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?
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken
This homemade sweet and sour chicken recipe is better for you than take out and tastes amazing! It's ready to eat in just 25 minutes which makes it a great option for a quick and easy mid week meal.
- 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