Firecracker ground chicken with chili sauce is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. The homemade chili sauce is easy but SO good!
This Asian-inspired Firecracker ground chicken bowl has the BEST sauce! It's the perfect mix of sweet and spicy, which I personally love. You'll saute the ground chicken in this addictive sauce and I also highly recommend drizzling extra sauce on your bowl for dinnertime perfection.
I love serving this chicken with chili sauce over rice with broccoli but the sides are really up to you. It's quite flexible! If you prefer cauliflower rice, quinoa or even lettuce wraps, those are delicious options as well. Similarly, you can choose whatever veggie you have on hand, although I do love the way the broccoli florets soak up all of that tasty sauce!
This meal comes together quite quickly. It's perfect for meal prep as you can make the sauce ahead of time and the rest of the recipe is quite easy. If you don't purchase pre-chopped broccoli florets, you can also chop the broccoli ahead of time. Doing these simple steps during your weekly meal prep makes this the perfect healthy weeknight dinner.
I hope you love it!
Firecracker Chicken with Chili Sauce
For the Chili Sauce:
- 1 chili pepper (or dry chili pepper)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp tamari
For the Chicken with Rice & Broccoli:
- 1 cup rice
- 28 oz broccoli florets
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 # ground chicken
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
For the Chili Sauce:
- If using a dry chili, rehydrate in warm water before cutting.
- To a food processor or blender add the following: 1 chopped chili pepper (use half a chili if you want less heat), 1 peeled garlic clove, 1/4tsp ginger, 1/4tsp salt & 1/4c water. Blend on high until mostly smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a small pot and add 1/4c rice vinegar, 1/4c honey & 1tsp tamari. Bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces, ~15- 20 mins.
For the Chicken w/ Rice & Broccoli:
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- Place broccoli florets in steamer pot and simmer until fork tender, ~8 mins.
- Heat 1T olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add 1# ground chicken and 1/4tsp salt & cook, breaking up meat, until cooked through. Stir in ~1/4c chili sauce and simmer ~5 mins.
- Build bowls: rice + ground chicken + broccoli + extra sauce if desired.
Variations on Firecracker Ground Chicken with Chili Sauce
There are so many ways to vary this recipe! Change up the protein, the base of rice or the veggie. It's the homemade chili sauce that really sets this dish apart. As long as you keep that, it's going to be delicious!
Here are a few ideas for variations on Firecracker Ground Chicken with Chili Sauce to get you started. I encourage you to get creative and have fun with this one!
- Serve in Lettuce Wraps – If rice isn't your thing, or you just feel like something different, serve the firecracker chicken in lettuce wraps. So light and fresh!
- Use ground pork – This sauce pairs really well with ground pork as well.
- Or, try shrimp – The sweet and spicy flavor profile is also perfect for shrimp!
- Use different veggies – Broccoli works quite well here but, whenever there's a simple veggie side, I encourage you to use what you have on hand. Snow peas, sliced bell peppers, cauliflower – so many tasty choices!
- Mix up the base – You can serve the chicken with chili sauce and broccoli over any base you choose – you just want something to soak up that tasty sauce! Try quinoa, cauliflower rice, brown rice or any other grain you love.
Is this a good meal prep chicken recipe?
Yes! Firecracker chicken with chili sauce is perfect for meal prep.
Reading through the recipe, you'll notice that almost all of the effort goes into making the sauce. Make the sauce ahead of time and you have a super quick weeknight dinner on your hands! You can also make the rice ahead of time and reheat if you like.
If you don't buy pre-chopped broccoli florets, chopping the broccoli is also a great step to include in your meal prep.
What's the nutrition like for this ground chicken bowl?
Especially considering how quickly it comes together, this firecracker ground chicken bowl packs in substantial nutritional benefits. It offers a nice balance of protein from the chicken and carbs from the rice, as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the nutritional highlights:
Chicken (Selenium, Zinc, B Vitamins)
In addition to being packed with protein, chicken is a good source of several vitamins and nutrients. Selenium is beneficial for both your immune system and your thyroid. B vitamins promote a healthy brain and high energy levels.
Chicken is also considered a good food for weight loss due to its high protein content and relatively low calories, depending on the cut of chicken.
Broccoli (Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Folate)
High in vitamin C, iron, calcium and many other vitamins, broccoli offers a variety of health benefits. In addition to its vitamins, broccoli contains a chemical compound called sulforaphane which may help lower blood sugar, prevent cancer, and prevent osteoarthritis.
Chili Peppers (Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Potassium, Copper)
Chili peppers are very high in Vitamin C and are also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Copper. They also contain the plant compound, capsaicin, which is likely the source of many of chili peppers' nutritional benefits. For instance, some studies show it helps increase fat burning and decrease appetite, thus possibly helping with weight loss. Of course since you won't generally consume large quantities of chili peppers, their contribution to your overall nutrition is limited.
Garlic (Beneficial Sulfur Compounds, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium)
Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer. Eating garlic may also help prevent colds and other minor illnesses.
Scientists believe these substantial health benefits may stem primarily from garlic's sulfur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulfide and sallyl cysteine.
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which are strongest in darker honey. Buy raw local honey when possible as filtering the honey can diminish its nutrients. Furthermore, certain types of honey like Manuka honey from New Zealand, offer substantially higher antibacterial benefits.
FAQ – Everything You Want to Know about Firecracker Ground Chicken Bowls
What is firecracker chicken made of?
In this instance, firecracker chicken is made with ground chicken and a homemade sweet and spicy chili sauce.
What is firecracker sauce made of?
Our version of firecracker sauce is sweet and spicy, made with chili pepper, garlic, ginger, salt, rice vinegar, honey and tamari.
How hot is firecracker sauce?
How hot your firecracker sauce is is really up to you! It's mildly spicy as the recipe is written, though be aware that every chili pepper is different in terms of spice level so be careful! You can use half a chili pepper and remove all of the seeds for a less hot firecracker sauce that still retains that signature firecracker flavor. Or, add an extra chili pepper or include some seeds for a hotter version.
What do you do with chili sauce?
What DON'T you do with chili sauce?! I love it on eggs, roasted potatoes, chicken, roasted vegetables, rice bowls…so many choices!
Why use chili sauce?
Chili sauce is a great way to add deep flavor to otherwise simple dishes. If you love sweet and spicy, it's the perfect meal prep sauce to add to your rotation!
I want more easy chicken meal prep recipes!
Chicken is popular for meal prep, and for good reason! It's budget-friendly, nutritious and incredibly versatile. I have tons of easy chicken meal prep recipes on the blog but here are a few I'm loving lately:
Stir fry is such a perfect weeknight meal. It cooks incredibly quickly and is so versatile in terms of protein and veggies. It's also perfect for meal prep. If you prep the veggies and make the sauce ahead of time, it comes together so fast!
If you love peanut sauce as much as I do, this is a great recipe to add to your rotation.
Here's another one with an easy homemade sauce that makes the dish. In this case, it's homemade enchilada sauce (which is way easier than you likely think!)
You'll drizzle this sauce over a simple bowl of chicken and rice and top with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings like red onion, avocado and optional shredded cheddar.
When you're looking for easy chicken meal prep recipes, you can't beat a good sheet pan dinner! I love this one because of its unique flavor profile. The olives, artichoke hearts and lemon really set this one apart.