Sweet and Sour Chicken

30 Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken. This version of the classic Chinese takeout recipe is one of my favorite weeknight dinner-fixes when I’m in a hurry. Pan-fried, tender, and juicy chicken is completely smothered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. This Sweet and Sour Chicken is quick, super easy, and so much better than takeout!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

We’ve all ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken as a take out dish (it’s my favorite!) but the best way to enjoy these incredible flavors is to make it from scratch at home. It’s super easy to throw together and it tastes so much better than the restaurant version!

I love this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe because:

  • It’s healthier than takeout: This is one of the main reasons I like cooking at home. I know what I’m putting in my food and can skip excess oils and flavor enhancers. You can also add extra veggies to make this an even more nutritious meal.
  • It tastes amazing: it’s a little tangy, salty and sweet – just like eating at the restaurant!
  • It’s kid-friendly: there’s no spicy heat and it even calls for a little ketchup! This is a great dish to start getting your kids to try other cuisines from around the world.
  • It’s super easy: All you have to do is:
    1. coat & cook the chicken
    2. stir fry the veggies and make the sweet and sour sauce
    3. toss everything together and you have a full meal! SO EASY!
  • It’s quick: Just 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking! Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes – AMAZING!
  • It’s great for meal prep: Double the recipe and save half for meals throughout the week, or you could freeze it for later!

How do I make this Sweet and Sour Chicken?

It couldn’t be more simple – just 3 easy steps:

  • Dice your chicken into bite-sized pieces and then coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch. This gives the outside of the chicken a nice crisp but keep the inside super tender and juicy when they’re cooking. Pan-fry the coated chicken pieces until they are cooked through. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
  • Slice and sauté the red and green bell peppers until they soften and brown slightly. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients and add it into the pan, along with the chicken. When the sauce had thickened, it’s ready to serve!

What to serve with Sweet and Sour Chicken


Can I add other vegetables to this easy chicken recipe?

Sure! Here are some vegetables and fruit that would be perfect in this dish:

  • Baby corn
  • Bell peppers (yellow, orange, red, green)
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Yellow squash
  • Water chestnuts
  • Zucchini
  • Pineapple

Can I make it spicy?

That’s a great idea! Add 1/2 tsp of chili powder (or more/less to your taste), crushed red pepper flakes or dice up a small chili pepper and add it when you sauté the bell peppers.

How do I store this sweet & sour chicken?

Fridge: Store this dish in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer: Store in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating in a pot on the stove.

Here are more Chinese Takeout Recipes you can make at home!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
30 Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken. Tender, juicy chicken smothered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce. So much better than takeout!


  • 1 pound chicken breasts cubed into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons oil divided
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • green onions for garnish if desired
  • sesame seeds for garnish if desired


  • Add chicken and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag. Shake to coat the chicken with the cornstarch.
  • Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet.
  • Working in two batches add the chicken and cook over medium high heat until browned, 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same pan.
  • Add the peppers and saute until browned and slightly tender, 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prepare the sauce by whisking together sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, onion and garlic powder in a small bowl.
  • Add the sauce and the chicken back to the pan.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb

Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 431 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 541mg24%
Potassium 627mg18%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 43g48%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 1153IU23%
Vitamin C 64mg78%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chicken, Chinese, Easy Recipe, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Take out recipes


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


  • JoAnn

    So Happy to have found your site, & can’t wait to make a few of your “chinese dishes!”, my favorite is Sweet & Sour chicken, my sister is fried rice, & both of us Lo Mein!! So we will have a Feast!! Thank You then of course, I will try many others I’m sure!! I love to cook, and I’m NOT an eat out person, because not exactly sure “what they put in their food”.

  • Nathan

    Hi JoAnn,

    I really hope you enjoy the recipes!
    Thank you for trying them out!


  • Beth

    This tastes just like the sweet and sour chicken I get from my local takeout place! TY!

  • Jan

    Looks delicious, but am concerned about the amount of sugar. Would decreasing sugar to 1/3 cup totally ruin this dish?

  • Hi Jan,

    You can definitely reduce the sugar if you prefer I would go ahead and reduce the apple cider vinegar as well so it’s not too acidic. You could also use honey in place of the sugar if you prefer.

    Hope this helps and you enjoy this dish!


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