Sweet and Sour Chicken

This easy homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is a fantastic substitute for any Chinese restaurant version. The chicken is sautéed instead of fried in batter, so it’s a little healthier, too. And in about the time it takes to have it delivered, you could already be eating!

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you need to make this homemade sweet and sour chicken recipe.
(Scroll below to the  recipe card for details and measurements.)

  • Chicken breast – Boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
  • Onion – I can’t imagine stir fry without onion.
  • Bell peppers – We like a combination of green and red.
  • Pineapple – Canned pineapple chunks make this an easy year-round dish.
  • Vegetable oil – Used to sauté the chicken and vegetables.
  • Salt and pepper – For flavor.
  • Sweet and sour chicken sauce – The sauce is a flavorful combination of rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, pineapple juice, plus water and cornstarch.
  • Cooked white rice – For serving to soak up that glorious sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Use canned or fresh pineapple. I almost always use canned pineapple so this meal can be made year-round, plus the pineapple is already cut into cubes, eliminating another step in the process. But if you want to use fresh pineapple, go fo it! If you do use canned pineapple, grab the kind that is in 100% juice. This dish is sweet enough without needing pineapple in syrup.
  • Chicken breasts or thighs can be used. This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work just as well.
  • The vegetables are adaptable. Red and green bell pepper and onions are included in my recipe, but you could easily swap them out for broccoli or snap peas, if you prefer.
  • If you can’t find rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar is a great substitute.

Success Advice

  • Cut the veggies and chicken to the same size. This guarantees that they will fry uniformly. At the same time, you’ll be able to sample a little bit of everything with your fork!
  • Make sure everything is cut and prepared. If you prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time, stir fry recipes come together really fast.
  • You can skip using a wok. To ensure that the chicken browns without sticking, just make sure the skillet is nonstick.
  • Serve with cooked steamed rice so that the flavorful sweet and sour sauce may be soaked up!



  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch , divided
  2. 1 tablespoon water
  3. 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  5. 3 tablespoons ketchup
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  7. 8 ounce can pineapple chunks , drained, juice reserved
  8. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  9. 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into 1 1/4-inch bite sized pieces
  10. salt and pepper , to taste
  11. 1 small red bell pepper , seeded and ribs removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  12. 1 small green bell pepper , seeded and ribs removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  13. 1 small sweet onion , cut into 1-inch pieces
  14. cooked white rice , for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch and water, until combined. Whisk in the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and reserved pineapple juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, warm the vegetable oil over medium-high. Toss the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, and season with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Mix and continue to sauté for another 6-7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Add red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and onion to the skillet; cook for 3 minutes until vegetables soften and get a bit charred. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce mixture, along with the pineapple chunks. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to warm through and allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. Add chicken back to skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Taste and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve over cooked white rice and enjoy!


Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 627mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 523IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

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