Healthier firecracker chicken meal prep bowls are sweet and spicy! Lightened up compared to classic recipes, but still super flavorful. Gluten-free and ready in 35 minutes.
Stir fry recipes work so well for meal prep; we love whipping up Mongolian beef bowls, or Korean-inspired ground turkey bowls for lunches through the week. These firecracker chicken bowls are another delicious option that brings the heat!
With a simple sauce of honey, Frank's red hot sauce, and apple cider vinegar, the resulting lunch bowls are spicy, sweet, with a tangy twist. Serve it up with spiralized zucchini, edamame, and rice for nutritious and filling meal.
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- it's simple to prepare and can be ready in under 35 minutes
- it makes four delicious lunches that taste great, even on day 4
- you can mix up veggies, swapping for your faves
- chicken- while I've used chicken breast here, you could easily swap for boneless skinless chicken thighs. Shrimp or tofu would also be great options!
- hot sauce- this recipe was tested using Frank's red hot sauce; swapping it for buffalo sauce or wing sauce might yield a milder spice as they are diluted with butter and other ingredients. It may be possible to swap the hot sauce for sriracha or other types of hot sauce, but alternatives have not been tested in this recipe
- apple cider vinegar- adds a tangy aftertaste to the sauce; we love Bragg's brand, but any type/brand of apple cider vinegar will work in this recipe
- cornstarch- helps thicken the sauce; try swapping for arrowroot starch if you are looking for a corn-free version
- vegetables- we are using spiralized zucchini and edamame here, but feel free to swap for your favorite veggie: green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and bell peppers would all work great, however you will need to cook them first.
Step by step directions
1. Coat chicken- Toss the chicken cubes in cornstarch. Use tongs to mix all the chicken cubes up and make sure they are all coated.
2. Prep sauce- In a jar or salad dressing shaker, combine Frank's red hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
3. Cook chicken- Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the chicken/cornstarch and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
4. Add sauce- When chicken is cooked through, pour the honey/hot sauce/cider vinegar mixture over everything and toss chicken to coat. Remove from heat when sauce has thickened slightly.
5. Portion out & store- between four 2 cup meal prep containers, divide cooked rice, prepped vegetables, and chicken. Be sure to drizzle with any sauce left in the pan.
Store in the fridge for up to 4 days; heat until steaming hot in the microwave, stir it all up, and enjoy.
Yes, it has a medium spice level to it. You can increase the heat by increasing the amount of Frank's red hot sauce, or by adding red pepper flakes to the bowls.
Yes however I would swap the spiralized zucchini for another vegetable- cooked broccoli, snap peas or green beans would do well freeze/thawing. Freeze for up to 3 months.
No! Feel free to leave it out, or swap for a vegetable that you love.
Meal prep & storage
- fridge- cool completely, then store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
- freezing- replace the zucchini for a different vegetable (cooked broccoli, snap peas or green beans would do well). Cool completely, then store in a sturdy air tight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- thawing- thaw overnight in the fridge or on low power in the microwave (depends on the quality of your containers)
- reheating- heat in the microwave until steaming hot.
- chicken breast- swap for chicken thighs. The cook time may be 1-2 minutes longer, but chicken thighs keep even better than chicken breast in meal prep recipes! Shrimp and tofu would also be great in this recipe.
- zucchini and edamame- swap for any other veggie, but you will need to sauté things like bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, broccoli etc.
- make it lower carb- swap the rice for cauliflower rice
- make it vegan- swap the chicken for tofu and the honey for maple syrup
More meal prep ideas
Meal Prep Bowls
- ¾ cup basmati rice uncooked
- 1 medium zucchini spiralized
- 2 cups edamame thawed
- red pepper flakes optional; for extra heat
- 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes (roughly 1 lb); see note 1
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch see note 2
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
- ¼ cup honey see note 3
- 2 tablespoons Frank's red hot sauce see note 4
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Rice- Cook rice according to package directions, and portion out into four 2-cup capacity storage containers.
- Vegetables- Spiralize zucchini; divide with the edamame between meal prep containers.
Healthier Firecracker Chicken
- Coat chicken- Toss the chicken cubes in cornstarch. Use tongs to mix all the chicken cubes up and make sure they are all coated.
- Prep sauce- In a jar or salad dressing shaker, combine Frank's red hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
- Cook chicken- Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the chicken/cornstarch and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
- Add sauce- When chicken is cooked through, pour the honey/hot sauce/cider vinegar mixture over everything and toss chicken to coat. Remove from heat when sauce has thickened slightly.
- Portion out & store- Divide the chicken between the meal prep containers; be sure to drizzle with any sauce left in the pan.
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