This post will explain how to cook Teriyaki Chicken and Cauliflower combines juicy chicken, crispy cauliflower, and a sweet and sticky healthy teriyaki sauce. 30 minute dinner that will satisfy all your take out cravings.
Teriyaki Cauliflower Chicken Skillet
Teriyaki chicken and cauliflower is an Asian inspired dish made in minutes in the comfort of your own home. Ginger and garlic infused tender bites of chicken, beautifully charred cauliflower all coated in a healthier version of a classic teriyaki sauce. Served on its own, it is lighter low carb dinner.
We’re swapping out the brown sugar with maple syrup or honey so there’s no skimping on taste. If you’re lucky enough to own a cast iron skillet, you’ll be able to achieve delicious charred cauliflower. And if not, no worries it tastes amazing no matter what.
This quick and easy stir fry has restaurant quality flavours but is simple enough to make for a busy weeknight dinner. The key is to have all your ingredients prepped to work quickly!
Ingredients for Teriyaki Chicken and Cauliflower
- Chicken: 1 inch pieces of boneless/skinless chicken breast or thighs.
- Cauliflower and veggies: Cauliflower chopped in small florets. Minced garlic and ginger. Finely chopped green onion.
- Teriyaki sauce: Soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminos). Maple syrup or honey. Rice vinegar. Toasted sesame oil. Cornstarch.
How to Stir Fry Teriyaki Chicken and Cauliflower
- Prep: Making sure you have everything chopped, prepped, and ready to go is super important as making a stir fry isn’t for the faint of heart! Just kidding it’s not that crazy, but having things ready to go does make it easier. Start this by making sure to have your rice or quinoa cooked and ready to go. Also, you want to chop all your veggies and meat and have them both ready at your side.
- Combine sauce: In a medium bowl, add soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and cornstarch. Whisk to combine and set aside. The cornstarch will be used as the thickening agent in the sauce. This means that the sauce will coat everything nicely and won’t be thin and runny.
- Cook veggies: Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or a deep skillet. A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is your best bet in achieving beautiful char marks and a nice al dente vegetable. Add cauliflower to cook until char marks develop or it’s to your desired texture. Stir a few times and transfer to a bowl to set aside.
- Add chicken: Return skillet to the stove and add a bit more oil. Add the chicken, garlic, and ginger to cook. Don’t stir too often, you’ll want to leave it alone to allow for the seared edges to form.
- Pour sauce: Grab the bowl of teriyaki sauce you made earlier on and give it a stir. It’s probably settled a bit sitting on the counter. You want to incorporate everything so that none of the cornstarch is sitting at the bottom of the bowl. Pour it over the chicken and stir. Cook until thickened.
- Simmer and stir: From here, take the cooked cauliflower and add it into the skillet. Combine with the chicken and stir to coat making sure the cauliflower gets its fair share of the sauce. Let it simmer for a moment before turning off the heat.
- Sprinkle and serve: Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice or quinoa and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
- Skillet: Using a well-seasoned skillet is the best way to give the cauliflower an unbelievable charred flavor. You can also use a deep non-stick skillet or a wok. Just know that when using a wok, you will end up with steamed cauliflower rather than charred, unless you have an amazing wok that sears well.
- Be ready: Stir fry is a technique, not a flavor. It means “cook fast”. So that’s exactly what you need to be ready to do!
- Toasted sesame oil: This gives the sauce a nice smoky nutty flavour. You can skip it if you don’t have any, it won’t make or break the dish. Just a nice added bonus!
- Brown sugar: This is traditionally what is used in a teriyaki sauce, so you can use it if you’d prefer. The maple syrup or honey alternative is a healthier way of keeping added refined sugar out of your food.
- Other veggies: This is a customizable dish for sure. Stir fry is pretty flexible in what you can add to it, so have fun! Feel free to swap out the cauliflower for broccoli, zucchini, sugar snap peas, snow peas, mushrooms, and even bean sprouts! You want al dente (not mushy) veggies for this dish, so depending on what you use, will determine how long you cook it for.
Storing, Freezing and Reheating
Store: Enjoy leftovers for a few days by keeping them in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Freeze: This dish freezes well when kept in an airtight container. Should stay good for up to 3 months, so if you’ve made too much or have made extra for a later date, you’re in luck!
Reheat: Reheat in a pot with a splash of water or broth to avoid burning. This will also help bring a little moisture back to the chicken. Cover and simmer on low, stirring a few times.
Chicken and Cauliflower:
- 1 1/2 lbs cauliflower chopped into small florets
- 2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1” cubes
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
- 3 green onion sprigs finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Brown rice or quinoa for serving
- 3 tbsp soy sauce I used Bragg’s liquid aminos
- 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Cook brown rice or quinoa as per package instructions. Prep and chop all veggies and meat. Stir fry happens fast.
In a medium bowl, add soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and cornstarch. Whisk until combined and set aside.
Preheat large cast iron skillet (the best for char!) or deep skillet on medium-high heat and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes, stirring just a few times to allow char develop. It should be cooked al dente and not mushy. Transfer to medium bowl and set aside.
Return skillet to the stove and swirl remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Add chicken, garlic and ginger; cook for 7 minutes, stirring just a few times to allow char develop.
Give teriyaki sauce a whisk, pour over chicken, stir and cook for 1 minute or until thickened.
Add previously cooked cauliflower, stir and let simmer for 1 more minute, continuing to stir to coat veggies and meat in sauce. Turn off heat.
Sprinkle with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve hot with brown rice or quinoa.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat in a pot with a splash of water or broth, simmering on low while covered. Stir a few times.
- Skillet: I enjoy using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for this recipe because it gives cauliflower an unbelievable charred flavor. You can also use large deep non-stick skillet or wok. Just keep in mind wok will “steam” veggies more than char, unless you have a very good wok that sears well.
- Be ready: Stir fry means to “cook fast”, so make sure all your ingredients are prepped before you begin cooking.
- Toasted sesame oil: Adds a nice smoky touch to teriyaki sauce but you can skip if you don’t have any on hand.
- Brown sugar: Is more of a traditional ingredient used in teriyaki sauce. Feel free to use it, might have to thin out sauce a bit at the end.
- Other veggies: Instead of cauliflower, feel free to use broccoli. Also zucchini is great, just cook it slightly less. You want veggies to be al dente.
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