This is a variation on our authentic oven-baked sweet and sour pork, featuring chicken. It’s an easy, healthy, 8 ingredient, no deep fry version of the classic takeout favorite.
It was kind of surprising to me that sweet and sour chicken is way more popular than sweet and sour pork. Maybe because sweet and sour pork is definitely what I grew up with. But, pork or chicken, this sweet and tart sauce is so GOOD with fluffy white rice. Forget takeout or delivery, this is better.
Why this sweet and sour chicken recipe
Baking your chicken isn’t quite the same as deep frying, but for the lack of effort it takes, it’s amazing. The chicken ends up juicy with the slightest bit of crispiness thanks to a cornstarch coating. Besides no cleanup, no expensive oil to throw away, and no splatter, this is also way better for you, so you can feel good about eating it every night, and you’re going to want to. It tastes just as good as the deep fried version with none of the guilt.
How to make sweet and sour chicken
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF and season your chicken with salt and pepper.
- Coat the chicken. We use cornstarch, it makes for an authentically light and crispy coating. Any other starch such as potato starch is good too.
- Bake the chicken. 20 minutes, then flip and bake another 10.
- Make the sauce while you wait. Roughly chop up your onions and pineapple too.
- Sauce the chicken and lightly cook the onions and pineapples at the same time.
Tips and tricks
- Don’t forget to lightly oil the wire rack you cook your chicken it, it helps it not stick and also somehow makes the chicken more crunchy on the bottom.
- If you want even more crunch, blast the heat up at the end of the baking session and get everything deeply browned – just make sure you keep an eye on it.
Sweet and sour sauce ingredients
- Ketchup?! I know you’re thinking, why? But the real reason is ketchup used and beloved in a lot of Chinese kitchens. My mom used ketchup as a extra flavor booster a lot when we were growing up and the truth is, a lot of restaurants use it too. It’s the secret to getting that unique tangy sweet and sour flavor in sweet and sour dishes.
- Pineapple or no pineapple? Usually there’s pineapple in sweet and sour dishes but we didn’t have any on hand and I didn’t want to go out and buy a can (or chunk). Feel free to add any vegetables in – any crunchy, juicy vegetable is always a good bet – such as the red onion and yellow peppers in the photos. Pineapple is classic though, and fresh is best!
Do you love chinese food?
Serve this up with some
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
An easy, healthy, 8 ingredient, no deep fry version of that classic take out favorite: Chinese sweet and sour chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 bell pepper cubed
- 1/2 red onion cubed
Serves 2 as a main or 4 with other dishes.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2.3g14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.