SAUCY SOY-FREE TERIYAKI CHICKEN THIGHS

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Let’s talk teriyaki! This glossy, sweet, and tangy sauce can be slathered on just about anything to make it absolutely incredible. My Saucy Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce Chicken Thighs pack a punch of flavor with minimal effort.

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Saucy Soy Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Olivia Adriance

Unlike other teriyaki recipes, you don’t have to marinate the chicken ahead of time. This makes it the perfect weeknight dish when you’re tempted to call for takeout but really want to eat something a bit healthier too. 

I must admit that I’m kinda known for my saucy chicken recipes, and this teriyaki doesn’t disappoint! The slightly sticky, zesty sauce pairs so well with rice and a side of broccoli. That’s where store bought shortcuts come in handy.

After a long day in the kitchen testing recipes, sometimes getting dinner on the table that night isn’t my number one priority. In these instances, I rely on staples like pre-cooked frozen rice and even pre-chopped broccoli from the store.

Saucy Soy Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Olivia Adriance

Pop the rice in the microwave to heat through and quickly steam the veggies and voila, your Asian-inspired gluten-free and soy-free teriyaki chicken is ready to be devoured. 

Oh and did I mention that the chicken and sauce are cooked together in the same pan?! That’s one less thing to clean, which I know my husband Kyle (aka the professional dish washer) appreciates too. 

I know so many of you love my easy weeknight chicken recipes, so I’m excited for you to give this one a try, too! I know it will be a home run in your house. 

Saucy Soy Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Olivia Adriance

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Key Ingredients for Soy-Free Teriyaki Chicken 

One of the best things about this teriyaki chicken recipe is that you likely have most of the ingredients already! It’ll take less time for you to make this dish than it will for ordering takeout. And it’s guaranteed to be better and healthier too! 

Saucy Soy Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs Ingredients - Olivia Adriance
  • Chicken: You’ll notice that a lot of my recipes use boneless skinless chicken thighs. I find that they are a juicier cut of meat and always come out tender, especially when they’re cooked in a sauce. You can, of course, use chicken breasts instead. As always, if you’re worried about cooking chicken, use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s at the right temperature. You’re looking for 165°F for chicken. 
  • Broth: The main ingredient for this sauce is bone broth — a thicker, richer alternative to regular stock or broth that is made by simmering the chicken bones with vegetables, aromatics, and water. It’s more nutrient-dense than regular broth, but you can easily swap it with that if that’s what is in the pantry! 
  • Coconut Aminos: This gluten-free condiment has a dedicated spot in my fridge! I love to add it to Asian dishes because it gives that umami soy sauce-like flavor without soy or gluten! You can swap tamari for the coconut aminos, but just be aware that it isn’t soy-free. 
Saucy Soy Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Olivia Adriance
  • Ginger: This peppery, somewhat woody, but warm spice is quintessential to teriyaki dishes. I like to use fresh ginger whenever possible, especially because it lasts for a long time. Unpeeled ginger can be kept either in the fridge or on the counter for several weeks. Many stores like @wholefoods and Trader Joe’s sell frozen fresh ginger cubes, which can be used in a pinch. 
  • Thickener: It’s important to add some sort of thickener to make the teriyaki sauce glaze-like. I tend to use arrowroot starch in this recipe, which is a gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-inflammatory substitute for cornstarch. That said, you could also substitute tapioca starch or cornstarch as a one-to-one replacement. 
  • Rice: For me, rice is essential for any Asian-inspired teriyaki dish or stir-fry.

Recipe Tip

There’s no shame in cutting corners where you can, and for me, that means having pre-cooked frozen rice on hand. I use the @wholefoods 365 frozen jasmine rice, but any grocery store should have this available. Just be sure that there aren’t added ingredients like sugars or oils — this can be a sneaky place for unnecessary hidden additives! 

  • Broccoli: To add some fiber and greens to my plate, I serve this with a side of steamed broccoli. It’s honestly one of the quickest ways to get in my greens, and it tastes delicious with the teriyaki sauce, too. You can steam this in a pan on the stovetop as the chicken finishes cooking. 

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How to Make Saucy Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce Chicken Thighs 

MAKE THE SOY-FREE TERIYAKI SAUCE

In a small bowl or measuring cup, make the teriyaki sauce. Whisk together the sauce ingredients: broth, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and arrowroot starch. Set aside until ready to use. You can easily double this sauce recipe if you want some leftovers for another night. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, although you may need to add a touch more broth when you heat it up. 

SEAR THE CHICKEN

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the avocado oil. Pat the chicken thighs dry and generously season on both sides with salt and pepper. 

Add the chicken thighs to the skillet in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 7 minutes or until they are almost cooked through. Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the teriyaki sauce. Scrape up the chicken bits as the sauce bubbles – this is where all the juicy flavor is at!  

Simmer the chicken in the sauce for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing the chicken carefully in the sauce as it heats through. If you find the sauce is too thick, add a splash of bone broth. Or, if the sauce is too thin, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce further. You’ll see it bubble up which is a sign that it’s thickening. 

When ready to eat, serve over rice (frozen rice is a quick weeknight staple that you can use here) with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, sliced green onions, and steamed broccoli. 

Saucy Soy Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs - Olivia Adriance

Other Saucy Chicken Recipes To Try

SAUCY SOY-FREE TERIYAKI CHICKEN THIGHS

Salty, subtly sweet, and packed FULL of flavor, these Saucy Soy-Free Teriyaki Chicken Thighs are a recipe you'll want to return to again and again! The soy-free teriyaki sauce recipe is easy to make and is better (and healthier!) than what you can find at the store.
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Ingredients 

Teriyaki Sauce:

  • ¾ cup chicken broth or chicken bone broth
  • cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or honey
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or tapioca or corn starch

Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Salt and pepper to season

For Serving:

  • Rice
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions

Instructions 

  • Make the Teriyaki Sauce: Whisk together the sauce ingredients (broth, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and arrowroot starch) in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet over medium-high, heat avocado oil.
  • While the oil heats up, pat the chicken thighs dry and generously season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken thighs to the skillet in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 7 minutes or until they are almost cooked through.
  • Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the sauce, scraping up the chicken bits as the sauce bubbles and deglazes the pan.
  • Simmer the chicken in the sauce for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing the chicken in the sauce. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a splash of bone broth. If the sauce is too thin, turn up the heat to reduce the sauce further.
  • Serve over cooked rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, sliced green onions, and steamed broccoli.
  • ENJOY!

Notes

Use this teriyaki sauce for other proteins too! It would be great spooned over seared salmon, shrimp, steak, or even sauteed veggies.  
Of course, if you’re really strapped for time you can substitute the teriyaki sauce with a premade bottle. Look for one with simpler ingredients, avoiding any added sugars or fillers, if possible. @primalkitchenfoods makes a gluten-free no-soy teriyaki sauce, too!
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