This sweet and spicy spin on Ninja Foodi chicken thighs is one of the easiest ways to prepare chicken in bulk. Just whisk up a simple firecracker sauce, pour over boneless skinless chicken thighs, turn on the Foodi’s slow cooker function, and walk away. You’ll have fall-apart tender chicken in a rich, flavorful broth in a few hours.
Ingredients for Firecracker Chicken Thighs
It doesn’t get much easier than this. You only need two things—boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts) and a firecracker sauce.
- Brown Sugar – or a sugar free substitute like the Swerve Brown Sugar from my firecracker ground chicken or firecracker meatballs
- Buffalo Sauce – I use Frank’s RedHot
- Rice Vinegar
- Ground Ginger
- Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
You can experiment with things like freshly minced ginger and garlic, different types of vinegar, and adding a bit more heat via dried chiles or hot sauces.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs in a Ninja Foodi
You can cook two pounds of chicken thighs using the Ninja Foodi’s slow cooker function in about two hours on high or three to four hours on low. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
You can also speed things up by pressure cooking in the Ninja Foodi for about 10 minutes with high pressure like my chili coconut pulled chicken.
Another optional way to add an extra layer of flavor is using the sauté function on the Ninja Foodi to sear the chicken before adding the firecracker sauce and slow cooking or pressure cooking. See my Mexican shredded chicken recipe for an example of this.
Once your chicken thighs are fully cooked, you can shred with forks or chop with a knife before adding back to the sauce. The sauce will be a bit broth-like with the water that cooks off the chicken.
If you’d like to thicken the sauce, you can use the sauté function on the Ninja Foodi for 5-10 minutes to reduce it while you shred the chicken. You can also use a 2:1 corn starch to water slurry like in my Ninja Foodi pot roast to speed this process up.
Ways to Serve Firecracker Pulled Chicken
I like to keep things simple with rice and a garnish of scallions, black sesame seeds, and chili crisp. The rice soaks up the extra broth in the most wonderful way.
If you’re planning to thicken the remaining sauce, you might want to use your firecracker chicken thighs for something like my bang bang chicken wonton cups or recipes like shredded chicken banh mi or Chinese BBQ chicken sliders. Or to keep things lightened up, you could serve in lettuce wraps or on a sesame vinaigrette dressed salad.
However you end up serving your firecracker chicken, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in a comment or recipe review. I hope you enjoy it! And be sure to check out all my Ninja Foodi recipes if you’re looking for more ideas.
- 2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breasts
- 1/2 cup (96g) Dark Brown Sugar*
- 1/3 cup (80g) Buffalo Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) Rice Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- Mix the brown sugar, buffalo sauce, and spices together in a bowl or in the pot of a slow cooker.
- Add the chicken thighs and toss in the sauce to evenly coat.
- Slow cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours on high or 3 to 4 hours on low until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. (These times are for chicken thighs. Chicken breast may take slightly longer.)
- Shred the cooked chicken with forks and add back to the sauce.
- Serve over rice and garnish with scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and chili oil or chili garlic crisp, if desired.
*Using a sugar free option like Swerve Brown is a great way to save about 12g of carbs and 45-50 calories per serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: about 3.5 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 8gCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 22g