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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


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


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


  • 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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  1. My husband and I are currently on day 22 of our first whole 30. This is the best recipe we have tried so far!! I served this over some riced cauliflower and broccoli with a side of stir-fried greenbeans and some homemade chili crisp. So good!!5 stars

    1. So glad that you and your husband loved the chicken! Your additions sound delicious as well. Thanks for sharing, Christina!

    1. The dates give the sauce the sweetness it needs in a Whole30-compliant way, so I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out.

  2. Wow! This is so good. I was skeptical at first because I can never get any of my sauces to thicken… but this recipe was magic! It tastes exactly like what you’d order at a restaurant without all of the bad ingredients. I paired it with cauliflower fried rice (peas, carrots & a fried egg) and it was delicious! Definitely going to add this to the rotation. Thank you!5 stars

  3. This recipe is a total game-changer!! I’m on day 19 of my second round of Whole30, and nothing I have made has ever tasted this good! A friend of mine who is doing a Whole30 with me suggested I try this recipe, saying it tasted just like what you’d get in a restaurant. I have to admit that I didn’t believe her…but I was wrong. I’ve made this twice, and am getting ready to make it again this weekend. I will never need another recipe for sesame chicken, on or off-round. I can’t wait to work my way through your recipes. Thank you, thank you, Cheryl!5 stars

  4. This recipe is SERIOUSLY amazing. I’ve made it twice now on my whole30 because it was such a hit! The second time around I couldn’t find individual medjool dates like I did the first time and sometimes a container is expensive when I would only use a few … so I thought I would go outside the box a little, looked up some substitutes for dates, and decided to substitute 1/4 raisins instead (something I already had in the pantry at home!)

    It was AWESOME! I didn’t notice much of a difference – it was just as delicious as I remembered it was the first time- or more so! (Maybe because I was very hungry…)

    So don’t be afraid to try a substitute- and TRY THIS RECIPE YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT 🙂

    1. I realized I didn’t rate the recipe – it is 5 stars all the way! And omitted a word that may be helpful – I substituted the 1/4 cup of dates with 1/4 cup of raisins (so I used the same amount and did an even swap!). Thanks again for this seriously amazing recipe!5 stars

  5. This is the best fake out take out recipe I’ve made. And I’ve tried a lot. The chicken was crispy, the sauce was just the right amount sticky… I wish I would have doubled or tripled this. What made this better was that it wasn’t a tedious process to coat the chicken. Toss it in a bag and shake it up. Boom done.5 stars

  6. This recipe is so good! Put the chicken over steamed broccoli and peppers and it made a perfect weeknight meal. Thank you!5 stars

  7. So tasty!! When I started whole 30 my husband asked if he could opt out haha, but he is always happy when I make one of your recipes!5 stars

  8. This sounds amazing!! do you think the chicken would work in an air fryer as well?? Thanks a lot!

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