Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken Recipe: A Comprehensive Guide

For many, the sight of the orange basket at Panda Express is a familiar and welcome one. The Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken, a seemingly simple dish, has become a staple on their menu, consistently satisfying hungry customers.

But what exactly goes into this popular item, and can you capture its essence at home? 

Let’s delve deeper into the world of Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken.

All About Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken

The Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken features bite-sized pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast that are wok-tossed in a sweet and savory teriyaki sauce. 

The chicken is cooked until tender with a slightly glazed exterior, offering a delightful textural contrast. 

The teriyaki sauce itself is the star of the show, with a flavor profile that balances sweet notes (likely from brown sugar or honey) with savory depths from soy sauce.

According to Panda Express’ website, a serving of Teriyaki Chicken contains 290 calories, 31 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of fat. However, the exact nutritional value depends upon the quantity.

Teriyaki Chicken Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 340
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 195mg
  • Sodium: 630mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 41g

It’s important to note that these are estimates, and actual nutritional content may vary depending on serving size and cooking methods. 

For a more detailed breakdown of nutrients, sodium content, and other dietary information, it’s always best to refer to the official Panda Express website or consult the nutritional information displayed in-store.

What Makes Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken Special?

  • Ingredients: The magic begins with the ingredients – a simple yet potent mix of tender chicken, a blend of authentic spices, and that all-important homemade teriyaki sauce that’s reportedly even better than the original.
  • Preparation: The preparation process is key to the dish’s tenderness and taste. The chicken is marinated and grilled to perfection, ensuring each bite is infused with flavor.
  • The Sauce: The crowning glory is the homemade teriyaki sauce. It’s a harmonious balance of sweet and savory, thickened to just the right consistency to coat the chicken generously.

Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken Ingredients

Also, check out: Panda Express Allergen Menu

Teriyaki Chicken Recipe Note:

  • Sauce Consistency: Perfect your sauce’s texture by fine-tuning the cornstarch mixture. For a thicker sauce, incorporate a bit more cornstarch dissolved in water. If it’s overly thick, dilute it with a touch of water.
  • Flavor Infusion: Time permitting, immerse your chicken in some sauce for an hour before cooking to enrich the taste.
  • Pan Temperature: A preheated skillet is key to achieving a delectable sear on your chicken.
  • Protein Choice: Opt for chicken breast for a healthier dish, but monitor its cooking closely to prevent drying.
  • Cornstarch Alternatives: No cornstarch? No problem. Arrowroot or tapioca starch can be substituted in a pinch, maintaining a 1:1 ratio, though slight adjustments might be needed.
  • Soy Sauce Options: For a sodium-conscious diet, consider low-sodium soy sauce, or use tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free variant.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Embrace the zest of fresh ginger and garlic over their powdered counterparts for a burst of flavor.
  • Personalize Your Plate: Tailor the recipe to your liking—more garlic for enthusiasts, less ginger for those who prefer it, or a dash of heat with chili flakes or sriracha.
  • Sesame Oil Finish: A final drizzle of sesame oil can add a luxurious, nutty essence to your dish.
  • Prep in Advance: Assemble the dish a day ahead and gently reheat it on the stove or in the oven for a stress-free serving.

Teriyaki Chicken: Making it at Home

There’s something undeniably convenient about grabbing a Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken on the go, there’s also a certain satisfaction in recreating the dish at home. 

Here is the beauty of homemade teriyaki chicken: you control the ingredients. You can choose leaner cuts of chicken, adjust the sweetness of the sauce to your preference, and even experiment with different vegetables for a more well-rounded meal.

There are numerous copycat recipes available online, but for a reliable and delicious option, consider this recipe from [Source: Punchfork Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken]

It uses readily available ingredients and offers clear instructions for achieving that signature teriyaki flavor.

Panda Express Allergen Menu

How to Make Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken?

Panda Express offers a convenient teriyaki chicken option, there’s a certain satisfaction in recreating the dish at home. 

This guide will take you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor profile to your liking.

Step 1: Prep the Chicken

Wash and pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, about 1-inch cubes.

Step 2: Make the Teriyaki Sauce

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. This will create a slurry to thicken the sauce later.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup water, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and black pepper. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.

Step 3: Marinate the Chicken (Optional)

While not essential for achieving Panda Express-like flavor, marinating the chicken can add a touch more tenderness and deeper teriyaki flavor.

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour the teriyaki sauce mixture over them. Toss to coat evenly. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

Step 4: Cook the Chicken

Heat the canola oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. If using sesame oil, add it towards the end for a nutty aroma (avoid overheating sesame oil as it can burn easily).

If the chicken is marinated, remove it from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through. 

Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken recipe

Step 5: Thicken the Sauce

Reduce the heat to medium and pour the teriyaki sauce mixture from step 2 into the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly. 

The cornstarch slurry will help achieve a consistency similar to Panda Express teriyaki sauce.

Step 6: Assemble and Serve

Return the cooked chicken pieces to the pan and toss them with the thickened teriyaki sauce until evenly coated.

Serve immediately over cooked white rice or brown rice, garnished with thinly sliced scallions for a pop of color and freshness.


  • Feel free to adjust the amount of brown sugar in the teriyaki sauce to your desired level of sweetness.
  • You can add a teaspoon of honey for a richer flavor profile.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the teriyaki sauce while it simmers.
  • For a thicker sauce, add another cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon water) and cook until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve your Panda Express-inspired Teriyaki Chicken with steamed vegetables like broccoli or carrots for a well-rounded and healthy meal.

Final Thoughts

Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken offers a convenient and satisfying option for a quick lunch or dinner. 

It’s a crowd-pleaser with a familiar flavor profile that appeals to a wide range of palates. 

Whether you enjoy it straight from the orange basket or recreate it at home with your personal touches, the essence of Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken lies in its simplicity and deliciousness.


Is Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken gluten-free?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to this question. The chicken itself is naturally gluten-free, but the teriyaki sauce recipe might contain glutenous ingredients like wheat or barley. 

It’s always best to inquire at the restaurant about the specific ingredients used in their teriyaki sauce for the most accurate information.

Can Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken be reheated?

Yes, Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken can be reheated. However, the reheating process can affect the texture of the chicken. 

To minimize this effect, it’s recommended to reheat the chicken over medium heat with a small amount of moisture (water, broth) to prevent drying.

How much protein is in Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken?

The Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken contains 41 grams of protein per serving. This flavorful dish is a great source of protein, making it a satisfying choice for those looking to meet their protein needs. 

How many calories are in Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken?

A serving of Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken contains 340 calories. Most of those calories come from protein (50%) and fat (33%).

Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken

Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken

The Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken, a seemingly simple dish, has become a staple on their menu, consistently satisfying hungry customers.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4
Calories 250 kcal


  • 1 Pan
  • 1 Sauce Pan


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced (for garnish)


  • Preparation: Begin by patting the chicken thighs dry using paper towels. Season them generously with salt and pepper.
  • Cooking the Chicken: Place a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the oil. Once the oil is heated, add the seasoned chicken thighs. Cook until each side is beautifully browned.
  • Creating the Sauce: In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic powder, ground ginger, and cornstarch until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.
  • Finishing Touches: Once the chicken has achieved a golden hue on both sides, introduce the sauce to the skillet. Stir well to coat the chicken evenly. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Remove from heat and allow the chicken to rest briefly before slicing.
  • Serving: Plate the sliced chicken alongside fluffy white rice. Garnish with freshly chopped scallions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added flavor and texture.


Disclaimer: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and should be used for informational purposes only.
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