This Firecracker Chicken is a knock your socks off easy dinner! So much flavor is packed into this delicious Asian-inspired recipe, it is hard to believe just how quickly you can have it cooked and on the table.
Firecracker – The EASY Way!
It is hard to use words to describe just how delicious this dish is! A hint of sweetness and a tiny bit of spice, the flavors are so good that it is hard to believe how easy this recipe really is!
We love to make it when we get the hankering for takeout because you can have this meal from the fridge to your fork more quickly than you can call something in and drive down the street to pick it up.
Using small pieces of chicken that cook quickly in a hot skillet makes all the magic happen. Give this meal a try and it just might go into your regular dinner rotation.
What to Serve with Firecracker Chicken
Since this dish has the classic Asian flavors, it will pair well with many of your favorite Asian-style side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Rice– white, brown, or even cilantro lime are favorites!
- Cabbage– I like to keep this lighter by serving it on a bed of shaved cabbage. You can also sauté it a little if you want a little less crunch (or chewing!) Use coleslaw mix to make it quick!
- Fried rice– If you want to feed a crowd you can pair this with regular fried rice, or try my chicken fried rice or steak fried rice.
- Sautéed Green Beans– Quick and easy!
We like to load ours up with some delicious extras. These are completely optional, but a few of our favorites in case you want to try!
- Chopped green onions
- Yum yum sauce
- Spicy mayo
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped cashews (toasted or raw)
- Fresh lime
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This Firecracker Chicken recipe is as simple as promised! Just 5 steps for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
For the chicken:
- Chicken breast – You can substitute chicken thighs or tenderloins per your preference
- Corn starch
- Vegetable oil (or canola)
- Garlic – use fresh for the most flavor!
- Fresh ginger
For the Sauce
- Brown sugar
- Orange juice
- Rice wine vinegar
- Crushed red pepper
- Green onions
- Cut the chicken evenly– The more even you cut your chicken, the more evenly it will cook, resulting in it being more tender and juicy!
- Don’t over crowd the pan– Make sure the chicken isn’t piled on top of each other while they cook. If the pan is too crowded the liquid can’t burn off and you end up steaming your chicken instead of getting that beautiful and delicious pan seared crust. Cook two batches of chicken if your pan isn’t big enough for it to spread out!
- Use FRESH! When possible, use fresh garlic and ginger. It will give your dish more flavor and make it have that wow factor in the taste!
- Reduce the sauce– When you are cooking the sauce it will start to reduce. You can remove it from the heat when it starts to thicken. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so you don’t want to wait too long too take it off.
- Double the sauce– If you are a sauce lover, you can easily double the quantity of sauce by doubling the ingredients for the sauce and cooking as directed.
- Adjust the heat – You can adjust the level of spice in the dish by adding more or less sriracha and crushed red pepper.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Prep the sauce– you can prep the sauce up to 48 hours in advance to save time. Just whisk before adding to the skillet. It make take an extra minute or two to reduce if it is straight out of the fridge.
- Pre-make the chicken– The chicken can be pre-cooked, then reheated quickly in a hot skillet and the sauce can be added and reduced. This works almost as well as making everything hot and fresh.
- Prepare as a freezer meal– see full instructions below!
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Firecracker Chicken and broccoli– Cook chicken as directed. Before adding the sauce, heat 2 cups of bite sized broccoli florets to the hot skillet and cook 3-5 minutes. Double the sauce ingredients and mix with the chicken and broccoli and reduce as directed.
- Firecracker Shrimp– Make recipe as directed using deveined shrimp in place of chicken.
- Firecracker Cauliflower– Make recipe as directed using cauliflower florets in place of chicken breast.
If you have special dietary needs, this recipe meets some and can be easily modified to comply with others.
As always, check all store bought ingredients for compliance on specific dietary needs. The notes below are a general guide.
- Gluten free: This recipe is naturally gluten free.
- Dairy free: Firecracker Chicken is naturally dairy free.
- Nut free: This recipe is naturally nut free
- Egg free: This recipe is naturally egg free
- Macros: The approximate macro calculation for this recipe is- P: 32g C: 17g F: 9g
Freezer Meal Instructions
This meal can be prepared as a freezer meal and will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Prepare and cook chicken as directed.
- Mix ingredients for sauce and store in a freezer bag or freezer friendly container.
- Store chicken in a separate container.
- Once ready to eat, reheat chicken in a hot skillet and then add sauce and reduce as directed.
Firecracker Chicken Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this chicken, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Firecracker Chicken Tacos– Mix shredded cabbage with cilantro, mayo and lime juice. Add to a tortilla and top with chicken.
- Firecracker Chicken Salad– Mix shredded lettuce and cabbage together. Top with shredded carrots, chopped cashews, and shelled edamame and firecracker chicken. Toss with either rice wine vinegar and oil, or yum yum sauce and squeeze fresh lime over the top.
- Firecracker Chicken Wrap– Grab a large flatbread and spread with a thin layer of mayo and a drizzle of sriracha. Add some sriracha and salt and pepper to taste. Add some coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, firecracker chicken and a squeeze of lime.
More Simple Dinner Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- 15 Minute Chicken Fried Rice
- Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Baked Sausage and Peppers
- Cajun Chicken Bites
Hungry for more family-friendly recipes? Sign up for my free recipe club to get new family-friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.
For the Chicken:
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1 in pieces
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola)
- 4 cloves garlic pressed
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
For the Sauce:
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced
- Make the sauce by whisking together the brown sugar, orange juice, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper.
- Season the chicken with salt, then toss it with the cornstarch until evenly coated.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and let it cook for 2 minutes, then flip it and let it cook for 2 additional minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger then add the sauce mixture and reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes or until it reduces and becomes thick. Stir in the green onions and remove from heat.
- Garnish with fresh green onions and additional red pepper flakes and sriracha as desired and serve hot.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)