Panda Express Sesame Chicken Copycat Recipe

When the craving for a Panda Express Sesame Chicken recipe hits, no chicken recipes really satisfy, do they?

Now, you can recreate that mouth-watering magic right in your kitchen with our copycat Panda Express Sesame Chicken recipe.


Follow this easy, step-by-step guide and you’ll be whipping up your own delicious copycat recipe in no time.

Let’s dive in, get your apron on, and prepare to be amazed.

You’re not just cooking dinner tonight, you’re crafting an experience.

Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Here’s the scoop on this easy copycat Panda Express Sesame Chicken recipe.

Gathering Your Ingredients

You’ll need to ensure you’ve gathered all of your ingredients before starting this delicious copycat Panda Express Sesame Chicken recipe.

Imagine the succulent skinless chicken breasts, waiting to be transformed into a culinary masterpiece.

Focus now on your key ingredients: the sesame seeds, the lifeblood of this recipe, and the sauce ingredients – the white vinegar and sweet chili sauce, the dynamic duo that will give your chicken an irresistible tangy-sweet kick.

Don’t forget about the flour mixture and egg mixture that will coat your chicken, providing a crispy exterior to contrast the tender inside.

The ingredients on your countertop are the building blocks for your copycat recipe.

The aroma of the Panda Express sesame chicken recipe will soon waft through your kitchen, your reward for this culinary adventure.


Preparing the Chicken

First off, let’s tackle the chicken preparation, which is a pivotal part of this dish.

You’re not just cooking any ordinary chicken; you’re preparing the chicken for our copycat Panda Express honey sesame chicken recipe.

Start with fresh chicken thighs, which tend to be more flavorful and juicy than chicken breasts. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and marinate in soy sauce and cornstarch.

Now, for the chicken coating. Think of it as a golden armor, transforming your cooked chicken into crispy chicken pieces of pure joy. Dip each piece into a whisked egg, then roll it in flour. Fry until golden brown.

The aroma will make you feel like you’re standing in a Panda Express kitchen, right next to the experts crafting their famed honey sesame chicken.


Mixing the Sesame Sauce

Next, let’s move onto the sauce, which you’re going to whisk together in a separate bowl.

This is where you’ll create that sticky honey sesame sauce, a savory delight reminiscent of the Panda Express menu.

Start by combining brown sugar and rice vinegar, stirring until the sugar dissolves into a sweet, tangy mixture. Then, introduce a dash of black pepper, a spicy kick to balance the sweetness.

Add a splash of apple cider vinegar for that extra tang, followed by a generous pour of hot sauce to give it that fiery punch.

Finally, drizzle in the toasted sesame oil, the star ingredient that gives the honey sesame chicken Panda Express its unique, nutty flavor.

As you whisk, you’ll notice the sauce thickening into a glossy, aromatic savory honey sesame sauce that’ll make your taste buds dance with anticipation.

The Art of Breading

In the art of breading, it’s essential that you coat each piece of meat evenly for the perfect crunch. Picture yourself gently pressing each piece of white chicken meat into a cup flour.

You’re setting the stage for your crispy honey sesame chicken recipe to come alive.

Now, imagine this:

  • Your Dutch oven is on the stove, filled with hot oil, heated to medium heat or medium high heat.
  • You carefully lower each floured piece of chicken into the oil.
  • The kitchen fills with the sizzle and pop as you deep fry the chicken.
  • You remove each golden piece, allowing it to drain on a wire rack.
  • The smell of the regular soy sauce from the sauce you just mixed wafts through the air, adding to the anticipation.

The art of breading is more than a step, it’s a journey to a mouthwatering destination.

Frying to Perfection

As the chicken pieces sizzle away, you’re not just frying, you’re crafting a culinary masterpiece to perfection.

Each piece of fried chicken turns a luscious golden brown under the medium-high heat of your air fryer.

You aren’t using just any oil; you’ve chosen vegetable oil, perfect for achieving that irresistible crunch.

Your kitchen fills with the inviting aroma of chicken crisping to perfection. After the second fry, inches of oil bubble eagerly, transforming your chicken into a tantalizing treat.

Once they’ve reached that delectable golden hue, you carefully lift them out, letting the excess oil drip back into the fryer.

Then, with a flourish, you lay them on a paper towel, capturing any remaining oil.

You’ve transformed simple chicken into a delightful feast.

Combining Chicken and Sauce

Now, let’s elevate your kitchen game by combining chicken and sauce. You’ve perfectly fried your chicken, and it’s time to bathe it in a pool of delicious sauce.

Picture the orange chicken you love from Chinese restaurants and Chinese takeout, that sweet and tangy sauce that dances on your taste buds.

Grab a medium saucepan and let’s recreate that magic.

  • Pour your new delicious honey sauce into the pan
  • Heat it gently until it bubbles slightly
  • Toss in your fried chicken, making sure every piece is coated
  • Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes in a large wok to intensify the flavors
  • Let it simmer for a few minutes to marry the chicken with the sauce

Relish the fusion of sweet, sour chicken wrapped in a tangy sauce, creating a symphony of flavors that’ll make you the star of your kitchen.


Serving Suggestions

You’re nearly there, just serve this mouthwatering dish over a bed of freshly steamed jasmine rice and garnish with some chopped green onions for an added burst of flavor.

But don’t stop there. Why not add a side of crisp green beans stir-fried in olive oil, sprinkled with lemon juice, and tossed with a pinch of corn starch for that perfect, slightly thickened texture?

Or perhaps sautéed yellow bell peppers, their sweet, vibrant crunch a tantalizing contrast to the sticky sauce of your chicken.

If you’re feeling adventurous, switch the jasmine rice for brown rice or even chow mein noodles.

Remember to keep your recipe card handy, because this Asian food masterpiece is sure to become a favorite.

Tips for the Perfect Sesame Chicken

In pursuit of that perfect Asian dish, don’t forget some key tips like using boneless, skinless chicken thighs for juicier results and a mix of corn flour and all purpose flour for that crispy, restaurant-style coating.

The Panda Express Sesame Chicken recipe has become a popular dish in the United States, and you’re just minutes away from recreating this magic in your kitchen.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Marinate the chicken in an airtight container for a deeper flavor profile.
  • Use avocado oil for frying for a healthier twist.
  • Serve the chicken over cauliflower rice; it captures the sauce wonderfully.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions for a fresh touch.
  • Mix the sauce in a separate small bowl before adding to the chicken for an even spread.

Follow these tips to make your Panda Express Sesame Chicken truly spectacular!

Photo of blue ceramic bowl containing an easy copycat Panda Express sesame chicken recipe of red bell pepper strips, sesame seeds, green onions, fried chicken pieces, and savory honey sesame sauce.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Stepping into the realm of Common Mistakes to Avoid, it’s essential to not let the allure of the next day’s leftover sesame chicken cloud your judgement.

You might be tempted to toss your green string beans and snap peas into the same pan with your white rice. Alas, this would be a misstep.

Cook them in a separate pan for 3-5 minutes to maintain their vibrant color and crisp texture.

Another blunder to dodge is overcooking your red and yellow bell pepper strips. They should still have a bit of a crunch to them.

Moreover, ensure your rice is fluffy and light, not a gloopy mess. Remember, perfection lies in the detail.

Now go forth, armed with this knowledge, and let your culinary skills shine.

Adapting the Recipe to Your Taste

Now that we’ve covered common mistakes, let’s move on to adapting the recipe to your taste – it’s all about finding what suits your palate the best!

This may be our Panda Express honey sesame chicken recipe, but you’re the chef and your kitchen is your playground.

Be bold, experiment, and tweak the recipe to your liking. Your taste buds are unique, so why shouldn’t your Sesame Chicken be?

Consider these options:

  • Play with the heat by adding more or less chili.
  • Adjust the sweetness by decreasing or increasing the amount of honey.
  • Substitute sesame oil with olive oil for a milder flavor.
  • Add your favorite vegetables to make it more nutritious.
  • Try using different cuts of chicken to give it a new texture.
  • Imagine Panda Express honey sesame chicken breast or turkey breast served up this Thanksgiving!
Birds eye photo of chopsticks atop a stoneware bowl full of grilled chicken strips, red bell pepper strips, what appears to be strips of green zucchini, green onions, sesame seeds, and Panda Express honey sesame sauce. The bowl is atop a wooden slatted placemat, next to a bowl of white sesame seeds.

Food for Thought

And there you go! You’ve just made your very own Panda Express sesame chicken at home. It’s crispy, it’s tangy, it’s absolutely delicious.

The texture is spot-on, and the flavors are a perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Play around with the recipe to make it your own. Who knows? Maybe you’ll stumble upon a new family favorite.

Yield: 4 servings

Panda Express Sesame Chicken Recipe

A bowl of stir fried chicken with peppers and sesame seeds, inspired by the popular Panda Express sesame chicken recipe.

Trying to trim your take-out tendencies? Your tastebuds and your wallet will delight in our easy copycat Panda Express Sesame Chicken recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes



  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • salt
  • ground pepper


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • soy sauce (for marinating)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  • 1 lb green string beans (trimmed)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil



  1. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and marinate in soy sauce in an air-tight container.
  2. In small mixing bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce--toasted sesame seed oil, sweet chili sauce, etc--and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together the cornstarch and flour.
  4. Dredge the chicken pieces into the egg mixture, followed by the cornstarch mixture to evenly coat each piece. Set on a plate.


  1. Heat enough oil in a Dutch oven or skillet to cover the pieces of chicken, at medium-high.
  2. Add the coated chicken to the hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Transfer the cooked chicken to a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels to remove the excess oil.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.
  6. Add the green beans and bell pepper slices. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
  7. Pour the sauce mixture into the hot skillet with the vegetables.
  8. Let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens.
  9. Add the cooked chicken to the pan and toss to coat evenly in the sauce.


  1. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately with rice, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557

Forget about take-out; your homemade version is so much better. Happy cooking and bon appétit!

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