Healthier firecracker chicken meal prep bowls bring the spice to your lunch! Lightened up, but still super flavorful. Gluten-free and ready in 35 minutes.
Bringing you another delicious meal prep lunch recipe, and this time we're going take out fake out with this healthier firecracker chicken meal prep!
If you know me, you know I love to mix it up when it comes to make ahead lunches...and we've had several delicious make ahead stir fries around here (check out this Sweet Chili Shrimp Stir Fry recipe I shared last week!).
Today's firecracker chicken recipe is not so much a stir fry, since we don't actually cook our veggies. Instead we focus our efforts on the chicken, although really, it's not much effort at all!
The resulting lunch bowls are spicy, sweet, with a tangy twist, thanks to the apple cider vinegar in the firecracker chicken sauce.
It is absolutely, most definitely a lunch I looked forward to!!!
Don't forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!
Prepping firecracker chicken:
Most authentic firecracker chicken recipes dredge the chicken, fry the chicken, then bake it in the sauce.
Well...ahem...I'm lazy, and ain't no one got time for that effort on meal prep Sunday. So I made some easy shortcuts that probably alter the resulting chicken a bit, but honestly this was so tasty I didn't care one bit!
- first we coat our chicken with cornstarch (this helps the sauce stick to the chicken. You can omit this step but your chicken isn't going to have the same pizzazz)
- then we prep the THREE INGREDIENT firecracker chicken sauce: Frank's red hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Yes, it really is that easy!
- then we pan fry the chicken until it is almost cooked through, add our sauce, and simmer it until the sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked.
How to make it healthier?
First? I cut the sauce in half. Even with the sauce halved, there is still plenty to flavor the chicken and mix in with the rest of the meal prep bowls.
Second? I swapped the brown sugar for honey. Nothing against brown sugar, but anytime I can swap for an unrefined sugar, I go for it!
Third? I served my firecracker chicken with zucchini noodles, edamame, and basmati rice. We need some healthy veggies and grains to fill our tummies and keep us full!
- swap the chicken breast 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.
- you can swap the zucchini and edamame for any other veggie, but you will need to sautee things like bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, broccoli etc.
- make it lower carb: swap the rice for cauliflower rice
- make it paleo: swap the edamame for carrot spirals and the rice for cauliflower rice
- make it vegan: swap the chicken for tofu and the honey for maple syrup
- Meal prep containers: I love these ones
- Spiralizer: my Paderno one is awesome
- looking for more stir fry meal prep recipes? Check out these Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls, these Maple Ginger Chicken Meal Prep Bowls, and this Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
Healthier Firecracker Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
Healthier Firecracker Chicken
- 2 large chicken breasts cut into cubes (roughly 14 oz)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Frank's red hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Meal Prep Bowls
- ¾ cup basmati rice uncooked
- 1 medium zucchini spiralized
- 2 cups edamame thawed
- red pepper flakes optional; for extra heat
- Cook rice according to package directions, and portion out into four 2-cup capacity storage containers.
Healthier Firecracker Chicken
- Toss the chicken in the cornstarch. Use tongs to mix all the chicken cubes up and make sure they are all coated.
- 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.
- While chicken is cooking, shake together the honey, hot sauce and apple cider vinegar.
- 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.
Assemble Lunch Bowls
- Divide all ingredients between the storage containers.
- Drizzle chicken with any extra sauce from the pan, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired (for extra heat).
Storage & Re-heating
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To serve, heat until piping hot, then enjoy!