Sweet and Sour Chicken

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No need for take-out when you’ve got this yummy recipe for homemade sweet and sour chicken! Soft and flavorful chunks of chicken with the most delicious sauce to go on top.

Sweet and sour chicken is one of the most classic Chinese recipes! Serve it with some fried rice and egg rolls for a homemade takeout experience!

Sweet and sour chicken over white rice on a plate

It’s Easy + Delicious

This homemade sweet and sour chicken is SUPER easy and delicious and we are ALL about easy dinners, especially on busy weeknights!

Sweet and sour chicken is one of my go-to Chinese food dishes. It tastes so much better than take-out and you’ll be surprised how simple it is to make in your own kitchen.

When we make it at home, I love to serve it over white rice (or when I’m being healthy – cauliflower rice). I’ve listed some of our best rice recipes in the paragraphs below so don’t forget to check those out! You can’t go wrong with white rice or fried rice.

Chicken breast pieces dredged in flour

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

SAUCE. Start by preparing the sauce. In a medium pot, add the pineapple juice, 2/3 cup water, vinegar, sugars, salt, soy sauce and ketchup. Bring everything to a boil. Add 1-1 1/2 inches of oil to a frying pan. Set the temperature to medium high-high heat.

CHICKEN. Use a large Ziploc bag and add the cornstarch, then the chicken pieces. Shake until all the pieces are evenly coated. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour into a separate bowl. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, then into the flour. Once coated add to the hot oil. 

Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes flipping until cooked through and crispy. Once they are crisp, place them on an unprepared cookie sheet.

PEPPERS & PINEAPPLE. Once all the pieces have been cooked and are resting on the baking sheet, heat up 2 tbsp in a separate frying pan. Add the bell peppers and pineapple and cook for 1-2 minutes, until tender and crisp. Add the sauce to the pineapple and peppers. Cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chicken pieces.

Cook all the ingredients until the sauce is bubbling and thickening.

COATING TIP: Keep the breading crisp and light. You don’t want any of the coatings to be too thick. You can make this without cornstarch, but you won’t get quite the same result. If you’re looking for a substitute try using tapioca flour/starch.

Make this a little healthier and skip the coating and put the cubed chicken directly into the pan to fry.

Frying chicken pieces to make sweet and sour chicken recipe

Recipe Tips + Variations

A few more recipes tips to think about when making this…

  •  Fry with an oil temp of 350-375°F
  • A wok or a large skillet will work for this recipe.
  • Use metal tongs to help flip and remove the chicken pieces. A spider strainer is another great way to remove all the chicken at once.
  • Boneless chicken thighs also work

Want to change it up? Add more veggies? Etc?

  • Try adding onions, shredded carrots, broccoli florets, or even mushrooms 
  • Pineapple: Fresh or frozen chunks work great. Though you still need pineapple juice for the sauce.
  • Too salty? Use low sodium soy sauce or reduce the amount of added salt. If you have already made the dish try adding a spritz of lemon juice. The acidity in the juice will help neutralize the saltiness.
  • We have a great baked version as well.

Bell peppers and pineapple in sweet and sour chicken sauce

Storing Tips + What to Serve With It

STORE leftover sweet and sour chicken within two hours of making it. Be sure to use airtight, freezer safe, if applicable, containers.  It’ll last up to 5 days in the fridge.

You can also FREEZE leftover chicken for 3-4 months. 

To REHEAT, I suggest using a hot skillet with a bit of oil. If you are in a hurry you can use the microwave.

Serve your sweet and sour chicken with:

For more Asian chicken recipes, check out:

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

5 from 1 vote

No need for take-out when you've got this yummy recipe for homemade sweet and sour chicken! Soft and flavorful chunks of chicken with the most delicious sauce to go on top.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 667 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 c cornstarch
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 c flour more if needed
  • 3/4-1 c canola oil for frying
  • 1 c pineapple chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1"chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into 1" chucks

Sauce

  • 1/4 c pineapple juice
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1/3 c vinegar
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c ketchup
  • 1/4 c soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce: In a medium pot add the pineapple juice, 2/3 cup water, vinegar, sugars, salt, soy sauce and ketchup. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add 1-1 1/2 inches of oil to a frying pan. Set the temperature to medium high-high heat.

  3. Use a large Ziploc bag and add the cornstarch, then the chicken pieces. Shake until all the pieces are evenly coated.

  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the flour into a separate bowl. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, then into the flour. Once coated, add to the hot oil.

    Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes flipping until cooked through and crispy. Once crisp place them on an unprepared cookie sheet.

  5. Once all the pieces have been cooked and are resting on the baking sheet heat up 2 tbsp in a separate frying pan. Add the bell peppers and pineapple and cook for 1-2 minutes, until tender and crisp.

  6. Add the sauce to the pineapple and peppers. Cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chicken pieces.

  7. Cook all the ingredients until the sauce is bubbling and thickening.

Recipe Video

Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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