P.F. Chang’s Spicy Chicken (Copycat)

8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

P.F. Chang’s Spicy Chicken is the perfect copycat dinner. It’s tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet with pineapple juice, chili sauce, green onions, and vinegar.

There’s nothing like finding Copycat Recipes for your favorite takeout dishes, and this Spicy Chicken dish fits the bill perfectly! For the full P.F. Chang’s experience, make other copycat recipes as sides like P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps and P.F. Chang’s Garlic Noodles.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken in skillet


This simple, spicy chicken recipe is sure to become a go-to in your house for weeknight dinners. It’s easy to toss together and takes under 30 minutes to make. Make some stir-fried veggies and Chinese Steamed Rice to go on the side, and you’ll have a dish worthy of any Chinese Restaurant from the comfort of your own table.

When it comes to this simple chicken recipe, the sauce truly makes the dish. There’s nothing like its lightly spicy taste with sweet and tangy undertones from the pineapple juice. In fact, you may want to whip up some extra sauce just to drizzle over your rice and other sides. Trust me; you’ll want it on everything.

Since the sauce is thickened with cornstarch, instead of flour, this chicken recipe is also amazingly gluten-free. So, it should be an excellent fit to serve a variety of diets.

This recipe for Spicy Chicken Breasts isn’t too spicy, but you can always adjust the level of spice depending on your taste. If you prefer a more mild spicy chicken, decrease the amount of chili sauce in the ingredients. On the other hand, if you can’t get enough spice, you can always take it up a couple of notches, and add in some red pepper flakes. Or to make sure the dish is enjoyable to everyone, you can prepare the chicken breast to be fairly mild on the spice, but have extra chili sauce on the side for anyone who wants to set their mouth on fire.



It’s the perfect recipe for the next time your craving Chinese food and in a hurry! You can skip the restaurant and still get classic Chinese cuisine. Throwing this recipe together might be even easier than ordering Chinese food!

All you have to do is prepare the spicy sauce in a saucepan. Once you’ve finished that, heat oil in a wok or large pan and cook the chicken on high heat in the oil, cook the chicken to golden brown perfection then toss it in the sauce before serving. The sautéed chicken comes out tender, juicy, and slightly crispy on the outside every time.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken piece held with chopsticks over skillet


  • Meat: If you love the sauce as much as we do, you’ll want to be using it on as many recipes as possible. Try it on other meats besides chicken breast. You can prepare spicy pork or beef with the same sauce recipe. You could also use this recipe to make bone-in chicken thighs. Keep in mind that the different types and cuts of meat will have different cooking times. You can find safe cooking temperatures for any meat on the USDA’s Website.
  • Sweet and spicy: To pump up the sweetness in your Spicy Chicken dinner, try adding in some brown sugar  to the sauce. The brown sugar will give a deeper, warmer flavor to the sauce. You can adjust the amount in your ingredients depending on your taste.
  • Flavor add-ins: There are plenty of other seasonings you can put in this chicken dish. Try experimenting with pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper, thyme paprika, or garlic powder. You could even make a sweet and spicy spice mix as a dry rub for the chicken cutlets before cooking it. 


  • Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add oil to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the chicken breasts to the instant pot and brown them on each side. You’ll need to brown the chicken breasts in batches.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the seasoning and sauce ingredients.
  • Cut the chicken breasts and toss them in the sauce recipe. Until well coated.
  • Cook the boneless chicken in the instant pot on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Let the pot sit for 10 minutes then remove the valve and open.
  • Add extra sauce, garlic powder, or other seasonings to the chicken recipe to taste and enjoy your restaurant-style, one-pot dinner.



  • Serve: After you’ve cooked PF Chang Spicy Chicken, you shouldn’t leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: To store leftover Spiced Chicken, let it cool to room temperature, then seal it in an airtight container. The cooked chicken breasts will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: This is also a great recipe to freeze. Kept in an airtight container PF Chang Chicken will keep well in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you want to have this dish prepped in advance, prepare the sauce ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. That was the next time you want to make Spicy Chicken Breasts. All you have to do is defrost your chicken and sauce, reheat the sauce, and cook the chicken.

P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken in skillet

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P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken

P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken is the perfect copycat dinner. It's tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet with pineapple juice, chili sauce, green onions, and vinegar.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder


Chicken Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts , boneless skinless (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • vegetable oil , for frying

Spicy Chicken Sauce

  • 5 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/4 cup green onions , thinly sliced (green and white parts)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce , Chinese variety (Panda Express is a good option)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Cut the chicken into matchstick sized pieces and toss with cornstarch.
  • Heat 1 inch of oil in large skillet on high heat and fry the chicken in batches until cooked (you are not looking to brown them, just cook them until crisp), about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove chicken to a plate and drain oil, leaving 1 tablespoon or so behind to make sauce.
  • Add garlic and half the green onions to a large skillet or wok, cooking for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Whisk in the pineapple juice, sweet chili sauce, white vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add in the chicken and stir to combine, cooking 2 minutes until sauce is thickened. If sauce is still thin add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to 1 tablespoon water and add it to the skillet, stir and cook until thickened.
  • Stir in remaining green onions and serve immediately.


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken

P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. TGIF use to have a Cajun Chicken Salad with a hot bacon dressing. Is there anyway you can copy that recipe.
    The chicken was crispy ( and a great cajun flavor) and the salad had some spinach along with other greens. There were hard boiled eggs, shredded mozzarella cheese, and maybe bacon and black olives in the mix.
    The hot bacon dressing was the best.

  2. Sabrina, I’m confused. The picture of this recipe looks like the chicken has been coated with flour before frying. Also a little confused about cutting chicken in matchstick size. Bite size I guess it means?

    1. The pieces (cut into thin French Fry like slices – does that more sense?) are coated in cornstarch! Sorry for the confusion.

  3. This is not even close to PF Changs. It’s good. Just shouldn’t be advertised as a copycat recipe.

  4. It tastes ok, but is not 100%…. PF Changs Spicy Chicken DOES NOT contain pineapple or pineapple juice. If you call them and ask, they will tell you someone with a pineapple allergy can order that dish.

  5. This was delicious! My husband never orders this at PF Chang’s, but I do. He could not get over how good this was! It’s in the dinner rotation now. Thanks for the directions on making ahead and freezing the sauce!

  6. I do not have pineapple juice – can I substitute apple juice or lemon or orange juice? Thanks

  7. I just made this, and it was very delicious! Sabrina, you forgot to say one thing…my kitchen looked like the cornstarch box exploded all over it! haha! The taste was worth the mess I made, though!

    It wasn’t spicy enough for me, so in addition to the sweet chili sauce, I’m going to add some ground chili paste next time. (I was at PFChang’s last week, and asked for it, “extra spicy!!”)

    Thank you so much for your recipe! It was enjoyed by all! 🙂

  8. Made it for dinner tonight, was delicious and so easy. Next time I’m going to include some pineapple bits for something different ? thanks!

  9. Followed the recipe exactly, and the end result is almost completely tasteless. The cooking method for the chicken is good, but the sauce is utterly flavorless. Not in any way reminiscent of PF Chang’s. Wouldn’t recommend wasting the time.

  10. Hello, you mentioned there is soy sauce and sugar in this recipe however I don’t see that in the ingredient list. Could you please confirm? Thank you so much.

    1. So sorry about that. I had it tested a few different ways and didn’t do an edit before posting. I’ve corrected it to read correctly now. Thanks!

  11. Your PF Changs’s Spicy Chicken sounds delicious! In your comments you say brown sugar can be used instead of white, but I do not see white sugar listed in the recipe.

    You also mention soy sauce, but that is not listed either. Are these items used and if so how much of each is used?

    1. I’ve edited to read correctly. I did a few tests of this recipe and ultimately decided it didn’t need the sugar or the soy sauce. You can add it if you’re looking for a sweeter version. Sorry it wasn’t edited before posting. Thanks for your understanding.

      1. I made this recipe last night as it says without any sugar or soy sauce. I felt like I could be a little bit sweeter. What was the previous recipe that everybody keeps referring to with sugar and soy sauce? I would like to try that method too!

      1. i am looking at the recipe right now, and there is still no mention of sugar or soy sauce. can you tell me how much you use? i am trying this tonight

        1. I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this. I didn’t end up using those ingredients. The recipe card is written correctly so as long as you follow it, you’ll be fine. Thanks for your patience.

  12. Nice, nice, nice. Good to see you back to work and figuring out “ALL” (yes, all) of the wonderful P.F. Chang’s delights. All of the “Home-Cooks” on the web are desperate to see someone finally break-through and figure out how to make these meals at home. No one is capable, other than the Pro’s at DTD.

    No, seriously, I was online looking for something else (because I’m trying to copycat Costco’s chinese soup), and I found multiple sites where people were saying how PFC previews a dish and makes it disappear forever shortly thereafter. Lot of people complain about it, looks like. So, they have nowhere to turn to figure it out; also, multiple comments on your site was even asking for how to do this-or-that PFC recipe. And, just by luck, I happened on that recipe, as I was searching for copycat ramen recipes. So, thought I’d send you what I found. Hope it helped.