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Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

How to Make a Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken

My daughter wanted to prepare sweet and sour chicken for dinner last night but we started late because she was on a virtual class for school. Her school is on the west coast so it was later than usual. I didn’t want to eat at 9 pm so we made a quick version sweet and sour chicken.


Just about every sweet and sour chicken recipe you’ll find on the Internet or in cookbooks will include some sort of coating. Some recipes use tempura batter, others flour and some cornstarch.

If I were going to make a traditional version of this recipe, I would prefer cornstarch to achieve the crispiness while keeping it light. If you use a coating, you need to shallow fry the chicken which just means you are using more oil than pan fry but less than deep fry.

Because we were in a hurry, I chose to simply stir fry the chicken without a coating and with other ingredients and finish with my sweet and sour sauce.

Fresh Pineapple

I think fresh pineapple is a must for this dish but saying that, there’s nothing wrong with using canned pineapple or frozen. You’ve heard me say many times on this site to use the freshest and best ingredients you can find but don’t let that stop you from preparing any dish.

For Christmas, I gave my wife this marvelous pineapple corer/slicer. Like always when I put a kitchen gadget in her stocking or as a gift under the tree, she looks at me, narrows her eyes and says, “Really?”.

This one was different. We purchased a fresh pineapple and gave it a try. She loved how easy it was to remove and slice the entire core of the pineapple with just a few twists. You can find a selection of brands at Amazon.

Pineapple corer and slicer

Sweet and Sour Chicken

A quick and easy version of sweet and sour chicken without coating and frying the chicken.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: stir fry

Servings: 4


  • Wok – if available


  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite-sized cubes
  • ½ red pepper cut into bite-sized strips
  • ½ yellow pepper cut into bite-sized strips
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • olive oil to saute chicken and vegetables
  • ¾ cup pineapple chunks

For the Sauce

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot pepper flakes optional


Prepare the Sauce

  • Combine the sugar, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ketchup in a medium sized bowl and whisk until well mixed.

Stir Fry

  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat until hot, add enough oil to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute for 3 -4 minutes.

  • Push the chicken to the side of the wok and add the onions and saute for 3 minutes.

  • Add the pepper and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. If you need a little more oil, add some.

  • Add the prepared sauce to the pan and stir to combine.

  • Add the pineapple chunks and stir again to combine. Let this cook for a couple of minutes.

  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. If you want to spice it up, add a little hot pepper flakes but this optional.


If you don’t have a wok, a frying pan will work fine.

We served this dish over white rice and it was delicious.

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