Inspired by a THMed restaurant favorite, this Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken recipe boasts just enough heat to burn a bit and a just enough sweet to make it lip smacking good.
One of my favorite things to eat at a chain restaurant is Qdoba’s Cholula Hot and Sweet chicken. However, it has a LOT of honey and a LOT of sugar in it. Meaning it’s not so great for my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle.
So, I decided to THM-ify it. The result is this low carb, keto friendly, but equally as yummy, Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken recipe.
Which Chicken to Use for This Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken
This recipe is great on a variety of chicken cuts. It’s yummy on breasts, thighs, or tenderloins. If you’d like, you could use it on hot wings. You can even use it on non-chicken meat like turkey, steak, brisket, roast, or pork chops.
What is Cholula?
Cholula® is a brand of yummy hot sauce featuring arbol and piquin peppers. It has some heat to it and a lot of flavor!
If you prefer, you can use a different kind of hot sauce. Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce would be good (or might I recommend my homemade hot pepper sauce instead).
What THM Fuel is This Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken?
This recipe can jump fuels based on the meat you use and what you serve with it.
Make it with white meat such as chicken breasts, and you’ll have a THM Fuel Pull. Use dark meat like thighs and its fat content rises it to a delicious THM S.
If you make this as a THM FP (with lean meat like chicken breasts), then you can turn it into a THM E meal by adding brown rice, a starchy veggie, or any other E side or topping.
How to Eat This Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken
This Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken recipe can be served many ways.
You can enjoy it just by itself (just don’t forget a veggie side).
You can serve it in a low carb tortilla or in a bowl with brown rice, beans, toppings (onions, tomatoes, etc.), and plain Greek yogurt as a THM E burrito or burrito bowl. Or in a low carb tortilla or a bowl with shredded cheese, sour cream, cauliflower rice, and toppings (avocado, etc.) for a THM S burrito or burrito bowl.
You can have it as taco filling or as the protein to a salad. It tasted great with my house ranch dressing!
What to Serve with This Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken
You can enjoy this with a lot of different things. It’s great with a side of veggies (use lean white meat when enjoying with a starchy side).
You can serve it alongside brown rice or cauliflower rice.
Try it with an on-plan bread or a leafy green side salad.
Wait — Isn’t Honey Off Plan?
On Trim Healthy Mama, you may have read or heard that honey is a no go. However, Serene and Pearl (Trim Healthy Mama founders) have since loosened up a little on that. It is now on plan in small amounts. It is not recommended as a chief sweetener for those in weight loss mode, but it is okay occasionally for an occasional sweet treat.
But Isn’t Honey a THM E Ingredient?
Yes, yes it is. However, E ingredients used in small enough portions are okay in an FP or S, especially if not overdone. If you have an issue with honey even in this small amount (or if you are on another diet that requires the full omission of honey), I have included a substitute for it in the recipe.
What is the Honey Even For?
The honey is purely there for flavor and quality glaze-like marinade. It adds yumminess, texture, and authentic flavor. If you’re looking at the nutrition facts, it says there are 2 grams of sugar (from the honey) per serving. This is within Trim Healthy Mama limits (ie don’t have more than one serving in a meal). However, if you would rather not use it for any reason, you can omit it or swap it for the extra sweetener I mention in the recipe.
Sweet with Heat Cholula Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken of choice (breast, tenderloins, or thighs)
- ½ cup Cholula Original Hot Sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional; or use ½ teaspoon more Super Sweet)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons THM Super Sweet (or equivalent sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon mineral salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks (see note below). Place inside a zippy bag or other airtight container.
- In a bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients except the butter. Pour into the zippy bag or container with the chicken.
- Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat
- Pour all the chicken and marinade into skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until begin to blacken a bit on the outside and cooked through (165 °F internal temperature).
- Serve as desired (see post for ideas).