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Firecracker Chicken Meatballs - These pack loads of spicy, sticky, slightly sweet flavor in one little morsel!
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4.59 from 12 votes

Firecracker Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Sweet, savory, and spicy all in one bite. Perfect for appetizers or main dish!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, firecracker, meatballs, spicy
Servings: 24
Calories: 114kcal
Author: Leigh Harris



  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Preheat the oven to 475ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a saucepan, combine the ingredients for the firecracker sauce over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
    1/2 cup hot sauce, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, panko, cayenne pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Mix all the ingredients together. DO NOT OVERMIX, it will result in tough and dry meatballs.
    2 pounds ground chicken, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 large eggs, 1 cup plain breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Shape the meat mixture into a ball, about 1 tablespoon of meat per ball. (I used a cookie dough scoop) Place shaped meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Brush each meatball with the sauce. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Drizzle or brush with remaining sauce, as desired.


To Make Ahead - Form the meatballs, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for up to 48 hours. Then bake as directed.
Make the sauce as instructed and store it in an air-tight container for up to 48 hours.
Or you can flash freeze the chicken meatballs. Place them on a lined baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 2 hours. Then transfer to a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Make the sauce. Bake as instructed in the recipe.
Storing - Let them cool to room temperature, place them in an air-tight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Freezing - If you know you will be freezing some of the chicken meatballs don’t brush the sauce on them. Freeze in an air-tight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.


Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.7mg