50+ Spicy Chicken Recipes for People Who Love Heat
Kick up the heat with one of our best spicy chicken recipes of all time. Whether you're looking for something mildly hot that will appease everyone at your table (like these easy Buffalo Chicken Sliders or this Mexican Chili Verde Chicken Casserole) or a more intense recipe for more adventurous eaters (like these customizable Fiery Chicken Thighs with Persian Rice), fans of kickin' chicken will want to bookmark this collection.
Sweet and Spicy Chicken and White Bean Stew
Lemongrass lends a hint of citrus to this spicy stew. We recommend serving this dish with an off-dry riesling, which will balance nicely with the heat and cut through the richness of the velvety coconut milk.
Spicy Chicken Cacciatore
Serve this saucy dish over polenta or pasta. Transform leftovers into soup: Shred the chicken, and place in a pot with sauce. Add unsalted chicken stock, diced zucchini, and diced carrots; simmer until veggies are tender.
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
For a family-friendly weeknight dinner that feels comforting but loads in the good stuff, Buffalo chicken spaghetti squash is where it’s at. Featuring shredded chicken, carrots, celery, blue cheese, Buffalo sauce, and a drizzle of ranch, these hearty spaghetti squash boats are deliciously cheesy, easy, and convenient.
Green Chile-Chicken Stew
All the big flavors from a south-of-the-border Posole are found in this freezer-friendly stew. Ideal for feeding a crowd during a gameday party, serving the family for a weeknight meal, or enjoying the leftovers for lunch, this recipe deserves a spot in your list of favorite cool-weather soups and stews.
Air-Fried Chile Chicken Chimichanga
This lightened take on chimichangas only tastes indulgent. Perfect for lunch or dinner, the golden, toasted tortilla gives way to a creamy, rich, and chewy interior. For an even crispier exterior, feel free to rotate the burrito more than once. We used Ole Extreme High Fiber, Low Carb wheat wraps—you can find similar wraps at the grocery store.
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Celery
We can’t decide what we love more about these Buffalo celery bites—the fact that they require zero cooking, come together in about 15 minutes, and are roughly the easiest appetizer ever OR the sheer magnitude of how delicious they are.
Chicken Tamale Casserole
If you’re craving tamales but just don’t have the time, this tamale casserole is a quick and easy answer. Homemade tamales can be too time-consuming to prepare on a weeknight, but corn bread mix captures the same flavor. Feel free to experiment with different types of meat, such as ground beef or turkey, or trying chile verde salsa instead of enchilada sauce. No matter how you prepare it, this dish will quickly become a family favorite.
Za’atar Roasted Chicken over Sumac Potatoes
On countless visits here before I made Israel my home, I’d buy giant bags of za’atar from the shuk; that way, after I left and no matter where I was, if I was pining for the sun and spice of this magical place, I could sprinkle it back into my life, if even just for the duration of a meal.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
This easy buffalo chicken dip is addictively delicious, and you’ll never bring it to a party without getting rave reviews. Our buffalo chicken dip recipe delivers bold, three-cheese flavors and a kick of spice from the hot sauce. The creamy, tangy dip is the perfect crowd-friendly comfort food to make as temperatures drop.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Spicy Red Curry with Chicken
Transform your basic slow-cooked chicken into a rich, exotic dish with a spicy red curry sauce and fluffy jasmine rice. An aromatic blend of lemongrass, ginger, and garlic gets a creamy, spicy kick from coconut cream and sliced red Fresno chiles. You’ll warm yourself from the inside out with this hearty, flavor-packed chicken supper recipe.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Wing-fans and salad-fans, this one’s for you. We gussied up the classic buffalo chicken appetizer and transformed it into a healthy entrée salad of saucy chicken strips, crisp carrots and celery, and pungent buttermilk-blue cheese dressing. A quick and easy weeknight meal, this buffalo chicken salad will please everybody at the dinner table. Serve this buffalo chicken salad with toasted French bread baguette slices for a more filling meal, and reserve some dressing on the side for dipping.
Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Fiesta Chicken and Carrot Rice
This quick-cooking chicken dish comes together in a single skillet, cutting back on cleanup time, and helping get dinner onto the table with a minimum of fuss. It also happens to be delicious, and a family favorite among even the pickiest of kids. Gina Homolka is the founder of skinnytaste.com and @skinnytaste.
Nashville Hot Chicken Bake
If you’re craving hot chicken but don’t feel like doing the work, try this quick and fun dish. It’s spicy with hints of sweetness, with juicy and flavorful chicken and crunchy bread topping.
Instant Pot Chicken Wings
Make homemade wings in minutes with some help from your Instant Pot. Everyone's favorite pressure cooker get your chicken wings cooked through quickly, while the broiler crisps them up. Serve with crunchy veggie sticks and the sauce of your choosing.
Fiery Chicken Thighs with Persian Rice
Pay close attention to the rice as it cooks over medium-low heat--when you hear it begin to crackle, turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook until the bottom side of the rice develops a golden crust. Serve with 1 pound fresh green beans sautéed in 1 tablespoon butter.
Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Your favorite appetizer just got upgraded to the dinner menu. These reinvented tacos check every craving box with less than a third of the sodium and half the fat of traditional Buffalo wings.
Air-Fried Spicy Chicken Wing Drumettes
Chicken wing drumettes (the upper part of the wing) are a smart choice for air frying—their small size means you don’t have to spend all day cooking endless batches. Traditional drumettes require tons of oil to guarantee maximum crispy goodness; this genius recipe gets it done with just a tablespoon of super-flavorful sesame oil.
Mexican Chili Verde Chicken Casserole
This casserole is a favorite in our test kitchen and it's easy to see why. It's delicious, family friendly and easy to prep. You might want to double this recipe—you're going to want leftovers.
Spicy Air-Fried Chicken Thighs
If you’ve been fighting the temptation of fried chicken for the sake of your healthy diet, you can finally indulge guilt free. This spicy, crispy chicken emerges from the air fryer with all the flavor and crunch you’ve been craving. For the best flavor, be sure to let the chicken marinate as instructed—if you have the time, go the full 12 hours.
A standard in Indian cuisine, biryani gets plenty of flavor and fragrance from the spice mix, which typically includes turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and cumin. We use basmati rice here, which is a delicate white rice with an almost floral aroma. We particularly like Royal brand basmati, which has extraordinarily long grains.
This is one of the national dishes of Singapore. Deceptively plain-looking, it’s loaded with flavor when done well—tasty aromatics infuse the rice and chicken as they simmer. The toppings and garnishes add more bold taste and texture. Find sweet soy sauce in the international aisle of the supermarket or at Asian markets.
Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry
Sweet potato, red bell pepper, and baby kale make this quick curry hearty and colorful. These vegetables make the meat almost secondary; just 12 ounces will go far here. If you can’t find baby kale, you can use spinach or lacinato kale cut into 1-inch pieces.
Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry
Chile paste and fresh ginger add just the right amount of heat to Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry. Add a little zip to your weeknight dinners with this flavorful stir-fry.
Paprika-Rubbed Sheet Tray Chicken
Cookbook author and entertaining maven Alison Roman uses this paprika rub to smear on pork roasts or to marinate chicken wings. It’s her go-to seasoning that makes everything taste like really great sausage. The low and slow oven heat ensures none of the spices or bits of garlic burns, while giving the chicken fat plenty of time to render out slowly and evenly.
Habanero-Apricot Chicken Sandwiches
Habaneros contain more capsaicin (the compound that contributes spicy heat) than jalapeños, but removing the seeds and membranes lessens that heat considerably.
Hot Chicken Deviled Eggs
These Southern-inspired deviled eggs say summer fun like nothing else. A picnic-perfect use for leftover fried chicken, these tasty bites are spicy, but not burn-your-mouth spicy. Feel free to increase or decrease the cayenne pepper depending on how much of a kick you like. A sweetness from the chopped pickles, tang from the vinegar and hot sauce, and salty-savory deliciousness from the fried chicken make for a perfectly balanced chicken + eggs-perience.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
For this slider, we tuck the usual Buffalo wing accompaniments--carrots and celery--inside the patty. This gives you all the flavors of a wing plate while also helping to keep the lean breast meat moist. When shredding the celery (so that it incorporates nicely), you'll have to stop occasionally to pull and discard the strings.
Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole
In a pinch and in need of a quick meal that will please everyone? A one-pan, assemble-and-bake Tex-Mex casserole just might be the answer. It takes just 5 ingredients to make a melty, cheesy, smoky green chile chicken dish. Add rice and black beans for a full on fiesta.
Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs
These sweet, Honey Chicken Thighs rank supreme, as one of the most popular Cooking Light chicken recipes of all time – and for good reason. Made in 30 minutes or less, this is the perfect busy weeknight dinner. By mixing a touch of sweet with a hint of spicy, a magical thing happens. Generously seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic and cider vinegar, there’s no room for lack of flavor here. Wonder what secret to mouthwatering thighs is? It’s in the broiler; this cooking method adds a distinctive crunchy outer crust and a tender, juicy inside.
Nashville Hot Chicken Dip
If you are feeling adventurous, go ahead and bump up the amount of hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Just have plenty of liquid on hand the quench the fire. You may also try something sweet, as some people swear that a dessert helps tame the heat.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
This hearty one-pot meal will transport you to New Orleans on the busiest weeknight. Like it spicy? Serve with hot sauce on the side.
Hot Chicken and Doffles
Winner, winner, hot chicken doffle. If these glorious waffle-doughnut hybrid chicken sandwiches don’t peel you out of bed in the morning, we probably can’t help you. Chicken cutlets are dunked in hot sauce-laced buttermilk, doused in an oil bath to master the coveted crisp-crunchy skin, and then glossed with spicy melted butter.
Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball
The buffalo flavor that we all know and love is typically made by combining vinegar, butter, and a cayenne pepper-based hot sauce. Skip the intense prep that buffalo wings require-- get all of the flavor you crave with a buffalo cheese ball.
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Satay Sauce
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Wasabi Mayo
A kicking dipping sauce adds amped up fun and flavor. If you make these skewers on the outdoor grill, make sure to soak your wooden skewers in water before grilling to avoid burning. Make a few extra skewers to add chicken to lunches and salads the next day.
Chicken-Poblano Tortilla Soup
Chilly evenings call for a comforting soup with a bit of restorative kick and plenty of vibrant toppings. Top with tortilla chips, or make your own crispy tortilla strips as shown: Cut 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas into 1/2-inch strips and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes.
Spicy Chicken Shawarma
Spicy Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas with Jicama Slaw
These spicy tostadas are safe to serve to even the pickiest of eaters. If you've got young ones who can't handle the heat, leave the spice rub off their chicken breasts before cooking. Split the bean mixture before adding the adobo sauce, too.
Buffalo Chicken Panini
Spice up sandwich night with this recipe for a hearty and healthy chicken-filled panini. If you're a fan of spicy chicken wings, you're in luck. We make a homemade "wing sauce" with hot sauce, butter, and vinegar. After the chicken breast halves are cooked, they get tossed in the sauce for ultimate flavor impact.
King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole
This ain't your mama's chicken casserole. The comfort food classic gets a modern, nutrient-dense makeover with the addition of quinoa. Beyond being warm, cheesy, and generally delightful, this flavor-packed casserole is loaded with protein and is sure to become a new family favorite.
Kickin' Orange-Glazed Chicken
Don't just quicken your chicken, give it a good kickin', too! Amplify zesty flavors with a citrus glaze for a fast 20-minute chicken dinner tonight.
Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole
This hearty casserole is best served with extra hot sauce or ranch dressing. Our favorite thing about this recipe? You probably won't even have to make a grocery store run--you can whip up a flavorful meal with stuff you already have on hand.
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
Buttermilk-Hot Sauce Brined Chicken
The secret to extra-moist grilled chicken is an overnight soak in a hot sauce-laced buttermilk marinade. Makre sure to allow 24 hours for brining. Your next cookout just got a whole lot spicier.
Hot Chicken-and-Waffle Sandwiches with Chive Cream
We did a taste test and loved the just-fried tenders from the Publix grocery store deli, but you can use your favorite chicken tenders--homemade or storebought.
Sweet-Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Spicy Basil Chicken
Substitute lower-sodium soy sauce if fish sauce is difficult to find. The flavor won't be as complex, but soy sauce will still add a salty note. You can also substitute thinly sliced Thai bird chiles or jalapeño for the sambal oelek—or leave it out completely if you'd rather enjoy a mild dish. Serve with Brown Rice with Sesame and Sautéed Snow Peas and Peppers.
Spicy Blood Orange and Lemongrass Chicken
Attention, citrus lovers: This dish includes zest in the lemongrass-chile rub, juice in the refreshing dressing, and peeled segments in the crunchy cucumber and shallot topping.
Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders with Sesame Dipping Sauce
This sweet and spicy Asian-inspired fried chicken is insanely good and pairs perfectly with a rich and velvety dipping sauce that is full of fresh herb flavors. You can use one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk for both steps in this recipe to create a sweet, rich, and savory dish your whole family will love.