Spicy Pepper Chicken is bite-sized pan-fried chicken thighs, onions, and jalapeno peppers, all drenched in a delectable sweet and savory sauce. Enhance the experience by garnishing with sesame seeds and serving over a bed of rice. Looking for more chicken recipe inspiration? Check out our Roasted Blackened Chicken for another easy and delicious option.

A pan filled with chicken and peppers in a sauce, with a spoon ready to scoop.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs for a richer flavor, or substitute with chicken breasts if preferred.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch is the secret ingredient that helps this dish achieve its crispy texture.

Sauce: Our signature sauce blends soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic for a sweet, salty, and savory symphony of flavors.

Jalapeno Peppers: Customize this dish by choosing different peppers, bell peppers, poblano, serrano, or habanero are all good options (depending on how spicy you want it).

How to Control the Spice Level

Tailor the spice level of your Spicy Pepper Chicken by selecting the right jalapeno peppers and adjusting their preparation. For a spicier kick, opt for older jalapeno peppers with white marks, keeping seeds and ribs intact. To increase spice, switch to a hotter pepper, like a habanero pepper. For a milder taste, remove seeds and ribs before cutting the peppers into rounds, or switch to a milder pepper such as a bell pepper, or poblano pepper.

A green plate filled with rice and topped with spicy pepper chicken.

Preparation & storage

Prep Ahead Tip

Prepare ahead by making the sauce and storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Cut up the chicken and refrigerate for 1-2 days before cooking, streamlining the cooking process for a quick and delicious meal.

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover Spicy Pepper Chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Note that the chicken may become slightly rubbery over time. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave for a convenient and tasty meal the next day.

A pan filled with chicken and peppers in a sauce, with a spoon ready to scoop.

Spicy Pepper Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Experience the bold and spicy goodness of our Spicy Pepper Chicken – a delightful dish that's easy to make and sure to satisfy your cravings.


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cup (85 g) soy sauce
  • cup (83 g) water
  • cup (67 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into thin rounds
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • cooked white rice for serving


  • Add chicken, cornstarch, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and toss to combine.
  • In a separate medium bowl, add water, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
  • To a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Once hot, add chicken. Do not overcrowd the pan. Depending on the size of the skillet, you may have to work in batches. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and tent to keep warm.
  • Add the onions and jalapenos to the skillet and cook until softened (about 4-6 minutes).1
  • Add the chicken and the soy sauce mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with sesame seeds over cooked white rice.

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