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Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken


This Sweet and Sour Chicken is coated in the most awesome batter ever and covered in a sauce with the perfect blend of sweet and sour.

Sweet and Sour Chicken- better than takeout!

It tastes so much better than takeout and if you don’t mind frying food, it’s really not at all difficult to make.

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken that tastes better than takeout!


This is a recipe I’ve adapted just a little from Cook’s Country Magazine. It is one of my favorite cooking resources for family-friendly recipes.

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken that tastes better than homemade,. Coated in the perfect batter!


The batter is super thick but tastes light and fries up golden brown and crunchy. It’s made from equal parts flour and cornstarch plus both baking powder and baking soda.

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken that tastes better than takeout!


The sweet and sour sauce is made from pineapple juice, orange juice, vinegar, ketchup, a whole bunch of sugar, and a few red pepper flakes.

You won't believe how much better than takeout this Sweet and Sour Chicken tastes!


Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken that tastes better than takeout!


Next time you’re craving Chinese food, forget the takeout and make homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken. The whole family will thank you for it.

You won't believe how much better than takeout this homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken is!

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Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken that tastes better than takeout!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Sweet and Sour Chicken has a super crispy and light batter and is coated in a delicious sauce with just the right balance between sweet and sour. Better than takeout!
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 10 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 4 servings



  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion cut into chunks
  • 4 green onions cut into 1-inch pieces


  • Combine pineapple juice, orange juice, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, red pepper flakes, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until reduced to 1 1/2 cups.
  • Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water and add to sauce. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Set sauce aside.
  • Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and cover half of rack with paper towels.
  • Cut chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch wide strips on a slight bias. Cut long strips in half. Pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Whisk in water and 3 tablespoons oil until smooth. Place chicken in batter and stir to coat all pieces.
  • Pour 1 1/2 inches oil into a Dutch oven. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
  • Use a fork to spear chicken pieces and another fork or spoon to slide chicken off fork and into oil. Fry in batches and do not crowd pan. Keep oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees.
  • Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
  • Place chicken on paper towel-lined rack. Once paper towels have absorbed excess oil, move to side of rack without paper towels.
  • Once all chicken is cooked, turn heat off and add peppers and red onion to oil. Fry for 1 minute and remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add green onions to oil for 5 to 10 seconds and transfer to plate with peppers and red onion.
  • Reheat sauce and toss 1 cup of sauce with chicken, red pepper, and both onions.
  • Serve remaining sauce separately.


Calories: 562kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese

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Recipe slightly adapted from Cook’s Country


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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12 thoughts on “Sweet and Sour Chicken”

  1. I just made this today and it’s wonderful. I think by using both cornstarch and flour is what produces that wonderful light batter. Not quite sure what the soda does but I followed the recipe exactly as written. The only thing I added was a bit of the orange rind before juicing the orange and I did add a dash of sherry into the sauce as it cooled. I read another recipe and it mentioned to allow the batter to rest a few minutes, I did that while I waited for the cooker to reach 375°.
    Also, I used partially frozen chicken breast, it’s easier to cut into pieces when slightly frozen.
    Instead of pan frying, I’d just cleaned all parts on my gas stove with it’s heavy grates so I dragged out my seldom used deep fryer, it has an integrated lid which eliminates splatter and reaches a max of 375°. I hate having oil all over the stove and not too crazy of having cooking odors permeate the house for what seems like days. Using a deep fryer made cleanup so easy, no black stove top to clean….again! This is as good or even better than take out.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      So glad you enjoyed it Alice! I bet it tasted even better with orange zest and sherry. Thanks for all the great tips too!
      I don’t have a deep fryer, but you have just about sold me on one!

  2. That looks like perfect sweet & sour chicken, Christin! I’m totally craving it now after seeing your recipe.

  3. Ashley - The Recipe Rebel

    Sweet and sour chicken has always been our go-to for Chinese food — we LOVE it! We’ll definitely have to try this one!

  4. Ashley@CookNourishBliss

    I am loving the sound of that sauce with both orange and pineapple juice! Making take-out dishes at home is just the best!

  5. Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kithcen

    I love all the dishes with sweet and sour flavors. Love how beautiful and delicious it looks. Fantastic shhare.

  6. Donika@whenfetametolive

    This looks amazing! I must try it out this week sometime, thanks for sharing and beautiful pictures!

  7. Sweet and sour chicken is one of our favorites whenever we order out. That and sesame chicken. Making this at home sounds fun!

  8. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Sweet and sour chicken is one of my favorite take-out dishes! I’ve never thought to make my own, though. This version looks SO good, Christin! I wish I could just dive right into this bowl!

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