Dinner has never been simpler! This delicious, flavorful honey garlic chicken can be on the table in 20-minutes or less and is a perfect, easy weeknight dinner solution!

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken {20-minute meal}

Listen, I know the hot topics this week are pie, turkey, pie, stuffing, pie, gravy, and pie…but in my world, the troops still have to eat.

So even though I have some amazing holiday recipes yet to come, you know I’m not going to leave you hanging when it comes to every day eating, even while the world explodes with holiday menu planning (and political diatribes).

Dinnertime around these parts is often more a matter of survival and necessity than it is a gourmet, made-with-love meal, but like I always say, “If you have to eat, it might as well be delicious.” Even if that means it is shockingly simple.

This honey garlic chicken skillet is just that. Delicious. And shockingly simple.

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken {20-minute meal}

You know that honey and garlic were meant to be together, right? Those delicious flavors make up the base of the delectable sauce that envelopes the tender chicken and makes me want to eat honey garlic everything for the rest of my life.

This meal always reminds me that sometimes simple is the very best option now and forever, and makes me inwardly declare: I’m done with complicated meals forever! (Yes yes, slightly hypocritical advice considering Thanksgiving, the ultimate in time-consuming meals, is just around the corner.)

I usually serve this meal with brown rice (this Instant Pot brown rice pilaf is a great option) or quinoa. Lately, I’ve also been stocking up on bags of frozen, shelled edamame at Trader Joe’s when I go on my monthly outing, because lightly steaming the edamame and tossing it with a bit of kosher salt is the perfect little side dish for this honey garlic chicken.

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken {20-minute meal}

One of the keys to delicious success is getting the skillet piping hot before adding the chicken in a single layer. And then, whatever you do, resist the urge to mess with the chicken and move it all about.

This isn’t the hokey pokey. You want the chicken to stay put, undisturbed, so it can develop that beautiful golden color on the 1st side that sizzles in the skillet.

It makes a huge difference in flavor and in presentation. So chill out and let the magic happen, ok? Once it gets nice and golden on one side, go ahead and get flip-happy and pour in the sauce. Let the chicken simmer in the flavorful bath of honey garlic goodness, and before you can actually really do the hokey pokey, you’re going to be ready to eat.

Have I mentioned I love simple skillet weeknight meals? Seriously. They make me so happy, and this skillet honey garlic chicken is right at the top of my favorites list.

If you are deep in the middle of holiday menu planning…or just life (hello, me and you, baby)…this meal is for you. It’ll save you. Make you look good. And make dinner time manageable and delicious.

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken {20-minute meal}

What To ServeHot, cooked rice or quinoa (simple pressure cooker brown rice pilaf is a great option)
Roasted broccoli or steamed edamame

One Year Ago: The Perfect Thanksgiving Menu
Two Years Ago: Warm Russian Tea
Three Years Ago: Healthy Applesauce Carrot Muffins {a.k.a. Carrot Cake Muffins}

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken

Yield: Serves 6

Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Hot, cooked rice or quinoa and edamame, for serving (optional)


  1. Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together the broth, garlic, honey, soy sauce, cornstarch, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  3. In a large, nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot and rippling.
  4. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, without stirring, for a minute or two until the chicken starts to turn golden on the side in contact with the hot skillet. Flip the chicken pieces.
  5. Whisk the sauce to recombine and stir it into the skillet; bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Serve over hot, cooked rice or quinoa and edamame (optional, but delicious).

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired by a pressure cooker recipe from this cookbook)

25 Responses to Skillet Honey Garlic Chicken {20-Minute Meal}

  1. Heidi says:

    Please forgive this simple question, but how do you steam edamame once it’s shelled?? I prefer to buy it that way and I don’t know a fool proof way to cook and season it. I’ve roasted it and it’s good, but my life would be easier with simple steamed edamame in it 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I usually boil in salted water for about five minutes and then drain (a lot of times, I add it to my stir-fries and let it cook with the other ingredients).

  2. Haley says:

    This was a huge hit for everyone in my family! And I loved the simplicity. 🙂

  3. Sheila says:

    So, what kind of honey do you like for this recipe? Something mild, like an acacia? Ooh, like a chestnut?

    Couple of years ago, I found local almond honey at the farmers market and it was the best stuff ever! Bet it would’ve been great for this recipe!

  4. J M says:

    Thank you so much, Mel! We are watching our electricity costs and have found that stovetop cooking is much cheaper than firing up the oven!

    If I can cost dinner costs by cooking stovetop recipes, there’s room in the electric budget for me to bake fresh breads and cake!!! LOL

    Judy Mayer
    Simi Valley , CA

  5. Brittany says:

    Hi Mel! This looks so good!! Can’t wait to try it!!

    This might be a dumb question, but do you buy fresh or frozen chicken breasts? Also, which store do you like to buy chicken from? Thanks!!!

  6. Laurie says:

    I made this tonight and it was great! We cook with lots of “Mel” recipes and am always excited to see your e-mail arrive! Thank you! Made this family of seven happy tonight! I threw in a bunch of broccoli I needed to use up and made a little extra sauce for it! Mmmmmm:)

  7. Danielle says:

    I made this tonight! So easy and delicious! Thanks for another winner.

  8. Jen says:

    Mel, this looks delicious!

    Have you ever done a post with all of your faves from Trader Joe’s? I would love to hear what you stock up on during your monthly trip!

  9. Adrienne says:

    Hi Mel! I’d like to double the brown rice pilaf you mention as a side dish to this. Will the rice’s cooking time in the instant pot be the same or change?


    • Mel says:

      You can double with the same time (just make sure your pressure cooker is large enough; you shouldn’t fill it more than halfway when cooking rice).

  10. Paige says:

    This chicken looks so easy and delicious! We’ll have to try this soon!


  11. Bryn says:

    Yum! Would the frozen little cubes of garlic work for this chicken? I have become so spoiled with those frozen herbs…I just can’t give them up!

  12. Karie says:

    This is exactly what I need for our busy night tonight! Can’t wait to make it! Thanks Mel!

  13. Heather says:

    Sounds delish, and I could probably throw in some leftover broccolli or beans and make it even quicker for dinner prep!

  14. Teri S. says:

    Is this a good application for my stainless steel pan? Still trying to figure that thing out.

    • Mel says:

      Like a stainless skillet, Teri? This would work great in that – you might need a bit more oil to account for the missing nonstick coating but yes, go for it.

  15. Becky says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to make this!

  16. Emily says:

    Thanks, Mel! This will be dinner tonight! Perfect food for the evening of homework, piano recitals, and basketball! Thank you for living so real!

  17. Susan says:

    This looks delicious and simple, 2 of my favorites. Thanks!

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