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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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Faith Muir

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

I just made this for the first time. I’m trying to diet after two babies back to back. This recipe was really easy to make and yummy! I’ll be making it again.


Wednesday 26th of April 2023

I recently found your site and am working my way through so many recipes, all of them are delicious!! I keep coming back to this one as my favorite. I prefer to have veggies with my dinner so added some extra oil and cauliflower following the method from Honey Sriracha Ground Chicken and Broccoli, turned out really good. I think broccoli or brussel sprouts would taste good here as well but use those in my other fav MasonFit recipes so wanted to add variety. Love your simple style since I’m not that great in the kitchen but have had success with all recipes, no smoke alarms went off😆

Mason Woodruff

Thursday 27th of April 2023

Thanks for the feedback, Tina. Happy simple cooking!


Thursday 13th of April 2023

Such a great recipe! I made it exactly as you listed and my family loves it! We have it with rice, as lettuce wraps and as a salad. Super yummy! Thank you!

Bill in Oregon

Saturday 4th of February 2023

Mason, made this last night to rave reviews from the S.O.! I ate the last bowl today for my lunch. Used regular brown sugar, rice vinegar and subbed Frank's Stinging Honey Garlic Sauce (on hand) for the buffalo sauce. I wanted a saucier sauce for over yakisoba noodles (1 pound) so added in some soy sauce, a good dose of the Franks sauce above and some honey. I slurped it up dude! It's gonna make another dinner rotation very soon....Bill in Oregon


Sunday 22nd of January 2023

Instead of using chili oil I used chili siratcha paste and a hit of canola oil and it’s perfect

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