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A Whole30 version of the Chinese takeout classic: crispy, tender chicken coated in a naturally sweetened sesame sauce that’s just delicious. Made in about 25 minutes and great over cauliflower rice. Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free.

Whole30 sesame chicken over cauliflower rice in a bowl

Why This Chicken Is So Good!

  • This homemade version of a takeout favorite is quick and easy to make, it’s on the table in less than 30 minutes.
  • This recipe is Whole30, grain-free, gluten-free and paleo.
  • It’s a great healthy alternative to your regular takeout and the chicken is so amazingly crispy!

Crispy Coated Chicken Recipe

To make this recipe Whole30 compliant and grain-free, we used arrowroot powder in place of all-purpose flour to create a wonderfully crispy crust. When coating the chicken, we prefer to use a bag over a bowl as it makes it much easier to coat the chicken evenly and with less mess.

Close up of the cooked sesame chicken

What Can You Serve With It?

To keep this chicken dish Whole30 compliant, we like to serve it with cauliflower rice to make it a full meal. You can also serve it with a side of veggies like steamed broccoli or beans. If you aren’t following Whole30, this chicken is great with cilantro and lime brown rice.

Chef’s Tips

  • Use good quality chicken breast for this whole30 sesame chicken recipe, preferably free run / organic if you can.
  • Cut the chicken into similar size pieces so that it cooks evenly.
  • For the crispiest chicken, ensure that the chicken pieces are coated with the arrowroot.
  • Don’t stir the chicken when you first add it to the skillet so that it becomes crispy and brown.

More Whole30 Chicken Recipes

Sesame chicken served in a white bowl with cauliflower rice
Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 19 votes

Whole30 Sesame Chicken


Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes
A Whole30 version of the Chinese takeout classic: crispy, tender chicken coated in a naturally sweetened sesame sauce that's just delicious. A great dinner over cauliflower rice.
4 servings

Equipment

  • 2 medium bowls
  • zippered plastic bag optional
  • standard blender
  • Large skillet
  • Tongs

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts  cut into 1-inch chunks
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup arrowroot starch plus more as needed to coat
  • 1 large egg  whisked
  • refined coconut oil or avocado oil, for frying

For the Whole30 Sesame Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup dates roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds plus more for garnish

Optional Garnishes

  • white sesame seeds
  • green onions sliced thin on a diagonal
  • cauliflower rice

Instructions

  • Add whisked egg to a medium bowl. Add ½ cup arrowroot starch to medium plastic food storage bag or separate medium bowl.
  • Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt. Add chicken to bowl with egg and toss evenly in egg to coat. Transfer chicken to bag or bowl with arrowroot and toss to coat. I prefer a bag here as it makes it much easier to coat the chicken evenly. Remove chicken pieces from arrowroot, discarding excess.
  • Add coconut aminos, water, sesame oil, dates, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and arrowroot starch to a blender. Blend on high until very smooth. Stir in sesame seeds.
  • Heat a thin layer of coconut oil or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and cook without moving until golden on the bottom; flip and cook without moving until golden brown on the other side. Stir and continue cooking chicken pieces until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes depending on size.
  • Pour over sesame sauce and stir. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, a couple minutes. Top with sesame seeds and sliced green onions; serve over steamed cauliflower rice.
Rice vinegar is Whole30 compliant; make sure you do not get seasoned rice wine vinegar as it often contains sugar (added to the vinegar).
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Chicken will not be as crispy after reheating, of course, but still tasty!

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 378calProtein: 26gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 705mgPotassium: 564mgTotal Carbs: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gNet Carbs: 29gVitamin A: 124IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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39 Comments

  1. Made this about a week ago and it was AMAZING! I love take-out Chinese food, and even off of whole30, have never been able to find a recipe that replicates the real thing like this recipe does! I added a bit of homemade sriracha to the sauce to make the chicken more akin to a general tso’s, and it was perfect! I would’ve never known it was whole30/paleo. I’m making it again tonight!5 stars

  2. I made this last night and it was delicious! I wasn’t able to find arrowroot so I used oat flour. I will be making this again later this week.

  3. Made this tonight and it was amazing! My husband absolutely loved it as well and said it was one of his favorite whole30 meals. Thanks so much!5 stars

  4. Best Whole30 recipe I’ve tried so far! Tasted just like takeout, perfect with some broccoli over cauliflower rice5 stars

  5. Can’t wait to make this! Last time I coated chicken in arrowroot and cooked it in this fashion, my pan was black on the bottom by the end of it and didn’t leave the best taste. Do you have any tips for avoiding this or do I need to use a non-stick pan for sure?

    1. So sorry to hear about that issue! Definitely want to make sure you have a nonstick pan in addition to a lot of oil at your side. Add more oil as needed to prevent sticking!5 stars

    1. It would be pretty easy! Just coat the chicken per the instructions and just transfer to an air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes at 400°F. After that, transfer the chicken to a pan and heat with the sesame sauce and proceed with the next steps.5 stars

  6. This meal was delicious!!! Can’t believe that it is Whole30 compliant! I made it with cauliflower fried rice and it was just like take-out! And similarly was just as good the next day as cold leftovers!

  7. Came out great! Enjoyed the taste. Another great 40 aprons recipe to add to the rotation.With a bit of prep it was fast, easy and definitely satisfied the Chinese takeout craving.
    Much Thanks!5 stars

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