This homemade sweet and sour chicken recipe is much better for you than take out and tastes amazing! It’s ready to eat in just 20 minutes which makes it a great option for a quick and easy mid week meal.
Sweet and sour chicken is without a doubt one of the most popular Chinese takeaway options in the UK. If you’ve never tried a homemade fakeaway version, you’re missing out!
I love a Chinese takeway sweet and sour as much as anyone, but the sauce is usually gloopy, thick and bright red due to food colouring.
My version tastes just as good – even better if I dare say so – and is a food colouring free zone. NOT that I have an issue with food colouring every now and then – I just prefer not to have it in my dinner!
This Sweet and Sour chicken recipe is packed with healthy vegetables and takes just 20 minutes to make – even quicker than ordering a Takeaway!
why you’ll love this recipe
- quick to make – ready to eat in just 20 minutes
- uses mainly store cupboard ingredients – and you can easily pick everything up in any supermarket
- Much better, cheaper AND quicker than takeaway!
(Ingredient amounts and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!)
- Chicken Breast OR Thigh Fillets, Cut into evenly sized pieces
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Sliced Onion and sliced Bell Pepper – any colour you like! I always seem to have a red pepper in my fridge so that’s what I usually use.
- Snow Peas (Sugar Snap Peas)
- Peeled and Sliced Carrot
- Spring Onions, Sliced
- A large tin of Pineapple Chunks in juice – not syrup! You’ll be using the juice to make the sweet and sour sauce.
for the homemade sweet and sour sauce
- Pineapple Juice from the tin of pineapple
- A small carton of Pineapple Juice – just in case there isn’t enough juice in the tin of pineapple. You probably won’t need much extra juice – one of those small cartons you can buy for a kids lunchbox would be ideal
- Cornflour to thicken the sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Malt Vinegar. You could use any vinegar you have to hand, but I find good old cheap malt vinegar is the best for providing that tangy, sour edge that’s crucial to a sweet and sour sauce.
- Tomato Ketchup
- White Sugar
- Ground Ginger
- A little Salt and Pepper
how to make this easy sweet and sour chicken recipe
- Drain the can of pineapple chunks using a sieve placed over a large measuring jug. You should get about 300ml of juice from a large can – if you’re short you’ll need to top up with the carton of pineapple juice.
- It’s easier to start of with making the sauce. Combine 2 tablespoons of the pineapple juice and the cornflour together until you have a smooth paste. This will help thicken the sauce later and help it cling to the chicken and vegetables. Set aside.
- You should have around 250ml of pineapple juice leftover – if you don’t have enough, top up using the carton of juice.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce to the jug with the pineapple juice and stir until smooth.
- Heat some vegetable oil in a large wok until hot. Season the chicken pieces with a little salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook on a high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sliced onion, carrots, peppers and sugarsnap peas and cook on a high heat, stirring all the time, for 5-7 minutes or unti the chicken is just cooked through.
- Add the sweet and sour sauce, sliced spring onions and drained pineapple chunks to the pan. Give everything a good stir to coat the chicken and vegetables in the sauce.
- Stir in the cornflour and pineapple juice mixture. Cook for a further 5 minutes until very hot and the sauce has thickened.
- Serve hot with rice, noodles and prawn crackers if you like.
did you make this recipe?
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want to see more chicken recipes?
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Chicken Breast Fillets, cut into chunks
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
- 1 Carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 small Onion, peeled and cut into eighths
- A handful of Sugar Snap Peas (Snow Peas)
- 400G Can of Pineapple Chunks in juice- keep the juice for making the sauce
- 4 Spring Onions, Sliced
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 Tablespoon Cornflour (Cornstarch)
- 300ML Pineapple Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Malt Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground ginger
- Drain the tin of pineapple chunks in a sieve set over a large measuring jug. You should have about 300ml of pineapple juice. if you're short , top up using the carton of pineapple juice to make 300ml.
- Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the pineapple juice. Set aside. In a jug or bowl, mix the remaining pineapple juice with the malt vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, tomato ketchup and ground ginger until smooth. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a wok until hot. Add the chicken pieces and cook on a high heat for aout 5 minutes, turning a couple of times until well browned all over.
- Add the bell pepper, carrot, onion and sugar snap peas and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the pineapple chunks and spring onions to the pan along with the sauce, stirring well to mix. Cook for about 5 minutes until the pineapple is hot and the chicken is cooked all the way though.
- Stir in the cornflour and pineapple juice mixture and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 491mgCarbohydrates: 48gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 3gSugar: 41gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 33g