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Easy 5-Ingredient Sweet Chicken {Gluten-free}

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Gluten-free Sweet Chicken is such an easy gluten-free dinner to make, with only 5 ingredients! If you’re looking for a go-to easy gluten-free chicken recipe, this is it! My husband loves leftovers of this for work lunches.

Gluten-free Sweet Chicken on a plate with rice

We love gluten-free chicken dinner recipes around here, and this gluten-free sweet chicken is definitely on my list of favorite weeknight meals.  The chicken stays moist and the honey-sweetened sauce tastes great over the chicken and rice.  While it bakes in the oven you have just enough time to get your table set and a side of veggies or salad ready and bake some gluten-free buttermilk biscuits or gluten-free cornbread

I always serve this over rice – usually my baked brown rice recipe, but I used white rice this time. It’s definitely more visually appealing! I also usually serve this with a side of green beans but want to try this baked butternut squash recipe soon. 

The original recipe for sweet chicken came from a friend and called for adding some sesame seeds and using this sauce over chicken wings as a party food. 

I decided to use chicken tenders or chicken breasts to make this an easy main dish for a healthy and hearty dinner served over brown rice or Basmati rice. I’ve been making it this way for 15 years now, so this is definitely a tried and true favorite!

One thing I love is that you can serve it as whole breasts, tenders, or you can cut the chicken up after baking into bite-sized pieces and spoon additional sauce from the pan over the pieces. So good!

5-Ingredient Gluten-free Sweet Chicken

Doesn’t that look so good dished up and ready to dig in? For those that like green onions, you can sprinkle some chopped green onions on top when serving.

Another idea would be to sprinkle sesame seeds on top if you’d like.

Ingredients for gluten-free Sweet Chicken recipe

Notes on Ingredients for this gluten-free sweet chicken: (With only 5 ingredients, there isn’t much to say!)

  • Chicken: I prefer using boneless, skinless chicken tenders most of the time, but used to always use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also use chicken thighs.
  • Soy sauce: Make sure you use a wheat-free soy sauce in this recipe. I always use San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce which is certified gluten-free and readily available at my local supermarkets. You can also buy online at Amazon: regular and organic gluten-free soy sauce. You will not notice any difference in taste! 
  • Ketchup: I personally haven’t found a single ketchup brand in the US that has wheat in it. However, some are manufactured in shared facilities and you may want to inquire regarding their manufacturing process. I found this helpful post about gluten-free ketchup. I personally always use Heinz.
  • Garlic: I recommend fresh minced garlic, but you can also use minced garlic you buy in a jar.

This is such an easy dinner to prepare since there are only 5 ingredients! I’ve got some shortcut tips to make it easy to clean-up too!

Line the 9×13 pan with aluminum foil prior to adding the chicken and sauce.  This way, when you are done with dinner and scoop out the leftovers, clean-up is as easy as throwing away the foil! Otherwise, you’ll be scrubbing this sticky sweet sauce off of your pan for a while!

Make your sauce in a 4-cup measuring cup if you have one. This way you can measure the ingredients as you add them instead of dirtying a bunch of measuring cups, and also you can just whisk right in this size measuring cup just fine. I have this Pyrex glass 4-cup measuring cup.

Pan of gluten-free Sweet Chicken

If you need to take a meal to someone that just had a baby – this is a great one! It is mild, not spicy at all, and I haven’t met someone yet that hasn’t liked the flavor!

Several times now, I’ve made a pan of this and a pan of my gluten-free cornbread, and threw together a fruit salad to deliver to a new mom.

This is also a fabulous meal to make ahead and freeze (after cooking) into lunch-sized portions to take for work/school lunches.  I’ve done this many times for my hubby and he appreciates just pulling one lunch container out of the freezer in the morning and then microwaving at work at lunchtime.

Gluten-free Sweet Chicken over rice

Looking for more chicken recipes? I make this gluten-free shredded chicken for tacos all the time. For busy weeknights, this gluten-free chicken tortilla soup is a hit. I look forward to trying this gluten-free cream of chicken soup as it looks like it would work well in so many casserole recipes!

I also have a whole round-up of easy gluten-free meals that you can check out!

Hopefully this will gluten-free chicken will be a big hit with your family too!

Easy Gluten-free Sweet Chicken served over rice

If you make this chicken dish and enjoy it, please come back and give this recipe a 5 star rating in the recipe card! Feel free to comment with tips or to share any successful substitutions you made.

Gluten-free Sweet Chicken Recipe:

Yield: 9 servings

Gluten-free Sweet Chicken

Easy Gluten-free Sweet Chicken served over rice

This sweet chicken is an easy gluten-free chicken dinner that's easy to prepare and easy to clean up. I serve over baked brown rice, with a side of green beans and fresh baked gluten-free biscuits or cornbread.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 3 lbs. chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ketchup*
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Line 9x13 baking pan (I use glass) with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.

Lay thawed chicken breasts or chicken tenders in pan.

In a 4-cup measuring cup or a medium sized bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Pour over chicken in pan.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes (breasts) or 25-30 minutes (tenders). Cooking time will vary depending on size of chicken pieces, so make sure you keep checking on it.

Serve with rice.


While I've never come across a ketchup that contains gluten here in the US, please always double-check. See blog post for more information.


Pin this to your gluten-free dinners board:

Easy Gluten-free Sweet Chicken Recipe

Originally posted January 7, 2013 with a really bad photo! 😉 It was one of the first recipes on this blog! Updated May 2019 with better photos. Old photo:

Gluten-free Sweet Chicken recipe.

I hope you and your family enjoy this easy gluten-free chicken dinner recipe as much as mine does!

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Monday 23rd of October 2023

This is now a staple in my home. Do you cover it in the oven or uncover

Michelle Palin ~ My Gluten-free Kitchen

Friday 3rd of November 2023

I'm glad this is a staple for you! I bake it uncovered!

Shirley Pack

Thursday 28th of September 2023

Do you cover the chicken when your baking it?


Saturday 12th of February 2022

Thanks for this recipe . Making it tonight with boneless thighs.


Friday 18th of June 2021

Eager to try this recipe. Thank you for posting it. I am wondering if pineapple and/or zucchini would be a decent addition to this dish with rice, or would it “clash” with the flavors at all? Maybe add the pineapple just after cooking so it doesn’t water down the sauce too much? Would love your advice.

Mimi Willoughby

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

My kids loved this recipe and it was so easy to prep and cook! Kudos!

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