Jalapeno Chicken is bite-sized pieces of pan-fried chicken thighs, onions, and jalapeno peppers, all smothered in a sweet and salty sauce. Garnish the chicken with sesame seeds and serve it over a bed of rice for a flavorful and satisfying meal. I will also let you know how to cook the chicken in an air fryer! Check out my General Tso Chicken for another delicious, easy-to-make chicken recipe.

Skillet of Jalapeno Chicken.
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Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken: I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe for more flavor. However, you could substitute chicken breasts if that is what you prefer.

Cornstarch: Coating the chicken bites in cornstarch helps them become nice and crispy when pan-fried.

Sauce: The sauce is a sweet, salty, and savory sauce made with soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.

Jalapeno Peppers: It’s all about the jalapeno peppers to give this dish a little bit of a kick. You have control over the heat level of the dish, which I will explain next.

Raw Ingredients Needed to Make Jalapeno Chicken.

Is Jalapeno Chicken Spicy?

Jalapeno chicken can be customized to your desired level of spiciness, ranging from mild to hot. The heat of the dish depends on the type of jalapeno peppers you choose and how you prepare them. If you prefer a spicier flavor, opt for older jalapeno peppers that have white marks on them. When cutting the peppers, keep the seeds and ribs intact, as this will enhance the spiciness of the dish. To achieve this, simply cut the peppers into rounds without removing the seeds and ribs. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder taste, remove the seeds and ribs before cutting up the peppers.

Plates of Jalapeno Chicken Served over Rice.

Can I Make This Ahead of Time?

Sure! You can get a head start on this recipe by making the sauce. In an airtight container, mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic until the brown sugar has dissolved. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can also cut up the chicken and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before cooking.

How to Store Jalapeno Chicken

If you have any leftover chicken, store it in an airtight container. It will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator, but the chicken may get a little rubbery the longer it is stored. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl.

Jalapeno Chicken Served over Rice.
Skillet of Jalapeno Chicken.
5 from 44 votes

Jalapeno Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Jalapeno Chicken is bite-sized pieces of pan-fried chicken thighs, onions, and jalapeno peppers, all smothered in a sweet and salty sauce.


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cup (85 g) soy sauce
  • cup (83 g) water
  • cup (67 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into thin rounds
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • cooked white rice, for serving


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly on all sides. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine water, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
  • To a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil.* When the oil is shimmering, carefully add chicken to the hot oil. (Depending on the size of the skillet, you may have to work in batches.) Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and tent to keep warm.
  • To the same skillet, add onions and jalapeno. Cook until softened (about 4-6 minutes).
  • Add the chicken and the soy sauce mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with sesame seeds over cooked white rice.


*Air Fryer Chicken
To make the chicken in an air fryer, first, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Next, coat the chicken in the cornstarch, salt, and pepper mixture. Then, place the chicken into the basket of your air fryer. Cook for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Set the chicken aside as you prepare the sauce and cook the onions and jalapeno peppers.

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Reader Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Sautéing the jalapeños and onions, made my whole house, sneeze and cough. I guess we got really spicy jalapeños everything else was del

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for my lunch for work the next day. I didn’t have onions but used what I had, still turned out really good, I did however do a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch and water (about 1tbsp) to make a slurry to add in while everything was cooking to thicken the sauce up a bit. Then made some fried rice to go with it.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! Added more jalapeño since we love spicy food. Thinking we will add carrots and broccoli next time and make more sauce. One of my husband’s new favorites!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner! It was delicious!!!
    I wasn’t sure if it would be tasty because the chicken absorbed all of the sauce. It didn’t look like what I get at the restaurant. It didn’t matter because mine tasted better than takeout 😁.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this dish tonight. It was delicious! I like a lot of heat so I added red pepper and sriracha. This recipe is now one of my favorites!

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I added a little cilantro and will probably thicken the sauce slightly next time I make it.

  7. Thank you Amanda, Mindie King broke her shoulder and can’t cook for me right now. She has been following you since you were the baker. I appreciate this recipe as I made it tonight with our home grown jalapeños and it was fantastic. I am not a chef by all means but you made this so simple. Thank you from Brookings, SD. Hope to meet you soon for her sake.

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious delicious delicious…nice and spicy, while having delicious flavor.
    Similar to a dish at our Chinese restaurant called Snake Bite Chicken!
    Will definitely make many more times!

  9. 5 stars
    Made this last night. Finally a recipe that actually has great flavor! So many recipes I find online for stir fry are so bland and boring. Not this one, great flavor and spice, followed the recipe exactly. Will be going into our regular rotation.

    1. My son and I went to the golden Dragon the 3 th of the month for several months I loved the jalapeño chicken.it got to expensive. I have look for the recipe and can’t fined it.i hope this one is it.if not I will go back to looking… thanks

    1. Actually I had chicken thighs, so I browned them on stove then put into oven. When they were done I finished recipe on stove top

  10. 5 stars
    New family favorite! Thanks for sharing. My only change was to add a bit of butter at the end. Super silky

  11. 5 stars
    I made this for my family and they loved it, even my picky son. I used chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand and added cashews for crunch , delicious!

  12. 5 stars
    AMAZING! To top it off.. quick & easy! We paired with yellow rice. Definitely adding to the favorites!

  13. 5 stars
    This is so good. I wasn’t really hopeful as my past recipes fell short. But this tastes better than take out! Keeping this on our rotation. So quick and easy too. Yum!

5 from 44 votes (23 ratings without comment)

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