Sweet and Sour Chicken

4.80 from 5 votes
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This Sweet and Sour Chicken is filled with onion and bell peppers exploding with tangy flavor, just like your favorite takeout! Instead of spending loads getting it from a restaurant, why not try and make it yourself?

For more sweet and sour recipes, why not try and make some Sweet & Sour Chicken Shish Kabobs? Or this Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe instead?

Table of Contents
  1. Sweet and Sour Chicken
  2. Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients
  3. How To Make Sweet and Sour Chicken
  4. Should This Recipe Really Have Ketchup?
  5. How To Turn This Sweet & Sour Chicken Vegetarian / Vegan?
  6. PIN THIS RECIPE to your DINNER RECIPES Boards and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!
  7. Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Sweet and sour chicken on white plate

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chinese takeout has an incredible amount of choice at most restaurants, but sweet and sour chicken is obviously one of the most popular and more commonly bought.

It isn’t hard to see why; as the name says, it is sweet, it is sour, and it is chicken – what’s not to like?

Alongside being super tasty and addictive, sweet and sour chicken is actually incredibly easy to make from scratch at home.

As long as you don’t mind using a few cheat ingredients, you can end up with something just as good as takeout.            

Sweet and sour chicken ingredients

Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

• Chicken breasts, boneless & skinless

• Salt & pepper

• Cornstarch

• Eggs

• Flour

• Vegetable oil

• Granulated sugar

• Brown sugar

• Ketchup

• White vinegar

• Apple cider vinegar

• Soy sauce

• Minced garlic

• Red & green bell peppers

• Onion

• Pineapple chunks

Sweet and sour chicken in process

How To Make Sweet and Sour Chicken

• Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season them all over with the salt & pepper

• Beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl and set aside

• Add the cornstarch to a large Ziploc bag and add the chicken

• Seal the bag and shake the chicken around, coating all of the pieces completely with the cornstarch

• Remove from the bag, and then dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixtures, and then into the flour, set aside on a plate until the pan is hot

• Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken for about 2 minutes until browned on one side, and then flip until the other side is also browned

• Remove the chicken from the pan, and then add the onions, bell peppers, and pineapple to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the desired tenderness is reached

• In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the sugars, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic

• Pour it all into the pan over the cooked vegetables

• Add the cooked chicken back into the pan, stir gently to coat everything, and then serve it over rice 

Sweet and sour chicken with rice

Should This Recipe Really Have Ketchup?

One of the most controversial ingredients in most at-home Chinese recipes is ketchup. Purists will argue that American ketchup has no place in classic Chinese dishes; however, sweet and sour chicken isn’t really a Chinese classic at all.

If anything, it is a classic Western dish, as it isn’t really something that comes from China. Whoever heard of pineapple in China?

However, this fact doesn’t make it any less delicious or the perfect Chinese takeout meal.

In fact, ketchup is actually sort of a traditional Chinese ingredient, in that it has been used since the 1800s in Chinese cooking.

Ketchup is sweet, acidic, and rich in tomato flavor, perfect for adding in sauces like sweet and sour, so why wouldn’t they use it?

Never feel bad about using inauthentic ingredients because honestly, ketchup is just too useful not to use in a recipe like this.

Sweet and sour chicken on spoon

How To Turn This Sweet & Sour Chicken Vegetarian / Vegan?

This recipe is obviously the most traditional when it contains chicken, as it is basically a saucy fried chicken – who couldn’t like that?

Vegetarians and vegans, however, will need a good substitute for the meat to be able to eat it.

A great meat substitute for this recipe is to use either mushrooms or tofu.

Tofu would probably be the most traditional thing to use so as to stay on the theme of Chinese cooking. Try and use medium firmness tofu, and make sure to thoroughly soak it before using it, and then dry it off afterward.

Mushrooms are a good alternative – those little button mushrooms are perfect for this, so long as you have completely washed them and trimmed down their stems.

Coated in the dry mixture and fried, they will make for the perfect thing to cling onto the sauce.

Looking for more delicious Chicken recipes? Try these out:

Mushroom Soup Chicken & Rice Casserole

Garlic and Herb Marinated Buttermilk Chicken

Bisquick™ Chicken and Dumplings

Happy Cooking

Love,

Karlynn

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This Sweet and Sour Chicken is filled with onion and bell peppers exploding with tangy flavor, just like your favorite take out!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Sweet and Sour Chicken is filled with onion and bell peppers exploding with tangy flavor, just like your favorite take out!
4.80 from 5 votes
Sweet and sour chicken on white plate
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
American
Servings
4
Calories
659
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • 4 Chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown Sugar
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (Option -use low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (fresh if available)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper (diced into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion (diced into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (drained)

Instructions
 

  • Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • place the beaten eggs into a bowl
  • Add the cornstarch to a large Ziploc bag and add the sliced up chicken
  • Seal the bag well and lightly shake the chicken around to make sure all pieces are separated and coated well.
  • Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into the flour, set aside on a plate until the pan is hot.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken 2-3 minutes, turning until browned and cooked, set aside on a clean plate.
  • Add the onion, bell peppers and pineapple to the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes or until the desired tenderness is reached. Add a tablespoon of oil if needed.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the sugars, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Pour it into the pan over the cooked vegetables.
  • Add in the cooked chicken to the pan.
  • Stir gently to coat evenly.
  • Serve this over rice if desired.

Recipe Notes

Add in any of your favorite stir fry vegetables like snow peas, julienned carrots or water chestnuts!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 4g, Calories: 659kcal, Carbohydrates: 116g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 195mg, Sodium: 578mg, Potassium: 678mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 56g, Vitamin A: 942IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Chicken Chinese Sweet and sour

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Krysia Corden says

    hi, this is a fabulous recipe, my husband can’t eat pineapple so I substituted tinned peaches for the sweetness, it was delicious thanks xx5 stars

  2. Randi says

    This was REALLY good. I did not change anything, except added more garlic. Husband loved it and he is not a big fan of sweet and sour dishes. I said I would print it, he agreed! That, in our house, means a lot!

  3. Mark says

    Hi Karlynn! Just wondering if the sweet and sour chicken recipe uses green onions or if not what type. Thanks and I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.4 stars

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