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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.
  • Using 97/3 ground chicken adds 4g of protein and saves 5.5g of fat and 50 calories per serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 22g

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Saturday 9th of September 2023

I tried this tonight with ground chicken breast that I got on sale. It’s definitely a keeper! I used regular light brown sugar since that’s what I had and used about a quarter more of all the ingredients except the sugar because I wanted it to be really saucy. I also added some minced garlic. I’ve made a similar recipe for a pasta dish that has heavy cream in it so this is a much lighter and healthier alternative. I’m going to use that sauce for multiple things because it’s so good. Thank you!


Thursday 24th of August 2023

Best recipe ever! I serve over brown rice and add roasted broccoli. We usually eat this once a week!!


Monday 21st of August 2023

How much fat is in per serving? I see the protein, calories and carbs.

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

11 grams. It's between the calories and carbs in the nutrition facts.

Bill in Oregon

Sunday 6th of August 2023

Ok, so...I had to hunt this down on the Net again to save to my recipe files for posterity. This has become a fam fave & I've made it multiple times now. I use rice vinegar, regular brown sugar & even bought buffalo sauce (Franks). I usually zip up a chunk of ginger & couple garlic toes in my mini-processor instead of the powders. We like it with fresh yakisoba noodles which take seconds in hot water to refresh. When she likes something new I make for dinner it goes into rotation! This is SO easy & delish...we serve in our Asian style noodle bowls with Siracha & soy sauce on the side. Eggrolls are a plus if I remember to get them. There are many firecracker recipes out glad I found yours!


Tuesday 18th of July 2023

This is absolutely my favorite! The Firecracker sauce is SOO good. If you try only one recipe this is the one. Making it again this weekend with a veggie side recipe. 🔥😁❤️

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