Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken – Stovetop & Air Fryer Method

Forget takeout and enjoy this delicious paleo & Whole30 sesame chicken at home with all the healthy ingredients. You can make it on the stovetop or the air fryer!

Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken

You all know I love me a really easy and quick recipe that’s healthy and perfect for weeknights. My work days are usually jam packed and spending a long time in the kitchen to make dinner is the last thing I want to to do at the end of the day.

Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken Recipe

This paleo and Whole30 sesame chicken is one of those perfect recipes for those busy days that takes just 30 minutes to make and it tastes so much better than takeout! Chicken pieces are coated in tapioca starch and fried in either the air fryer or the stovetop to make them crispy and delicious.

These chicken pieces are then tossed in a delicious salty, sweet sauce that’s been reduced and thickened to cover the chicken in a sticky and shiny coat. It’s just perfection in a bite!

Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken
Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken

Making It Whole30-Friendly

If you’ve ever tried sesame chicken at a Chinese restaurant, the sauce is usually sweetened with honey, but to make this recipe Whole30-friendly, I substituted the honey with 2 medjool dates.

While this might not seem like a lot, the coconut aminos also brings out the sweet flavor, especially when it’s cooked down. You’ll be surprised by how much this Whole30 sesame chicken tastes so much like the real thing!

If you are not doing the Whole30, feel free to use about 2-3 tsp of honey instead! Either way, I think you’ll love this quick and easy recipe that’s so tasty with some cauliflower rice (or regular white rice) and your favorite veggies! I love serving this with some steamed broccoli and it’s just the perfect meal every time.

Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken
Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken

Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken – Stovetop & Air Fryer Method

Forget takeout and enjoy this delicious paleo & Whole30 sesame chicken at home with all the healthy ingredients. You can make it on the stovetop or the air fryer!
5 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 432kcal


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil for stovetop method
  • Toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish



  • Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a blender, and let it sit while you cook the chicken so the dates can soften.
  • Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with sea salt.
  • Sprinkle with tapioca starch and toss together until evenly coated.
  • STOVE TOP METHOD: Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chicken in a single layer (work in batches if necessary). Cook for 6-7 minutes while turning every few minutes, until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • AIR FRYER METHOD: Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees F. Add the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket (work in batches if necessary). Cook for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside.
  • Blend the soaked sauce ingredients until smooth. 
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and add the sauce.
  • Once the sauce starts bubbling, start stirring while simmering for about 3 minutes until reduced and thickened.
  • Add the chicken to the sauce and stir to coat.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with toasted sesame seed and chopped green onions.
  • Serve with cauliflower rice or your favorite side.
Nutrition Facts
Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken – Stovetop & Air Fryer Method
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 432 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 938mg 39%
Potassium 481mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 10g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 1.2%
Vitamin C 0.8%
Calcium 2.7%
Iron 7.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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16 thoughts on “Paleo & Whole30 Sesame Chicken – Stovetop & Air Fryer Method

  1. Renee

    Thank you for including the stovetop directions – we haven’t quite hopped on the air fryer train yet and I want to make these!

  2. Laura

    I made this for my family a couple of days ago. Everyone loved it, even my kids (who are tough critics)! The chicken turned out super tender and the sauce was to die for!

  3. Raia

    Oh my goodness, yum. Sesame chicken is one of my favorite Chinese take-outs from childhood. I haven’t had it in aaages. Can’t wait to try this version! It sounds so easy!

  4. Katie Beck

    This sounds awesome! I don’t have an air fryer, but stove top will work for me! My kids have really gotten into trying different Asian food, and we will be trying this for sure 🙂

  5. Anne

    I would not have thought to make something like this in an air-fryer, and love the idea. I love all of the healthy ingredients in this recipe!


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