Our soy garlic chicken recipe is going to change your weeknight dinner plan! You’ll love how quickly and easily you can make this chicken and get it on the table for your family. With sherry wine, fresh garlic, and soy sauce, the flavors are out of this world, and it’s ready in about 20 minutes.

This is a pan-fry recipe that frees up your oven to roast veggies or bread while the chicken cooks.

Spooning soy garlic sauce over a piece of chicken.

​Don’t you love recipes that you don’t even have to think about? Something that’s so easy, like our prosciutto-wrapped chicken, helps you always have a plan and avoid the fast-food drive-through trap.

This soy garlic chicken with sherry fits that requirement perfectly, and I promise it will become one of your favorite chicken recipes.

We probably eat this chicken at least three times a month! It’s that good!

Easy soy garlic chicken recipe

Since the main ingredients are mostly pantry staples, this recipe for chicken in garlic sauce is going to make your whole family happy, especially the cook. It’s got just enough red pepper flakes to give it a touch of heat without being too spicy for little ones.

The dry sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic come together for a quick sauce that coats the juicy chicken.

We like using chicken breasts in this recipe, but you could also use boneless chicken thighs or any chicken pieces. You would just need to adjust the cooking time for best results.

Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure your chicken is done (the internal temperature should be 165°F).

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Soy garlic chicken marinade

You can make this recipe even easier by doing a little meal prep. Just combine the sherry, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes to make a marinade.

Place the chicken in a bag with the marinade and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours until you’re ready to cook, then follow the recipe steps.

A white plate with a chicken in garlic sauce.

What to serve with soy garlic chicken

Our favorite way to serve this recipe is with jasmine rice and steamed or roasted broccoli or green beans. For dessert, you can never go wrong with this Hershey’s chocolate brownie recipe, or for something even quicker, try this Banana Split Dessert.

Ingredients for garlic soy sauce chicken

See the printable recipe card below for full amounts of ingredients.

Ingredients for soy garlic chicken.

Olive oil – this helps get a good sear on the chicken.

Chicken breasts or cutlets – you can use thighs, but we don’t recommend chicken leg quarters for this recipe.

Sesame oil – great Asian flavor.

Fresh garlic – don’t skimp here. This is not a recipe for garlic powder!

Dry sherry – this is NOT the same as sherry vinegar! Dry sherry is sold in the wine section.

Sugar – you can use white sugar or brown sugar. We typically use white sugar in this recipe.

Low-sodium soy sauce – we like La Choy.

Red wine vinegar – just enough to add some tang but not an overpowering vinegar flavor.

Crushed red pepper flakes – just a smidge for flavor, not heat

Salt and pepper – omit the salt if you use regular soy sauce.

Green onions – optional garnish

Sesame seeds – optional garnish

Variations for the garlic soy sauce chicken

  • Use gluten-free soy sauce to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • ​Substitute honey for the sugar to make a honey garlic sauce.
  • If you want a spicy version of this recipe, add more red pepper flakes or some Sriracha sauce.

How to make soy garlic chicken

The best part about this recipe is how quick and easy it is! Just grab your favorite skillet (I use either my cast iron skillet or a large stainless skillet), and you’ll make the whole recipe right in the pan!

Step One. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat for about one minute, then add the olive oil.

Step Two. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown.

Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and place it on a plate while you make the savory sauce.

Cooked chicken in a cast iron skillet.

Step Three. Add sesame oil to the skillet and heat for a few seconds. Then add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add sherry, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper to the skillet and scrape the pan to loosen the browned bits–this is your umami!

Bring sticky soy garlic sauce to a boil and cook for one minute.

A cast iron skillet with garlic sauce.

Step Four. Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with any collected juices, and turn it a couple of times to coat well with the sauce.

Chicken breasts cooking in a skillet.

Step Five. Spoon sauce on top of chicken to serve, and sprinkle green onions and sesame seeds on top for garnish.

​Tips for the best chicken in garlic sauce

Use smaller pieces of chicken so they cook quickly. Take a regular chicken breast and cut it in half to make thinner chicken cutlets. Do the same if using thighs.

Throw in some strips of bell pepper if you want to add some vegetables to the pan.

Double the sauce ingredients and mix it with your rice.

If you want the sauce to be thicker, you can stir in a cornstarch slurry.

Can you freeze the chicken in garlic sauce?

Absolutely! The best way is to place the cooked chicken and the sauce in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.

FAQs for sherry chicken

How do you store the leftovers?

Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and keep 2-3 days.

​Can you make this recipe in an air fryer?

We don’t recommend an air fryer for this recipe. It’s a fast and simple recipe that works best in the skillet.

Can I use regular soy sauce?

Of course. Just omit the added salt from the recipe due to the saltiness of the soy sauce.

Check out our Chicken Recipe Collection!

Slices of soy garlic chicken on a board.

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5 from 10 votes

Soy Garlic Chicken

Soy Garlic Chicken is a quick and easy nutritious meal that your family will love. Sherry and soy sauce add a sweet tang to this chicken dish, which makes it great to serve with rice.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Save This Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I use 2 large and cut them half)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, optional


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for about one minute then add olive oil.
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan to a plate to rest.
  • Add sesame oil to skillet and heat for a few seconds. Then add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add sherry, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper to skillet; scrape pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. 
  • Add chicken back to skillet, along with any collected juices, and turn a couple of times to coat well with sauce.
  • Spoon sauce on top of chicken to serve and sprinkle green onions on top (if using green onions).


Serving: 4Servings, Calories: 271kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 25g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 783mg, Sugar: 3g
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: American
Calories: 271
Keyword: chicken in garlic sauce
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published September 23, 2010, and on February 20, 2024, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Looking for more quick and easy meals? Try these 15-minute meals or this 15-Minute Mozzarella Chicken.

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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5 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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