Skip the takeout menu this week and make flavor packed Ginger Chicken instead! This mouthwatering peanut ginger chicken recipe marinates in one hour and is ready on the stovetop in 20 minutes or less. Coated in a peanut-ginger soy glaze and loaded with crunchy roasted peanuts.
Better-Than-Takeout Sticky Ginger Chicken
This saucy and savory Asian-inspired ginger chicken is the best kind of homestyle cooking.
My recipe is made from tender pieces of chicken thigh cooked in a rich marinade of soy, ginger, garlic, sesame, and hints of honey and lime – and it’s ready in 20 minutes!
Ginger chicken is a simple yet crazy-flavorful skillet dinner that you can have on the table quickly on any given weeknight. We love takeout just as much as the next family, but I can’t resist a homecooked meal that’s this delicious and this EASY.
One bite of this sticky ginger soy-glazed chicken sprinkled with crunchy peanuts is a flavor explosion. It’s milder than my Spicy Thai-Style Chicken and Orange Chicken, but still firing on all cylinders with a zesty ginger kick. You’re going to be hooked!
What You’ll Need
Below is a quick overview of the ingredients needed to make this homemade ginger chicken recipe. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for the full details and amounts:
- Chicken Thighs: I make this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Trim away any excess fat, then cut the thighs into inch-sized pieces. Aim for even-sized chunks so that they cook up evenly!
- Ginger: Nothing rivals fresh ginger in this recipe. You can find ginger root in most produce aisles.
- Limes: For a bright burst of citrus, you’ll need fresh lime juice as well as zest. In a pinch fresh lemon will also work, though the flavor will be a little different.
- Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil: Soy sauce and sesame oil are key to the Asian-inspired chicken marinade. There’s really no substitute! I also cut in some olive oil, so that the sesame flavor doesn’t become too overpowering.
- Honey, Garlic: Honey for a hint of natural sweetness (maple syrup also works, or brown sugar) and garlic for a savory, aromatic kick. I highly recommend mincing up fresh garlic cloves. Like fresh ginger, it makes all the difference!
- Roasted Peanuts: Chopped-up peanuts bring irresistible crunch and extra flavor. Feel free to omit them if you’re making this recipe nut-free, of course.
- Cilantro: Freshly chopped cilantro works wonderfully as a garnish and pop of color. Another good option is green onions.
- Rice: For serving. I love this zesty ginger chicken served over plain basmati or jasmine rice, or I’ll make up a batch of Instant Pot Butter Rice.
Can I Use Chicken Breast Instead?
I love boneless chicken thighs as they’re usually juicier, more tender, and harder to overcook. However, you can use skinless, boneless chicken breasts to make this ginger chicken if you prefer.
Be sure to trim away the chicken tender and any fat, and I’d also recommend pounding the chicken breast before cutting it into pieces.
How to Make Peanut Ginger Chicken
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this flavor bomb of a chicken dish. Just marinate, cook, and serve:
- Marinate the Chicken: Combine the chicken cubes in a bowl with the ginger marinade ingredients and toss to coat. Leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for an hour.
- Cook: Next, sauté the chicken in a hot skillet with a bit of marinade. I like to work in batches, to make sure that all the chicken pieces are nicely browned and evenly cooked throughout. Afterward, return all of the chicken to the skillet with an additional cup of marinade, and cook to reduce. Remember to stir often!
- Finish and Serve: Finally, stir in the roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro into the chicken and cook until fragrant (just a minute or so). Spoon your saucy ginger chicken over rice, and dig in! See below for more easy serving suggestions.
Tips For Success
Here are my additional helpful tips and tricks when making ginger chicken at home:
- The used chicken marinade is safe to cook with. As long as it’s cooked to a boil, which will kill off any bacteria. However, any leftover marinade that you don’t cook right away should be discarded, and not stored for later use.
- Make extra marinade. This sort of ties in with the above, but if you’d rather not cook with the used marinade, you can double the recipe so that you have fresh marinade to add to the skillet. Sometimes I’ll do this anyway so I’ll have ginger marinade ready in the fridge for tomorrow night’s dinner! The ginger soy flavors taste great with other proteins too, like pork, shrimp, and salmon.
- How to tell when the chicken is done: You can always remove a piece of chicken from the pan and slice it open to check that the middle is cooked throughout. Or, use a meat thermometer stuck into one of the chicken chunks to check that the internal temperature is a done 165ºF.
- If you’re cooking with chicken breasts, you may want to consider browning the chicken pieces, then reducing the sauce a bit before adding the browned chicken back into the skillet to finish cooking. Since chicken breasts are easier to overcook, this can help keep the meat from becoming too dry.
What to Serve with Ginger Chicken
The sweet-savory-zesty flavors of this peanut ginger chicken make it great to pair with other Asian-style dishes for a SUPER tasty weeknight dinner. It’s delicious to serve spooned over rice or noodles or even tossed over hardy greens like spinach, kale, or cabbage.
Here are some more easy meal ideas to serve it with:
Storing and Reheating Leftover Chicken
Store leftover cooked ginger chicken refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reheating is as easy as transferring the chicken to a skillet to reheat on the stovetop, or popping it into the microwave to heat through. I recommend sprinkling in a bit of water to help loosen up the sauce again (or if you made extra fresh/unused marinade, you can use that instead).
Can I Freeze This?
Yes! Ginger peanut chicken freezes beautifully and tastes great once it’s thawed and reheated. Store it airtight in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, and keep it frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the chicken in the fridge and reheat it as directed.
A mouthwatering Ginger Chicken recipe smothered in a sweet-and-sticky ginger soy glaze dotted with roasted peanuts. Try this Asian-inspired chicken recipe that cooks up in a skillet in under 20 minutes!
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 limes
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Rice to serve
- Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl combine chicken, ginger, zest of 1 lime, juice of 3 limes, soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, honey, garlic, and salt.
- Stir to combine and coat the chicken evenly. Allow the chicken to marinate for 1 hour.
- Cook chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken to the pan, with a few tablespoons of the marinade. Stirring occasionally, cook until done and browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Once all the chicken is cooked, add it all back to the pan with 1 cup of the remaining marinade. Allow this to cook on medium-high for 3 – 4 minutes until most of the marinade has evaporated, stirring frequently. Add the chopped peanuts, and cilantro into the pan, stir and cook for 1 more minute.
- Serve over rice if desired.
Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keywords: chinese chicken, asian chicken recipes, chicken dinner ideas