Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken

Are you a fan of crispy, crunchy chicken? A fan of sweet chili sauce? If you answered yes to both of these you are absolutely going to love this Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken. It was a huge, huge hit in our house and I’m pretty confident it’ll be a huge hit in yours too.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to eating with kiddos, things can be…difficult. I always knew though that it would be a rule in our house that I make one thing for dinner and you eat that. If you don’t there is no dessert or snacking later. It’s kind of tough but so is making a different meal for everyone. But because I am not one that likes seeing my little guys hungry,  I am always looking for crowd pleasers. By crowd pleasers, I don’t just mean a meal that everyone takes a little bite out of here and there. I mean meals where my little guys gobble down their first plate and ask for more. That is exactly what happened with this Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken.

Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken

The first thing that makes this popcorn chicken a winner, especially for the little ones, is the fact that it’s in bite size pieces. Easy for little hands to old and little mouths to bite.

The second thing that makes it a winner, is the sweet chili marinade. It’s simply sweet chili or Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar. The hard part is that you do have to marinate it for at least 6 hours, so plan ahead. You want to do this because you really want that sweet chili flavor to work it’s way into the chicken.

The final thing that makes this Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken a total winner is the coating that you get from the combo of plain and panko bread crumbs. It is crispy, crunchy and all kinds of delicious.

Seriously guys, popcorn chicken does not get much better than this.

Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken

Sweet Chili Popcorn Chicken Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce (or Sweet Thai Chili Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 pound (about 2) boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • oil for frying (such as avocado or canola)



Whisk together sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and vinegar. Place chicken in a container and pour sauce over the top and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.


Set up an assembly line. Place flour on one plate. Whisk together egg and milk in a bowl. Combine panko, plain bread crumbs, salt and granulated garlic on another plate.


Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess. Dredge pieces in flour, dip in egg/milk wash and then dredge in bread crumbs. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated.


Heat a 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop a couple bread crumbs in oil and if they sizzle it's ready. Fry chicken, in batches about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Use tongs to transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all chicken is fried. Serve immediately.



  • My family would love this popcorn chicken… we love sweet chili sauce ( I already have a big bottle in my fridge). This definitely is a winner. :)

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    I love how easy these come together! That coating looks incredible!

  • Love sweet chili sauce and this looks perfect for game day! I need to try your recipe!

  • Amy Stafford

    Love how easy and cute these are. The perfect party food!

  • Heather @FrenchPress

    yes yes yes, we are fans!

  • Ashley Walkowiak

    can you make a “christmas crack” recipe please?

  • This looks great!! Super easy and a great party food!

  • Lemons for Lulu

    Even I love bite sized food and that sauce sounds crazy good!

  • These seriously look so good! I do love both sweet chili sauce and popcorn chicken, so these are definitely going on the menu soon.

  • Des @ Life’s Ambrosia

    I had to google “christmas crack” and now I’m pretty sure I HAVE to make it. I happened to buy a costco sized box of saltines a few weeks ago and my husband keeps asking me what I’m going to do with all of them. Now I know!

  • Renee Goerger

    I do believe the title comes from the fact that I wouldn’t be able to stop popping these tasty little morsels into my mouth one after the other. Seriously! They look SO SO SO SO good! Can’t wait to make them for myself!
    Renee – Kudos Kitchen

  • Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar

    Oh man, I LOVE popcorn chicken and the fact that they’re marinated with sweet chili sauce makes them even better! Gotta try these soon!

  • Krista

    so basically i adore anything with sweet chili sauce – translation, we are having these for dinner tonight! :)

  • Ashley Walkowiak

    ahh life is good, thanks Des!

  • My answers are an enthusiastic YES and YES!