Learn how to make the best grilled teriyaki chicken recipe. Chicken Teriyaki gets grilled to perfection for a healthy, easy dinner!
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Spend less than 30 minutes actively prepping and cooking perfectly juicy chicken for your summer dinner!
Get ready for sweet, tangy chicken that I know you are going to enjoy!
why we love this BBQ Chicken Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
There is a lot to love about this chicken recipe. It’s one of our favorite proteins for a healthy dinner because it’s:
- Easy to make – Marinate and throw on the grill. That’s it!
- Flavorful – Some grilled chicken can get burnt or dry, but this delicious chicken stays juicy and moist due to the marinade!
- Great for meal prep – These chicken breasts are such a healthy addition to your weekly meal prep because they are so versatile and reheat very well!
Ingredients for Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
To make grilled teriyaki chicken, you’ll need:
- chicken breasts
- soy sauce
- brown sugar, honey
- pepper, ground ginger, garlic powder
- olive oil
- pineapple juice
- water, cornstarch
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded box.
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken on the Grill
- Make Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce: Whisk marinade ingredients (not water and cornstarch) in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix hot water and cornstarch. Then, add to the marinade mixture whisking constantly to thicken the sauce. Let cool.
- Marinate the chicken in cooled teriyaki sauce for min 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat grill to 400° and place chicken on the hot grill and cook for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 4-6 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165°.
How long should you marinate chicken teriyaki? It’s best to marinate chicken teriyaki for at least an hour. 2 hours is best. We prefer to not marinate for more than 2 hours because pineapple juice can break down chicken.
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR BBQ TERIYAKI CHICKEN
Chicken Breasts: You can substitute with boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders. You could also substitute with pork chops or salmon.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce: You can sub soy sauce with coconut aminos for a gluten free/soy free option or Bragg’s liquid aminos. If using Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, use HALF the amount – Bragg’s is much saltier.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is really the best option for sweetener in this recipe. It helps make a delicious glaze on the chicken. You can substitute coconut sugar, but it will not be as good. I don’t recommend using maple syrup or honey because it may burn easily on the grill.
Pineapple Juice: Canned pineapple juice is the best option. Juice straight from a pineapple contains enzymes that may break down your chicken protein faster and make a mushy textured chicken, so make sure to lower the marinade time to about 5-10 minutes in this case.
Cornstarch: You might be able to use tapioca flour or arrowroot as a thickener, but I haven’t tried it.
To Make it Lower Carb: I haven’t tried using a low/no carb sweetener. I don’t know how it would affect the recipe.
What to serve with BBQ Teriyaki Chicken
You should eat this bbq teriyaki chicken right away served warm. Here are some of our favorite things to serve with grilled chicken:
Tips for the best Teriyaki Chicken
Cut if pieces are too large – Some of the chicken breasts I see at the stores are enormous and super thick. You can butterfly them and cut them into smaller pieces to avoid getting tough, oversized chicken pieces. (I buy my chicken from ButcherBox and never have this problem. The chicken is always normal sized and super tender!) Either way, butterflying the chicken helps to ensure you have even thin pieces.
Pound/Tenderize– Ever had chicken that is way too bouncy or rubbery? Yuck! The easiest way to prevent that is to tenderize your chicken with a meat tenderizer. Put your chicken in between parchment paper or saran wrap and pound the chicken until it is thinner.
Marinate – Make sure you marinate your chicken! It’s SO important for extra flavor. 30 minutes will do but 1-3 hours is even better (or even 24 hours!)
How to Store Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Storing: This grilled chicken teriyaki will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Freezing: We don’t recommend freezing grilled chicken. It can give the chicken an odd texture.
Reheating: You can reheat this recipe in the microwave, toaster oven, oven, or on the stove.
How to grill chicken:
We recommend grilling chicken on medium to high heat around 375-400 degrees. Depending on the thickness of your chicken you’ll need about 7-9 minutes on each side.
How do you know if your chicken is done? You can check the internal temperature of the chicken to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly, it should be at 165°! This is our favorite meat thermometer.
Oven Baked Teriyaki Chicken
Can you cook this chicken on the stove? Yes! You can pan sear the chicken for 7-8 minutes on each side.
Can you cook this in the instant pot? We wouldn’t recommend it, but you can cook it for 11 minutes on sealing, pressure cook.
Can you make this chicken ahead of time? Absolutely! This chicken is great for prepping ahead of time. Grill or bake and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Other healthy grilling recipes:
Looking for other grilling recipes? Check out these 40+ Healthy Grilling Recipes. Click here to grab our free healthy grilling cookbook.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
- In a saucepan over medium heat whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, pepper, ground ginger, garlic powder, oil, and pineapple juice.
- Mix until combined and bring to a boil (2-3 minutes)
- While the mixture is heating up, in a small bowl mix hot water and cornstarch.
- Once the mixture is boiling, add water/cornstarch slurry while whisking. This will thicken the sauce.
- Boil for 1 more minute, constantly mixing. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon when ready.
- Let the mixture cool completely.
- Pat chicken dry and place on a marinade tray or bowl.
- Poke the chicken breasts with a fork a few times.
- Pour the cooled teriyaki sauce over the chicken and let it marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, prepare the grill and heat up to 400 degrees F, direct heat.
- Once the grill is at temperature, place the marinated chicken on the grill and cook for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes on the opposite side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Let the chicken rest on a plate for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!