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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

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 chili crisp ground chicken and spicy coconut ground chicken recipes both use 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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Wednesday 24th of April 2024

I had a pack of ground chicken that was 3 lbs, from BJ's, so I had to triple the recipe of course. I used sesame oil, light brown sugar BUT only added 2 tsp of red pepper flakes, since my husband cannot do hot things. I have not used Swerve before. Equal makes my joints and hands very painful, so I am hesitant to try it. Since it was a bit too spicy still for him with 2 tsp (remember I tripled it), the next time, I will dial that back to accommodate him and just add it on top of my dish. Super easy recipe and plan on making it again.


Monday 12th of February 2024

This is delicious but I wonder if there’s a vegetable that might go with it. Any suggestions?

Mason Woodruff

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

I've made it with brussels sprouts, broccoli, and a green bean and bell pepper stir fry.


Thursday 18th of January 2024

This turned out amazing! Going to try Chicken Broth, Lime and a touch of sesame oil next time.

Julia Hertzner

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

Is this super spicy? I’m making it and my mother in law doesn’t do well with spice and I’m worried she may not enjoy it…

Mason Woodruff

Friday 12th of January 2024

I'd give it a 5/10 on the heat scale. You can always add some extra sweetness via Swerve brown, honey, maple syrup, etc. or acidity via lime juice or vinegar to tone it down after the fact.

Linda Schreiber

Tuesday 19th of December 2023

Simply amazing! Putting this on the weekly rotation! So glad I stumbled upon you! Will be following...... :)

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