Sticky, sweet and savory crispy-baked Honey Ginger Garlic Chicken over crunchy strands of carrot noodles are a match made in healthy, fake-out take-out heaven! Easy to prepare and even easier to devour, your family will love this carrot and chicken recipe!
Looking for a delicious, healthier alternative to takeout that’s both quick and easy to make? Look no further than my take-out fake-out recipe for Honey Garlic Carrot Noodles and Chicken! This dish features tender, juicy chicken breast and a sticky, savory-sweet honey garlic sauce that’s downright drinkable. When paired with flavorful carrot noodles that are not only nutritious but also provide a delicious, satisfying crunch, you’ve got yourself a real winner, winner chicken dinner.
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About this carrot and chicken recipe
These ginger garlic honey chicken bowls are bomb, my friends. They were inspired by my favorite Asian ginger-carrot dressing, which I could seriously guzzle by the gallon. No joke. TBH, I am always looking for ways to turn that dressing into a meal. Remember my ginger carrot hummus? No? Go check it out now. I’ll wait… 🤸🏼♀️
So, I took the components of that dressing and turned it into these honey garlic chicken noodles bowls. Obviously, I added a lot of creativity. And chicken. Because that’s just how I roll. #ProteinPower
The sauce in these carr-oodle bowls (I just came up with that. Whaddya think? Canoodle is already taken, so maybe coodle is better?) is sticky, sweet, savory, garlicky, gingery and seriously scrumptious.
The bite sized pieces of chicken are crispy, while the inside remains tender and juicy without deep frying. This is thanks to a dredge in cornstarch and quick flash in the pan before being baked.
But you can’t have my lightened up honey garlic chicken and noodles bowl without the carrot noodles. They are slightly crunchy and when tossed with the honey ginger garlic sauce they are veg-tastically delicious.
If you love take out, but don’t love all the calories that come with it, I highly recommend you try these garlic honey ginger chicken noodles. I promise you will love them!
Why you’ll love this chicken carrot recipe
TL;DR? Aside from being fantastically delicious, this chicken and carrot recipe is ALSO:
- Wholesome & Nutritious. Using baked (not fried) lean chicken breast (instead of chicken thighs), and noodles made from carrots (instead of carb-laden wheat noodles) means these garlic chicken noodles are perfect for all my diet-conscious friends out there. Whether you’re looking for a recipe to keep you looking fit for swimsuit season or are simply looking to make health a priority, this recipe is for you.
- Quick & Easy. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s a cinch to make. Simply spiralize your carrots, cook the chicken, and whip up the sauce in a matter of minutes. In no time, you’ll have a delicious meal that’s both satisfying and good for you. Dinner will be ready in just 40 minutes!
- Crowd-Pleasingly Customizable. It’s sweet enough for kiddos to go gaga for, but has the savory, slightly spicy, umami-salty goodness the adults are looking for. Oh, and if you don’t have any littles? Feel free to up the heat ante by adding extra fiery red pepper flakes and a hefty drizzle of sriracha.
- Budget-Friendly. If you’re trying to tighten your spending belt, there’s no better way than to cut dining out. Eating at a restaurant costs an average of 5x as much as eating home-cooked meals. So why settle for expensive, calorie-laden takeout when you can enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of my honey ginger garlic chicken with crispy carrot noodles for a fraction of the cost at home?
What are carrot noodles?
If you like zucchini noodles, I can guarantee you are going to like carrot zoodles (a.k.a. carrot noodles). They’re simply spiralized carrot strands, making for a crunchy, veg-tastic, gluten-free, low-calorie noodle bonanza!
Ingredients for chicken and carrot recipe
Chances are, you probably already have most of what you need on hand to make this chicken and carrots with ginger and garlic yumminess. Here’s what to grab:
For the garlic chicken
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – The Boy and I typically prefer white meat chicken, so B.S. breasts are the way to go.
- Substitution: Feel free to swap in boneless, skinless chicken thighs if dark meat is more your vibe.
- Cornstarch – For getting a gorgeously crispy, golden brown exterior on your chicken without needing to bread or deep-fry it.
- Substitutions: If corn is a no-no in your kitchen, consider swapping in all-purpose flour, potato starch, rice flour, arrowroot flour, or chickpea flour instead.
- Vegetable Oil – The trick here is to opt for a neutral-flavored, high smoke point oil. I feel like most people have vegetable oil in their pantries, so that’s what I went with.
- Substitutions: Canola oil, avocado oil, corn oil, peanut oil, or grapeseed oil are all fine stand-ins.
To make the carrot noodles
- Carrots – If you want to get long, linguini-like strands, make sure to opt for full-sized carrots instead of their baby brethren. Feel free to use yellow, purple, or orange carrots (or a mix of all 3!).
- Substitutions: You can also use zucchini to make zoodles, or swap in parsnips or the spiralized veggies of your choice. Alternatively, feel free to use real, bona-fide noodles like ramen, udon, or rice noodles, or even plain steamed rice. It’s your dinner, so do what tastes best to you!
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – To counteract all that honey sweet with a kick of heat. Dial the spiciness up or down by adding more or less to taste.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in the spicy-maker of your choice like cayenne pepper or sambal oelek.
For the sauce
- Garlic – I love the bite of fresh garlic here, but I won’t tattle if you use jarred minced garlic or frozen garlic paste instead. You can also swap in about 2 teaspoons of milder garlic powder in a pinch.
- Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce – For umami saltiness. If you don’t have reduced sodium soy sauce on hand, simply dilute regular soy with a 1:1 ratio of water.
- Substitutions: Go gluten-free by using tamari or coconut aminos instead. You can also go soy-free using coconut aminos or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (not GF).
- Sake – For adding a touch of sweet complexity to the honey ginger garlic sauce.
- Substitutions: You can also use Mirin, another traditional Japanese rice wine that is slightly less boozy and sweeter than sake. Alternatively, feel free to use a dry white wine, sherry, or even tangy rice vinegar if you prefer. Note that you may need to adjust the sweetness level if using any of the final 3 options.
- Honey – Honey adds floral sweetness and irresistible stickiness to the dish. If possible, use local honey for a more pronounced and complex flavor.
- Substitutions: Can’t do honey? Maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup are all fine substitutes. You can also try using regular brown sugar (either light or dark).
- Ginger – For sweet heat. Add as much or as little as you prefer. If you don’t have fresh, the same amount of prepared ginger paste can be used. You can also swap in about ⅓ as much dried ground ginger instead.
- Scallions – For color and crunch. Use both the whites and greens for the best flavor and garnish. PRO TIP: thinly slice the whites perfectly horizontally, then angle the greens for pretty oblong cuts.
- Sesame Seeds – Optional, for garnish. I like using a mix of white and black sesame seeds for the most visual appeal. I also recommend giving them a quick toast in a dry pan to enhance their savory flavor.
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – For seasoning.
Optional variations and dietary adaptations
As much as we’re obsessed with this recipe for honey garlic chicken with noodles, I want YOU to be equally obsessed. Feel free to make any alterations to the recipe to make it work for you and your family. Here are a few variations worth considering:
- Extra Spicy – Add extra kick by using a heavy hand with the crushed red pepper flakes. You can also add extra ginger, toss in some minced jalapeños, and/or use sriracha or chili garlic paste as a garnish.
- Gluten-Free – Use tamari or coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.
- Soy-Free – Skip the soy sauce in favor of coconut aminos or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
- Corn-Free – Trade out the cornstarch in favor of regular AP flour, potato starch, rice flour, chickpea flour, or arrowroot powder.
- Vegan – Swap the chicken for your favorite meat-free alternative (e.g. pressed firm tofu or rehydrated soy curls) and use any honey alternative listed above.
How to make carrot chicken recipe
- Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. And prepare an 8×11-inch casserole dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
- Season Chicken: Add the chunks of raw chicken, cornstarch, salt, and pepper to a resealable bag or large mixing bowl. Seal the bag and shake, or stir to coat.
- Sear Chicken: Heat ¼ cup oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches to prevent overcrowding, add the pieces of chicken to the pan. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is golden all over. Transfer the chicken pieces to the prepared baking pan.
- Bake Chicken: Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray, place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- While the chicken is baking, sauté carrot noodles: Use a paper towel and remove the excess oil from the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Then add the carrot noodles and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then transfer the carrot noodles to a large mixing bowl. Set the carrots aside.
- Make the sauce: To the same pan, add the minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant, then add the remaining sauce ingredients to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer and cook the sauce until thick. Pour ⅓ of the sauce over the carrot noodles and toss to coat.
- When chicken is done cooking add it to the sauté pan with the remaining sauce and toss to coat.
- Serve: Divide carrot noodles among serving bowls and spoon honey garlic chicken over the top. Enjoy!
Expert tips for the best carrot noodles with honey garlic chicken
- Consider tenderizing your chicken with a brief 15-minute spell in a simple brine (water with sugar and salt dissolved into it) and/or pounding it with a meat mallet.
- To make the chicken easier to cut into cubes, freeze it for about 15-20 minutes first. When it’s extra cold, it’s easier to make neat slices.
- No spiralizer? No problem! You can use a vegetable peeler, julienne peeler, or julienne attachment on your mandoline to make this spiralized carrots recipe.
- Not feeling saucy? Right on. If you don’t like a lot of sauce for the noodles, ½ the sauce recipe.
- If you’re cooking the chicken in batches, you may need to add more oil to the pan as you go.
FAQs: frequently asked questions
Can I substitute the chicken with tofu or another protein?
Yes, you can absolutely substitute the chicken with tofu (opt for firm or extra firm, and make sure you press it first) or another protein source, such as shrimp or beef. Simply cook the protein of your choice by dredging it in cornstarch and following the recipe as written.
How can I adjust the flavor of the sauce to my liking?
If you prefer your sauce to be sweeter, add more honey. Or if you prefer it to be more savory, you can add more soy sauce or salt (or get some inspo from your favorite takeout and use some MSG). If you like more heat, you can add more red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce.
Can you freeze carrot noodles?
Yes, you can freeze carrot noodles, but it’s important to note that you’ll need to do some prep work to prevent them from losing their texture and becoming mushy once thawed. Here’s how you *should* freeze them:
- Blanch the noodles: Before freezing the carrot noodles, blanch them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to partially cook them.
- Drain and dry: After blanching the noodles, drain them well and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel (or paper towels) to remove as much excess moisture as possible. This will prevent ice crystals from forming, which is the primary source of freezer burn.
- Pack and freeze: Once the noodles are dry, pack them into airtight containers or freezer bags, removing as much air as possible before sealing. I like to use a straw stuck in the corner of a ziptop bag with the top zipped all the way to the straw. Simply suck out all the air like a vacuum, then move quickly to slide the straw out and close the zipper! Label the containers with the date and freeze for to 2-3 months.
- Thaw and use: When you’re ready to use the carrot noodles, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. They can be used in stir-fries, soups, or salads, but keep in mind that their texture may be slightly softer than fresh carrot noodles.
While this chicken and carrot stir fry is perfectly delightful as a standalone meal, you’re welcome to zhuzh it up as you see fit. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:
- Top with sesame seeds and green onions to add some extra flavor and texture. Feel free to add a drizzle of sriracha or dollop of chili garlic crisp.
- Add more veggies. This honey ginger chicken with spiralized carrot noodles pairs well with steamed vegetables like broccoli or snow peas. If you like a particular veggie in your typical takeout order, chances are you’ll like it here too.
- For a pop of fresh flavor, top the dish with chopped cilantro, Thai basil, or fresh mint before serving.
- Add some crunch with chopped and salted roasted peanuts or cashews.
- If you want to bulk up your meal, try serving it with a side of grains like brown rice or quinoa.
Storing chicken and carrot recipes
- If you have any leftovers (which is hard to imagine, because this chicken and carrot noodle dinner is 🔥), cool them down to room temperature before refrigerating them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Store the chicken and carrot noodles separately to prevent the noodles from becoming too soft.
- Reheat the chicken and noodles separately in the microwave or on the stove until heated through (ensuring the chicken reaches 165F for proper food safety) before serving.
- If you have more leftovers than you can eat in 3 days, you can freeze the chicken and carrot noodles separately in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Alright, friends! Whether you carrot all about healthy eating or just love the sweet and savory flavors of Asian takeout, I hope you find this recipe as noodle-icious as we do. Remember, you are what you eat, so why not be a little sweet, a little spicy, and a whole lot of healthy? Don’t be chicken — get in-spiralized and try this recipe today!
More recipes for chicken and veggie dinners!
- Sheet Pan Thai Chicken
- Chicken with Moroccan Couscous
- Chinese Chicken Broccoli Rice
- Lemon Chicken Pasta with Peas
More carrot recipes!
How to make Honey Ginger Garlic Chicken Carrot Noodle Bowls recipe👇
Honey Ginger Garlic Chicken Carrot Noodle Bowls
- 1 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – cut into bite sized pieces (roughly 1- 1 ½’’ cubes)
- ½ tsp Salt , plus more to taste
- ¼ tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper , plus more to taste
- ½ Cup Cornstarch
- ¼ Cup + 1 TBS Vegetable Oil (can substitute Canola) - divided
- 5-6 large Carrots – peeled, ends trimmed & spiralized*
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes , to taste
- 8 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 6 TBS Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- ¼ Cup Sake
- ½ Cup Honey
- 3-4 tsp Fresh Ginger – grated (depending how strong of a ginger taste you want)
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ Cup Scallions – thinly sliced
- Sesame Seeds , to taste
- Prepare a 8x11’’ baking pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- For the Chicken: Place the chicken pieces, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Shake the bag until the chicken is well coated in cornstarch.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, in batches if necessary to not crowd the pan*, and sauté until lightly browned, turning to cook all sides, about 2-3 minutes. (chicken will be raw on the inside) Transfer to prepared baking pan and spray the top of chicken with cooking spray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile: Wipe pan of excess oil and reduce heat to medium high. Add 1 tablespoon clean oil to the pan. Add the carrot noodles and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sauce in thickened. Turn heat off under skillet.
- When chicken is done cooking add it to the sauté pan and toss to coat. (Alternatively, pour the sauce over chicken in the baking pan and toss to coat. Or, toss both noodles and chicken with sauce)
- Serve chicken over carrot noodles. Garnish with scallions, sesame seeds and additional red pepper flakes.
*If you don’t like a lot of sauce for the noodles, ½ the sauce recipe
*If cooking the chicken in batches, add more oil to pan as needed.