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Sweet Fire Chicken – Panda Express Copycat (Air Fryer Option)

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This Sweet Fire Chicken copycat for Panda Express can be made in the Air Fryer or in a skillet.   This one-skillet meal is made with crispy chicken and sweet and spicy flavors in every bite.

One Skillet Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat
One Skillet Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat 2
One Skillet Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat 1

Sweet Fire Chicken -Panda Express Copycat

This Sweet Fire Chicken is a copycat of my most favorite dish from the restaurant.  The flavors are amazing in this meal and its one that I can’t get enough of.  The sweet chili sauce mixed with the flavors of red pepper flakes and fresh pineapples really gives your mouth an explosion of flavors.  This recipe easily serves a family of four and it’s simple to make!  In less than 30  minutes, this one-skillet meal is from the stove to the table and ready to be eaten!

Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat One Skillet Meal

Sweet Fire Chicken

I use flour, egg, and cornstarch to create a beautiful crispy coating on the chicken breasts.  By removing the cooked chicken from the skillet and adding it back into the dish once it’s complete, it keeps it nice and crispy.  It has a sweet chili sauce that really adds the much-loved heat to this dish.  I also changed up the recipe a bit by adding cubed orange peppers into the ingredient list.  You can easily leave the orange pepper out, but I like the added color and texture it adds to the dish.

RELATED: Instant Pot Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

Garnish and Sides

I garnish the Sweet Fire Chicken with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions.  To toast the sesame seeds, I heated a nongreased skillet on medium heat and added the sesame seeds for about 30 seconds.  I then stirred them around to get even toasting.

I serve white rice as a side on this filling and flavorful dish.  You can, of course, make fried rice, chow mein, or serve up some steamed broccoli as a side.

Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat One Skillet Meal

Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat Made in the Air Fryer

You can make this chicken juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside using an air fryer for the chicken!  I have the Instant Pot Vortex Plus to make my chicken for this recipe in the air fryer but any air fryer will do!

Instant Pot Vortex Plus Directions

To make air fryer popcorn you will need these accessories and settings:

  • Rotisserie Basket
  • Air Fry Setting
  • Temperature set to 370°
  • ROTATE turned on
  • Time Setting set to 10 minutes.

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

If you don’t have a rotisserie basket in your air fryer, the directions will be just a little different.   Instead, you will spray your trays or basket lightly will oil and add the chicken in batches so that it’s not overcrowded.  You will then shake the basket or rotate the chicken on the trays halfway through.

Yield: 4 servings

Sweet Fire Chicken - Panda Express Copycat (Air Fryer Option)

One Skillet Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat

This one-skillet meal is a Panda Express Copycat for Sweet Fire Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 3 tbsp oil, for frying, divided
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • 1 orange pepper, cubed
  • 1 onion, cubed
  • 1 cup pineapple, tidbits
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Garnish

  • green onions, sliced
  • sesame seeds, toasted

Instructions

  1. Add cornstarch and flour to separate bowls.
  2. In a third bowl, add 1 egg and beat.
  3. Cut chicken breasts into chunks and add to flour. 
  4. Dip into egg wash and then roll into cornstarch.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp for oil into large skillet and add chicken in batches once the skillet is hot.
  6. Repeat until all chicken is cooked - set aside.
  7. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same skillet.
  8. Add cubed peppers and onions and garlic.
  9. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Add 1 cup of sweet chili sauce and the 1 tsp of red pepper flakes.
  11. Stir and add chicken back into skillet.
  12. Stir to cover chicken in the sweet chili sauce.
  13. Stir in pineapples.
  14. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

Air Fryer Directions

  1. Instead of heating the 2 Tbsp of oil in a skillet once the chicken is prepped, add it to the air fryer using the instructions listed in the notes.
  2. Continue with steps in recipe starting at adding 1 TBSP of oil to the skillet to complete the dish.

Notes

*Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer Settings

To make air fryer popcorn you will need to these accessories and settings: 

  • Rotisserie Basket
  • Air Fry Setting
  • Temperature set to 370°
  • ROTATE turned on
  • Time Setting set to 10 minutes.

**Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

If you don’t have a rotisserie basket in your air fryer, the directions will be just a little different.   Instead, you will spray your trays or basket lightly will oil and add the chicken in batches so that it’s not overcrowded.  You will then shake the basket or rotate the chicken on the trays halfway through.  

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Sweet Fire Chicken Panda Express Copycat One Skillet Meal

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Kristen

Thursday 30th of May 2019

This was super yummy! I didn’t see where to add the pineapples. I added them with the chicken at the end. Is that right? I will certainly be making this again!

Dana

Thursday 30th of May 2019

That's right, they get added at the end! I'll add that bit into the recipe. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Dan from Platter Talk

Thursday 28th of February 2019

Sweet fire chicken. from PE is one of my favorite dishes there! Thanks for taking the time to recreate this recipe, I love the cubes of orange pepper and the color it adds to this recipe. Great job!

Dana

Friday 1st of March 2019

I hope you try it! It is my favorite from there. :)

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