Paleo Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

Before going paleo, one of my favorite grab and go lunches was a steaming bowl of teriyaki chicken and rice — extra soy sauce please…

These days, I just drive on past the Asian fast food joints. No more rice, soy, gluten, MSG … and whatever else were in those things for me.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve stowed away my chopsticks for good. I can still get a terrific teriyaki flavor at home with a little creative cooking. [av_sidebar widget_area=’Lockerdome’ av_uid=’av-34yfzp’]

This recipe is a great example. Moist, juicy chicken baked with a yummy, sticky-sweet teriyaki flavored coating – minus all the bad stuff. Done and on your dining table in about 30 minutes.

The real key to this paleo recipe is the bottle of coconut aminos. Not everyone’s heard of this one – think of it as the paleo version of soy sauce.

Soy sauce is one of those things you should avoid if you’re serious about eating paleo. For starters, it’s made from soybeans, a legume, so that knocks it off the paleo menu right there. But it gets worse. Soybeans contain lecithin that can mess with your body’s hunger and energy signals, so that’s not good. And soy has isoflavones which can raise estrogen and decrease testosterone, not a good thing either, especially for the guys.

On the other hand, nutrient-rich coconut aminos are made from the sap of the coconut tree, and then dried or sometimes fermented. It doesn’t have a coconutty taste, has less salt than soy, and it’s very low on the glycemic index. Plus it’s packed with 17 amino acids, vitamins and minerals – all good stuff your body will love.

Many paleo recipes call for coconut aminos, so it might be smart to keep a bottle on your pantry shelf. Chances are you’ll be using it again and again for marinades, salad dressings, soups, and some other Asian-style dishes. If your regular supermarket doesn’t stock coconut aminos, you’ll probably find it at most of the healthier grocers like Whole Foods or Sprouts.

I hope you give this teriyaki chicken paleo recipe a try. It’s a very simple bake-and-baste kind of dish, with a whole lot of flavor. Serve with cauliflower rice, sautéed veggies, or whatever you like!


Paleo Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

Paleo Teriyaki Chicken Recipe


  • 4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken legs
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup juice from fresh oranges
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp arrowroot flour
  • 1 tbs fresh grated ginger
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves - pressed or minced
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Optional Garnish: Chopped green onions and sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees F
  2. Combine all of ingredients (except chicken) in a saucepan over medium heat
  3. When mixture begins to boil, stir for 2-3 minutes
  4. Remove saucepan from heat (Sauce will thicken as it cools)
  5. Season raw chicken pieces with salt and pepper
  6. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish
  7. Place chicken pieces in the dish and brush on teriyaki sauce on all sides
  8. (Reserve some teriyaki sauce to brush on the chicken after cooking)
  9. Bake in oven about 20 to 25 minutes, basting with mixture every 5 minutes or so
  10. About halfway through the cooking time, turn the pieces over
  11. When the chicken has cooked through (or internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-degrees) you can move the chicken to top oven rack and switch over to broil for a few minutes to brown the pieces a little if you want
  12. Remove from oven, and brush on the teriyaki sauce you set aside
  13. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired
  14. Serve hot with your choice of veggies on the side

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi, I was wondering- can I use another type of vinegar? Mostly because I don’t have rice vinegar in my pantry. Is apple cider vinegar okay? Is it paleo?

    1. Yes Amy, you can add apple cider vinegar. It is paleo. I use Bragg organic apple cider vinegar.

  2. This is amazing and has become a staple recipe in my home! I double the sauce and crock pot it, at the end I add veggies such as broccoli, carrots, much rooms, pretty much whatever veggies I have on hand! Thank you for this great easy recipe!!

    1. Thank you Alison! It’s such a great recipe for almost anything you make it with. It’s a staple in our house too. :) thank you stopping by to comment!

  3. Shannyn H says:

    Hi! I have tried this recipe with legs and omg it was amazing. I want to do it now with breasts in my slow cooker, do I need to still make the sauce on the stove before putting in the slow cooker or just shove it all in together?

    1. Shannyn, I think you would be fine just putting it all in the slow cooker. Let me know how it comes out! :) I’m glad you like the recipe. That teriyaki sauce is my favorite!

  4. Can I grill the chicken?

    1. Certainly! :)

  5. Dear Trina, I received a ceramic pot for Easter and I don’t know how to use it. Do you (or any of your followers) have any suggestion?
    Thanks in advance for any recommendation available.

    1. Maura, I will share your question on Facebook. Exactly what kind of ceramic pot is it?

      1. Dear Trina, Sorry I did not get back to you. I was in Italy on vacation. Anyway, I have tried my ceramic pot and it is awesome! I just marinated some chicken in a sweet chili sauce and then dumped it in the pot and into the oven for an hour and a half. It came out delicious. Brown and tasty without any hassle. I wish I could send you a picture… Anyway, thanks for the goodwill.

  6. This recipe turned out wonderfully! There has not been a recipe yet on this site that has turned out bland! I cooked both the drum sticks and chicken breast and they gobbled it up. I served cauliflower rice with it too ;o) xxOoo

    1. Awesome Christa! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I just love the teriyaki sauce because there’s so much you can do with it. I’m glad you liked it. :)

  7. One more question I thought of for this delicious recipe! Does it have to be rice vinegar or can I substitute Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to increase healthfulness? Would that affect the flavor?

    1. Elaina, hi! I’m glad you’re going to try this recipe! I must admit, this teriyaki sauce took me a while to come up with and I’m really proud of it. I have not used the apple cider vinegar with this recipe. I’m guessing it would work well though. I have made this in the crock pot with chicken thighs that I browned first and they were delish! I cooked them 5-6 hours. (Some pots take longer) Turn them over a couple of times during cooking. After, I shredded the chicken and served it with broccoli and cauliflower rice! I just added another recipe with this sauce last weekend. The possibilities are endless! Let me know how it goes! :)

  8. This looks like the best teriyaki sauce recipe I’ve found yet (and I’ve been searching forever!) One question: I saw you mentioned cooking it in the crock pot instead of the oven. That sounds great! But how long would you leave it in and would you put the same amount of all ingredients listed? Thank you for posting this absolutely amazing recipe!!

    1. Hi Elaina, no don’t worry about browning chicken breasts. They will be just fine. Season them with your usual salt and pepper and you’re good to go. I usually only brown roasts or chicken if it has skin on it like legs or thighs. :)

  9. Any suggestion on how to get the sauce to stay in the oven? I kept putting more on every 5 minutes. By the wAy I love this paleo site!

    1. Olivia, it’s such great flavor. We basted like you. I have since adapted the recipe to a crockpot for that reason. I will post soon. Once you remove it from the oven give it a minute and top with the sauce. It will be great, I promise. :)

      1. It still turned out amazing! My son said can we have this every week! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

        1. Yay! I’m so glad! Thank you Olivia. :)

      2. Excited to try this recipe this week! You mentioned adapting your recipe for a crockpot…how so? Thanks!!

        1. Leslie, I made the sauce first, then put it in the crockpot with chicken breast. I let it cook until it was almost done, then pulled the chicken apart a bit and let it
          sit in the sauce for another half hour or so. I also held in reserve about a 1/2 cup of the sauce for topping later. it was awesome! :)

  10. The sauce for these was fantastic! Unfortunately, it all cam off in the oven:( any ideas for getting it to stick?

    1. Hi Liz! You do need to baste them with the sauce a couple times while baking. Also, you could reserve a some sauce to the side before basting and use it as dipping sauce when you take them out. I’m sorry that happened, I’m glad you liked the sauce! :)

  11. I searched for a paleo teriyaki sauce and after passing up a couple of really difficult ones I found this and tried it last night. It was so easy and delicious. My time was all accounted for before I started trying to eat paleo, and I’ve had trouble finding recipes that don’t take a whole lot of time and effort and that taste good. Thanks so much for sharing, Trina. I see lots of other great-looking recipes on this site.

    1. Hi Belinda!
      Wow, thank you so much for your kind words! You pretty much nailed the reason why I started my site. I try really hard to make recipes easy and with the flavors we loved pre-paleo. I’m glad you enjoyed the chicken!

  12. I made this tonight with thighs…So disappointed I forgot to put the sesame seeds on :(…otherwise, it was delicious! Also, I didn’t have plain sesame oil, so I used hot chili sesame oil and left out the red pepper flakes.

    1. Grace, thank you for your comment! Good thinking with the hot sesame oil! I’m so glad you liked the recipe. :)

  13. THis looks FANTASTIC! I’ve been searching for a paleo-friendly teriyaki sauce, this looks like it will certainly fit the bill. It’s going on the menu for this week. Thanks for posting!

    1. Kim, I hope you like it. I made it as a teriyaki bowl last week with veggies and cauliflower rice and it was awesome!

  14. Aww. Thank you Judi!

  15. Looks like another great Paleo Newbie recipe- can’t wait to try it.

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