How to make Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Want to impress your family and friends? Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken is the answer! Fabulous Chinese take-out, made right at home.

When it comes to Chinese take-out, one of my favorite go-to choices has always been sweet and sour chicken. But let’s face it, usually when I have Chinese take-out, I’m left feeling a wee bit guilty. Chinese take-out in the U.S. isn’t exactly known as the epitome of health food. Some of it is deep-fat fried, and most of it usually contains sugary, fattening, high-sodium sauces.

About a year ago, I got the idea to try and make my own version at home. I searched around and sifted through at least a dozen recipes, and settled on one from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe after she declared it her family’s favorite recipe. Of course I changed it up just a smidge, but Mel was right, it is definitely worth making! This Sweet and Sour Chicken has turned into one of our absolute favorite dishes. While it’s not extremely ‘healthy,’ it’s not deep fat fried, AND it’s made from scratch, so I know every ingredient that goes into it. Yes the sauce is still sugary and sweet, but that’s what makes sweet and sour chicken, ya know?

The next time you get a hankering for Chinese take-out, try making it at home. I’ve entertained with this recipe numerous time, and everybody always loves it! While this recipe does take a bit of prep, it is worth every second of it. Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions to help make the cooking process easier for you. Enjoy!

1. Cut 3-4 chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and season them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a shallow dish (I use cake pans) place 1 cup of corn starch. In another shallow dish, beat 2 eggs. Dip each piece of chicken in corn starch, then egg, and set aside until all pieces are dipped and ready to go.


2. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a skillet. When it’s nice and hot, begin adding the coated chicken pieces to the oil. You will need to cook the chicken in batches, because you do not want to overcrowd the pan. The goal in this step is to simply brown the chicken, not cook it through.

Sschicken 2

3. When one side of the chicken is nicely browned, flip the chicken so that the other side can brown.

Sschicken 3

4. When both sides of the chicken have a nice golden coating, remove the chicken from the skillet and place it in a large rimmed baking dish.

Sschicken 4

5. Cut one green pepper, and one red or yellow bell pepper into chunks (this step is totally optional. Sometimes I include peppers, other times I don’t). I also used about 1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks. You could use canned pineapple if you’d like. Arrange the pineapple and peppers in the pan along with the chicken. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce and pour it over the chicken. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees, turning the chicken every 15 minutes so that all sides have time to soak up the sauce.


The result? Super delicious, tender Sweet and Sour Chicken!

Sweet and sour chicken 3

This is by far, one of our favorite meals! If you’re looking for the best recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken, look no further! 

Sweet and sour chicken 4


How to make Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken

Prep Time: 10mn
Cook Time: 1hr 15mn
Total Time: 1hr 25mn


  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder for seasoning the chicken
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (more if needed)
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken in corn starch, then in egg.
  4. In a skillet, heat vegetable oil to medium-high heat and brown each piece of chicken on both sides.
  5. Place browned chicken in a large rimmed baking sheet. Add in pineapple and pepper chunks.
  6. In a large bowl whisk together all sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  7. Bake in the oven for about an hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan, and pour remaining sauce into a bowl and serve alongside the chicken if you’d like extra sauce.
  8. Serve over rice and enjoy!

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Comments (136)

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  1. This was very good. Thanks for telling my wife your suggestion. Love Chinese food and this is a win! Good job!!

  2. This was so great and full of flavor! And not very hard to make at all. Thanks!

  3. I’ve made this at least 5 times now and we still love it! Better than take out!!!

  4. Thank you so much. This is a wonderful recipe and everyone in our family thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. All ingredients in cabinet and making tonight.

  6. Lools fab!!!! What kind of vinegar? White vinegar??? Thx!

  7. OMG this was so good that I woke up thinking about it! Thank you for a wonderful recipe – it was perfect!

  8. I love sweet n’ sour chicken but have never tried making it at home, your’s looks delish!

  9. This sounds good! How about adding broccoli floweretts, cashews, water chestnuts? Omg, im thinking everything Chinese. Haha

  10. Do u have to use pineapple?

  11. Excellent! Came out perfect & exactly like you mentioned! Wish i could send u my pic.

  12. Elaine Deis Donohue

    I made this as well and I’ll never have to do take out again. The chicken was a bit dry so I either cut the chicken up too small, fried it a little too long or cooked it too long. Ill adjust it and it’ll be perfect. Great recipe.

  13. I made this last night – it was amazing! I’m cutting down on carbs so I served it with a green salad and I added some wedged onions to the pan too… really fabulous. My family said it was much better than the take-out sweet & sour that we usually get! Loved it!

  14. This recipe is sooooooooo good even better the next day wow…..

  15. I can’t wait until my oven is either repaired or replaced so I can make this!!!!

  16. Teri Bowles Broussard

    Cooked it tonight! Husband and son loved it! Definitely will cook again… Thanks……

  17. Do you have any more Chinese Recipes? This sounds great and I will definitely try it.

  18. Mary Beth Elderton

    I cooked this for tonight’s dinner. This is one of the best recipes EVER! Delicious! Thank You!

  19. This recipe sounds great! Being Diabetic, I am going to try substituting Splenda for the sugar.

  20. Was so good ,made last night.second time to make great…

  21. How long should it take to just brown your chicken in the pan? Like what’s an estimate? I don’t want to cook it to

  22. I don’t see how to make the sweet and sour sauce

  23. I will have to try this I make other homemade Chinese dishes I will have to add this next time

  24. Carrie Evancho Whitaker

    I made your chicken in light balsamic cream sauce for dinner tonight, divine!!! Thanks for all the great ideas

  25. I recently made this and I absolutely loved it! I’m not usually even a fan of sweet & sour chicken (I made this for my husband) and I thought it was better than what we get when we eat out. My husband liked it, my aunt thought it looked great, and this recipe will very likely become one I make often.

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