Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken – better than Chinese takeout, easy-to-make and homemade. Served it with steamed white rice!


Of all the recipes in the world… this recipe was my Grandma’s specialty when my mom was growing up. It was also the first recipe my mom ever learned to make.

This recipe is so easy and quite honestly fool proof! If a 16 year old can learn to make it… so can you!

How to prep this ahead?

This can easily be prepped the night before so it’s a quick weeknight meal.  To prep ahead, cut all the veggies and chicken the night before. Store in a plastic container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make it. You can also mix together sweet and sour sauce and store in the fridge overnight too.


Recipe modifications:

Feel free to add other veggies you like.  Broccoli, bamboo shoots, and/or snap peas would all be great.

Or try a different type of protein. Shrimp or chicken thighs would be delicious too!

You can also make it vegetarian by doing all vegetables instead of the chicken. Honestly, you won’t really be missing out on anything by doing it vegetarian because the sauce makes it.

What to serve with Sweet and Sour Chicken?

Serve it over some steamed white rice and frozen egg rolls on the side. I like the frozen basmati rice from Trader Joe’s. It cooks in 3 minutes so it’s perfect for a weeknight or if you’re tight on time.

You could also do 2 types of stir fry if you’re having lots of people over. This Mongolian beef would be a great pair!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Better than Chinese takeout, easy-to-make and homemade.
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Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz water

Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce

Additional Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups peanut oil this will make the chicken crispier
  • 4 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks
  • 1 lb. cubed chicken
  • cooked basmati rice


  • Cook white basmati rice
  • In a small sauce pan, combine all Sweet & Sour sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • In a separate bowl combine 4 Tablespoons of corn starch and 1/4 cup water — once mixed thoroughly stir into the Sweet & Sour sauce.
  • Stir constantly until the sauce thickens. It should take 3-5 minutes to thicken to the perfect consistency.
  • In a separate skillet add a little peanut oil and briefly cook the veggies. You just want to cook them just a little bit so that they aren’t completely raw (about 3-4 minutes)
  • Add veggies and pineapple to sauce and keep on warm temperature
  • Now to prepare the chicken – combine the batter ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat peanut oil to high temperature.
  • Dip the pieces of chicken into the batter and cover them in the batter. After they are covered in batter, cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown You may want to work in batches.
  • When chicken is nice and crispy transfer to a plate lined with paper towels (to soak up any excess oil). Grab a plate and combine the white rice and chicken…..pour sweet & sour sauce on top. Pour as much as you want – it’s delicious!
If you make this recipe I'd love to hear in the comments!
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