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Honey Soy Chicken

With only a handful of ingredients and minimal effort, this Honey Soy Chicken will quickly become a family favorite. It’s super tender, flavorful, and healthy. It’s great for meal prep.

Honey Soy Chicken in a dish
Honey Soy Chicken is a super easy meal prep recipe that tastes incredible.

Honey Soy Chicken

This honey soy chicken is quite possibly the easiest way to make juicy, tender chicken in the oven. My dad used to make this for us all the time when growing up. To this day, Dad still serves up this dish whenever we make a trip back home. It was a hit with his kids and now it’s a hit with his grandkids.

Of course, Dad never used actual recipes, yet his chicken turned out fork-tender and scrumptious every single time. I’ve tried watching him cook, but I always have to come up with my own measurements because no, I cannot remember the exact color and thickness of that sauce by just watching you. After many attempts, I’ve nailed down this recipe – it’s tender, full of flavor, and perfect over your favorite rice.

What You’ll Love

  • There are only 4 ingredients, not counting salt and pepper.
  • Honey soy chicken literally takes about 5 minutes to prepare.
  • It bakes up beautifully browned, tender, juicy, and full of flavor.
  • You can make this chicken ahead of time for meal prep.
  • This dish is perfect for busy weeknights, as well as sharing with guests on the weekends.
  • Honey soy chicken can be made gluten free using gluten-free soy sauce.
Honey Soy chicken in a dish
Honey Soy Chicken requires only 4 ingredients, aside from salt and pepper.

Basic Pantry Ingredients

  • Asian Rice Cooking Wine is found at most Asian grocery stores. It is a cooking wine, and is not the same thing as sweet rice wine or seasoned rice wine. It’s sometimes called Chinese Cooking Wine or Shaoxing Cooking Wine.
  • Pure honey provides thickness to the sauce and exceptional flavor.
  • Good quality regular-strength soy sauce or Tamari sauce (gluten-free) is essential to this dish, as it provides umami flavors.

Tips for Perfect Honey Soy Chicken

  • Use paper towels to pat-dry all excess moisture from chicken prior to marinating. Excess water content will dilute the marinade and will also cause chicken to steam rather than roast in the oven.
  • Use a fork to pierce chicken pieces all around prior to marinading. This allows flavors to soak into the chicken.
  • If you want to be certain your dish is gluten-free, use Tamari soy sauce.
  • Use tongs to turn chicken pieces over a few times during baking, particularly after the cover comes off – that will ensure your chicken is nicely browned on all sides.
  • Pour any sauce/drippings from pan onto chicken and rice!
Honey Soy Chicken in a dish
Serve honey soy chicken with steamed rice and vegetables, for a deliciously heathy dinner.

What to serve with Honey Soy Chicken

Honey Soy Chicken
Common Questions

What is honey soy sauce made of?

Our flavorful honey soy marinade is made simply with good quality soy sauce, rice cooking wine, and pure honey.

How do you thicken the honey soy sauce?

The marinade/sauce will thicken naturally during the final baking stages, particularly once the cover is removed. It thickens into a texture that is perfect for basting and drizzling.

Can I make honey soy chicken ahead of time?

Absolutely. You can make this dish several hours in advance, or make it for meal prep, as it keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Is rice cooking wine the same as seasoned rice vinegar?

No, they are not the same thing. Be sure you’re using cooking wine and not anything labeled as vinegar.

More to Cook and Eat

Also Try These Fabulous Baked Wings

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

honey soy chickwn

Baked Honey Soy Chicken

5 from 48 ratings
This Baked Honey Soy Chicken requires only a handful of simple ingredients. It’s easy, healthy, and delicious. A winning combo for the perfect weeknight meal. Serve over fluffy rice.
Servings: 15 drumsticks
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

Instructions

  • Using paper towels, thoroughly dry each piece of chicken. (Do not skip this step, as moisture from chicken will negatively affect results.) Use a fork to poke holes everywhere on all sides of chicken pieces. Lay drumsticks in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or two baking pans, making sure not to crowd pieces. Evenly sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper over drumsticks.
  • In a bowl, combine cooking wine, honey, and soy sauce; use a whisk to mix well. Pour mixture evenly over drumsticks. Rotate drumsticks to coat. Let chicken marinade for 1 hour at moderate room temp, rotating once in between. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F, with rack on middle position.
  • Cover pans tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover pans and bake another 20-25 minutes, rotating drumsticks once or twice in between to get a nice browning on all sides. Serve while warm, with thickened sauce from the pan.

Equipment

Notes

  • Rice cooking wine can be found in ethnic aisles of some major grocery stores and definitely in Asian grocery stores. I use Shaoxing Cooking Wine, but you can use your preferred brand. If you can’t find it, you can try substituting with dry sherry.
  • Be sure not to use rice vinegar by accident, as that would impart a tangy vinegar flavor – great for salad dressings, but not for this recipe. 
  • If you have 2 large rimmed sheet pans, you can place one pan on top of the other to use as a “cover” in the oven. 
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.04mg
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Lactose
Method: baked, baking, Oven

Add a comment

Recipe Rating




42 comments

    • Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
    • 5 stars

    Wow what a lovely and delicious recipe! Drumsticks are so often overlooked yet have so much flavor! Definitely a keeper!

      • Amy Dong

      Thanks, Lori!

    • Enriqueta E Lemoine
    • 5 stars

    I’m always searching for chicken recipes because I don’t like chicken, but one of my boys is a chicken lover. The following is his comment after having your honey soy chicken: “Mommy, tell your friend that this my favorite way to have chicken legs.” Thank you so much for your recipe and inspiration.

      • Amy Dong

      You’re so welcome!

    • Dennis
    • 5 stars

    Everyone loved your chicken recipe, it was so easy to make and so very delicious!

    • Elaine
    • 5 stars

    Your recipe reminded me that I have not made a chicken dish in such a long time! This honey soy chicken is absolutely stunning – can’t wait to make it.

    • Veronika
    • 5 stars

    I always love the combination of sweet and savory and this sticky honey chicken was amazing! It was tender and so flavorful.

    • Cathleen
    • 5 stars

    I don’t think I’m going to be making chicken any other way from now on. This is so good! My husband doesn’t usually like chicken drumsticks, but he was raving about this forever!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, Cathleen! 🙂

    • Kathryn
    • 5 stars

    These drumsticks are a new favorite in our home! Love the soy and honey combination. I served these with roasted veggies and rice and it made a perfect meal.

      • Amy Dong

      That’s fantastic, Kathryn!

    • Bernice
    • 5 stars

    This is my ideal chicken flavour… very few ingredients but loads of flavour! Better yet, it’s simple to prepare and the whole family digs in with no complaints.

      • Amy Dong

      So happy they loved it! 🙂

    • Melanie

    Instead of Asian cooking wine can I use something different like rice wine vinegar?

      • chewoutloud

      Melanie, because rice wine vinegar is very different from cooking wine, if you want to sub, you can try sherry or dry white wine. Otherwise, you might be better off using chicken broth instead of the vinegar. Hope you guys love it! 🙂

        • Barbara

        Thank you for suggesting sherry. I was going to ask the same question. Umpteen years ago a good friend, Chinese, suggested using sherry for cooking the Chinese dishes she shared with me.

    • Alejandra

    Really interested in trying this recipe do I need to use the wine, or I can I do it without it.

      • chewoutloud

      Alejandra, this recipe really is best with the cooking wine. That said, you can use sherry in place of the wine. Hope that helps. Enjoy and have a great fall/holiday season!

    • Wendy

    Can you substitute with chicken breasts or thighs and have this turn out ok?

    • lucrezia

    ok i am having a hard time finding this asian rice cooking wine. I do want to try the recipe. Can you subtitute it? Do you have to use it? what will the difference be in the recipe

      • chewoutloud

      It’s usually in the Asian or ethnic aisles of most major grocery stores. However if you cannot find it, you can try subbing with regular cooking wine. Something simple, not too floral or fruity. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      • Shaila

      Hi can I use sake for this recipe
      ? And how much of it would I use?

    • rosewithoutthorns
    • 5 stars

    Hi Amy!

    This looks fantastic! I’d love to include your baked honey soy chicken recipe in a chicken roundup I’m doing for Parade Magazine.

    If you’re fine with it, could I use one of your gorgeous photos with a link back to your original post (https://www.chewoutloud.com/2015/03/31/baked-honey-soy-chicken/)?

    Let me know!

    Thanks,
    Felicia

      • chewoutloud

      Sounds great, Felicia. Thank you for asking! 🙂

    • Joanne

    I tried this tonight, and it was delicious!!! You are right – it has now become a family favorite. Thanks, Amy!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, that’s what we love to hear, Joanne!! So glad you guys enjoyed this 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to come let us know!

    • Lori

    Is that green onions on top?

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Lori! It’s been awhile, but I believe it’s chopped parsley…purely for vanity’s sake 🙂 You could definitely use green onions if you want a bit of green on top. Hope you guys love this as much as we do 🙂

    • karlise13Lise

    Oooh I am so happy I discovered your site! Everything looks so yummy, I’m looking forward to trying ALL the recipes. ; )

      • chewoutloud

      Aww, thank you so much! 🙂

    • Maureen
    • 5 stars

    I can already taste the tenderness and juiciness of the chicken. I just love anything that has honey! And I also love that this one is baked.

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you so much, Maureen! So glad you dropped by today 🙂

    • Hope

    I have boys and feel the same about “second dinner”! Thanks for the great yummy health fuel choices here, im hooked!

      • chewoutloud

      You’re welcome, Hope! Thanks for coming over today, so glad you’re here 🙂

    • Freedom

    Could you do this in the croc pot? It is getting humid in FL and the croc pot keeps the house a lot cooler than using the oven.

      • chewoutloud

      You could certainly try the Crock Pot, Rubyann, but my guess is the results will be different. You’ll probably get a more of a watery sauce than a thickened sauce, as the oven helps dry the moisture out (whereas slow cookers retain most of the moisture and even create additional moisture.) If you’re looking for a great Crock Pot chicken recipe, I’d highly recommend this one: https://www.chewoutloud.com/2014/08/27/slow-cooker-chicken-teriyaki/ — it’s delicious and the Teriyaki sauce gives a great Asian flair! 🙂

        • freedom

        thank yu

    • Jess @ whatjessicabakednext

    This honey chicken looks delicious! Love the fact it’s baked! The flavours are all so good too!

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, Jess, and so happy you came over today 🙂

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