Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken

 Saucy sweet and spicy Asian chicken made healthier at home in your slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken | Creme de la Crumb

Happy Tuesday y’all!

You know by now that I love homemade better-than-takeout Asian style dishes. Truly adore them. Which sort of explains why I have so many of them on this here blog. My favorite varieties always involve a little sweet and a little heat.

And the best of the best can be made in my crockpot.

Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken | Creme de la Crumb

This dish tastes a lot like the Sweet Fire Chicken from Panda Express if you’ve ever had it. If you haven’t, no worries, you’re going to love it – trust me. Juicy pineapple chunks, sweet red peppers, and chicken all tossed in a spicy-sweet sauce… what’s not to love here??

If you’re a big fan of spicy food – like me! – then you should definitely add a few extra red pepper flakes and serve it with a bit of sriracha sauce for drizzling.

Ah. heaven.

Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken | Creme de la Crumb

4.8 from 9 reviews
Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Saucy sweet and spicy Asian chicken made healthier at home in your slow cooker!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4
  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sweet red chili sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold water + 3 tablespoons corn starch
  1. Add chicken, chopped red peppers, and pineapple to a greased slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together sauce ingredients except for the 4 tablespoons cold water + 3 tablespoons corn starch. Pour sauce into the slow cooker and give everything a stir. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, take the lid off of the slow cooker. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining cold water and corn starch. Set the slow cooker on high (if it isn't already) and pour the corn starch slurry into the pot, stir, then cover and cook another 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Stir just before serving.
  4. Serve with steamed rice or fried rice if desired. (Click HERE for my favorite easy homemade fried rice recipe)


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Is sweet red chili sauce the same as the sweet thai chili sauce? Or are they two different things?

    Wondering the same?

      I made it with sweet chili sauce and it was delicious.

This sounds so yummy! I can’t wait to try it stovetop (instant gratification is more my pace).

I tried this yesterday, and it was so delicious. It was definitely a hit with my husband, we even had enough for leftovers!

Do you have a low sugar version? Sounds great but I could never make this for my husband.

    Hi Katrina – I’ve always made this recipe this way but you could try just cutting back on the sugar!

      I cut the sugar in half and it was delicious.

    I didn’t put any sugar in because I thought the pineapple juice would add enough sweetness, it is still tasty, but pretty runny. I think I’ll try it again without adding as much water and i think it would be very good.

      There’s no pineapple juice. It calls for drained pineapple.

      I’d drain the pineapple juice into a measuring cup, and then add water to make a total of one cup.

I was recently diagnosed w/ a soy allergy and have been CRAVING chinese food. I have a bottle of sweet chili sauce I bought that I didn’t know what to do with, and I am SO HAPPY I stumbled across this recipe. I am going to be making this for dinner tonight, or tomorrow.

Hi – thanks for sharing a yummy recipe 🙂

Would this work as a freeze and dump recipe? Can I prep ingredients in a bag, freeze and pull out for later? Thank you!

    Hi Trish! I haven’t tried freezing first so I can’t for absolute sure, but it’s definitely worth a try! If you do give it a go, I’d love to hear about the results!

    From experience, I would recommend that you put the bell peppers in a separate baggie, when you freeze. This will prevent them from becoming soggy when you pull out to cook.

Ok… so I have made a lot of recipes from websites, and normally they are good, but this one, this one is seriously amazing! I could literally just eat the sauce. Soooooooo good! Definitely my favorite thing I have ever made. Super pumped to try the healthier sweet and sour chicken next!

    Yayyyy! Oh your comment just made my day – isn’t that sauce to die for?? You’ll love the sweet and sour chicken and you have to try my favorite Honey Sriracha Chicken and Broccoli Beef recipes too, they’re two of my most popular!!

What is sweet chili sauce?

    It’s a red sweet and spicy sauce you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores!

      Trader Joe’s has a delish sweet red chili sauce. Great over cream cheese on crackers!

I loved this! There was enough flavour that I did not need to spoon any sauce on the rice, which cut the sugar and sodium.

I just made this and it is SO delicious. I’m going to add onions next time! Absolutely delicious. A+. Served with rice noodles. Will be great with a little sriracha on top

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love the Sweet Fire Chicken from Panda Express and I love my slow cooker. I could tell that you perfected this recipe to taste for your readers. I ABSOLUTELY love this recipe! WiIl be making again soon!

I made this tonight and it is really runny. Followed all the above directions (cooked on low for 3 hours and then on high for 30 minutes after adding corn starch), but still extremely watery. How was the consistency for everyone else?

    I had the same outcome, I might try it again without adding the water.

      I actually used the juice from the pineapple instead of water, came out to a cup, so I figured it was fate lol

        I think I’m going to put the pineapple juice into a measuring cup, and then add water to make one cup.

      similar outcome of being runny. I wasn’t able to get the ‘glaze’ on the chicken as shown in the pictures… may eliminate the water next time.

    You’re supposed to cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5, not low for 3 hours :p

    I have had many slow cooker recipes turn out this way. I think it is because the chicken breasts are pumped so full of water to inflate the weight. I buy frozen chicken breasts and thaw them in the microwave so I can drain off the water, but I still plan to cut down on water in the recipe.

This is a great post, something I can see myself eating. I must say I have never had this at panda express and I absolutely love spicy food. From Korean to Malaysian food I love sweet with heat. I will try this recipe and let you know the outcome.

I wonder if I could sub Stevia instead of using so much sugar. It looks great!

    Hi Libby! I havent cooked with Stevia at all so I’m not totally sure about how the swap would taste but it’s worth a shot I think!

This looks unreal! I love sweet and spicy and we are crazy about Chinese takeaway but this is a much healthier version. Thanks!

Did you use raw or cooked chicken? I used raw chicken and I had a lot of “debris” I had to get out with a sieve. It also came out watery.

    Hi Laura, that’s strange – I haven’t had that issue and I definitely use raw chicken in this recipe. As for the consistency, the corn starch slurry should thicken the sauce when you switch your crockpot to high. However, if you ever have a similar experience with another slow cooker recipe you can always transfer the contents of the crockpot to a large pan on the stove and add the corn starch slurry to the mixture after bringing it to a boil. This will thicken the sauce really well and works faster too 🙂

did you dump the chicken in raw or did you brown it a little first??

    Hi Rachel, For this recipe I just add the chicken raw, no browning.

This recipe was fantastic! While I haven’t tried it as a freezer meal yet, I will add that it does reheat very well for leftovers!

This was good but more sweet then hot and came out watery even though I used half the water. I liked how it was nice and light.

Looks yummy! Though it’s always best to have the sauce at a steady boil before adding the cornstarch slurry to thicken it, otherwise the cornstarch could actually break down before it ever works. Cornstarch is a great fast thickener, but it also breaks down when heated for too long.

I’ve made this twice already and it’s in my crockpot right now for my third time. I saw someone say they used the pineapple juice (1 cup) instead of the cup of water so I did the same. Soooooo delicious! This time I’m adding the onions so I’ll see how it goes. I’ve never had the runny issue that some are having. LOVE this recipe! It’s going to be one of my regulars now. Thank you!

Tried this tonight and it was yummy, definitely a keeper! Hubby and I are trying to lose a couple of pounds and were very careful with our portions, and we kind of “guestimated”, but was wondering if you had a caloric intake per serving?

    MyFitnessPal has a good recipe builder that will give you the calories per serving! There’s even an import function that will allow you to put in the website URL and will import the ingredients for you. Make sure you review the ingredients it comes up with for that though because it can mess it up sometimes.

      Thanks Jahyd, I will definitely take a look at that!

Is Sriracha the same as the sweet red chili sauce?

This was delicious! definitely will make it again! I did use less sugar (about 1/3rd cup) and it was still pretty sweet. I’m trying to watch my sugar intake so might try with even less next time. Still…soooo good. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m so happy to hear that it came out good even with less sugar!!

HI I am looking forward to making this for dinner tonight but I am wondering can I use frozen chicken rather than thawed chicken?

    Yes you can! You will need probably an extra hour of cooking time though.

Anyone have the issue of it being cooked in half the time?? I put the crock pot on high and the chicken was cooked in about 1hr 20min! I knew it would go faster on high, but I wasn’t expecting that! Or is the 2-3hrs on high recommended to let the flavors blend?

I made it today from the freezer (I put all the ingratiates together in a Ziploc bag).
Me and my husband both loved it. Thank you for a wonderful recipe! Worth the try and time. Success!
Also I have replaced water and sure with pineapple juice from the can.

Would brown sugar work with this recipe?

    Yep! The flavor will be a little bit different but very delicious!

very easy to prep. i halved this recipe and it came out great. followed directions exactly for the low heat, and added in cornstarch right at the end and i thickened up perfectly! i usually have issues with runny crock pot recipes, but not this one. i personally think I’ll try adding some onion and soy sauce for a bit more of a salty balance for the sweet. red pepper gives a great kick, so yummy!

Delicious! I definitely will be making this again and again. It looked like it was going to be runny, but the cornstarch mixture thickened it up nicely. Thank you for an easy, healthy dinner.

I know I saw someone say the freezed and dumped, how long did you keep it in the crockpot? Could you cook on low 6-8 hours?

I made this for dinner tonight. We have a three week old baby so meals need to be fast and easy. This fit the bill and my husband and I loved it. I was worried it was too sweet but he didn’t think so at all. It thickened right up (I think others are adding all the pineapple juice as well as a cup of water making the sauce way too thin) and was sooo yummy! We will be having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thank you for the fantastic recipe – and my goodness, I’m stalking the rest of your site which has a ton of great recipes I’ll be trying in the upcoming weeks.

I’ve tried this a couple of times and both times it’s come out way too watery. The first time I drained the pineapple completely and added the called for cup of water; this time I drained the pineapple and added 1/2 c. of water and there was still way too much liquid.

    I have found that using frozen chicken (especially really cheap stuff) will make recipies more watery than using fresh chicken. Frozen breasts are often coated in salt water during the freezing process and when it thaws, the ice melts adding water to your recipe. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but this may be the problem for the folks with runny sauce. 😉

Omg, this looks so good! I love Panda Express’s sweet fire chicken, so I totally have to try this. Curious though, what size can of pineapple do you use? I saw your stove top version of this had 2 8-oz cans rather than 1 as listed here so wondering if perhaps it is a bigger can. Also, do you have a favorite sweet chili sauce? Thanks!

What size can of pineapple? Thanks!

Amazing recipe. I wanted a vegetarian variety of the same and substituted potatoes for chicken, it turned out pretty amazing 🙂

Delicious but I made a couple of changes: I used chili garlic sauce (same company as Sriracha sauce) and instead of water and sugar, I used the juice the pineapple came in. I also added a couple of tablespoons of minced ginger. We really enjoyed it! Thanks for the recipe.

Has anyone froze this recipe and used at a later time? I am meal prepping today and would love to add this recipe to my menu!

This recipe didn’t turn out very well for me… I don’t know what happened, but my husband and I didn’t like the flavor, and the sauce was runny even after using the cornstarch.

Do you recommend the high cooking time or the low. What are the results for each?

Okay, I know I am a weirdo, but I don’t like peppers; red, green, yellow or orange. I used Snow Peas instead. It turned out amazing and I absolutely love this recipe. I use a disposable crock pot liner when I cook and it really helps with clean up. I know I will make this recipe not only for myself but for pot lucks. It’s just easy enough for me and I am a real chicken lover.

Great recipe. I used thighs rather than breasts because I like the flavor better. Also added a coarse chopped medium onion. It all turned out perfectly with such a pleasant blend of flavors. I am a kidney patient with a strict diet and it’s wonderful to find a recipe I can enjoy. Thank you for sharing.

Well I’m glad I saw this recipe, just look at all the great comments. I love Asian cooking and don’t do a bad Fried Rice myself, but these recipes well I have found one yet that I really love. Some want you to coat your chicken in corn starch and fry it. I didn’t like that. But this looks and sounds amazing, I must try it. But I have to add the onions and the snow peas, the more green veggies the better for me, so green peppers too. I love a good sauce to put on my sticky rice. I will be making soon and I’m sure it will be fantastic. It looks like a keeper to me. Thank you.

Has anyone ever tried using honey instead of the sugar?

Do you start with fRoZen or thawed chicken breasT? Does one vary in cooking time or is it the same regardless?

    Hi Aly – you should use thawed chicken breast so that you are able to cut into bite size pieces prior to cooking.