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

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.

Video

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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RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

*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. Looks delicious! I enjoy eating Sweet and Sour chicken at our local Chinese restaurant but it’s always nice to be able to make it at home too. My kids love helping me cook meals like this.

  2. mmm mmm mmm I actually love cheap chinese, but even better would be to make this at home. or how about you make it for me? looks amazing!

  3. Hello 🙂 i want to try this as soon as possible! but i see peppers and i think onion too in the picture .. yet they aren’t mentioned in the recipe!?

    1. Hi Ella, Sorry I forgot to mention that. I added a note at the bottom of the recipe saying that I like to add 1-2 chopped bell peppers and a chopped red onion to this dish! You could also add pineapple chunks!

  4. Looks delicious! I plan on making this for dinner tonight. Just curious. The recipe says to cook for 45 min to 1 hour. That seems long to me for chicken breast pieces (esp. after they are partially cooked in the skillet already). Does it really take that long?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Michelle, you can try cutting the baking time down to 30minutes–the sauce wont thicken as much. I’ve always made the recipe as stated and it turns out great!

  5. 4 stars
    I made this recipe tonight with an oven temp tweak: I upped the oven temp to 420℉ for 25 minutes, with delicious family-approved results on a large stoneware sheet pan. I just wasn’t patient enough for the 45+ minute bake at the lower oven temp. The internal temp was over 180℉ and this yummy chicken was taunting us, “Eat me!” Thank you for sharing! I found this recipe link on Pinterest.

  6. 5 stars
    I just want to thank you _ your recipes are great & I really Appreciate that I can print JUST THE RECIPE UP AND NOT ALL THE REVIEWS _ THAT WASTE ALL MY INK _ &
    THAT GIVES ME MORE INK TO PRINT YOUR RECIPES_ THANK YOU

  7. 5 stars
    We are really big fans of Chinese food at our house and my husband thought this was the best sweet and sour chicken he had had! I’ll be saving this recipe and sharing it with others!
    Thanks for another great recipe! (We love your kung pao chicken recipe too!)

  8. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight, and it tastes great! I was just wondering if the full cup of vinegar is correct. Even after I cooked everything, the sauce still burned my nose when I breathed over my plate. Please let us know!

    1. Thanks Natalie. I do use the whole cup of vinegar. The rice vinegar is even a little more mild, or you could use less next time, if you prefer.

  9. 5 stars
    This sounds yummy! But I was wondering if it would be okay to just put the cooked chicken into the skillet with the sauce instead of pouring the sauce onto the chicken ? Thank you! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Everyone in my family loved this for dinner tonight. We did not have bell pepper’s and it still turned out great. I would recommend when making the sauce to open your windows to let the fragrance dilute from the ACV.

  11. 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!

  12. 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