Sticky and crispy, baked sweet chili chicken bites is so much better than takeout and so easy to make healthier at home. Bite-sized pieces of breaded chicken are baked until crispy on the outside and tender inside, tossed in a delicious sweet red chili sauce, and topped with sesame seeds and green onions. These chicken nuggets are an easy dish to prepare for a weeknight dinner over a bowl of steamed rice, or as a crave-worthy appetizer on game day.
Just like Baked Sesame Chicken, I am obsessed with crispy chicken coated in a sticky and sweet sauce, especially when it's healthier than takeout. Since these Asian chicken nuggets are baked rather than deep-fried like what you would get at the restaurant, these are so much better for you. Plus, homemade just tastes way better.
To make these baked sweet chili chicken bites, you will need the following ingredients:
- chicken breasts - seasoned with salt and pepper.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- all purpose flour - to coat the chicken.
- eggs - to coat the chicken and help the breadcrumbs stick to it.
- breadcrumbs - to coat the chicken.
- cooking oil spray - helps the coating get super crispy when baked.
- sweet chili sauce - you can use store-bought or homemade if you have access to Asian ingredients. To make homemade sweet chili sauce, you will need rice vinegar, fish sauce (or soy sauce), brown suger, sambal oelek (or chili garlic sauce), cornstarch or flour, and water.
- green onions - for garnish.
- white sesame seeds - for garnish.
How to Make the Best Sweet Chili Chicken Bites
- Prepare the chicken. Pat dry chicken breasts completely with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place into a medium mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. In a large ziploc bag, add flour and cubed chicken. Seal the bag and shake well to coat.
- Coat the chicken. Prepare a shallow plate with the beaten eggs and another with the breadcrumbs. Dip the chicken, one at a time, into the egg wash and evenly coat it. Then dip into breadcrumbs and fully coat. You can gently squeeze crumbs into each piece to adhere and fully coat. The flour will stick to the chicken, the egg wash sticks to the flour, and the breadcrumbs will stick to the egg wash. Arrange the breaded chicken on a large half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spray the chicken with cooking oil spray. This helps create a crispy crust on the outside during baking.
- Bake. Bake the chicken in a 375 F preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. The internal temperature for the chicken should be 165F.
Air Fryer Instructions
Place chicken bites in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray with oil to coat evenly. Cook at 375 F for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165F. Shake the basket halfway during cooking to brown the chicken bites evenly.
- Toss in sweet chili sauce and serve. Transfer the cooked chicken to a large mixing bowl and add in sweet chili sauce (or if making homemade sweet chili sauce, add the chicken into the saucepan after the sauce has been cooked and thickened). Toss gently and well to coat evenly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.
How to Make Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce
To make homemade sweet chili sauce (instead of using store-bought sweet chili sauce), add vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, sambal oelek, cornstarch and water into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine until cornstarch and sugar dissolves. Then, transfer the sauce to a shallow saucepan and heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Stir until thickened to desired consistency.
This sweet chili sauce is sticky, sweet, and slightly spicy and pairs with so many things. You can throw it on meat, noodles, or vegetables, or use it as a dipping sauce for so many appetizers. My favourites to dip into sweet chili sauce are chicken lettuce wraps, fried vegetarian spring rolls, shrimp egg rolls, and fried wontons.
- How to serve: Serve baked sweet chili chicken over a bowl of steamed rice or vegetarian fried rice. For a complete Thai meal with other dishes, pair it with 10-minute chicken Pad Thai, Thai coconut red curry with prawns, Thai red curry mussels or Thai red curry noodle soup.
- How to store: Store any leftover sweet chili chicken bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, heat on the stove over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. If the sauce has thickened up too much, add a little water to thin it out.
More Asian-Inspired Chicken Recipes
- Baked Sesame Chicken
- Healthy Lemon Chicken
- Miso Garlic Chicken Wings
- Shanghai Style Fried Noodles
- Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
- Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.