This Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is a homemade, healthier version of your favorite Chinese takeout dish. The sweet and sour sauce is made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge, making this flavorful dish easy to make.
I am so excited to share this sweet and sour chicken with you because I think you will fall in love as I did! Plus, you are going to add this easy sweet and sour recipe to your monthly meal rotation. We love Chinese in our home, and Sweet and Sour chicken and egg rolls are our top picks.
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Takeout is something that I admit I indulged in far too frequently in my early twenties. It was the easiest option, though I’m realizing now it was not the healthiest or most affordable. One of my go-to takeout meals was sweet and sour chicken from our local Chinese restaurant. I loved the combination of the sweet sauce and the breaded chicken, it was always so melt-in-my-mouth good, and I could quickly eat an entire large portion myself.
Craving More Dinner Recipes
Now that I have a family, takeout happens significantly less in our own. Takeout for one can add up quickly but takeout for many is never an economical option, and as I focus more on eating whole foods as part of a healthy lifestyle, I’m beginning to realize just how unhealthy eating takeout several nights a week can be. Who knows what chemicals and extra ingredients they add!
Healthier Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Still, I find myself craving my favorite dishes, so I decided to start making homemade, healthier versions of my favorite takeout recipes, beginning with this Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken.
The first thing I did to make this recipe healthier than my local Chinese joint is to opt for baking the chicken instead of frying it. I do pan-fry the chicken lightly before baking but at no point is it even submerged in oil, as I feel it must be in most restaurants. I also kept the breading light and focused more on the flavor for this healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken.
It took a while to figure out the perfect combination for the best sweet and sour sauce, but I think I finally nailed it. It’s the ideal combination of sweet and sour.
Juicy & Delicious Sweet And Sour Chicken
This baked sweet and sour chicken is topped with a sauce made from sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and some spices. Ingredients that you likely already have in your cupboard combine to create an absolutely delicious sauce. It’s seriously finger licking good, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Since it’s sweet, it’s always a hit with my kids as well. They almost always ask for seconds.
Serve this baked sweet and sour chicken over rice. To keep it a bit healthier, serve with brown rice instead of white and a side of vegetables. I like to serve this with broccoli, but a nice mix of Chinese vegetables would taste delicious too.
If you love Chinese takeout, you’ll love this healthy sweet and sour chicken recipe!
How To Make Sweet And Sour Chicken
I hope you are prepared for how simple this practically effortless this sweet and sour chicken recipe is. There are just a few easy steps to take.
- First, you will need to preheat oven line the baking dish with parchment paper.
- Dice up the chicken into 1-inch pieces.
TIP: It’s essential to keep the sizes of chicken similar, so it can cook evenly, so you don’t end up with meat that is overcooked or undercooked.
- Next, season the cut chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Add cornstarch to a large Ziploc bag and toss in the pieces of chicken breast. Shake the bag until the chicken is evenly coated.
- In a shallow bowl, beat together eggs.
- After you have gotten the egg mixture ready it’s time to heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling.
- Dip chicken breasts in eggs and add to the skillet. Carefully, sear chicken pieces until they are golden brown and place in the prepared baking pan.
- Now it’s time for the mouthwatering for the sweet and sour sauce. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and sea salt and whisk.
- Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour, tossing halfway through.
- That’s it! Now you can dig in devour every last drop!
We prefer to serve homemade sweet and sour chicken over a bed of fluffy white rice! If you are watching your carbs, you could also use cauliflower rice or anything else that you think sounds good.
Crispy Sweet And Sour Chicken Variations
If you have kiddos that won’t eat veggies, you can skip some of these ideas, but sometimes it’s nice to try something different every once in a while. Try these tasty tips:
- Pineapple – Adding fruit only enhances the sweetness and pineapple has that tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the best sweet and sour chicken recipe!
- Bell pepper – Toss in some diced red, yellow or green bell peppers. They add flavor and gorgeous vibrant colors.
- Onions – Add in a few onions. They help balance all the different flavors of the dish.
- Sesame Seeds – Just like the Chinese take-out you are used to, you can add some sesame seeds!
- Ginger – The flavor of ginger is terrific when it comes to any homemade Chinese dish. You can’t go wrong! Just add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon to start. You can always add more later if you wish.
- Brown Sugar – If you have a real sweet tooth and you want the sauce to be even sweeter then add in a little bit of brown sugar. I would start by adding 1-2 tablespoons. You don’t want it so sweet it’s not palatable.
- Cayenne Pepper – Only add a sprinkle or two. Sweet and sour chicken isn’t a hot dish, but a little bit of pepper only enhances the flavors.
Don’t be afraid to try all kinds of things and make this recipe your own. You never know what yumminess you may create along the way!
Can I Use Flour Instead Of Cornstarch For Sweet And Sour Chicken?
Yes, if you have an allergy to cornstarch or simply just don’t eat it, you can replace it with flour. You won’t end up with the same texture or flavor you are accustomed to when you eat baked sweet and sour chicken. Don’t worry though; it will still be flavorful and delicious!
What Is The Difference Between Orange Chicken And Sweet And Sour Chicken?
Orange chicken and sweet and sour chicken have many similarities. They are both coated in a breading and fried or baked. This easy sweet and sour chicken recipe has a sauce that is a vinegar & soy sauce base, but orange chicken uses more citrus flavors like orange peels. They are both scrumptious dishes, and I say you should try them both!
How Long Does Sweet And Sour Chicken Last In The Fridge?
You can toss leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. Use your favorite airtight containers (glass or plastic) and put them in the refrigerator. You should periodically check the temperature of your refrigerator to make sure your food is being stored at a safe temp. Use a thermometer to see if the temp is 40 degrees F.
If the homemade sweet and sour chicken has a bad odor, it is going bad and shouldn’t be eaten. Always check your food over if it has been in the refrigerator very long because there will be visible signs it’s not safe to eat. Mold, lots of extra liquid and pungent smells are the most noticeable signs.
Can You Freeze Sweet And Sour Chicken?
Serving Ideas For Sweet N Sour Chicken:
Obviously, baked sweet and sour chicken is ideal for dinner, but it is also great for other occasions too. Here are some ideas when this easy sweet and sour recipe is perfect:
- Potluck – I promise if you bring this to a potluck you aren’t going home with leftovers! Every morsel will get eaten like crazy.
- Party – If you are hosting a dinner party, this is a meal that seems elegant even though it’s super easy.
- Gift – A thoughtful meal always shows that you care. Give it to a sick neighbor, someone who just had a baby or even for a funeral meal. No matter what the occasion, it will be appreciated.
This Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is a homemade, healthier version of your favorite Chinese takeout dish. The sweet and sour sauce is made with ingredients you probably already have, making this flavorful dish easy to make.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 cup corn starch
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325F and line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper.
- Set aside. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Add cornstarch to a large ziploc bag and add chicken breast. Shake to coat.
- In a shallow bowl, beat together eggs. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling.
- Dip chicken breasts in eggs and add to the skillet. Sear chicken until golden and place in the prepared pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and sea salt and whisk.
- Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour, tossing halfway through.
- Serve with rice.