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Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Sweet and Sour Chicken tastes just like it’s from a Chinese restaurant! The chicken is extra crispy with a flavorful sweet and sour sauce with bell peppers and pineapple. Serve this with rice for a takeout-style meal that your family will love!

Sweet and Sour Chicken on a white plate next to a bed of white rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

My family absolutely loves it when I make this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. I have mastered the art of making extra crispy chicken that perfectly replicates what you’d get from Chinese takeout. 

My trick is to dip the chicken in eggs that have been vigorously whisked, then into cornstarch, and then briefly back into the eggs just before frying. Not only does this make the chicken extra crispy, but the cornstarch on the chicken thickens up the sauce during cooking, turning it into a shiny, flavorful glaze that is perfect with a side of rice! 

The bell peppers, onions, and pineapple are a must with this recipe. They don’t sound important, but they really compliment the flavor of the sauce and give you a real-deal takeout experience. 😉

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Season cubes of chicken with salt/pepper. Add the chicken to a bowl of whisked eggs and toss to coat. Dredge in cornstarch, then briefly dip the chicken back into the eggs just before frying.

Fry the chicken in 365° oil for 3-4 minutes per side, until brown and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to cooling racks.

Chicken before and after being fried for Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the skillet and add the diced onions, peppers, and pineapple. Toss to coat and sauté over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Add the sauce and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish if needed. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove and spoon the sauce back over the chicken. Bake for 10 more minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken again. Garnish with green onions and serve with rice.

Adding crispy chicken to sweet and sour sauce and stirring to combine.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure the oil is sufficiently heated before adding the chicken, the chicken should start frying immediately once it hits the oil. This ensures that the outer coating will stay on the chicken, making it nice and crisp.
  • Peanut Oil can be used for frying as well, it adds a nice flavor that pairs well with this recipe.
  • A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes and/or 2 teaspoons of hot sauce can be added to the sauce as well for an additional kick.
  • This recipe is great with a side of rice. The notes section of the recipe card includes instructions for how I make perfectly cooked rice every time.
  • Leftovers make a great pizza topping with some blue cheese or ranch dressing drizzled on top. Try it on some Naan Pizza!
  • For a little bit more of a kick, try my Firecracker Chicken. For another takeout option, try my General Tso’s Chicken.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Freeze:
  • To Reheat:
    • The chicken can be reheated from a thawed state in the microwave or in a lightly greased, covered casserole dish at 350° for 15 minutes or so, or until heated through.
    • The rice can also be microwaved or reheated in a lightly greased foil packet in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

A wok filled with Sweet and Sour Chicken with green onions and white rice on the side.

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Sweet and Sour Chicken with Peppers and Pineapple on a white plate with rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

5 from 7 ratings
This Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe tastes just like Chinese takeout. It has the most flavorful sauce with stir-fried bell peppers, pineapple, and extra crispy chicken!

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Stir Fry

  • 1 yellow onion, cut into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into squares
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into squares
  • 1 8 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved
  • Green Onions, to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces and pat completely dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk the eggs vigorously in a medium bowl, until small air pockets have developed and it’s very uniform in color. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  • Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a high-walled skillet or Dutch oven to 365 degrees. (Medium-high heat.) Just before frying, coat the first batch of chicken with cornstarch, then briefly dip each back into the whisked eggs.
  • Fry the chicken in batches, leaving room around each to ensure the edges get crispy. Flip once the bottom of the chicken is light brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes per side. Make small adjustments to the heat (up or down) throughout cooking as needed.
  • Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the chicken and place on wire cooling racks so that the bottom stays crispy. Place wax or parchment paper underneath the racks to catch excess grease.
  • Once all of the chicken has been fried, remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the skillet and set heat to medium-high. Add the onions, peppers, and pineapple and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the sauce and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken and carefully toss to coat.
  • If your skillet isn’t oven safe, transfer it to a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and gently toss to coat. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and bake for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove and spoon more sauce on top. Garnish with green onions and serve with rice.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • Make sure the oil is sufficiently heated before adding the chicken, the chicken should start frying immediately once it hits the oil. This ensures that the outer coating will stay on the chicken, making it nice and crisp.
  • Peanut Oil can be used for frying as well, it adds a nice flavor that pairs well with this recipe.
  • A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes and/or 2 teaspoons of hot sauce can be added to the sauce as well for an additional kick.
  • For a little bit more of a kick, try my Firecracker Chicken. For another takeout option, try my General Tso's Chicken.

Making Perfectly Cooked Rice:
I love serving this with 3 cups of white long grain rice. Here is how I make it:
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. (I add 2 chicken bouillon cubes to the water for enhanced flavor.)
  • Add 1 cup of rinsed white long grain rice and let the liquid come back up to a boil.
  • Cover tightly and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and let it stand in the pot for 10 minutes with the lid on, any rice stuck to the bottom will release.
  • This yields 3 cups of flavorful, perfectly cooked rice. I use a Dutch oven for this which conducts heat well.
  • Note that other varieties of rice may require different liquid measurements and/or cooking times.

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Freeze:
  • To Reheat:
    • The chicken can be reheated from a thawed state in the microwave or in a lightly greased, covered casserole dish at 350° for 20 minutes or so, or until heated through.
    • The rice can also be microwaved or reheated in a lightly greased foil packet in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

  • The nutritional facts include 3 whole whisked eggs, 3/4 cup cornstarch, and assume a whole cup of vegetable oil is used. It is likely that there is much less of each that is actually consumed. 
  • Nutritional facts are per serving, there are 6 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 699kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 154mg, Sodium: 470mg, Potassium: 694mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 1483IU, Vitamin C: 58mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 2mg

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20 comments on “Sweet and Sour Chicken”

  1. This was so good!  I gave leftovers to my dad. He thought it was from the good Chinese restaurant!  

  2. Another cozy cook recipe just got added into my rotation!! 10+ recipes and every one is better than the last! Girl you save the day in my household lol my husband loves my cooking now. We don’t even go out to eat anymore, your recipes are all better than most restaurants.

    • Awww thanks so much Lindsey, comments like this make my life!💖 Thanks so much for the support and for taking the time to comment and leave a review, much appreciated!

  3. I have tried a lot of sweet and sour recipes trying to recreate that Chinese take away taste but had not succeeded until now! Definitely one I will be making again.
    I’m new to your website, but the few recipes I have tried have been winners in our house. Looking forward to trying out a few more.

    • I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying the recipes Katherina! I’ve experimented with a lot of sweet and sour chicken recipes before perfecting this one! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!😃

  4. Hey my friend!  Long time since I’ve posted about your dynamic recipes. I tried this today and it was a success!  My husband is still licking his lips. I used chicken thighs. I followed your recipe entirely. I am sure this will be one a fave in my home!  

    • Heeeyyy ShaRonda!! I was thinking about you the other day actually, (I pretty much do every time I look at my Taco Pasta recipe, lol). I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this Sweet and Sour chicken, another one to add to the rotation! Wooo! Thank you so much for taking the time to come leave this review, you’re the BEST! -Stephanie

      • I actually cooked taco pasta last week!  As always, a hit!  Now this one will also be in rotation. Because it is delicious!  I’ll send you the video I posted on my Instagram!  Take care! 

      • Annndddd…That video made me super hungry!!! So impressed with your skills/presentation!

  5. My teenage daughters and I made this for dinner last night.  It was amazing!!!  We loved the flavors and all went back for seconds!  Thank you for all of your delicious recipes.  I am hoping to get your cookbook for Mother’s Day! 

    • I’m so happy this was such a hit Andi! I love that you made it with your daughters, cooking with my daughter is one of my favorite things!😍 Thanks so much for the great review!

  6. Sounds good will try it next week. Thank you

  7. Could the chicken be cooked in an air fryer instead of deep fried?

  8. I want to make this but I was wondering if you could do it in an air fryer?

  9. This Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is hands-down better than Chinese take-out!! I use to try to recreate recipes like this on my own and i failed miserably because I didn’t coat the chicken with egg. It truly makes such a difference!!! I had company over tonight so I made this and everyone cleaned their plates more than once! This is going to be my go-to dish when I have guests. I loved the flavor combinations in the sauce…a little sweet, a little salty, and a little tang!!! You’ve got a winner here Mrs. Cozy! Thank you!

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