Make better-than-take-out air fryer sesame chicken in minutes!

Tender chunks of chicken are lightly breaded and air fried to crispy perfection and then served with a sweet ginger soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

top view of air fryer sesame chicken

Sweet & Savory Sesame Chicken

  • This air fryer sesame chicken recipe is full of flavor!
  • Make sesame chicken as a hearty appetizer for a party or serve it over rice with steamed vegetables for a quick meal.
  • This recipe has all the taste of the frozen Trader Joe’s brand but without the extra preservatives and sugars.
  • Sesame chicken reheats beautifully! Make a double batch and enjoy it as a workday lunch or a post-workout snack!
  • Kids love sesame chicken and the sauce can also be used as a dipper for healthy veggies like green beans and brussels sprouts.
ingredients assembled to make air fryer sesame chicken including soy sauce, cornstarch, eggs, sesame seeds, chicken breast, and lime juice

Ingredients & Variations

Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breasts are the best choice in this recipe because they can be cut to uniform bite-size pieces which makes them easier to cook and eat. In a pinch for time? Use frozen chicken strips or use skinless chicken thighs. As an appetizer, chicken wings work perfectly, they get deliciously sticky in the sauce!

Cornstarch keeps these bites gluten-free, but wwap cornstarch for all-purpose flour and coat chicken bites with flour mixture if desired.

Sauce – Soy sauce and sesame oil bring the flair to sesame chicken, and a splash of citrus in the lime juice balances out the sweet and salty flavors. If the sauce is too salty, stir in honey or maple syrup to sweeten it. In a pinch for time? Use a bottle of store-bought teriyaki sauce.

Extras – Add some diced water chestnuts, spring peas, broccoli, or baby corn to the sauce, if desired.

How to Make Air Fryer Sesame Chicken

  1. Toss chicken in egg mixture and then cornstarch.
  2. Place coated chicken pieces in the air fryer basket and air fry until golden brown as per recipe directions below. Remove and set aside.
  3. Boil the sauce ingredients over medium heat until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Toss the chicken with the sauce in a large bowl.

Garnish with sliced onions or parsley and serve over rice.

air fryer sesame chicken in a bowl with rice and broccoli

How to Reheat Sesame Chicken

  • Leftovers? Keep leftover sesame chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat pieces in the air fryer or in the microwave.
  • Place chicken on a piece of parchment paper if reheating in the air fryer for easy cleanup.
  • Sesame chicken can be frozen for up to one month in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

More Chicken Recipes

chopsticks grabbing a piece of air fryer sesame chicken
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Air Fryer Sesame Chicken

Air Fryer sesame chicken is a simple dish that pairs perfectly with a bowl of rice.
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4



For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch

For the Sesame Sauce

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • green onion and parsley chopped, for garnish


For the Chicken

  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F for at least five minutes. 
  • Toss the chicken with the beaten egg. Dip the chicken in the cornstarch, making sure to coat each piece evenly on all sides. 
  • Place the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer. 
  • Cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until your desired crispness and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Set the chicken aside while making the sauce. 

For the Sauce

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Place the sauce in a large bowl with the cooked chicken. Toss to combine. Serve over rice, garnished with green onions and/or parsley. 


If you don’t have cornstarch, flour can be substituted. 
For a bit of heat, add sriracha to the sesame sauce before cooking. 
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 1786mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian Inspired

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