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Simple Asian Chicken & Broccoli Slow Carb Dinner

Simple Asian Chicken & Broccoli Slow Carb Dinner
Home » Low Carb Lifestyle » Low carb dinner ideas » Slow carb chicken dinner

Chicken is a standard, inexpensive protein for many diets, but it is often bland. These slow carb Asian chicken thighs, marinated in a robust sauce pairs nicely with roasted broccoli for a perfect, easy low carb dinner.

Sticky Asian chicken thighs with roasted broccoli
Sticky Asian chicken thighs with roasted broccoli

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Slow Carb Diets do not need to be Boring

While there are many, many diets out there that “work”, in terms of losing weight, there are not that many that work over the long term as a viable lifestyle change.  The key is to choose the healthiest diet that you can find that will fit your individual lifestyle long term.  “Know thyself” is the key.

When I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight, I did a deep dive into the diet literature. I had that “aha moment” when I started reading Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Body (aka Slow Carb Diet), as it resonated with me as a diet I could sustain over the long term.

A few of the key elements of the slow carb diet that appealed to me included:

  • An emphasis on protein and veggies. I love meat, fish, eggs and veggies, so that was a good start.
  • The one glass of red wine a day was important to me. That’s my one treat at the end of a busy day.
  • The idea of scheduling any treats or celebration food by practicing delayed gratification made sense for a long term lifestyle change that I could live with.

The point is, this diet was a fit for me.  Paleo may be yours, but I would just encourage you to be realistic about who you are and how you intend to live the next 10-20 or so years.

I did have two problems with the Slow Carb Diet:

1) The weight comes off slowly.  My husband was on Atkins and he shed pounds like a banchee, but mine was a slow 1 lb. (or 1/2 lb.) a week.  HOWEVER, it did come off and it stayed off for over 6 year now and I don’t see it coming back.

2) If you don’t cook, or if you aren’t interested in cooking creatively, it can get pretty boring.  There aren’t a lot of slow carb snacks or grab & go foods, so you pretty much need to do some cooking.  Eating the same thing over and over can work for many people at breakfast and lunch, but I found you really have to change up your dinners or you will die of boredom.

Most recipes on this website are either designed to be slow carb or can be readily adapted to slow carb (i.e., Thai food without the rice, avocado-smothered burgers without the buns, etc.). 

This slow carb Asian chicken and broccoli dinner is quite simple and doesn’t include hard-to-find ingredients:

Ingredients for sticky Asian chicken thighs and broccoli
Ingredients: vinegar, soy sauce, honey, chile paste, garlic, lemon, broccoli and chicken thighs

Slow Carb Asian Chicken and Broccoli

Sticky Asian chicken thighs with roasted broccoli
Robust Asian flavors shine in this low carb chicken and broccoli meal. It is simple and uses readily availabe ingredients
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 706


For the Chicken

  • cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup Soy sauce I use low sodium soy sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon chile paste I used sambal oelek
  • 10 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 3 Teaspoon oil refined olive oil is good
  • 10 bone-in chicken thighs leave skin on
  • ½ Teaspoon salt

For the Roasted Broccoli

  • 4 Cups frozen Broccoli florets Use about 2 heads if using fresh
  • cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp divided
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • freshly shaved parmesan cheese optional
  • fresh herbs of your choice optional



  • Preheat the oven to 425° F. **Note: If you are using frozen broccoli, thaw it first and then dry it with paper towels.  You want it to get crispy and brown.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, chile paste, and garlic.
    1/3 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup Soy sauce, 2-3 Tablespoon honey, 1 1/2 Tablespoon chile paste, 10 garlic cloves
  • Over medium-high heat, quickly saute sesame seeds in a large skillet with a little oil until seeds have browned (1-2 min).  This is optional but it does add to the flavor.
    Stir sesame seeds into vinegar mixture.
    3 Teaspoon sesame seeds, 3 Teaspoon oil
  • Pour vinegar & oil mixture into a large zip-lock bag and add the chicken to the bag.  Mush the bag around until all chicken pieces are covered.  Seal bag and marinate chicken in refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.
    10 bone-in chicken thighs
  • Preheat the oven to 425°.  Remove chicken from the bag with tongs and pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan.  Bring the marinade to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until it is a little syrupy (about 1 min boil). 
    Place the chicken on a rack atop a roasting pan and baste chicken pieces with 1/3 of the marinade.  Sprinkle with salt.
    1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • Bake for 10 minutes and then pull out oven rack and baste chicken with more marinade. Use any marinade in bottom of roasting pan as a baste also. 
    At this point place the broccoli on a sheet pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven on a different rack from the chicken.
    4 Cups frozen Broccoli florets, 1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp, 1 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Bake chicken (and broccoli) an additional 10 minutes.  Baste chicken with remaining marinade and bake another 10 – 15 minutes.  Test chicken for doneness by poking with a fork and seeing that the juice is clear with no blood. 
    Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  • As the chicken is resting, take the broccoli out of the oven and zest a lemon over the florets.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the florets. Drizzle with more oil if they are too dry for you. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan if desired.
    1 lemon, freshly shaved parmesan cheese, fresh herbs of your choice


**Note:  If you are making the roasted broccoli as a side dish, put it in the lower part of the oven after the chicken has baked the first 10 minutes, the chicken should be on the upper rack and this will allow both the broccoli and chicken to be ready to serve at the same time (always nice when that happens).


Calories: 706kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 41gFat: 55gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 1780mgPotassium: 799mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 646IUVitamin C: 79mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 3mg
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Online Diet/Health Coaching:

Although I am not currently taking clients for diet & health coaching, I was a coach for many years with the online service called It is a great platform for all kinds of coaching – anything from specific diets, writing a blog, getting up early, or getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  

There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Contact me at [email protected] to get a referral to some of the tested, experienced online coaches on

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  1. Is pesto sauce on the diet?

  2. Ok good to know, thanks!

  3. Annie Riley says:

    Looking forward to trying this recipe and the Vietnamese Beef Pho, too. We have loved all of them. Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Linda says:

    I didn’t think honey was permitted on the slow carb diet. Is it ok to use it in a marinade like in this recipe?

    • Hi Linda, To be 100% compliant with slow carb you are correct in that honey is not allowed until cheat day. Here’s my take on it from a personal level. I lost my original 30 pounds through a very strict slow carb regime 8 years ago. Since that time I have done keto religiously and then moderate low carb. I have never gained back the weight. My feeling is that the type of food you eat on all 3 of these diets is important, but the calories and the ability to maintain the lifestyle is almost as important. I have found through coaching that understanding nutrition and applying it to your body chemistry in a way that establishes long term habits is the most effective weight loss/maintenance regime. I therefore note that Ferriss often says to test things on your own body. 2 Tbsp of honey will not hurt your cause as much as hating the food you eat and quitting. Long answer to a complicated question. The best thing to do is track your food on something like myfitnesspal and see where you fall in terms of calories and carbs. This will allow you to really understand the variables that make a difference on your body.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Dorothy, We ended up making your recipe without the honey and it was still DELICIOUS! It’s become a staple for our dinners.

  6. Chris says:

    This looks great. I have tried the Slow Carb Diet a couple of times, and one of the reasons the weight probably came off slow for you is that you are including prohibited items. For instance, this recipe contains honey and parmesan, but on the official diet, and no sugar or dairy is allowed.

    In my opinion, the most important thing is that you can stick with the eating style the rest of your life, so slow loss, if it leads to permanent loss, is best. However, the slow carb diet causes rapid weight loss if you stick to the plan strictly (which admittedly was difficult for me.) I will try more of your recipes!

    • I agree with you on the honey. Parmesan would be considered allowable however as a hard cheese. Also, I didn’t think it came off slow for me. What I was referring to is that it came off “slower” for me than my husband. After coaching for a while I discovered this was pretty typical between men and women. Lots of variables however (and he ate exactly what I did btw).

      I went from 180 to 145 in 6 weeks and have stayed there for years. To me that was actually pretty fast!

      Please note that Ferriss has changed on a few things since the book came out a ways back. He is a proponent now of intermittent fasting. Dairy is a bit nuanced and if you read his blog and updates, you can do a deep dive for your own body.

  7. Ela says:

    I was losing 4lbs a week on this diet once I started, and then it slowed down to 2.5lbs a week. The doctor who recommended the slow carb diet to me said that the original diet allowed wine, but he wouldn’t recommend that, also no dairy whatsoever, no lemon, honey etc. I was eating proteins and vegetables (not starchy). No more than a half of avocado a day, and no more than a half a cup of nuts a day. After a months on the diet he gave a green light to sweet potatoes, which I very much enjoyed.

    • Dorothy says:

      It sounds like you are doing great on this lifestyle! Remember that Ferriss tells you all through his book to experiment with your own body. Dairy doesn’t work for some people at all, and for some people non-lactose dairy works fine. Wine is also something that is highly individual. I did not give up wine and managed to lose my 30 pounds, which I have kept off now for 10 years. Nice that you have a doctor that can help in such an individual way!

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