Teriyaki Chicken Marinade Recipe – Easy Chicken Recipes

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When I am in the mood for a Japanese-inspired meal, I always make a batch of this teriyaki chicken marinade. Made with pantry staples soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and a few other key ingredients, this marinade has a wonderful sweet and savory flavor. It’s simple to throw together and it gives my chicken a wow flavor!

up close chicken with chicken teriyaki marinade

I love ordering chicken teriyaki takeout, but this chicken teriyaki marinade has changed the game for me. I slathered a bit of this on some juicy chicken breasts and chucked them on the grill, and oh, my goodness! They were so good! I cooked down the leftover marinade into a sauce that I’ll be slathering on everything for the foreseeable future.

What’s in This Chicken Teriyaki Marinade Recipe?

  • Soy Sauce: Adds saltiness and umami flavor. Use low-sodium for a less salty marinade, or use tamari or coconut aminos if you are gluten-free.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Adds a molasses sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce: Adds sweetness and a hint of spice.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: Adds nutty flavor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a balancing acidity to the marinade that helps tenderize the meat.
  • Honey: Enhances the sweet profile of the marinade.
  • Garlic Powder: Adds a savory and earthy flavor.
  • Ground Ginger: Adds a warm and spicy aroma.
  • Cornstarch: Helps thicken the leftover marinade into a sauce that you can serve with your chicken.
grilled chicken teriyaki on plate

How to Store and Reheat

I recommend discarding any leftover teriyaki chicken marinade immediately if you’re not planning to turn it into a serving sauce, since it will have been contaminated with raw chicken juices.

Any leftover cooked sauce will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, though, and the cooked chicken will keep for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

Notes and Tips

  • Let your chicken marinate for more than an hour if you have the extra time. You can even let it marinate overnight to soak in all the juices.
  • Add 1 tablespoon sriracha to the marinade to spice things up!
  • Cook your chicken on the grill if you want to get that smokey flavor with each bite.
fork with slice of grilled chicken teriyaki

Top Reader Review

“This recipe is the best teriyaki chicken I have ever eaten!!” -Aaron B Cayton

featured grilled chicken teriyaki breasts with teriyaki marinade

Chicken Teriyaki Marinade Recipe

When you are in the mood for a Japanese-inspired meal, you need to try this sweet and savory teriyaki chicken marinade, plus instructions for making teriyaki chicken on the grill!


  • Place chicken in a Ziploc bag or container.

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients (except for the water and cornstarch).

    ½ cup soy sauce, ⅓ cup light brown sugar, ¼ cup sweet chili sauce, ¼ cup toasted sesame seed oil, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • Reserve ½ cup of the marinade mixture and set aside.

  • Pour remaining marinade over prepared chicken breasts.

  • Seal bag or cover container and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.

  • Preheat grill to 375℉ then brush grill grates.

    Oil for the grill

  • Grill marinated chicken breasts 7 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 165℉.

  • While chicken is grilling, combine water and cornstarch in a sauce pan over medium low heat, then add the reserved marinade. Simmer until it begins to thicken.

    ¼ cup water, 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • Brush thickened sauce over chicken as it finishes grilling.

  • Enjoy!


  • To make this on the stovetop: In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Place marinated chicken breasts in the hot pan then cook for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts, reduce the temperature to medium, and cover. Cook an additional 5 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Add reserved marinade and cook until it begins to thicken.

Storage: Store teriyaki chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days, or freeze for 3 months. 

Nutrition Facts

Chicken Teriyaki Marinade Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 411
Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Fat 17g26%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Trans Fat 1g

Cholesterol 72mg24%

Sodium 1918mg83%

Potassium 533mg15%

Carbohydrates 38g13%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 35g39%

Protein 27g54%

Vitamin A 34IU1%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 30mg3%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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