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Grilled Teriyaki Chicken (+The Best Teriyaki Sauce)

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken is easy, authentic, and big on flavor. The teriyaki sauce is like magic, and works wonders for any protein. This prep-ahead recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners as well as casual gatherings.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken over rice
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken is our favorite better-than-takeout dish!

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

We’re here to divulge one of our all-time, all-star favorite dishes ever.  There are few dishes we adore as much as a really great Teriyaki Chicken that marries tenderness with succulent flavors.  Not many dishes can compare to the sweet, savory, tender goodness of grilled Teriyaki Chicken done right.

During cooler months, we do Stovetop Teriyaki Chicken with absolutely delicious results. But summer is synonymous with grilling, and even burgers get their teriyaki fix.  Case in point:  This Hawaiian Burger with teriyaki sauce is irresistibly mouthwatering.  The time has come to proudly serve up the best chicken to meet your grill this summer.

The aroma of this Teriyaki Chicken cooking in your outdoor space will make your neighbors suddenly voraciously hungry.  They’ll either be a little jealous or they’ll come knocking on your door.  In fact, this grilled teriyaki chicken recipe is featured in our Gather Menu for good reason. It’s always popular with friends and family at backyard cookouts.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with rice on plate
Use your outdoor grill OR an indoor grill pan for perfectly tender, grill-marked chicken.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

  • Your friends and family will devour this tender and flavorful cookout favorite.
  • The saucy marinade works magic on the chicken; the charring produced by the grill takes it over the top.
  • Everything in this recipe can be prepared ahead of time. Mix the sauce up to several days ahead and keep chilled until ready to use.
  • Marinade the chicken overnight (up to 2 nights ahead) for incredible flavor and tenderness. All that’s left is to throw the chicken onto hot grill while your guests munch on edamame hummus and chips.

Pro Tips for Success

  • If you’re tempted to use chicken breasts, may we suggest sticking with fresh boneless, skinless thighs here. They turn out so much more tender and flavorful, as thigh meat is significantly more forgiving than breast meat.
  • Always towel-dry chicken pieces to remove excess moisture prior to marinading.
  • Do marinade chicken overnight for tenderness and flavor. We recommend having extra marinade to keep in the fridge, as it keeps well and is fabulous over steak and shrimp on a whim.
  • Baste while cooking; throw out any sauce that has come into contact with raw chicken. Heat up clean, reserved marinade for serving as a sauce.

Simple Gathering Menu

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grilled teriyaki chicken on a plate

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

4.93 from 38 ratings
This Teriyaki Chicken is easy, authentic, and big on flavor. The sauce is like magic, and works wonders. Be sure to let chicken marinate overnight. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Amy Dong



  • Sauce: In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch with soy sauce. Thoroughly dissolve the cornstarch, whisking until any bits of white cornstarch no longer visible. Add soy sauce, both sugars, mirin, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Whisk sauce until ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
  • Dry: Thoroughly dry chicken thighs with paper towels, and trim. Working one at a time, place each piece on a cutting board and top chicken with cling wrap. Pound chicken evenly to about 1/2 in. thick.
  • Poke holes: Remove cling wrap. Using a fork, poke holes all over chicken pieces; this allows marinade to soak in.
  • Marinade: Place chicken in large mixing bowl or large baking pan. Whisk marinade again and pour in just enough to completely cover every chicken piece front and back – reserve remaining sauce. Cover and let sit in fridge overnight, turning chicken pieces over once while marinading. Pour unused clean marinade in an airtight container and keep chilled.
  • Cook: One hour before cooking, remove chicken from fridge. Generously grease and preheat outdoor grill (or indoor stovetop cast iron grill) until oil is smoking hot. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding used marinade. Grill chicken on medium-high heat until just-cooked. If using outdoor grill baste generously and frequently; less frequently for indoor grill. Cook approximately 5 minutes per side (actual cook time varies depending on heat of your grill.) 
  • Heat Sauce: While chicken is cooking, pour desired amount of remaining, unused/clean sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring 1 minute until slightly thickened. If desired, add a bit more sugar to taste. Set aside. 
  • Serve: Slice cooked chicken into strips. Serve over your white rice, brown rice, or a bed of fresh greens.  Drizzle with teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.


Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that can be found at Asian supermarkets, as well as regular grocery stores in their Asian or ethnic aisle.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.6g | Protein: 16.4g | Fat: 3.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 692.4mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 21.9g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Asian American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Grill, Stovetop

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Recipe Rating


    • Alexandra
    • 5 stars

    Such a delicious way of preparing chicken – the grill gives it extra flavour!

    • Emily
    • 5 stars

    The sauce was amazing! I was sure to let the chicken marinate overnight and the result was so delicious!

    • Nancy
    • 5 stars

    Easy to make and delish!

    • Bungalow Bill
    • 5 stars

    This is a real good recipe. Made it to the tee. No substitutes, additions, or changes. Just the recipe. The only thing I did wrong was I over cooked the chicken a tad. Thighs are forgiving though but I got a little distracted because of the kids. 🙁 Nah, can’t blame it on the kids because I don’t have any kids! Ha! It was me, I was testing out that Ninja Foodi Grill and just set it too long and too high.

    It was still awesome though!

    The taste is fantastic. I love Hawaiian bbq and one of my favorite go to restaurants is Mo Bettahs. I have been looking for a recipe that is a “copycat” of their best seller plate. Chicken teriyaki.

    Next time, I’m going to cook those little thighs to perfection. I’ve got that little Ninja Foodi dialed in.

    Out of all the recipes this was numero uno.

    When I go to make Hawaiian teriyaki chicken served over white rice and macaroni salad (another recipe I’m looking for that copycats Mo Bettahs), this is it.

    Fantastic stuff and thanks for sharing this. My search is over.

      • chewoutloud

      We’re SO happy you love this teriyaki chicken as much as we do! It’s a fail-proof favorite around here 🙂

    • Celebrate Woman

    It’s the sauce that makes any delicious dinner.

    • Myrah Duque
    • 5 stars

    Oh yes! you are talking my language! This Grilled Teriyaki Chicken recipe and Teriyaki Sauce is delicious!!

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, Myrah!

    • Eileen M Loya
    • 5 stars

    Perfect timing! I have some chicken in the freezer so now I know what to do with it. Your Grilled Teriyaki Chicken recipe is similar to my mom’s, but I guess yours is better. 🙂

    • Gervin Khan
    • 5 stars

    Seeing your grilled teriyaki chicken makes me so hungry. I’ll be making this recipe this weekend. Delicious!

    • Monica Simpson

    I’ve been in a rut lately with dinners. This sounds so good!

    • Heather
    • 5 stars

    I have to make this for my family. They love teriyaki chicken!

    • Kathy
    • 5 stars

    This looks amazing. I need to try it out. I do love chicken.

    • Ben
    • 5 stars

    That looks delicious! I love teriyaki chicken. I might have to try my hand at this recipe. I’ve never actually made it before.

    • Elizabeth

    I have never commented on a recipe website, but I just have to because this was the most delicious recipe I have ever made! Everyone wanted second! Thank you so much. You have become my family’s favorite person!

      • chewoutloud

      Aww, that makes my day, Elizabeth! 🙂

    • Elizabeth O

    This grilled teriyaki looks really delicious and tempting. It makes me hungry tho. Lol! Gonna give this a try.y daughters would love this for sure.

    • tweenselmom

    This looks really delicious and appetizing ! I hope to make this sometime 🙂

    • aisasami
    • 5 stars

    I love taihis recipe! It is so yummy and really easy to make. I also miss eating teriyaki!


    Looks so yummy! We recently had our chicken teriyaki too but it’s not grilled. I guess I will try the flames too!

    • Sundeep

    This really looking so delicious I am definitely going to try this weekend for sure. Thanks for sharing the recipe. This looks easy and doable.

    • kumamonjeng
    • 5 stars

    I find this recipe is so appetizing and go well with steam rice. Love it and can be eaten almost every week.

    • chad
    • 5 stars

    I super super super love teriyaki chicken but I never cooked it. I can’t wait to try to cook your recipe this Saturday…

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