Low-Carb Chinese Five Spice Chicken

Chicken with five spice powder

mccun934 / Getty Images

Total Time: 55 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Servings: 6 (1 thigh each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

232 calories
18g fat
2g carbs
16g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (1 thigh each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 232
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 1082mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 16g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 239mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This low-carb Chinese five spice chicken recipe is a favorite to grill but it can also be baked. And yes, it's incredibly low in carbohydrates.

Chinese five spice is a flavorful spice blend you can get in the supermarket. This combination of spices has been shown to have antioxidant properties that may help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Take note, the chicken must marinate for at least 1 hour (though preferably overnight), so plan accordingly. 


  • 6 medium chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry


  1. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, five spice powder, ginger, and sherry.

  2. Place the chicken in a large plastic or ceramic container with a lid, and pour the marinade over all the pieces, turning until all the pieces are coated evenly.

  3. Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably several hours (up to overnight).

  4. Once marinaded, bake chicken in a 375F oven (basting once or twice) for about 45 minutes or until done.

Variations and Substitutions

For a leaner recipe, opt for boneless and skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Note that this will change the fat count of the recipe and you may need to adjust the cooking time.

If you prefer, you can also use two fresh cloves of garlic (pressed or minced) in place of the garlic powder.

While this recipe calls for baking the chicken, it's also delicious when grilled.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • A favorite side dish for this chicken is an Asian broccoli stir fry.
  • Save any leftover chicken in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bi X, Soong YY, Lim SW, Henry CJ. Evaluation of antioxidant capacity of Chinese five-spice ingredients. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015;66(3):289-292. doi:10.3109/09637486.2015.1007452

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.