Skip to Content

Firecracker Chicken

Skip the takeout for a night and enjoy this sweet, spicy, and tangy firecracker chicken from your own kitchen. This recipe does not require deep frying and is incredibly easy and delicious!

This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. A pair of chopsticks is to the right of the bowl.

What is firecracker chicken?

Firecracker chicken is a Chinese takeout staple! It's spicy, sweet, tangy, and most importantly - delicious! This dish is typically pieces of deep-fried chicken covered in a thick bright orange sauce. It's sort of like a slightly spicier version of orange chicken. It's found at many Chinese restaurants and even on the menu at Panda Express.

Firecracker chicken

This firecracker chicken is a homemade version of our favorite Chinese takeout dish! It's sweet, spicy, and pairs well with rice, quinoa, or lettuce wraps. Made with simple ingredients, this recipe is also nutritious! If you're still not sold, the best part about this chicken is that it is so easy to make! There's no deep frying involved - all you need is a slow cooker. This dish is similar to my healthy orange chicken but has an extra kick!

This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. There is a pair of chopsticks holding up a piece of chicken.

What ingredients do I need?

Like I mentioned, this recipe is easy! All you need to do is add chicken to the slow cooker, mix the sauce ingredients together, dump it over the chicken, and it’ll be ready in a few hours. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast – This recipe calls for 1.5 lbs of chicken breast (or about 3 large breasts). I’ve used raw and frozen chicken for this recipe and both work.
  • Corn starch – Before adding sauce to the recipe, you will coat the chicken breast pieces in some corn starch. Doing this will help thicken the sauce and coat the chicken.
  • Buffalo hot sauce - This will bring the tang and heat!
  • Honey - Adding in some honey will provide sweetness and a thicker consistency for the sauce.
  • Vegetable oil - To help thicken the sauce
  • Rice vinegar - This mild, slightly sweet ingredient is a staple in Asian dishes
  • Red pepper flakes - These are key for the extra spice!
  • Garlic powder - Adding some garlic will provide great flavor for the sauce.
  • Optional garnishes: chopped green onions, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes

What equipment do I need for this recipe?

The only equipment you need for this recipe is either a skillet or slow cooker.

This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. A pair of chopsticks is to the right of the bowl.

What is the process?

Here's how easy this recipe is:

  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.
  • Add ¼ cup corn starch to a bowl. Coat the chicken with the corn starch.
  • To make in a slow cooker:
    • Spray the slow cooker with a cooking oil.
    • Add the coated chicken cubes to the slow cooker.
    • Make the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
    • Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.
    • Cook on low for 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  • To make on a stove:
    • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Cover the skillet with cooking spray.
    • Cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internally.
    • Add half of the sauce mixture to the skillet and stir.
    • After 30 seconds, turn the heat to low so that the chicken and sauce can simmer together for about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    • Repeat with the other half of the chicken and sauce.
  • Stir and serve with green onions, sesame seeds, and additional red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

How should I eat this?

This firecracker chicken can be enjoyed in so many ways! Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate the chicken:

  • Wraps
  • Rice
  • Salads
  • Quinoa
  • Bowls
This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. There is a pair of chopsticks holding up a piece of chicken.

What is firecracker sauce made of?

The firecracker sauce is the most important part of this recipe! It's made of 6 ingredients to create a sweet, spicy, and tangy coating for the chicken.

  • buffalo hot sauce
  • honey
  • vegetable oil
  • rice vinegar
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic powder

What is the best way to season chicken?

Making a sauce or marinade is such an easy way to season chicken! This firecracker chicken recipe uses a simple sauce to flavor the chicken. Adding an easy sauce is such an easy way to spice up your protein!

What goes with spicy chicken?

My favorite pairings with spicy chicken are:

  • Roasted broccoli
  • Crispy brussel sprouts
  • Brown rice
  • Fried rice
  • Asparagus
This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. A pair of chopsticks is to the right of the bowl.

Looking for something similar?

If you love slow cooker recipes, try these recipes:

This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. A pair of chopsticks is to the right of the bowl.

Can I have the recipe?

If you try this recipe and love it, please rate it and me know your thoughts! I hope you enjoy this firecracker chicken as much as I do.

This is a bowl of firecracker chicken. There is a cream colored bowl with white rice and chunks of bright orange chicken on top. On the chicken is cut green onions and red pepper flakes. A pair of chopsticks is to the right of the bowl.
Print Recipe
5 from 33 votes

Firecracker Chicken

This firecracker chicken recipe is an easy, homemade dish that's incredibly delicious and more nutritious than takeout!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: firecracker chicken, slow cooker
Servings: 4
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ¼ cup corn starch

Sauce

  • ½ cup buffalo hot sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Optional Garnishes

  • green onions chopped
  • sesame seeds
  • red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Gather all ingredients.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.
  • Add ¼ cup corn starch to a bowl. Coat the chicken with the corn starch.
  • To make in a slow cooker:
    Spray the slow cooker with a cooking oil. Add the coated chicken cubes to the slow cooker.Make the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl.Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  • To make on a stove:
    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cover the skillet with cooking spray. Cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internally. Add half of the sauce mixture to the skillet and stir. After 30 seconds, turn the heat to low so that the chicken and sauce can simmer together for about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Repeat with the other half of the chicken and sauce.
  • Stir and serve with green onions, sesame seeds, and additional red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1001mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




Elaine

Wednesday 26th of July 2023

OMG! I made the Firecracker Chicken for tonight's dinner and my granddaughter said it was awesome. She is a picky pixie, so I was surprised. It was so easy to make, and the corn starch idea was a plus for the chicken. I used a skillet although I have a slow cooker. I also added carrots and celery with the broccoli. Tomorrow is pizza. Your recipes are easy, healthy and food that I enjoy. thank you.

Jordan Smith

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

Hi Elaine, I'm so happy to hear you and your granddaughter enjoyed this recipe together! The sauce is magical haha. I hope you enjoy more recipes as well!

Christina

Saturday 19th of November 2022

So much better for you than the restaurant version. Easy to make and versatile to have over rice or veggies, etc.

Keisa

Saturday 19th of November 2022

AMAZING! Cooked on stovetop. Kids also loved it…said best chicken they’ve ever had. Made recipe just as shown. It is a little spicy but we love spicy foods. Served it over rice with broccoli.

Sierra

Sunday 7th of August 2022

This sounds amazing, we are making this today!! However, what is the serving size?

Thank you

Jordan Smith

Monday 8th of August 2022

This recipe makes 6 servings! You can either divide it into 6 portions by eyeballing, or weigh all of the chicken after its cooked and divide by 6 to get your exact weight.

Laura Ferris

Friday 17th of June 2022

Every time I make firecracker chicken and bring it to work…people follow me from the kitchen to see where I got my Chinese takeout. It smells heavenly, and really hits the spot if you’re craving takeout!