Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Our Sweet and Sour Chicken brings together crispy, perfectly cooked chicken and a delicious, flavorful sauce. Using a blend of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar ensures the sauce is not too sweet or sour.

sweet and sour chicken over rice on a white plate.
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This easy-to-make sweet and sour chicken is a great way to switch things up if you are stuck in a dinner rut. Using low cost ingredients makes it a breeze to put together while retaining all the flavor of your favorite take-out food. Coating the chicken in cornstarch gives it a crispy exterior that is then coated in a rich, flavorful sauce.

You can serve this sweet and sour chicken over a bed of instant pot white rice, toss it with some easy vegetable lo mein, or serve it with fried rice. No matter how you serve this delicious dish, it will be gone almost as soon as it hits the table!

sweet and sour chicken on a golden fork over rice on a white plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It is full of sweet and savory flavors.
  • Features a crispy chicken and a decadent, flavorful sauce.
  • Is a fun way to switch up your weekly meal routine.

Recipe Ingredients

portion bowls each raw ingredient to make sweet and sour chicken recipe.
  • Chicken Breast—Diced into 1-inch cubes.
  • Egg—Helps the cornstarch adhere to the chicken.
  • Cornstarch—Gives the chicken a crispy, golden-brown exterior.
  • Salt and Pepper—Helps bring out the natural flavor of the chicken.
  • Vegetable Oil—To cook the chicken. You can also use canola oil.
  • Pineapple Juice—Serves as the base of your sauce.
  • Rice Vinegar—Helps bring out the natural flavor of the chicken.
  • Soy Sauce—Adds a savory element to your sauce. You can also use coconut aminos.
  • Honey—Amplifies the sweetness of your sauce.
  • Ketchup—Can be replaced with sriracha sauce if you want a little more heat in your sauce.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

portion bowls each raw ingredient to make sweet and sour chicken recipe.
sautéed pan filled with in progress ingredients for sweet and sour chicken recipe.

Step #1. Stir together the diced chicken and egg. Transfer the chicken to a new bowl and fold in the cornstarch, salt, and pepper to coat the chicken.

Step #2. Heat the oil in a large pan and then add your chicken. Cook the chicken until golden brown.

sauce pan filled with in progress ingredients for sweet and sour chicken recipe.
clear glass bowl with diced chicken and portioned ingredients for sweet and sour chicken.

Step #3. While the chicken is cooking, stir together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, and ketchup in a small pot over medium heat. Cook the sauce until it starts to bubble.

Step #4. Toss your chicken in the sauce. Serve and enjoy! 

Recipe FAQs

Can I add any other spices to my chicken?

Of course! We like to stick with salt and pepper so that the sauce remains the real star of the dish; however, you are more than welcome to add other spices. Some spices you can add to your cornstarch mixture include ground ginger, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and onion powder.

Is sweet and sour chicken the same thing as orange chicken?

While sweet and sour and orange sauce have a few similarities, they also have a few distinct differences. For starters, orange chicken uses orange juice as a base while sweet and sour sauce often uses pineapple juice. In addition, sweet and sour sauce is often balanced by savory flavors like rice vinegar and soy sauce. 

What kind of oil should I use to cook my chicken?

We usually use vegetable oil, but you can also use coconut or canola oil. The key is to use a high heat oil that will not burn before reaching the temperature necessary to cook your chicken. You want your oil to reach about 350°F.

sweet and sour chicken over rice on a white plate.

How To Store Your Leftover Chicken

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat a single serving of your sweet and sour chicken in the microwave for 45-60 seconds. It is important to note that your chicken will not be as crispy after it is reheated; however, the flavor will be just as good.

Expert Tips

  • We like to serve this chicken over white rice, but you can also serve it over ramen noodles.
  • This sauce is naturally on the runnier side; however, you can add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the pot if you want to thicken it a little bit. Make sure you whisk the sauce vigorously to prevent it from getting clumpy.
  • Coating your chicken in egg before the cornstarch will help the cornstarch adhere better to the chicken.
  • We like to lightly season our chicken so that the flavor of the sauce comes through as much as possible.
  • If you want to add some more heat to your sweet and sour chicken then try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to your sauce. You can also replace the ketchup with sriracha sauce.
  • You serve your chicken as is or top it with sesame seeds and diced green onion.

More Chicken Recipes To Consider

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sweet and sour chicken over rice on a white plate.
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Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken with crispy chicken and a balanced pineapple juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar sauce, perfectly blending sweet and sour.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds chicken, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup ketchup

Instructions 

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg and chicken. Make sure that the egg fully coats the chicken.
  • Transfer your chicken to a bowl along with the salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Fold the ingredients together until the chicken is evenly coated in the corn starch. Set aside.
  • Heat your oil in a skillet or pot until it reaches about 350°F. Once the oil is heated, add your chicken. Cook the chicken for about 7 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine your pineapple juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and ketchup in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk the mixture together and allow it to simmer until the chicken is finished cooking.
  • Pour the sauce over your cooked chicken.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • We like to serve this chicken over white rice but you can also serve it over ramen noodles or add your sweet and sour chicken to stir fry.
  • This sauce is naturally on the runnier side; however, you can add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the mixture if you want your sauce to be a little bit thicker.
  • For a spicier sauce, you can add some red pepper flakes or switch out the ketchup for sriracha sauce.
  • The egg will help ensure the cornstarch sticks to your chicken.
  • We like to lightly season our chicken so that the flavor of the sauce comes through better.
  • Store your leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat a serving of your chicken in the microwave for about 45 seconds. It is important to note that your chicken will not be as crispy when reheated.

Nutrition

Calories: 625kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 52g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 192mg, Sodium: 1947mg, Potassium: 1020mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 294IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 2mg
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