These 30-Minute Sesame Chicken Rice Bowls are a healthy substitute for takeout – they're perfect for meal prep or a quick and easy dinner!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Jasmine rice – feel free to swap out for another kind of rice like basmati rice, brown rice or even quinoa.
- Salt – to taste.
- Chicken breast – use tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian option.
- Cornstarch – potato starch, arrowroot, tapioca flour or rice flour would be the best substitutes here.
- Sesame oil – olive oil, avocado oil and canola oil can be used instead.
- Soy sauce – tamari, coconut aminos or Worcestershire sauce would be the best substitutes here.
- Snap peas – use fresh or frozen snap peas. Snow peas or string beans would also be good.
- Red pepper – or any colour bell pepper of your choice.
- Scallions – fresh chives, spring onions and leeks are all great options.
- Red chili pepper – add some heat with serrano peppers, cayenne peppers or crushed red pepper flakes instead. If you don’t want your dish to be too spicy, add some more bell peppers instead.
- Sesame seeds – feel free to swap out for another kind of seed like flax seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Soy sauce – see substitution notes above.
- Honey – maple syrup, agave or rice syrup would all bring a bit of sweetness to this dish.
- Sesame oil – see substitution notes above.
- Garlic – I find that freshly minced garlic is best but jarred minced garlic or granulated garlic can be used in a pinch.
- Minced ginger – if you don’t have any fresh ginger, you can use ground ginger, ginger paste, cinnamon or nutmeg.
How to make sesame chicken
- Cook the rice.
- Toss the chicken with cornstarch.
- Sauté the chicken.
- Make the stir fry sauce.
- Combine the chicken, sauce and veggies.
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
What veggies can you add in?
This recipe is super versatile when it comes to the veggies and is a great way to clear out your vegetable crisper. I like making my sesame chicken with red pepper and snap peas, but you could try making it with any colour bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans or even edamame. You really can’t go wrong since everything is going to taste amazing in the sesame sauce!
Frequently Asked Questions
While General Tso and sesame chicken taste pretty similar, General Tso tends to be a bit spicier while sesame chicken has a sweeter flavour. They’re both super delicious! If you’re looking for a General Tso recipe, you can try my Instant Pot version that’s made in just one pot.
For this recipe, I used a simple sesame sauce with just five ingredients, most of which are pantry staples that you’ll already have on hand. The sauce is made of soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
This recipe is a lot healthier than the dish you’d get at a takeout spot, which will usually be packed full of calories and preservatives. One serving of this recipe has 553 calories per serving and is super filling.
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Storing and reheating
This dish is great for meal prep and will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. after it’s completely cooled, place it into individual serving-size glass meal prep containers. When you’re ready to eat, sprinkle a bit of water over top of the rice so it doesn’t dry out then microwave for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
Freezing this recipe
This recipe is definitely freezer friendly! You can freeze the chicken and rice together or separately for up to a month in airtight glass containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags (I recommend rice for the bags). Let it defrost in the fridge overnight, add a splash of water then microwave for 3-4 minutes.
More stir fry recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls for the leftovers.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
30-Minute Sesame Chicken Rice Bowls
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 cup snap peas or 1 head broccoli
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 red chili pepper, sliced
- Extra sesame seeds for garnish
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- Cook jasmine rice with water and a pinch of salt in a rice cooker or on the stovetop until liquid has absorbed.
- In a large bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken, sauteeing for 3-4 min until chicken starts to brown.
- Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic and ginger together to make the stir fry sauce. Pour overtop of chicken, then add red pepper and snap peas (or broccoli), sauteeing for another 3-4 min until veggies are tender and sauce has thickened.
- Serve chicken overtop of rice and garnish with scallions, sesame seeds and red chili peppers. Enjoy!