Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken – This Chinese chicken recipe is so easy and delicious that you’ll put it on the permanent rotation! Pan-fried chicken pieces are beautifully coated in a homemade sweet and sour sauce and then baked to perfection.
A classic Homemade Chinese chicken recipe that tastes even better than take-out. A perfect dish for a busy weeknight dinner.
Sweet and sour chicken is a popular Chinese take-out dish that consists of crunchy chicken, sweet juicy pineapple, crispy bell peppers nicely coated with sweet and sticky sauce, and baked to perfection! We love to complete this meal with the dishes like easy fried rice, homemade egg roll, and cucumber salad. This meal will be a hit at the next potluck or picnic!
Why You’ll Love Chinese Chicken Recipe:
- Quick and easy-to-make chicken recipe
- A fresh and flavorful meal for the summertime
- A healthy dinner recipe that the whole family will enjoy!
- Warming, comforting and satisfying
- Store well as a leftover, making it a great make-ahead or meal prep
- A crowd-pleasing recipe // Kids and picky eaters approved
Chinese sweet and sour chicken
I love super quick (under 15 minutes!) dinner recipes! Especially when you can make some delicious and better than take-outs – it’s super easy, healthier, easy on your wallet, and faster than calling for takeout!
Most of us are too afraid of cooking these classic Chinese take-out dishes at home. I know it’s intimidating for most of us to work with woks and pineapples, but this chicken recipe is easier to make than you would think.
The secret to a tasty sweet and sour chicken dish is the sweet and sour sauce! That’s a perfect balance of sweet and sour Asian flavors.
Budget-friendly take-out dishes at home! Soy, sesame, garlic, and more. It’s also easy enough that you just might have to add this to a regular rotation every week, trust me on this – it’s delicious!
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
Delicious restaurant-quality sweet and sour chicken recipe that you can make from home! You can find detailed measurements and instructions on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you can also use a combination of breast and thighs, or all thighs (if you prefer something higher fat content).
- Seasoning: season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste before frying it.
- Cornstarch: The secret to the breading is the cornstarch, it makes such a huge difference. Rather than batter the chicken pieces, we’ll toss it till it’s fully covered.
This helps to keep the outside of the chicken slightly crispy when coated with the sweet and sauce.
- Oil: Vegetable or canola oil is best for frying chicken, or you can use any oil with a high smoke point.
- Eggs: The key to getting the fluffy texture on the chicken. We will use slightly beaten eggs for dipping the coated (chicken pieces coated with cornstarch) chicken.
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- Vinegar: For the sour kick in the sauce.
- Soy sauce: You can use any type of soy for this recipe, I have used the full sodium soy sauce. If you wish to make this a gluten-free recipe, use tamari or any certified gluten-free soy sauce.
- Red pepper flakes: I’ve used some freshly crushed red pepper flacks for this recipe. This helps to balance the sweetness of the sauce.
- Sugar or pineapple juice: I did not find pineapple, so I have used granulated sugar.
- Ketchup: I’ve told you this recipe is super easy with minimal and simple ingridents :P
Ketchup gives brightness and acidity to our homemade sweet and sour chicken.
- Garlic Powder: We don’t want a strong garlic flavor in this recipe, so instead of saying fresh garlic, we are using garlic powder.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Now that we have all the required ingridents to make our sweet and sour chicken let’s see how to pan-fry the chicken and bake the sweet and sour chicken to perfection.
You can find detailed measurements and instructions for the recipe on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Prep the Chicken + Fry the Chicken
- Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 325°F and spray cooking spray over a baking sheet.
- Season the chicken: Cut your chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and season it with salt and black pepper.
- Prep the chicken: Place the cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs in separate bowls.
- Batter the chicken pieces: FIRST, Dip the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and toss this gently to ensure the chicken is fully coated. THEN dip the chicken in the beaten eggs and gently toss until fully coated.
- Fry the chicken: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few pieces of chicken and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until just golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and discard excess oil.
Sauce + Bake (Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce)
- Transfer the fried chicken: place all the fried chicken in a single layer in a baking dish.
- Mix the sweet and sauce: Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the fried chicken and toss so that each piece is coated with the sauce.
- Finish the sweet and sour chicken: Bake the chicken for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro or scallions.
Chinese sweet and sour chicken– Storing, Meal Prep, Reheating
- Storing: Place the leftover sweet and sour chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days.
- Freeze: The sweet and sour chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months! Place the chicken in a freezer-safe container.
- Meal Prep: This easy chicken recipe is best for a quick meal prep recipe. You can decide the cooked sweet and sour chicken into 2 to 3 meal-prep containers with Rice (steamed rice or easy fried rice or Cilantro rice), and roasted or stir-fried vegetables.
- Reheating: I would recommend baking the sweet and sour chicken to reheat.
You can bake the leftover in an oven-safe container for about 10 to 15 minutes at 325°F.
Or, you can simply reheat on the stove, place the leftover sweet and sour chicken in a pan and palace it over a stove and heat on medium heat, stir it frequently, till heated properly.
Reheating the leftover chicken dish in the microwave can make the chicken rubbery and overcooked.
More Chicken Recipes :
For the Chicken
- 1 pound chicken breasts boneless and skinless, (cut into 1-inch bite-sized pieces)
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ cup oil for frying
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper or to taste
Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 3/4 cup sugar
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut chicken breasts or thighs into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
- In separate bowls, place the cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs.
- FIRST Dip the chicken pieces in the cornstarch and toss this gently to ensure the chicken is fully coated. THEN dip the chicken in the beaten eggs and gently toss until fully coated.
- In a large skillet or pan, heat oil over medium to high heat. Place the chicken pieces in the pan, turning them so that all the sides are golden brown.
- In a small bowl add all the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce and whisk until everything is combined properly.
- Place the pan-fried chicken in a baking sheet or oven-safe container, Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the chicken and toss so that each piece is coated with the sauce.
- Bake the sweet and sour chicken for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.