Honey Soy Chicken

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This sticky honey soy baked chicken is a quick dinner idea exploding with Asian-style flavor thanks to an easy homemade marinade. Umami-rich soy sauce, sweet honey, sesame, and garlic do all kinds of delicious things to these juicy chicken drumsticks!

Whenever I’m after a ton of flavor on a busy weeknight, I turn to recipes like my honey garlic chicken and the honey soy marinade that I’m sharing here. If you love your chicken oven-baked, try my baked honey mustard chicken, too.

Overhead view of honey soy chicken drumsticks arranged on a white oval platter with a blue rim.


With just 5 minutes of prep and family-friendly flavors, I love this baked honey soy chicken. It’s quick and super versatile. I’ll toss it over white rice with a side of tender-crisp veggies and everyone gobbles it up. It’s also perfect over noodles or chopped up cold in salads the next day!

If you love juicy chicken smothered with sauce (is that even an “if”?) this honey soy chicken has your next weeknight sorted.

Why We Love Honey Soy Chicken

Juicy inside, crispy outside. The oven does most of the work in this recipe, and the results are delicious. These marinated chicken drumsticks bake up browned and crispy, trapping the flavor and juices. 

Quick to prep. It takes 5 minutes to get your chicken soaking in the marinade. After a short stint in the fridge, it’s ready for the oven.

Flavor-packed. The marinade is simple but super tasty. Sweet honey and umami-packed soy sauce are a mouthwatering combination. Of course, there’s plenty of garlic in there, plus a little Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. Marinating the chicken first locks in all that Asian-inspired flavor.

Ingredients for honey soy chicken with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Recipe Ingredients 

I almost always make this recipe with bone-in, skin-on chicken, and the honey soy marinade needs just a few flavor-building ingredients. Here are some quick notes on what you’ll need. You’ll find the full list in the printable recipe card after the post. 

  • Asian Cooking Wine – Choose an inexpensive rice wine for cooking, like Chinese Shaoxing wine. I usually pick up a bottle from my favorite Asian market. If you can’t find it where you are, dry sherry or dry white wine are good substitutes. If you’d prefer to skip the wine altogether, use chicken stock instead.
  • Honey – In the fall, I’ll sometimes substitute honey with real maple syrup to make maple soy chicken (similar to these oven-baked chicken thighs).
  • Soy Sauce – You can use low-sodium or regular soy sauce. If you need to, replace soy sauce with gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Sesame Oil – Sesame oil adds a unique Asian flavor to this marinade, so it’s hard to replace. I recommend toasted sesame oil for more depth of flavor.
  • Seasonings – I keep it simple with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can substitute fresh garlic for garlic powder if you prefer (usually about 1 clove per ¼-½ teaspoon of powder).

What Chicken Should I Use?

Here, I use drumsticks, but you can use bone-in chicken thighs if that is what you prefer. Bone-in chicken stays super tender in the oven and is harder to overcook. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work, too, keeping in mind that they will bake up faster and dry out quicker.

How to Make Honey Soy Chicken

Even if you’re new to the kitchen, it doesn’t get easier than this oven baked honey soy chicken! There are only three steps involved, and two-thirds of them are hands-free. That’s some kitchen math I can get behind.

  1. Marinate the chicken. Start by whisking together the marinade ingredients. Add them to a Ziploc bag with the chicken and let that marinate in the fridge.
  2. Bake. Next, the marinated chicken goes into a 400ºF oven under foil for about 40 minutes.
  3. Broil. Finish the chicken uncovered under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin. Your honey chicken is ready to serve!
Close-up of baked chicken in a ceramic baking dish with a pair of metal serving tongs.

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Check the baked chicken for doneness. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF at the thickest part. An instant-read thermometer is handy for knowing when your chicken is ready to come out of the oven.
  • Get the chicken nicely browned on top. Broiling is key to golden-baked drumsticks with crispy skins. Don’t skip this part!
  • If you’re using chicken breasts, you’ll want to reduce the cooking time by 10-15 minutes so that they don’t overbake.
  • Make it spicy. Try my oven-baked honey sriracha chicken for a spicy variation. Or, whisk diced chilies, chili flakes, or hot sauce into the honey soy marinade for an extra kick.
Overhead view of chicken legs arranged on a white oval platter with a blue rim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to bake chicken at 350ºF or 400ºF?

I like to bake most chicken at a hot 400ºF. The high temperature sears the outside of the chicken and crisps up the skin while locking in the juices.

Should I cover the chicken when baking?

Bone-in chicken bakes well under foil. It helps the chicken cook through evenly. Meanwhile, if you’re using boneless chicken, it’s fine to bake the chicken uncovered since it cooks quickly. 

How long can I marinate chicken?

Chicken is a lean meat that doesn’t need a lot of marinating time. I usually marinate chicken for 1-2 hours, tops. In fact, leaving the chicken to soak too long (like overnight) can actually break down the fibers and make it mushy. Don’t forget your chicken in the fridge!

Can I Thicken the Honey Soy Marinade?

If you have extra honey soy marinade (not the marinade that touched the raw chicken– this you’ll want to discard), add the marinade to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk cornstarch and water to make a slurry, stir it into the marinade, and simmer to thicken. I love making extra marinade because it’s perfect to drizzle over the chicken when serving!

Overhead view of honey soy chicken served over rice with a side of broccoli on a plate, next to a fork.

Serving Suggestions

For an easy weeknight meal, this honey soy chicken goes great with a pile of jeera rice and a side of greens, like steamed broccoli, sesame snap peas, or an Asian cucumber salad. If I’m really leaning into the Asian theme, I’ll pair this chicken with kimchi rice and crispy air fryer veggie spring rolls, or serve it over a bed of stir fry noodles.

As a tasty comfort food dinner, juicy honey soy chicken is also delicious with mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Leftovers will last in the fridge for 3-4 days (great for meal prep!) or for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

I like to reheat chicken in a 350ºF oven under foil to prevent drying out. I prefer this over the microwave, which works but makes the chicken a bit rubbery.

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Honey Soy Chicken

This honey soy baked chicken is a quick dinner exploding with flavor thanks to a mouthwatering marinade made with soy sauce, sweet honey, sesame, and garlic.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • ¼ cup Asian rice cooking wine, like Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ cup honey
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pounds chicken drumsticks, bone-in skin-on
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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  • Make the marinade. Whisk together the rice cooking wine, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic powder.
  • Marinade the chicken. Place the chicken in a large Ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the meat. Seal the bag and massage the contents of the bag to distribute the marinade evenly. Place the chicken in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 9X13-inch baking dish.
  • Bake. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish and season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Broil. Remove the chicken from the oven and uncover it. Set the oven to broil and broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes on either side or until the skin is nice and crispy.
  • Rest and serve. Remove it from the oven, and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Calories: 677kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 315mg | Sodium: 2600mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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