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Firecracker Ground Chicken

This 20-minute firecracker ground chicken is the perfect low carb, high protein meal prep recipe. Each serving has 22 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and just 185 calories. It’s super easy to make and goes perfectly with rice or cauliflower rice. Or you can get creative and use it to make things like lettuce wraps or a veggie stir fry with noodles.

two bowls of firecracker ground chicken with rice

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How to Make Firecracker Chicken with Ground Chicken

I doubt you’ll need much help with this recipe, but I’ve included a recipe walkthrough and ingredient notes in the post below nonetheless. Feel free to hit the jump to recipe button at the top of the post and hop back here if you have recipe or ingredient questions.

Brown one pound of ground chicken in 1/2 tablespoon of chili oil or your choice of oil.

browning ground chicken in a skillet

The recipe calls for 92% lean ground chicken, but you could use leaner. You could also swap the ground chicken for ground turkey or your choice of ground meat.

Like I mention in my ground chicken breakfast sausage recipe, using a little bit of oil is not entirely necessary, but it adds a ton of flavor and helps the chicken brown nicely. That browning adds a ton of flavor you might miss out on otherwise. I would definitely use a leaner cut of ground chicken before omitting the oil if you wanted to save a few calories!

Make the firecracker sauce while the ground chicken cooks.

ingredients for firecracker sauce in a mixing bowl

Everything you’ll need for the firecracker sauce:

  • buffalo sauce
  • cider or rice vinegar
  • zero-calorie Swerve brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • garlic powder
  • ground ginger
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Simply mix everything together and you’ll be ready to crack on.

firecracker sauce whisked together

If you’re unfamiliar with Swerve sweeteners, they’re zero-calorie, erythritol-based sugar substitutes that taste and cook like real sugar. I’ve used their brown sugar substitute to make everything from Nashville Hot ground chicken burgers to air fryer apple fritters.

You’ll find notes for nutrition facts with real brown sugar in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. I’ll also mention that my spicy coconut ground chicken uses honey and gochujang as a sticky sweetener substitute. That might be an option.

Update: If you like this sauce, you can use it to make my firecracker chicken meatballs recipe!

Mince the ground chicken and finish cooking before adding the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.

firecracker sauce added to cooked ground chicken

You’re looking for a thick, syrupy, slightly sticky sauce. As long as you keep everything moving around, you shouldn’t be at risk of burning anything. Give it time!

Serving Your Firecracker Ground Chicken

The classic rice and protein bowls are my go-to with this recipe. If you wanted to keep things lower carb, using cauliflower rice is the obvious choice. One “hack” you could pull from my ground beef and rice skillet is mixing half cauliflower rice and half regular rice to mask the veggie-ness.

You could also swap the rice for quinoa like in my spicy sesame ground beef and quinoa bowls. And if you wanted to add some veggies, you could pan roast some broccoli or something similar before cooking the chicken like in my sweet and spicy ground chicken and broccoli recipe.

To make things a bit more interesting, you could plug this firecracker ground chicken into something like these chicken lettuce wraps or my low carb noodle stir fry.

That should cover it. If you have a question about this recipe or its ingredients I forgot to cover, leave a comment below. Otherwise, enjoy your firecracker ground chicken! And if you enjoy it, recipe reviews are always appreciated.

black bowl with rice and firecracker ground chicken topped with green onion and toasted sesame seeds

Firecracker Ground Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ground chicken cooked in chili oil and tossed with a sticky sweet and spicy firecracker sauce.


  • 1 lb Ground Chicken (92/8)
  • 1/2 Tbsp (8g) Chili Oil
  • 1/2 C (96g) Swerve Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C (60g) Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Cider or Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with the chili oil. Brown both sides of the chicken, about 3-4 minutes per side, before mincing and fully cooking.
  2. While the chicken cooks, whisk the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the sauce to the pan and cook until thick and syrupy.
  4. Serve with scallions and toasted sesame seeds over rice or cauliflower rice.


Nutrition Info Notes

  • Each serving has 4 WW SmartPoints (blue).
  • The nutrition facts do not include any nutrition info from the Swerve Brown Sugar. Erythritol has 0.2 calories per gram so the entire recipe has around 20 calories if you'd like to include it.
  • With real brown sugar, each serving has 24g of carbs and 275 calories.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 22g

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Angy Stimson

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

It was so tasty and I will make it again. I used barbecue sauce instead of buffalo sauce and served it over brown rice. Yum!

Mason Woodruff

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Glad to hear the BBQ sauce swap worked out for you. Thanks, Angy!


Friday 3rd of September 2021

I’m watching my carb intake. I cut the sauce ingredients in half and used lettuce wraps instead of rice. I allowed myself two wraps. Recipe is very flavorful, not too spicy and filling.


Sunday 22nd of August 2021

So the swerve has 4 grams of carbs per 1 teaspoon. If you use a half cup in this recipe that is 96 grams of carbs or 24 grams per serving. Am I doing something wrong to get 0 grams of carbs in this recipe? By the way, I love this and it tastes so great. Just trying to make sure I am doing it correctly. Thank you!!

Beth Howard

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

@Mason Woodruff, thanks for clarifying. I was confused based on MFP saying it had 24g carbs versus you count of 0g.

Mason Woodruff

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

There's a note in the recipe card's notes section about the calories from erythritol (Swerve) being around 0.2 calories/gram. It's also a non-glycemic sugar substitute, so I typically don't bother tracking it. But that's totally up to you. Track it if you'd like.


Friday 20th of August 2021

This is so delicious! I've used the firecracker sauce on chicken breasts and ground turkey too! I usually add a little extra buffalo sauce or red pepper flakes for a little extra heat.

Erin Cortesi

Thursday 19th of August 2021

I absolutely love this recipe! It has become a go-to for quick meal-preps for the week. As a vegetarian I just substitute the ground chicken for well-drained tofu, but still crumble and brown it in the chili oil. It is just as delicious. The brown swerve gives a caramelized texture and spicy sweetness that is addictive!

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