Sweet Chili Chicken is bite-sized pieces of seasoned chicken breasts nestled in a sweet and spicy sauce with a blend of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors. The chicken is delicious on its own, but to make it a main dish, serve it over rice or noodles. Add a side of vegetables for a complete meal. The sauce is even better when made with homemade Sweet Chili Sauce.

Skillet of Sweet Chili Chicken with Green Onion and Sesame Seeds.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken: I prefer chicken breasts for this recipe. However, you could certainly use chicken thighs, but the cooking time may need to be adjusted. Shrimp or fish (like cod) would also be delicious choices for protein. But, again, adjust the cooking time as needed for the protein you are using.

Cornstarch: By coating the chicken bites in cornstarch before pan-frying, you can achieve a crispy texture that perfectly complements the juicy chicken inside.

Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

Sauce: The sweet chili sauce forms the foundation of this sauce, lending sweetness with a subtle kick of spice. Soy sauce contributes a savory taste, while sriracha sauce offers a burst of heat. Additionally, minced garlic and ground ginger add depth and complexity to the flavor profile. Lastly, honey provides a gentle sweetness that perfectly balances out the sauce’s spiciness.

Garnish: Although optional, the green onions and sesame seeds add flavor, texture, and visual appeal to the dish.

Sweet Chili Chicken in a Pan with Sauce.

Is Sweet Chili Chicken Spicy?

The sweet chili sauce does have some heat to it, but it is something that can easily be adjusted. For one thing, you could leave out the sriracha sauce while still having a nice balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. When it comes to the Thai sweet chili sauce, that will depend on the brand you choose, or what pepper you add to it if making it homemade.

Plates of Sweet Chili Chicken Over Rice.

Can I Make This Ahead of Time?

Yes! To save time, you can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. In fact, storing the sauce for a few days gives it time for all of the flavors to come together even more. It will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. When ready to use, give the sauce a good stir.

Close up of Sweet Chili Chicken on a Black Skillet with Green Onions.

How to Store Sweet Chili Chicken

If you have any leftovers of sweet chili chicken, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days.

Skillet of Sweet Chili Chicken with Green Onion and Sesame Seeds.
5 from 15 votes

Sweet Chili Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Sweet Chili Chicken is bite-sized pieces of seasoned chicken breasts nestled in a sweet and spicy sauce with a blend of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors.

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
  • ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, for frying

Sauce

  • ¼ cup (68 g) Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, for serving
  • green onions, chopped for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

Chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry and cut each chicken breast into ½-inch cubes.
  • In a large bowl, combine cornstarch, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, tossing to coat.
  • In a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil.* Once hot, add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown on all sides (about 5-7 minutes). Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent to keep warm as you make the sauce.

Sauce

  • To the same skillet, add the Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, ginger, and honey. Stir together and cook until heated through.
  • Add the cooked chicken back into the sauce and toss to coat evenly.
  • Serve over cooked white rice, garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

*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, paprika, 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.
 
Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe.

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Reader Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love sweet chili chicken and I’ve tried some different recipes which were meh. but THIS is amazing! That’s exactly how it tasted in the restaurants. I have only used chicken thighs instead of breast and that was on point.

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I added red bell pepper & green beans. Instead of sriracha, I used 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Nice balance of sweet & spicy.

  3. This is a great, easy recipe. I will absolutely make this again!!! I had no siracha sauce so I substituted it with 3 parts ketchup to 1 part hot sauce.

  4. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! My entire family loved it so I will be adding it into rotation for sure. I used chicken tenderloin and had over 2 and half pounds of the chicken tenderloin so I made a huge batch of this and tripled the sauce recipe. We are all grateful for the leftovers as things are better the second time around. Thank you Amanda for all your wonderful recipes.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious, easy and quick. Perfect amount of heat for husband, he doesn’t like overly spicy. Had a nice zing. Sautéed some asparagus tips in a little sesame oil and served over rice.
    Would be great also with pork, shrimp even salmon.

    1. 5 stars
      I do not like to cook. Made this recipe as it sounded so good. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Great recipe and thank you for sharing.

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