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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Recipe: Simple Steps for Delicious Flavor

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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

If you’re looking for a simple and tasty way to enjoy chicken, you’re in for a treat with this grilled teriyaki chicken recipe. This recipe blends juicy chicken with a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce that will make your taste buds dance. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a weekend barbecue, this dish pairs well with a variety of side dishes like rice and veggies.

The best part? It’s ready in just 20 minutes, making it an ideal choice for busy evenings. You’ll love how the homemade marinade brings out the rich flavors, and the grilling process gives it that perfect smoky touch. Get ready to impress your family and friends with this crowd-pleaser!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)


  • Chicken Breasts or Thighs: Either works great. Chicken breasts are leaner, but thighs are juicier.

Teriyaki Sauce

  • Soy Sauce: Use low sodium to control salt. You can substitute with tamari for gluten-free.
  • Brown Sugar: Light or dark, or use honey for a natural sweetener.
  • Mirin: Sweet Japanese rice wine. Substitute with a mix of dry sherry and sugar if you don’t have it.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced is best, but garlic powder works in a pinch.
  • Ginger: Freshly grated adds zing, but ground ginger is a quick substitute.


  • Cornstarch: Helps thicken the sauce. Arrowroot powder is a good alternative.

Garnishes (Optional)

  • Green Onions: Adds color and freshness.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: For extra texture and flavor.

Additional Ingredients (Optional)

  • Black Pepper: Adds a subtle kick.
  • Pineapple Juice: Adds a unique sweetness.


  1. Marinate the Chicken:

    • In a bowl, mix 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/8 tsp freshly grated ginger.
    • Add the chicken thighs to the mixture.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 hours.
  2. Prepare the Grill:

    • Preheat your grill to high heat (around 375°F).
    • Set up two zones: one with high heat and one with low heat.
  3. Grill the Chicken:

    • Remove the chicken from the marinade and let excess marinade drip off.
    • Place the chicken on the grill over high heat.
    • Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until no longer pink inside.
  4. Baste and Finish:

    • Baste the chicken with the reserved teriyaki sauce while grilling.
    • Continue grilling for an extra 1-2 minutes per side to caramelize the sauce.
    • Remove from grill and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  5. Serve:

    • Place the grilled chicken on a plate.
    • Optionally garnish with sesame seeds or chopped green onions.

Enjoy your delicious grilled teriyaki chicken!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

When grilling teriyaki chicken, keep your grill preheated to medium-high heat. This ensures even cooking and those nice char marks.

For a juicier result, marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is best. This allows the flavors to really soak in.

Baste the chicken with additional teriyaki sauce during the last few minutes on the grill. This boosts the flavor and keeps it moist.

Always use a meat thermometer. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it’s cooked through.

If you’re using chicken thighs instead of breasts, remember they might take a bit longer to cook. They also tend to stay juicier.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can freeze grilled teriyaki chicken, too. Just place it in a freezer-safe bag and it will keep well for up to 3 months.

When reheating, try to avoid the microwave. Instead, reheat the chicken in the oven or on the stove to keep it from drying out.

To save time, make extra sauce and keep it in the fridge. It’s perfect for quick meals or as a dip for other dishes.

For extra garnish, sprinkle some sesame seeds or chopped green onions on top right before serving. It adds a nice crunch and flavor.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken can be adjusted in many ways to suit your taste:


  • Experiment with different types of sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup.
  • Add a splash of pineapple juice for a fruity twist.
  • Include a dash of sriracha if you like some heat.

Flavor Enhancements:

  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on your chicken for extra crunch.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions for a fresh touch.
  • Serve with a wedge of lime for a citrusy zing.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve your chicken over a bed of steamed rice.
  • Pair with grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and onions.
  • Include a side of coleslaw for a refreshing contrast.

Alternate Proteins:

  • Sub in shrimp for a seafood twist.
  • Try tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • Swap for pork chops for a heartier meal.

Sandwich Ideas:

  • Make a teriyaki chicken sandwich with toasted buns, lettuce, and tomato.
  • Add a slice of pineapple for a Hawaiian vibe.
  • Drizzle with extra sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

Side Dishes:

  • Serve with potato salad.
  • Add a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette.
  • Include a serving of edamame for a protein boost.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.