Easy homemade soy-free teriyaki sauce made with coconut aminos and sweetened with honey. Skip the store bought teriyaki sauce which can be high in sugar and contain wheat and/or soy and give this one a try instead!
Homemade sauces are so much better than store bough, wouldn't you agree!? This easy homemade soy-free teriyaki sauce is ready in less than 10 minutes. Store bought teriyaki sauce can contain sugar, gluten (an issue if you are gluten-sensitive), soy, or added flavors or preservatives.
This teriyaki sauce is made using coconut aminos (a healthier alternative to soy sauce) and is refined sugar free (I use honey to sweeten it), making it Paleo approved too!
Looking for more soy-free recipes? Try my chicken fried rice & air fryer teriyaki chicken.
A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below. Here are some specific call-outs and substitutions.
COCONUT AMINOS - Coconut aminos is a common substitute for soy sauce. It has a nice, deep, sweet flavor; a little savory, but not as salty as soy sauce. And don’t worry, it tastes nothing like coconut. In addition, it is typically organic/non-GMO, low-sodium, and gluten-free.
We love Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos - it can be found at Target, Whole Foods (and most other grocery stores) by the soy sauce, and on pretty much any online grocer.
What about tamari and liquid aminos? Both of these are made from soy, so there is no substitute for the coconut aminos if you are looking for a soy-free teriyaki sauce.
TAPIOCA STARCH - This is used to thicken the teriyaki sauce. You can use arrowroot starch or corn starch in its place. If wanting to keep this Paleo, use arrowroot or tapioca starch as corn starch is a grain and not Paleo approved.
GARLIC & GINGER – The recipe calls for fresh ginger and garlic, which I highly recommend as it adds so much depth and flavor. But garlic powder and ground ginger can be used in a pinch. See the recipe below for specific amounts.
HONEY – Completely optional to add in some sweetness to this homemade teriyaki sauce. You can omit it all together for a sugar-free teriyaki sauce, or sub maple syrup or coconut palm sugar to keep it vegan. All options keep this refined sugar free/Paleo approved.
How To Make
1. Add coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and honey to a sauce pan. Whisk ingredients over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.
2. In a separate small bowl, add tapioca (or arrowroot starch) and water. Mix until combined. This creates a "slurry" which is needed for thickening the sauce. Pour slurry into sauce pan and continue to whisk sauce over low heat, or until desired thickness is reached. Ideally you want the sauce to coat a spoon when dipped.
Remove from heat and use immediately or allow to cool and store in the fridge for later.
What to Use Homemade Teriyaki Sauce For
Sauté some stir fry veggies (peppers, carrots, broccoli) and cook up some brown rice for an easy stir fry. Mix sauce in with cooked veggies and put over cooked brown rice (brown rice is a whole grain compared to refined white rice, so I recommend brown rice to keep it as a whole food).
Brush it on some chicken or kabobs before and during grilling (would be great on shrimp too).
Use it as a marinade on chicken or shrimp prior to cooking. If using as a marinade, no need to thicken the sacue with the slurry.
Use as a glaze for grilled or baked salmon.
How to Store
This teriyaki sauce should be stored in the fridge and will last up to one week (I typically store mine in a mason jar). Note that it will thicken when cooled, but will thin back out once heated.
It also freezes well and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight.
Yes, the main ingredient in traditional teriyaki sauce is soy sauce.
No, it typically is not. Soy sauce contains wheat, and since most teriyaki sauces are made from soy sauce, they end up containing gluten. Since my recipe is made using coconut aminos, it is gluten free.
It has a nice, deep, sweet flavor; similar to soy sauce, but sweeter and not as salty. And don't worry, it tastes nothing like coconut!
You can find coconut aminos in most grocery stores near the regular soy sauce, and pretty much at most online grocers.
Love a good homemade sauce? Try These!
If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think! I would so appreciate you leaving a star rating and/or comment below. And don't forget to share a photo on Instagram or Facebook and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Eat Clean.Be Healthy!
Soy-free Teriyaki Sauce (w/ coconut aminos)
- 1 small saucepan
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp. honey (optional)
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger (or ¼ tsp. ground ginger)
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced (or ½ tsp. garlic powder)
Ingredients for the Slurry
- 2 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. arrowroot or tapioca starch (corn starch works too)
- Add ½ cup water, coconut aminos, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a small sauce pan. Whisk ingredients until combined.
- Simmer on med-low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is simmering, create the slurry. In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp. water and arrowroot (or tapioca) starch. Add this to the sauce pan after you have allowed the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Continue to whisk until desired consistency is reached. I like the sauce to be able to fully coat a spoon when dipped.
- Remove from heat and use as desired.
- If vegan, you can sub pure maple syrup or coconut sugar for the honey. Or omit all together for sugar free.
- I use arrowroot or tapioca starch for the slurry, but corn starch can be used too. If wanting Paleo, use either tapioca starch or arrowroot starch.
- Recipe makes about 1 cup teriyaki sauce. Nutrition information is based on total recipe.
- Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How long does it keep in the frig. Can you freeze it and defrost as needed.
Hi Margaret - great questions! It will keep in the fridge for up to a week (stored in an airtight container). Note that the sauce will really thicken when it's stored in the fridge, but once heated it will thin out again. I honestly have never stored in the freezer, but I don't see why it couldn't be store in the freezer for up to a couple months. After a quick Google search 🙂 it looks as though it's perfectly safe to freeze as well. Also, I'm updating the post to reflect this information. Thanks for the questions and let me know what you think if you make it!
I see that the service size is a cup. Is this accurate? Apologies, keep track of my macros! Thanks!!
Hi David - No apologies needed. It's a great question. The nutritional information is calculated off of the entire recipe. The recipe as written makes roughly 1 cup of teriyaki sauce. So pending how much you use, you'd just have to divide that by the total recipe (1 cup). Hope that makes sense. Thanks!
I was just recently diagnosed with an allergic condition and I have to eliminate so many foods from my diet to figure out what the allergen is. Dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, wheat, shellfish. It's pretty miserable. I just wanted to make some ground beef and rice stir fry but teriyaki sauce has wheat and soy in it. I made this recipe and it was PERFECT! Thank you so much! Now I don't feel quite so hopeless!
Thanks so much for sharing, Elizabeth! I'm so glad you liked it! And good luck to you as you figure out your allergies... I know first hand how hard that can be!
Made it this week. Thought I had fresh ginger but didn’t, so I used ground ginger. What a fantastic recipe, even subbing the fresh ginger for ground. I’ve never used coconut aminos before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this sauce is perfect and wonderfully delicious teriyaki sauce. Also— it is 100% kid-approved. (I did add in a few shakes of red pepper flakes for some heat).
Question: Can this be made as a large batch to be individually canned and stored in the pantry for use months later? I think it will can beautifully but just wanted your opinion.
So glad you enjoyed this, Amanda! Love the addition of red pepper flakes. I'm not a spice gal, but my husband usually will add some when I make this! I have never canned this before, so I'm sorry, I can't say how it would hold up if you canned it. However, I do know that it works well to freeze and will last up to 3 months if frozen. Sorry I can't be more help on the canning piece.
Have you used xanthum gum as a thickener before? One benefit is that you do not need to heat it for it to work. I have a catering business and want to use a soy and gluten free sauce for an Asia chicken wrap I make. That s sauce sounds amazing. I wanted to make it even easier to make by using xanthum gum.
Interesting question! I have not tried using xanthan gum as the thickener before, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. You could definitely use that in place of arrowroot/tapioca. If you do, please let me know how it turns out!
I was recently diagnosed with soy intolerance, and I tried this recipe on chicken. It was delicious. Thanks for making me not as sad about having to give up soy!