No need for take-out when you’ve got this yummy recipe for simple and flavorful homemade sweet and sour chicken!
A Go-to Chinese Dish!
This homemade sweet and sour chicken is SUPER easy and delicious and we are ALL about easy meals, especially on busy weeknights!
Sweet and sour chicken is one of my go-to Chinese dishes. It tastes so much better than take-out and you’ll be surprised how simple it is to make in your own kitchen.
This version of sweet and sour chicken requires breading and frying, but if you prefer to skip the hot oil bath, we have a great baked version as well!
When we make this dish at home, I love to serve it over white rice (which I prefer to make in the crock pot). 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 any side choices for this delicious dinner recipe.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken
SAUCE. Start by preparing the sweet and sour 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 ½ 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.
**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.
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.
Recipe Tips + Variations
Just a few tips to help make your sweet and sour chicken AMAZING:
- Oil: Fry with an oil temp of 350-375°F.
- Pan: A wok or a large skillet will work for this recipe.
- Tongs: 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.
- Chicken Cut: Boneless chicken thighs are a great alternative to chicken breast.
- Healthier: Make this a little healthier and skip the coating and put the cubed chicken directly into the pan to fry.
- Pineapple: Fresh or frozen chunks work great, just remember the 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.
Variations: try adding some additional vegetables to your sweet and sour chicken or swapping out the bell peppers for any of the following…
- Shredded carrots
- Broccoli florets
What to serve with Sweet and Sour Chicken? Here are some of our go-to’s:
How to store? 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.
How to freeze? You can place leftover chicken in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for 3-4 months.
How to reheat? I suggest using a hot skillet with a bit of oil. If you are in a hurry you can use the microwave to reheat.
For more Asian chicken recipes, check out:
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken breast cut into 1" pieces (3 chicken breasts)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup flour more if needed
- 3/4-1 cup canola oil for frying
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1"chunks
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1" chucks
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1//3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with ¼ cup water)
- Prepare the sauce: In a medium pot add the pineapple juice, 2/3 cup water, vinegar, sugars, salt, soy sauce and ketchup. Cook on low while frying chicken.
- Add 1-1 ½ inches of oil to a frying pan. Set the temperature to medium-high heat.
- 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 crisp place them on a paper towel lined plate.
- Once all the pieces have been cooked, discard oil but a few tablespoons. Add the bell peppers and pineapple and cook for 1-2 minutes, until tender and crisp.
- While peppers and pineapple cook, get the sauce finalized by thickening it with the cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water. Pour in and mix and bring to a low boil.
- Add the sauce to the pineapple and peppers. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
- Cook all the ingredients until the sauce is bubbling.