Restaurant style Sweet and Sour Chicken is made with baked chicken, bell peppers, onion, pineapple, and a quick and easy Sweet and Sour Sauce. It’s easy to make and even your pickiest eaters will be going back for more.

I love to serve sweet and sour chicken with steamed rice, chow mein or Ham Fried Rice. Make sure to check out our other easy Chinese food recipes!

A white plate with homemade sweet and sour chicken and white rice, and chopsticks resting on the plate.

Who doesn’t love sweet and sour chicken, am I right?! It’s one of my favorite things to order at a good Chinese restaurant—but I’ll put emphasis on the “GOOD restaurant” part of that statement. If you’ve ever ordered sweet and sour chicken from a mediocre Chinese restaurant, it could completely ruin the dish for you.

It’s just one of those dishes that I’m picky about I guess. It’s easy to tell if it was made using a bottled sauce, or a homemade sauce; there’s a huge difference in taste!

This homemade sweet and sour sauce is a total winner. I can’t tell you how many recipes for sweet and sour chicken I’ve tried over the last few years and most were to ketchup-y and others were too vinegar-y. This sweet and sour sauce has the perfect blend of flavors and seasoning for the chicken.

How to make baked Sweet and Sour Chicken:

  1. Coat in cornstarch: cut the chicken into one inch chunks and season it with salt and pepper. Add it and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag and shake to coat each piece evenly.
Three side-by-side photos including 4 chicken breasts on a marble board, the chicken cut into 1 inch pieces, the chicken in a ziplock bag coated with cornstarch.

2. Dip in eggs: In a small bowl, beat the eggs.  Dip the chicken pieces in the eggs and place them carefully in a hot skillet.  Once they are golden brown on the outside (but still raw inside), place them on a large baking sheet. 

3. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Three process photos including chicken pieces coated in cornstarch in a glass bowl of beaten eggs, the chicken pieces cooking in a skillet, and an overhead photo of the browned chicken pieces in on a baking dish.

4. Sauté veggies: In the meantime, add bell peppers and onion to the skillet and cook them for a few minutes.  Add the pineapple. 

5. Add sauce: In a small bowl, mix all the the sauce ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce. Pour the sauce over the veggies and cook until the sauce is thickened.

A skillet with chopped bell pepper and onion and a sweet and sour sauce being added to the pan, next to a photo of a sheet pan of cooked sweet and sour chicken with the veggies and sauce all tossed together.

6. Toss everything together including chicken on the sheet pan until evenly coated.

Close up photo of sweet and sour chicken with a wooden spoon about to scoop some out of the pan.

Serve immediately with hot cooked white rice, brown rice, or even a side of fried rice!

How to make Sweet and Sour Sauce:

In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce together (sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic salt, and cornstarch).  Stir to combine.  I like to pour the sweet and sour sauce over bell peppers, onions, and pineapple and serve it with hot baked chicken as sweet and sour chicken.

Make ahead instructions:

Thaw and cut the chicken ahead of time and store it in a ziplock in the refrigerator until ready to add the cornstarch. Make the sauce 1-2 days a head of time and store it in the fridge. You can also cut up the veggies ahead of time to make this a supper fast meal!

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Recipe

Close-up photo of a plate with sweet and sour chicken and white rice.
Prep 25 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 45 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into 1 inch chunks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs , beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil , vegetable or coconut oil
  • 2 bell peppers , red and green, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion , chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • Cooked white rice hot, to serve with

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a large ziplock bag; add the chicken pieces and toss to coat the chicken evenly.
    Three side-by-side photos including 4 chicken breasts on a marble board, the chicken cut into 1 inch pieces, the chicken in a ziplock bag coated with cornstarch.
  • In a shallow bowl beat the eggs together. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Dip the chicken pieces in the beaten eggs and place them carefully in the hot skillet (you will need to coat and cook the chicken in batches), and cook for just about one minute on each side, until golden and crispy, but not cooked through. 
  • Add the chicken to a large rimmed baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-17 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. 
  • Meanwhile, add the bell peppers and onion to the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add pineapple.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pour into the skillet with the veggies. Cook, stirring, until thickened. 
  • Remove chicken from oven and pour sauce and veggies over the top. Toss to coat. Serve immediately with hot steamed white or brown rice. 
    A white plate with homemade sweet and sour chicken and white rice, and chopsticks resting on the plate.

Notes

 
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Nutrition

Calories: 772kcalCarbohydrates: 113gProtein: 28gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 2106mgPotassium: 605mgSugar: 81gVitamin A: 305IUVitamin C: 2.6mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1.4mg

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*I originally shared this recipe August 2014. Updated January 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Very tangy. Chicken delicious. I will cut back on sugar and vinegar next time but great easy recipe. Loved the coated chicken – will use that in more recipes

  2. 5 stars
    Very good! Very sweet – if you’ve been cutting back on sugar or don’t have a sweet tooth, I’d suggest reducing the sugar in the sauce. Chicken very moist – thank you!

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