Panda Express Sweetfire Chicken Breast made with crispy chicken with garlic, red bell peppers, onions and pineapples in a sweet and spicy chili sauce.
I’ve been saving this Panda Express Sweetfire Chicken Breast recipe for a couple of months and let a couple of other Panda Express Recipes leapfrog it because I’m a total sap and thought it would be cute to save it for the Valentine’s Day lead up posts! I know, I know, I’m a total cheeseball.
This recipe is simple and leans pretty heavily on sweet chili sauce (I love this Trader Joe’s option for it) and is a pretty simple and straightforward recipe. The only thing I wanted to note in case you miss the note in the recipe section is that if you want it to be a true copycat don’t dice the chicken into cubes. You need to cut the chicken into thinner squares, so like a 1 inch by 1 inch square that is maybe ¼ inch thick. Think of it like the shape of a matchbook a thin square.
So if you’ve been following along you know that I’ve been on a mission to recreate the entire Panda Express menu. Why you ask? Well, as a general rule if I go out for fast food my default options I usually pick are In-N-Out (I made the Animal Style Double Double Cheeseburger and the Animal Style French Fries) and Panda Express. So if you would like to take a trip down Chinese food memory lane, here are all the other recipes we have so far so you can build your two or three item plates at home.
- Panda Express Orange Chicken
- Panda Express Mushroom Chicken
- Panda Express Firecracker Chicken Breast
- Panda Express Chow Mein
- Panda Express Fried Rice
- Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken
- Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken
- Panda Express Beijing Beef
- Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken
- Panda Express Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast
- Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoon
- Panda Express Beef and Broccoli
- Panda Express Sweetfire Chicken Breast (you’re here!)
Also it is worth noting that even though the recipe uses white meat, this recipe is only marginally healthier than orange chicken. Just wanted to be up front about that with you guys. In the past I’ve seen the ads that highlight the healthier white meat in the recipe but a quick glance at the nutrition facts says it all. As cookie monster puts it (or at least did for a season or two when he ate veggies), we consider this a sometimes food. Haha. For Panda Express recipes I make all the time, I would stick to the Mushroom Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken which are all pretty darn healthy.
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil , divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into 1-inch squares, but thinly*
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs , beaten
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 1/4 white onion , sliced into 1 inch thick wedges
- 2 cups pineapple , cubed into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons green onions , chopped for garnish
- sesame seeds , for garnish
- Heat ½ cup of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
- In a large ziploc bag add the chicken and cornstarch, seal and shake until totally covered.
- Dip each piece into the egg to cover, then dregde into the flour (to be honest I usually just add flour back into the original ziploc bag and add the chicken back into it and shake it a little each time so the chicken doesn't stick to each other.)
- Working in batches, cook for 2 minutes on the first side and one minute on the second side or until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from the pan.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in your skillet over medium high heat.
- Add bell pepper, onion, garlic and pineapple
- Cook until the bell pepper and pineapple just starts to wilt a little and is warm throughout (about 2-3 minutes)
- Add the chicken back in and add in the sweet chili sauce.
- Stir to combine everything and serve immediately.
- If using the green onions and sesame seeds, sprinkle them on top as a garnish.
Do you think you can cook the chicken in the air fryer? I am trying to make it a bit healthier.
Would you please do a Copycat Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken?
Absolutely love this recipe! Easy to make with just a little bite to it. Will definitely keep it on the menu!
This recipe is AMAZING. I messed up the first time I made it by quadrupling the recipe (we like to meal prep) but it made so much! Double this recipe is perfect for my family of 4, and we can still have it for lunch the next day. This recipe is a new favorite in our home, and it made it into my recipe book. I didn’t change a single thing. I prefer the P.F. Chang’s sweet chili sauce, but that’s just personal preference! I repeat myself again- AMAZING RECIPE!!!! Thank you so much!!
Thank you for your support, Christine. So glad you all enjoy it!
Excellent! Just made this last night, doubled the recipe and it turned out fantastic! Thank you!!
Have you ever tried baking it instead of frying?
I haven’t but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
Very good and easy to make. Will definitely be making it again.
Thank you for this Sweet Fire recipe. I am not sure if Panda Express is going to continue serving this recipe. Our Panda just quit having this on the Drive-Thru menu and has swapped it out with (something called) “Sweet & Sour Chicken Breasts”. I think it is similar to their Teriyaki Chicken, which is strips and not pieces. Or, that’s what they said that they’re not going to have it locally to us in Houston, Texas. So, it’s good that you are providing this recipe to all of us.
It’s such a bummer when they change our favorites. I’m glad you have this recipe now though.
This is a fantastic recipe identical to the Panda Express version. I’ve made it 4 or 5 times; the flavors and textures are spot on. And since it’s homemade, of course it’s far superior to what you get from Panda.
I haven’t had fresh pineapple available, so I’ve used canned pineapple chunks and canned pineapple rings chopped into bitesize chunks, both of which work just fine. Finishing a plate with a drizzle of sriracha adds a nice touch of extra heat too. So good.
Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I’ll be making this for years.
You made my day! I’m so happy to know this is a recipe that you’ll use over and over again. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.
My family loved this dish! I used the Panda Express sweet chili sauce. Thanks for the recipe!
You’re welcome, Carey.
What brand sweet chili sauce did you use?
I like to use Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce. I’ve also used Trader Joe’s brand too. Enjoy!
Great find, will try it tonight, by the way have you ever tried velveting the chicken first?
I haven’t but that sounds like a great idea.
Love Panda Express and can’t wait to try ur recipes at home. I am trying to eat healthy so was wondering how to skip the frying part. I think that’s the part that makes this dish unhealthy. Can I bake the chicken cubes after coating them? If yes, on what setting and how how long you suggest.
Would be waiting anxiously for ur reply, Thanks
I haven’t tested it but you could coat the chicken and then place them on a hot baking sheet, layered evenly. Lightly spray with cooking spray and bake for 10 min at 375 degrees. Then move them up to a higher rack and broil them until crispy but make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Hope this helps.
Tasted BETTER than Panda Express! And we are obsessed with this recipe there!!!! God Bless you!!!!
You’re so kind, Mary! Thanks for the 5 stars.
One of our family favourites. Thank you ?
I made this last night and my husband loved it
I just did this recipe. It is pretty good. The only thing I would suggest, is adding some salt to the chicken breasts. Just a pinch.
Yum! This is absolutely delicious looking!
I always try to make a first time recipe as written. This was great and well eaten nothing left and asking for more. The only way to end dinner. Very good indeed.
Perfection! My kids & my husband love this recipe! I use it all the time. I also serve this with jasmine rice.
Yum, love jasmine rice
Perfection! My kids & my husband love this recipe! I use it all the time.
Served this with Jasmine Rice with a hint of sesame oil in it and it was beyond good. I did add a little extra chili sauce, garlic, and pineapple, but simply to taste. Was better than the original.
Yum! It’s amazing what a dash of sesame oil can do to rice!
Family loves, loves, loves this. Tastes exactly like the restaurant. Everytime turns out perfectly. I’m so happy to find this post. Thank you ?
Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know how much you all enjoy it. I really appreciate the 5 stars, Dee.
Do you think it’ll be just as good if I don’t coat them with flour?
No, you need to coat them in flour before baking. Enjoy!
Could you coat it with almond flour instead? For a lower carb meal?
I am thinking of making this tonight and was wondering if a different cut of chicken would alter the flavor much. I already have chicken thighs in the freezer I was thinking of using.
I think it would be fine using thighs. Enjoy!
Super delicious and easy too. Thank you for sharing. Its a keeper.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
This recipe is super delicious and so easy to make. Thank you for sharing your recipes. My husband thought it may even be better than Panda Express.
Thanks, Cece! I really appreciate the 5 stars!
Discovered you website by accident. Tried orange chicken last week and today tried sweet fire. Love them both. Thank you so much. I am for sure your everyday visitor. Quick question, do you have a paper cookbook that you sell?
I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes. No cookbook….at least, not yet 😉
Gonna try making this tonight. Have you tried making the eggplant with tofu?
I haven’t but if you decide to try it, I’d love to know how it turns out.
I just made this recipe and want to send hugs out there to the chef! This recipe is on the spot. Only thing I changed is, our grocery store actually sells the panda Express sweet chili sauce, so I used that instead. BTW just wanted to point out, I could just be missing it but I don’t think the white onions are listed when it’s time to put it in the pan and stirfry. I just put them in with the bell peppers. Thanks again!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! So sorry the onion was missing from the instructions, but you added it in perfectly.
I have made this before but I’m not sure if I used fresh pr canned pineapples. Which do you recommended?
I recommend fresh if it’s available but canned chunks of pineapple will work, just make sure to drain off any syrup.
I made this recipe tonight and it came out FANTASTIC!!!!!! Family LOVED it!!! I am not a very good cook so I was kind of shocked!! It really was excellent!
I followed your recipe word for word-perfection! My daughter said I easily could have told her it was take out. Next recipe up-Orange Chicken!!
This makes me so happy! I’m so glad you all loved it!
Just made it tonight !! Wife loved it . Instead of a able spoon of oil at the end ,I used the pineapple juice . Came out great !!!
Awesome recommendation Angelo! Thank you
I’ve never posted. review for a recipe before but this was AMAZING! I made it and hubby & I both flipped over it! Thanks so much for sharing! Can’t wait to try the rest of your copycat recipes!
It means a lot that you loved it so much you came back to let me know! I love copycat recipes so there’s always an ongoing list of wonderful ones to choose from!
I just made this for dinner and it was amazing!!! Paired it with some white rice and it was perfect. Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks for taking the time to come back and letting me know how much you enjoyed it!
My family loved it! It was absolutely delicious and I thank you for the recipe.
You’re welcome…glad you loved it!
This was soooo good!! My husband and I tried it, and will be making it again soon!! We did use sweet peppers, cut thin on a mandolin (sp?) slicer, as we already had it 🙂 turned out very good 🙂 thank you so much!!
So glad you enjoyed it and then came back to tell me about it!
This is one of my favorite entrees when I go to Panda Express! Hoping to make this in the coming week or so for my family, sounds delicious! Thanks a lot!
This recipe is OFF THE CHARTS AMAZING!
My family liked the Panda Express recipe, but as you stated, hot off the personal stove delishiousness, has the family in LOVE!!! I don’t think we have eaten “Asian food” so much in a month. Devoting once a week to trials of your other copycat recipes has made the tablecloth stand at attention! Thank you for sharing the wealth!
I love Panda Express and have been looking for a recipe for their vegetables. Have you recreated that one yet? Thanks so much.
I wanted to cook for my fiance and decided to make her SweetFire Chicken Breast (her favorite thing from panda). I’m not really good in the kitchen but I followed your recipe and it came out great. She loved it and I love it! And it came out great. Thank you for your copycat recipe.
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it, and that you chose my recipe to make for her!
Just wanted to thank you for this. We tried it yesterday and it was amazing! Perhaps better than the real deal! Allow me to share a couple of cooking tips. Firstly, step 7 in the cooking process appears to leave out the white onion. If you follow the steps like we did, you will find yourself with a pile of raw onion when it is time to combine everything. Secondly, we made sure to buy the Panda Express brand sweet chili sauce. We found it at Walmart. It really made it very authentic.
Whoops! Off to correct that, sometimes as I am editing and rewriting I have a habit of deleting a line of text. Good catch! So glad you enjoyed it, this is definitely one of my favorite copycats!
I was wondering that also, like wouldn’t the onions be raw, but i just added them in when I was mixing the bell pepper, pineapples, and garlic with the oil.
this dish looks delic…i used to go to Panda Express all the time when i lived in michigan. I wonder do they have any in sofla.
Looks delicious! I’ve never been to panda express but I love sweet chile sauce so I’m sure I would love this dish!
This looks so tasty! I can’t say I’ve had Panda Express, but I would LOVE to try this dish.
It is pretty tasty, like a spicier honey chicken. It is pretty yummy!
Panda Express is one of my family’s favorites. I have not tried this one there yet! It looks amazing.
Thanks! I’m trying to copy their whole menu!
Recipes likes these are my favorite. I hate frying stuff though so I never make them. Maybe I will give this a spin-I am juts so scared to fry!
It isn’t a true deep fry, just a shallow fry, but you can also skip the breading and just sautee the chicken too 🙂
This looks fantastic and if it tastes half as good as it looks then you have far surpassed the mall food court!
YUM!! this is my kind of comfort food… it’s on my list recipe to try now 🙂
Thanks! This is my kind of comfort food too!
That looks so good! My hubby will love this! I have to make it for him!
Thanks! I hope he enjoys it!
Just so you know, every time I pass by a Panda Express at the mall, I think of you. I’m expecting to see your face on their menu one of those days hehe
Thanks, Florentina! That’s not really my goal but I don’t think I would turn them down if they came calling 🙂
Ohmygosh This looks luscious! And I also love Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce. Great dinner instead of takeout 🙂
It looks like you totally nailed it and I can’t wait to give it a try. I’m practically drooling.
Thanks! I thought it tasted really close to the real thing!
This looks amazing! I love Chinese food, so I know I’d love this recipe. I need to make this soon. My husband and I really love Chinese! Yum!
Thanks, Kathy! I hope you enjoy it!
So very delicious indeed! I am making this for Valentine’s!!
Thanks, Myrah! I hope you made and enjoyed it!
This sure does look delicious. I love a good Chinese food recipe!
I love to try copycat recipes. This looks so delicious. I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken.
Copycat recipes are some of my favorites too!
I am not sure if we have Panda Expresses by us. I see your recipes often and now I understand what it is. Thanks for the recipe and the explanation.
You’re welcome, Shelley!
I love Chinese food, this looks amazing! I have never tried Panda Express before, I bet this tastes better!
Thanks! I love Chinese food too – that’s why I’ve taken on this quest to replicate Panda’s entire menu!
Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing. This is actually one of my favorite dishes at Panda Express. I love your recipe… thanks for sharing
Thanks! It’s one of my favorites too!
This looks so yummy, I must try to make it at the house. I think we would all enjoy it.
Thanks, Brandy! Let me know how it turns out!
Oh my goodness does this look amazing! I know if I made this for my family they would flip! Thanks for all the copycat recipes you have been sharing. 🙂
Thanks, Dawn! Let me know if you decide to make this for them!
Those sound delicious. I can’t wait to try this.