Sesame Chicken & Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe
Did your mom have a signature meal? My mom’s signature meal was her sesame chicken recipe. She’d usually make it with a cut up chicken pieces (thighs, drums, etc) that were marinated overnight and baked in the oven for an hour. Because of the time it took, it was a meal that we usually only had on special occasions.
I loved that sesame chicken but as you know we’re all about quick and easy around here. Hours of marinating and cooking time just doesn’t fly. So I came up with a simple version of my mom’s throwback recipe, and it even has veggies built right in to make a complete meal.
The meat is still marinated, because that’s where the flavor really comes from, but 30 minutes will get you there. If you have the time, go ahead and mix it up in the marinade in the morning and let it marinate all day.
Is sesame chicken bad for you?
For a small order of sesame chicken in a Chinese restaurant, chances are you’re looking at 800-900 calories. Cooking at home is almost always going to save you calories, and it tastes so much better, too! Plus a generous serving of Sheet Pan Sesame Chicken and Vegetables comes in at around 530 calories per serving.
You can even add half a cup of steamed white rice (or even better, brown rice) and still come in at under 650 calories per serving for your entire meal. Cooking at home definitely has its benefits!
How to Make Sheet Pan Sesame Chicken
For this simple recipe, chunks of chicken are marinated in a sesame marinade, then arranged with some vegetables on a sheet pan and baked. This is a super simple recipe that takes just minutes to prepare and tastes like you spent hours.
Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork or whisk to mix together vegetable oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and sesame oil.
Cut chicken breasts into chunks and pat dry. Place the chicken into a plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Give the meat a little massage to coat everything with the marinade. Place the bag in the fridge and marinate at least 30 minutes. The longer you can let the meat marinate, the better, but I’d say no longer than overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange with the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Tips and Tricks
Don’t let chicken sit in the marinade for more than 24 hours. If you aren’t planning to use in that time frame,
Feel free to cut the sugar from the marinade, or use agave or honey instead.
Sesame oil adds a ton of flavor to sesame chicken, but if you don’t have any it’s ok to leave it out. It will still taste delicious.
Veggies can be cut a little smaller than the chicken, since they may take longer to cook. Speaking of veggies, feel free to use other favorites, just make sure you know they will cook in about the same amount of time.
Please do use a rimmed baking sheet. I recommend also covering it with foil for easy clean up. Because of the marinade, there may be some extra juices while baking, and you want them to be contained.
We love to serve this recipe with steamed rice, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. It’s also delicious just on it’s own if you’re trying cut down on carbs, or served with rice noodles. If you’re looking for more flavor, try serving with a side of Egg Fried Rice.
What to do with leftovers
If you have some Sheet Pan Sesame Chicken and Veggies leftover, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. To freeze, place leftovers in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 6 months.
2poundsboneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts*pound thicker breast pieces into even thickness.
1bell pepperseeded and cut into chunks (any color)
½poundsugar snap peas
½red onioncut into chunks
Sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish
2tspbrown sugar or honey
Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Pat chicken dry and place in a large zip top bag. Pour marinade over chicken in the bag and seal. Massage the marinade into the chicken to coat. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 30-60 minutes (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange veggies on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat. Remove chicken from the marinade and arrange on the sheet pan with the veggies. Discard any remaining marinade.
Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through. Broil for the last 5 minutes or so to brown if desired.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.