This Sweet and Sour Chicken has crispy skinless chicken breasts battered and stir-fried with chunks of onion, bell pepper and pineapple in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. Serve on top of rice for a quick weeknight dinner. Skip the Chinese takeout and make this irresistible dish everyone will love!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken recipe is classic Chinese food that’s our fave crispy chicken along with General Tso’s Chicken and Orange Chicken. This homemade dish is far tastier and healthier than the syrupy sweet, glowing red chicken that’s all too often found in Chinese restaurants.

Make sweet and sour chicken on rice for a weeknight dinner that’ll be on your dinner table in 20 minutes. It’s kid-approved and we find even picky eaters love it! You can double or triple this recipe for a potluck or party dish, and it’s delicious meal prep idea too!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

You can make sweet and sour chicken with basic ingredients that are easy to find and prepare:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
  • Bell pepper (cut into 1” chunks, I recommend red and green)
  • Onion (cut into 1” chunks)
  • Pineapple chunks (fresh is ideal, but canned will work too)
  • Cornstarch (coats the chicken to help the egg to stick)
  • Beaten egg and flour (batter for the chicken)

While sweet and sour chicken is usually prepared with chicken breasts, you can also use chicken thighs. Just make sure your oil is hot at 350°F before frying to get nice and crispy chicken. The homemade sweet and sour sauce is a simple to make with 4 ingredients:

  • Vinegar (this creates the sour flavor)
  • Sugar or honey (creates the sweet flavor)
  • Ketchup (adds the red color)
  • Soy sauce (develops the flavor)

You can adjust the sweetness or sourness to taste by adding an extra tablespoon of sugar/honey or a teaspoon of sugar.

Once you’ve cooked the chicken pieces, you simply toss it in your sweet and sour sauce to coat and serve. It’s that easy!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Tips and Secrets for Making Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Shake off the excess flour before frying to get a light and crispy batter.
  • Do not crowd the pan when frying the chicken, and fry no more 6-8 pieces at a time to get the crispiest possible chicken.
  • Test doneness by pressing a piece of chicken lightly with your finger, and see if it springs back. It’s overcooked if it’s hard and undercooked if it’s squishy.
  • Try to get fresh pineapple chunks from the supermarket for the best flavor, although you can always use canned pineapple in a pinch.
  • For a lighter variation, stir-fry using 2 tbsp of oil instead of 2 cups. Alternatively, you can also bake the breaded chicken on a baking sheet at 350°F for 15 minutes instead of frying.

Equipment to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • A large skillet is helpful for frying, or you can use a deep fryer like this.
  • An oil thermometer is helpful in getting the oil to the right temperature, and you can use it for meat and candy as well.
  • A stainless steel mesh strainer is perfect for easily removing food from deep frying.
  • A wire rack is ideal for holding the chicken pieces after frying.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
5 from 2 votes
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20 Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Sweet and Sour Chicken has crispy skinless chicken breasts battered and stir-fried with chunks of onion, bell pepper and pineapple in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. Serve on top of rice for a quick weeknight dinner. Skip the Chinese takeout and make this irresistible dish everyone will love!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword sweet and sour
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 375 kcal
Author TipBuzz

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh or canned

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce low sodium recommended
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, ketchup, soy sauce and water. Set aside.

  2. Place cornstarch in a ziplock bag. Add chicken and shake to coat evenly. 

  3. In a small bowl, add the beaten egg. In another bowl, add the flour. Set aside along with a wire cooling rack.

  4. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat to 350˚F until almost smoking.

  5. Dip 6-8 pieces of chicken into the egg, and then the flour. Shake off excess and add to the oil.

  6. Fry 2-3 minutes until golden and crispy, and remove to the rack with a slotted spoon. Repeat for the remaining chicken pieces.

  7. Remove and drain oil. Set aside.
  8. Add onion, bell peppers and pineapple to the pan. Sauté for about 2 minutes until slightly softened.

  9. Add the reserved sauce mixture and bring to boil.

  10. Add in the cooked chicken pieces and stir to coat evenly with the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

For a lighter variation, stir-fry using 2 tbsp of oil instead of 2 cups. Alternatively, you can also bake the breaded chicken on a baking sheet at 350°F for 15 minutes instead of frying.

Nutrition Facts
20 Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 321mg 13%
Potassium 737mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 24g
Protein 27g 54%
Vitamin A 18.2%
Vitamin C 47.6%
Calcium 3.3%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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