Stir-Fried Bok Choy. And don’t forget to add in a Pina Colada Smoothie! Yum! It is like a trip to the tropics in your own backyard.

Fork holding bite of chicken and pineapple.

Leftover Chicken Teriyaki

If you happen to have any leftover chicken, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

It is delicious chopped up and served in Fried Rice or in an Asian Noodle Salad to add protein or serve sliced over a Caribbean Salad.

More Favorite Grilling Recipes

Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.

If you tried out this recipe for Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with grilled pineapple on white plate.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Chicken is marinated in a delicious homemade teriyaki sauce and then grilled to perfection, resulting in tender, juicy, flavorful chicken teriyaki you will want to make on repeat!

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Marinate: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 210kcal

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Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, honey, garlic, and ginger. Remove ¾ cup of the marinade and set it aside.

  • Trim the chicken of any fat if needed and then place it into a large ziplock bag. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and shake/rub the marinade over the chicken.

  • Place the chicken and the reserved sauce into the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

  • When ready to cook, preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush the grates with oil.

  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the marinade, and place the chicken onto the grill. Grill the chicken for 4-6 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for an additional 4 minutes, or until the center registers 165 degrees F. You will need to cook closer to 6-8 minutes per side for chicken thighs and 4-6 minutes per side for chicken breasts.

  • While the chicken is grilling, heat the reserved marinade in a small saucepan until simmering. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes until beginning to thicken. Whisk together the cornstarch and water until well combined, then whisk into the sauce. Let cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until thickened. Turn off the heat.

  • Remove the cooked chicken from the grill and brush with the teriyaki sauce.

  • Serve with additional teriyaki sauce on the side and sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

Chicken: This recipe works equally well with either boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Keep in mind you will need to add 2-3 minutes of cooking time for chicken thighs. 
Gluten-Free Modification: Use Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce to keep the marinade gluten-free.
Mirin Substitute: If you don’t have mirin on hand, feel free to use sweet Marsala or Sherry wine in its place. If you don’t want to cook with alcohol, use an additional ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar along with an additional tablespoon of honey or brown sugar to counteract the acidity of the vinegar.
Corn-Free Modification: Use an equal amount of arrowroot powder in place of the cornstarch.
Storage: Leftover Grilled Chicken Teriyaki can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Leftover teriyaki sauce can be stored in a separate airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat the chicken lightly over low heat on the stove or on the grill and serve with any leftover teriyaki sauce. 
Serving with Grilled Pineapple: To grill the pineapple, I suggest grilling over medium heat on a lightly greased grill. I do this while the chicken is resting. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side and then remove from the grill and glaze with the teriyaki sauce and serve with the chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 998mg | Potassium: 529mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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