Made entirely in the instant pot, this sweet fire chicken is loaded with tender chicken cubes and vegetables in the most incredible sweet and fiery chili sauce.
Takeout from our favorite Chinese place is always a staple New Years week, but this year we’re taking it up a level and making the BEST (and also easiest) version of sweet fire chicken at home!
It’s sweet, spicy, and saucy chicken perfection, plus we’re sneaking a whole mess of veggies inside as well.
You can absolutely bet that come New Years Eve you’ll find us on the couch cozying up with bowls of this goodness.
The best part? The instant pot does ALL the heavy lifting for you today! I’m serious, this is the most hands-off dinner and will absolutely become a menu regular.
This Sweet Fire Chicken features…
- Perfectly tender chicken cubes, snow peas, and sweet pepper.
- A spicy, sweet chili fire sauce.
- Made entirely in the instant pot in only 40 minutes!
Making The Sweet Fire Chicken
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Vegetable oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Sweet chili sauce
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Chicken broth
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sweet pepper
- Pineapple tidbits
- Snow peas
- Green onions
Choosing Your Chicken
We prefer using boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but it will also work great with boneless thighs as well!
Whatever cut you decide to go with, make sure you cut chicken into uniform 1-inch cubes. We found that this size was ideal for getting a super-tender interior.
Tips for Perfect Sweet Fire Chicken
- Coat chicken in cornstarch – this gives the chicken that signature takeout-style coating.
- Use fresh ginger and garlic – fresh makes all the difference here!
- Cook chicken on high pressure 6 minutes – a quick 6 minutes (plus heating time) is all that’s needed to cook the chicken perfectly.
- Manually release pressure – turn off the instant pot and carefully manually release the pressure using a tongs or wooden spoon.
- Add vegetables after releasing pressure – to prevent overcooking the sweet pepper and snow peas, add to the instant pot after releasing steam, cover, and allow to sit 5 minutes. This cooks the vegetables beautifully!
Try these ideas for a different twist on this chicken!
- Change up the vegetables – try zucchini, mushrooms, green beans, or broccoli in place of the suggested vegetables. Be aware that cook time may vary.
- Make it spicy or mild – feel free to use a mild sweet chili or a spicy one to suit your heat preference.
- Add more pineapple – a splash of pineapple juice will add a lovely sweetness to the sauce.
Stove Top Instructions
Don’t have an instant pot? You can still make this recipe using these stovetop instructions.
- Pan fry chicken in oil in a large skillet until browned.
- Remove chicken from pan and add vegetables, sauteeing until crisp-tender.
- Add all sauce ingredients, ginger, garlic, pineapple, and chicken to pan and bring to a low simmer, cooking until bubbly and slightly thickened.
The sweetness with the punch of heat in this chicken is just SO freaking good! It’s so perfectly saucy, loaded with juicy chicken, and the rainbow of tender vegetables just ties everything together perfectly.
Feels like healthier takeout and we are here for that.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More takeout favorites that are so much better made at home!
Instant Pot Sweet Fire Chicken
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- 1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in cubes
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sauce and Vegetables
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 3/4 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 medium sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-in cubes
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1 cup snow peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Steamed rice and sliced green onions for serving
- In a large bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
- Heat a 4-qt instant pot using BROWN/SAUTE function. Add vegetable oil and swirl to coat bottom. Add chicken in a single layer and saute, turning occasionally until chicken is browned.
Sauce and Vegetables
- Add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to chicken. Saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Turn instant pot off and add sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar, and honey to instant pot. Seal instant pot lid, close vent, and cook on high pressure 6 minutes
- Manually release pressure from instant pot, remove lid, and add sweet pepper, pineapple, and snow peas. Seal lid back on instant pot and let sit 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Season sweet fire chicken with salt and pepper to taste if needed and serve warm over steamed rice with green onions on top. Enjoy!