This crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is filled with tender chicken and stir fry veggies in a delicious homemade sweet and sour sauce!
Skip the take-out and make this classic Asian recipe a complete meal with my Crispy Chicken Egg Rolls, Egg Drop Soup and Quick Fried Rice.
Oh mama, this quick and easy Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe has quickly become one of my favorites.
That sweet and sour sauce coats the crispy fried chicken and crisp-tender veggies… but let’s not forget about that fresh pineapple!! It gives this dish a sweet flavor that’s sure to impress.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Making your own sweet and sour chicken at home may seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually very simple and straight forward.
You’ll be majorly impressed with the flavor of this classic dish!
Ingredients Needed For Sweet and Sour Chicken
Here’s a basic list of the ingredients you’ll need to make the recipe. As always, you can find the full, printable list in the recipe card below.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – you could also use chicken breast
- Cornstarch – needed to make a crisp coating on the chicken as well as thicken the sauce
- Egg – for coating the chicken
- All purpose flour
- Canola Oil – for frying the chicken
- Yellow Onion
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Bell Pepper
- Fresh Pineapple – you can omit this if you’re not a fan of cooked pineapple
How To Make Sweet and Sour Chicken
They key to a good Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is a light and crispy chicken.
To achieve crispy chicken pieces here is what you’re going to do…
- Coat the chicken in cornstarch
- Dip each piece in lightly beaten egg
- Dredge (or lightly coat) in flour before
- Fry in about 1 inch of hot oil until browned and cooked through
PRO TIP: Set the fried chicken on a cooling rack instead of paper towels to achieve maximum crispiness.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients
The second key to an amazing homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken is the sauce. Sweet and sour sauce is comprised of sweet ingredients and sour ingredients… surprise, surprise!
Here is what you’ll need to make this amazing sauce at home…
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Brown Sugar
- Minced Garlic
- Cornstarch + Water slurry
Simply combine the ingredients needed for the sauce in a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk to combine.
Why Is Sweet and Sour Sauce Red?
You’ll notice that this homemade sweet and sour sauce is a muted red color, where most Chinese restaurants serve a very vibrant red colored sauce.
The ketchup is what gives this recipe it’s red color.
However, if you want a more vibrant color, you’ll have to add a red food coloring to it. I don’t think that’s necessary as it doesn’t add anything to the flavor of the dish.
Do I Have To Add Pineapple?
When it comes to the veggies and pineapple, you’re the boss. I’ve included the bell peppers, onions and pineapple to make this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe a complete meal.
However, if you JUST want chicken and sauce, feel free to do so!
I will say that I’m not typically a fan of cooked pineapple, but when I used FRESH pineapple to make this recipe it really spoke to me. I loved it soooo much!
What To Serve with Sweet and Sour Chicken
Want to make this delicious recipe a complete meal? Here is what we love to serve it with…
- Steamed White or Brown Rice
- Quick and Easy Brown Fried Rice
- Steamed Edamame
- Crispy Chicken Egg Rolls
- Egg Drop Soup
More Asian Chicken Recipes To Try
Craving more? I’ve got you covered with plenty of Asian Recipes to make. Here are a few you might like…
- Kung Pao Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken
- Honey Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
- The Best Orange Chicken Recipe
I can’t wait for you to give this recipe a try! I know you’re going to love it as much as we do!
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
For The Sweet and Sour Sauce
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
For The Chicken and Veggies
- 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- Canola Oil, for frying
- ½ med. yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
For The Sauce
- Combine all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk to combine. Combine the cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water in a small dish and set both aside.
For The Chicken
- Heat at least 1 inch of canola oil in a heavy bottom pan or wok to 375 degrees F. (approximately medium-high heat)
- Season the chicken with salt and then coat with 1/3 cup of cornstarch. Dip each chicken piece in egg, then coat in flour before carefully placing in the hot oil. Work in batches, so you don't lower the temperature of the oil. Lay chicken pieces on a wire cooking rack until complete.
- Remove hot oil from wok and leave just 1 tbsp of oil remaining. Add in onion, bell peppers and pineapple and cook over high heat until lightly charred, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk the sauce again and pour into wok with peppers. Stir the cornstarch slurry again and add to sauce. Bring mixture to a light boil and cook until thickened, about 3 more minutes.
- Finally, add in the cooked chicken pieces and toss to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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This was the first time l made sweet and sour chicken, for my family and everyone loved it. This is a winner, Thank you so so much for the recipe. I truly encourage everyone to try this. I must say, l added so Chinese chili paste and it had a slight bite to the dish. Our family loves aliitle bite.
Can this be made in. Airfryer?
I read the recipe a couple of times, where do the seeds come in? Are they sesame seeds?
I have never cooked with them. Do they go on top of finished dish or do I add them during the cooking process?
The sesame seeds are meant for a garnish at the end. Enjoy!
We had this recipe for supper on holidays made by my friends nephew. I tried it today and did the chicken frying whilst chopping the veg and making the sauce. It took a little less than an hour. Very njummy! Was wondering if one could make the chicken ahead of time, like the day before?
I made it exactly as the recipe and like all your dishes, it was delicious. I had a fresh pineapple on hand didn’t know what to do with it. Yes frying the chicken in batches is time consuming once you do that it goes fast.
I have a family member allergic to chicken. Have you ever tried making it with pork? Thought we could make a batch of each. Not sure if the pork would be tough with this method. Thanks.
Sweet and sour pork is amazing! I’ve made it the exact way as this chicken!
Is it possible to make this in a crock pot?
I haven’t tried this recipe in a crock pot, but I would say using this method, no, it would not work well in a crock pot.
Loved it but it was a lot more work than anticipated. Frying the chicken in small batches took a lot of time. Delicious though – it was nice to have this at home as opposed to ordering from an Asian restaurant, which often has more salt / fat than homemade.
The frying of chicken can take a little extra time if you’re doing it in smaller batches. But I’m glad you enjoyed it!