Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe

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Honey garlic chicken with garlic clove and sauce on a grey plate with rice and a side salad

This honey garlic chicken recipe is so unbelievably easy to make, it’s perfect for weeknight dinners and for anyone on a migraine diet. Low carb, paleo, gluten free, and super flavorful, it’s one of the most popular recipes on The Dizzy Cook. I love to use chicken thighs because they have such a rich flavor, but this would also work with chicken breasts.

I’ve been slacking a bit on my posts and that’s mainly due to the Migraine World Summit.  The episodes expire after 24 hours unless you pay for a membership or the transcripts. Alas, I am not really “making it rain” over here, so I’m getting them in while they are free! There have been a lot of great speakers this year and I’ve only been disappointed by one seminar. I’ve also only fallen asleep once! I’m sorry, there’s just something about Dr. Dodick’s voice that’s similar to Jim Nantz at the Masters. Some of my favorites so far have been “Surviving Weather Related Migraine” by Dr Vince Martin, Teri Robert’s “They Don’t Get It”, and Trupti Gokani’s “Gut Brain Connection”.

Warming spices and Ayurvedic Medicine

Trupti’s episode really stood out to me as I haven’t really researched Ayurvedic medicine. Before my vestibular migraine disease began, I had stomach issues over the course of 2 years. Some doctors suspected h pylori, but there was never any test that could confirm it since I was put on a load of antibiotics before I saw a gastroenterologist. When I had my endoscopy, they found a resolving ulcer, but couldn’t pinpoint the cause. I always attributed it to being miserable and stressed at my job, but now I’m started to see more research linking migraine to gut health.

The vagus nerve connects the gut to the brain and naturally creates a calming sense on the body. If you’re stressed, GABA, which is manufactured by the gut, is not released or made to help calm your nervous system.

In the episode, Trupti goes on to explain that a healthy gut has 3 markers.

1. You go to the bathroom first thing in the morning, before any coffee.
2. You have no gas, bloating, or GERD symptoms.
3. Your hunger symptom occurs naturally around meal times.

If you start skipping meals, your body will adapt and not get hungry around those meal times, signaling a less than healthy gut. She also mentions the positive aspects of “warming foods” that help to bring excitable energy down. It’s a whole other world I’d like to research more, but for now, since it’s still cold outside (except you, Arizona) I’ll give you a recipe with some nice warming spices like cumin!

Ginger for Migraine

Ginger has been shown to be as effective as triptans like Imitrex in aborting head pain by using just 1/8th a teaspoon. Isn’t that incredible? Whether or not you suffer from migraine headaches, this meal could actually help your pain. However, I haven’t found it to be as effective for vestibular migraine symptoms.

Occasionally taking ginger supplements alone will give me heartburn, so incorporating it more into my diet is the best way to go!

Honey garlic chicken thighs with rice and broccolini, topped with green onions, on a white plate

Thighs or Breasts?

Well, that’s quite the header! This recipe originally called for boneless chicken thighs, but now that I’ve made it both ways I can honestly say it’s great with both options. Chicken thighs are obviously a little more flavorful, but they also take a little bit longer to cook. I find boneless chicken breasts are easier to find in the store and most people have it on hand for weeknight meals. If using chicken breasts for this honey garlic chicken, you will want to cut down the time in the oven to about 5 minutes. If you are using thin sliced chicken breasts, you may not even need to bake these at all.

Two plates of garlic chicken with sauce, a simple salad, and rice

Side Dishes for Honey Garlic Chicken

It’s important to marinate your chicken for at least 30 minutes before you intend to cook it, if not earlier. It will yield a much more flavorful chicken! You can use that 30 minutes to work on side dishes like roasted broccolini and Trader Joe’s Organic California Rice

Other good options for side dishes:

I especially love using simple brown rice, quinoa, or mashed potatoes/cauliflower with this honey garlic chicken recipe as it soaks up some of the delicious sauce!

Chicken breasts marinating

How to Make Honey Garlic Chicken

There are two things to remember with this recipe:

  1. Don’t skip the marinating time – it’s only 30 minutes at the least, but you can marinate them up to a day!
  2. Be careful to not burn your garlic.

This is tricky because you want to get the chicken nicely browned, but to do that you need to cook on (at least) medium heat. Continuing to stir the garlic around the chicken while it cooks can help.  I also like to spoon the sauce back on top of the chicken while cooking.

Chicken breasts in a cast iron pan

Close up of honey garlic chicken breast

5 from 4 votes
Two plates of garlic chicken with sauce, a simple salad, and rice
Honey Garlic Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
17 mins
Total Time
32 mins

This honey garlic chicken will be your new favorite weeknight meal! The honey garlic sauce and spices are delicious on almost everything, but I prefer either brown rice, quinoa, or mashed potatoes. This makes 4 smaller portions or 2-3 large portions.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken, Garlic, Honey
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 548 kcal
Author: The Dizzy Cook
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • optional: pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream (or milk) If coconut is a trigger you can sub heavy cream.
  • optional: green onions for garnish
  1. Combine all the spices and salt with honey and olive oil in a ziploc bag or a bowl. Add chicken and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes up to a few hours. I believe I only marinated mine for an hour and it was still really flavorful.

    Chicken breasts marinating
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil . Heat a heavy pan (or cast iron) on medium heat and add the chicken, leaving it to sear on one side. You'll want it to be brown, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes then flip and cook another 3 minutes. If using chicken thighs, place on a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 425F for about 10 minutes. If using chicken breasts, check the internal temperature and see if it's 165 degrees. If not, place in the oven for about 4-5 minutes until it reaches 165 degrees F. Once the chicken is done, simply cover with foil until you're ready to serve.

    Chicken breasts in a cast iron pan
  3. While the chicken is in the oven or covered with foil, melt 2tbsp of butter in the heavy pan with the leftover sauce and drippings. Add coconut cream (or cream of choice) to the pan and bring to a low simmer until warmed and thickened. 

  4. Add cooked chicken thighs back to the pan and coat with the sauce. Top with green onions for garnish (if desired). Serve immediately!

Recipe Notes
  • Chicken thighs will take a little bit longer to cook then chicken breasts - adjust your time accordingly. 
  • Be careful to not burn the garlic by moving it around the pan while the chicken gets nicely browned. You can also do this by spooning the sauce back over the chicken while cooking. 
  • To make this completely dairy free, use coconut oil instead of ghee or butter. 
Nutrition Facts
Honey Garlic Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 548
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Low carb, paleo, and easy this honey garlic chicken thigh recipe can also be made with chicken breasts. The spices are super flavorful and it cooks quickly. It's one of my most popular recipes. #chicken #recipes #paleo


Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.


  1. Diane

    Great recipe. I love anything with cumin and coconut milk.
    I enjoyed her talk so much. It was amazing to see a functional medicine doc who knows migraine so well. I’ve been looking for someone like her for a while. Wish she was closer to wher I live. I like Ayervedic but find it complicated and makes my head spin. I’m going to start with the CCF tea that she referred to. Take it in baby steps


    1. Alicia

      Diane, I could not agree with you more! While I do think some of these things can get a little woo woo, overall it’s an entirely new way of thinking most doctors aren’t familiar with and one that shouldn’t be ignored. The cooling/warming aspects were really fascinating to me and I never thought of having a “gut feeling” as a nervous system connection. I’m planning to try that cooling tea in the summertime too!


  2. Joanna

    5 stars
    This recipe has become one of my staples! It’s extremely hard to find a honey garlic recipe without soy sauce, or anything with MSG for that matter, but I’m so glad someone was able to figure it out. I typically make these for dinner and make extra for the next day.


  3. Paige

    Just curious what you would recommend from a dairy free/nut free stand point ? Would rice milk be okay to sub with instead of cream or coconut milk? I can use butter sub so that’s not an issue. Thanks!


    1. Alicia

      I’d probably use oat milk over rice milk just because it’s a little more creamy, but you could always test it out! Let me know how it works for you.


  4. Jennifer Bragdon

    5 stars
    I LOVE this chicken recipe so much I added it to my regular dinner rotation. It’s packed with flavor.


  5. Mickayla

    5 stars
    This was sooo good! I used half and half. I also seared the chicken in two cast iron pans and just popped them straight in the oven. Made the sauce using the drippings after they were done cooking, yum! It ended up much saucier than shown in the pictures here, which is great by me!


  6. Erica

    5 stars
    YUM! I made this for Valentine’s Day dinner and it was out of this world! I even misread the recipe and didn’t add the garlic into the marinade but it was still so delicious and tasty. My hubby is still talking about how good dinner was this morning! 🙂


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chicken breasts in a pan with cream sauce and tomatoes in a small white dish

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