Sesame Ground Chicken

Our Sesame Ground Chicken is a #1 recipe for good reason. It’s on the table in 15 minutes, packed with lean protein and has a flavor that everyone loves! Serve with rice or ramen noodles on the side to soak up all of the delicious, sweet sesame sauce.

sesame ground chicken in a bowl with rice and chopsticks

Why You’ll Love This Sesame Ground Chicken Recipe

Not only is this Sesame Ground Chicken easy to make, I promise you everyone is going to love it. You can keep it mild like we have done here and then spic up your own bowl if you like. Kids love it, adults love, even the pickiest of eaters.

  • Easy To Make: This ground chicken recipe is ready to serve in just 15 minutes. That’s it. Steam some rice in the microwave and dinner is done.
  • High Protein Meal: If you’re looking for a lean protein recipe for meal prepping or just easy dinners, this is the one.
  • Make Ahead Recipe: Make ahead of time and simply warm in the microwave for easy dinners or lunches to go.
ground chicken with sesame sauce and scallions in skillet

Ingredients You’ll Need

By now, we’ve made this recipe so much that we have all of the ingredients on hand. If you’ve never used chili garlic sauce before, it’s a sweet and mildly spicy sauce that adds tons of flavor. For a complete list of ingredients and amounts needed, scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post.

sesame ground chicken ingredients
  • Ground Chicken: You can use ground chicken with 8% fat or ground chicken “breast” that is leaner.
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic or garlic paste (usually in a tube, found in the produce aisle).
  • Chili Garlic Sauce: Usually found where the soy sauce is in your grocery store. If you can find it, there’s an Amazon link above the photo.
  • Soy Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Chicken Broth
  • Cornstarch

How To Make

All you need to do is cook the ground chicken into crumbles along with onions and garlic. Drain any drippings from the skillet and then whisk the sauce together. It’s that simple.

Thicken the sauce with a mixture of cornstarch and water, let it simmer for five minutes and you’re ready to serve. We like to garnish this ground chicken with chopped scallions and sesame seeds and serve it with rice or cauliflower rice.

ground chicken in sesame sauce with chopped scallions


For the protein you can swap out ground turkey, ground pork or even lean ground beef. Any protein you like will work fine.

If sugar is an issue for you, try using a stevia based brown sugar instead, or just cut down on the amount here. Tons of vegetables can also be added to this recipe – broccoli, snap peas and shredded carrots are just a few ideas.

sesame ground chicken in bowl from the side with rice and chopsticks

Storing, Freezing and Reheating

This is a great recipe to meal prep with for the week, so we often make it in large quantities. Keep this Sesame Ground Chicken covered in your refrigerator, or in a container for up to 4 days. Reheating is as easy as popping a bowl in the microwave.

And yes, you can also freeze this ground chicken too! If you’re really looking to plan a few meals ahead of time, make this chicken and let it cool completely before freezing. A good meal prepping tip is to freeze the chicken in individual portions for an easy lunch or dinner, or something the kids can grab on their own!

ground chicken recipe in a bowl with rice and chopsticks on the side

Looking For More Easy Chicken Recipes?

ground chicken recipe in a bowl with rice and chopsticks on the side

Sesame Ground Chicken

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Our Sesame Ground Chicken is a #1 recipe for good reason. It’s on the table in 15 minutes, packed with lean protein and has a flavor that everyone loves! Serve with rice or ramen noodles on the side to soak up all of the delicious, sweet sesame sauce.



  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 pounds ground chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (to taste, start with 1 and add more if desired)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water (see note)
  • Chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook a minute longer.
  2. Add the ground chicken to the skillet and cook while breaking up into small pieces until the chicken is cooked through. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and chicken broth together in a bowl. Pour over the ground chicken and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and then add the cornstarch mixture while stirring. Simmer the chicken until the sauce is thickened, taste for seasonings and serve with scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

Instead of mixing the cornstarch with water and adding after the sauce comes to a simmer, you can add the cornstarch right to the sauce mixture (minus the water) and whisk to combine. Once the sauce comes to a simmer the sauce will thicken.

Store: Store leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freeze: This ground chicken recipe freezes very well for meal prepping. Store in an air tight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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104 Responses
  1. Tricia

    Made this tonight….it’s excellent! So delicious and easy. Kids liked it too. Don’t leave the scallions out….they add such a nice flavor.

      1. Ashley

        Absolutely loved it! Both my kids. We also added broccoli and cabbage to bulk it up and get extra veggies and ommited garlic and onion due to food sensitivities, but added spring onion. Very easy additions and subs to this and I can’t believe how much the 7 year old loves it!

    1. Dan

      It’s a pretty common sauce found in the asian food aisle at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it sriracha would be a good substitution!

    2. Terry

      I used 1 TBS hoisin plus 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 2 tsp rice vinegar as a substitute for the chili garlic paste since I didn’t have any. Not as spicy but the recipe came out fantastic! Will definitely make again, next tie with the chili garlic paste.

    3. Tessa

      Hi Cheryl – Try ordering some Sambal Oelek. It’s a fantastic chili sauce – and what I used in this recipe. Not too salty or hot – just perfect to add to dishes like this.

  2. M Hamilton

    Made this tonight and it’s extremely easy and delicious. I didn’t add the extra salt because there was enough in the soy for me. I also added a couple punches of ground ginger. This hits it out of the park and is going to get included in our regular rotation. Thanks!!!

  3. Stacy Adams

    Super easy to make and it tastes sooooo good. My husband said I can make this anytime. Tastes even better as leftovers. Added a touch more chili sauce because we like the heat, but this recipe is a winner!

  4. Jennifer

    Love this recipe, thanks!

    For preparation from freezer:

    – How long can you store in the freezer?
    – Do you recommend to thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stovetop?

    Preparing for baby #3 and this will be great to have ready to go. Thank you!

    1. Dan

      Thanks Jennifer! You can store this in the freezer for about 3 months. Little over is fine, but generally 3 months is what I shoot for. We either let this thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat or defrost in the microwave and then reheat either in the microwave or on the stove top. Good luck with baby #3!

  5. Tessa

    Absolutely delicious and super easy! I doubled the sauce – but I think I would reduce the soy sauce by 1/4 cup after doubling the sauce. Was a wee bit salty. Family loved it – definitely a keeper. This will be another go-to for our family. Thank you!

  6. Shabba

    It came out a lot darker than the photo, maybe the soy sauce, although I used half the amount, however the taste was excellent, thank you.

  7. Jena

    Just made this and I’m honestly really sad I didn’t double the recipe. My kids ate double portions and they’re quite difficult to please. I had to improvise a little without the chili garlic sauce but it still turned out terrific!

  8. Kerien W Fitzpatrick

    Delicious by itself. A bit of sweet up front followed by savory/salty from the soy sauce. I chopped up water chestnuts and served over Jasmine rice.

  9. Dustin

    I ended up with some ground chicken and had never ever used it before. I found this recipe, substituted sriracha for the chili garlic sauce and I must say it came out pretty darn good! Let’s just say I know what to do with ground chicken from now on. Thanks!

  10. Erin

    literally OBSESSED with this recipe. i make it at least once a week. whenever my husband sees ground chicken in the fridge he knows it’s sesame chicken time!

  11. SueskiNH

    This was delicious! I used 1 lb. of ground chicken plus a pile of veggies besides the onion and scallions (broccoli florets, chopped zucchini, julienned baby carrots, chopped red/yellow pepper). I also added some minced ginger root because I had a small piece handy. Served with short grain brown rice.

  12. Kristy Mutch

    Wow! This is my new favorite quick meal go-to. Confession – I omitted the sesame oil, as it’s something my tummy doesn’t tolerate well. My husband came home from work and inhaled two bowls! This recipe will go in my normal dinner rotation.

    So glad I found this recipe!

  13. Cher

    This recipe is an absolute FLAVOUR BOMB of goodness!! I had nooooo idea what I should make with my ground chicken last night. I was so happy I stumbled across this recipe! it looked so delicious and sounded quick and easy! It WAS! I will make this again and again for sure! Like many comments have mentioned, this recipe could be easily tweaked by adding a variety of chopped vegetables for volume, flavour and colour but it’s really fantastic made quite simply as per the recipe! Two of us polished off our Sesame Chicken and Rice in one sitting! We were very hungry 😅😅 LOL Thank you for the fabulous inspiration!!

  14. Becka

    Wow! I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I hadn’t ever tried the chili garlic sauce and it’s like the icing on the cake in this dish! I was just looking for a recipe for ground chicken which I grabbed by mistake instead of turkey, and I’m so glad I found this one! I did cut back on the sugar because we watch our sugar intake, but it didn’t need much for us to get a sweet taste. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Jessica Coronato

    Awesome dish! So easy and great flavor. The ground chicken seems to cook off and leave a lot of liquid—next time I’ll drain OR cook off juices before adding sauce.

    Def making again! Thanks!

  16. Mindy

    I love this recipe! I add shredded cabbage at the end and let it cook until tender. It is like an egg roll in a bowl!! Yum yum!!

  17. Whitney

    I love this recipe!!!! I make it for my son at least 2x a week. I add some minced garlic, ginger and Chinese 5-spice while I’m browning the chicken.
    I’ve added zucchini, carrots and asparagus to the mix as well. Thank you for sharing such and awesome recipe!

        1. Janine

          I personally used 1lb ground chicken, and kept the measurements for the sauce the same because I wanted to have extra sauce for my rice and it worked out great!

  18. Kimberly

    Really delicious! I added brown rice and steamed broccoli to make it a meal. I didn’t have any sesame oil, so I went without it. I also doubled up on the garlic and used a Thai sweet chili sauce and sriracha sauce that I already had in the fridge. I also added some red chili flakes for a little extra heat. The only thing I wish was more apparent are the nutritional facts, otherwise, great recipe!

  19. Sheri

    I just made the recipe. It was good. I added some baby bok choy and used honey (less) instead of brown sugar and stir fried in some organic spelt udon noodles. The noodles were a little gummy, but the flavor of the sauce was so good. I used a little chili powder as I didn’t have the chili garlic sauce. Thank you for sharing!!

  20. Mo

    I’m a college student and I recently took up cooking. This recipe was easy to make and was AMAZING. Definitely will be making it again. It’s quite literally restaurant quality good.

    1. Dan

      This makes us SO happy! Our son is a freshman in college now, so he’s still in a dorm and can’t wait to start cooking his own food next year. Thanks so much for the comment, keep cooking!

  21. Graham

    First glance at the recipe threw me off. It says chicken breast, but the title of the recipe is ground chicken. These are two different things!

    1. Dan

      The ingredient is “GROUND chicken breast” not chicken breast, which is a leaner ground chicken product since it is made from all chicken breast, not a mixture of light and dark meat chicken. It’s still ground chicken, just made from all chicken breast. Look at the ground chicken at your grocery store and you’ll see what I’m talking about if you’re confused. You can, of course, use any ground chicken, we just prefer ground chicken breast for this recipe.

  22. Angie

    So simple, easy and a good base to play with to your own tastes, great just as written. This is one of those recipes you can have fun with, and so quick. Thanx.

  23. MB

    I make this once a week. It’s perfect as it, but to make it bodybuilding-friendly, I add stevia (instead of brown sugar) and only 1 T. toasted sesame oil. Also use oil spray when I brown the chicken to reduce calories. EXCELLENT!!! I love your healthy, tasty recipes. THANKS!!

  24. B

    SO good! I doubled the sauce and the Chili garlic sauce made it a bit too spicy for me but everyone else definitely loved it. Served it on a bad of half egg noodles and half thinly sliced stir fried cabbage. Better than takeout, quick easy, nutritious and flavourful. Thank you ❤️

  25. Nina A

    I make this recipe at least once almost every week. My 6 year old LOVES it and so does everyone else in my household. I HIGHLY recommend this to any and everyone. It is absolutely delicious and tastes equally as good the next day. This is a holy grail recipe.

  26. Kimee

    I searched “Recipes with ground chicken”. This is the first one that caught my eye and this is what we made. I made Jasmine rice to put it over and added steamed broccoli to the mixture. It’s what’s for dinner. It must be good because I have to keep telling my daughter to stay out of it lol. Thanks for this quick and easy recipe!

  27. Debra

    Fantastic recipe! We’re not into spicy so instead of the chili paste I substituted from another post hoisin, red pepper flakes & rice vinegar.

  28. Nicolle

    Fantastic and successful! Thank you for sharing. I substituted the sugar for honey because I had none on hand and it seemed to do the trick (it tasted good at least to me!).

    +1 to the lettuce wraps comment above. I made a large batch, rice for lunch and lettuce wrap for dinner.

  29. JoeBKS

    My kids and I loved this. We will be making this often now. I have struggled with finding recipes for ground chicken and this adds a great alternative to meatballs. I will be decreasing the amount of sugar though as a matter of personal taste. This will be great with rice bowls and veggies too.

  30. JoeBKS

    I am making this tonight. I have made it before and saved the recipe. It’s a total keeper. My picky kids love it. Tonight instead of rice I am serving it as a noodle bowl and the kids can pick their add ins from tomatoes, cukes, blanched broccoli, and sautéed Asian cabbage. Thank you so much, it helps to have a variety of recipes for affordable ground chicken. Easy to do this with ground beef or sliced sirloin too.

  31. Penny

    I made this today and we absolutely loved it. The only thing i did differently was to add water chestnuts. We both love them in dishes like this and like the crunch. I will be making this often. So easy to add other ingredients. Will add finely shredded carrots next time too just to add some vegetables. Thanks for such a satisfying meal.

  32. claire

    i’ve made this before and loved it! today i have ground turkey on hand, would this be an appropriate substitution?

    1. Dan

      I’m not too familiar with the flavor since we don’t use it. I’d start off by cutting back and then you can always add!

  33. Daniela

    Extremely salty and spicy! Not sure what I did wrong. Definitely not for my kids but nonetheless delicious. Will modify next time with less salt and less chilli garlic sauce. Strange because I did measure everything and bought organic, less sodium for soy sauce etc etc either way I will attempt again because it definitely helps my cravings with sesame and Asian food. Thank you!

    1. Dan

      Are you using kosher salt or table salt? If you’re using table salt that could be why, it’s much finer and will result in a more salty tasting meal. Or just leave the salt out altogether and add a pinch at the end if need be. As far as the chili garlic paste, if you need it to be kid friendly, you can omit that as well and just add it to your portion if you need a bit of spice. Hope this helps!

  34. Noneya

    I need to substitute Worcester Sauce for soy. I would cut the brown sugar down next time but will definitely make again. Very good. Thank you.

  35. Noneya

    I need to substitute Worcester Sauce for soy. I would cut the brown sugar down next time but will definitely make again. Very good. Thank you.

  36. Bekki

    Love it! I was looking for a recipe that used ground chicken and this was one of the first ones that popped up on Google. Literally so easy and makes a good amount as meal prep for the week. Only thing I didn’t use was the chili but still came out wonderful!