This one skillet Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe brings crunchy pan fried chicken together with sweet bell peppers and pineapple in a lightly sweetened sauce. It is a family favorite and comes together in about thirty minutes. For an entertainment worthy meal I like to serve it with Crab Rangoon and Sweet Pork Dumplings.
This scrumptious recipe is sure to become one of your favorite recipes. The chicken pieces are pan fried so this recipe does not require any deep frying. The chicken has a nice mellow crunch to it and is moist and tender on the inside. The sauce is not overly sweet which is perfect for bringing out the natural sweetness of the onions and peppers. I add just a couple pinches of crushed red pepper which balances the sweetness of the pineapple perfectly and adds just a touch of pizzazz.
How to make Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
In a small saucepan combine the pineapple juice, water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and cornstarch. On low heat simmer until slightly thickened. Cover sauce and remove from the heat.
In large Ziploc bag combine the chicken and cornstarch. Shake the bag until well coated. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken shaking any excess cornstarch off the chicken. Cook until nicely browned on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate while you cook the vegetables.
Add a little more oil to the skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until slightly tender. Reduce the heat to low and the add chicken back to pan with peppers and onions. Add the sauce, pineapple, crushed red pepper and salt to taste. Gently stir to combine and heat until warmed. Serve over cooked rice or Chinese noodles.
How to store leftovers
Everyone loves fresh pineapple. It is so incredibly delicious. Have you ever made a recipe with fresh pineapple and chicken or pork, packed the leftovers in the fridge with the intent of enjoying the meal a second time? After all it was so delicious. Instead you pull it out of the refrigerator, nuke it in the microwave, put it in your mouth and the texture is awful. It looked good and it smelled good but something weird happened to your meal.
Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein. This is perfect for a short term marinade but not so great sitting right next to the chicken in the gladware container. The ending result is like mush meat. That does mean that you should not cook with fresh pineapple. Just adjust accordingly knowing that you should cook just what you will consume for that meal or put a certain amount aside for leftovers with the pineapple separated.
Are bell peppers healthy?
This beautiful recipe is chock full of healthy bell peppers. Bell peppers are low in calories! So, even if you eat one full cup of them, you get just about 45 calories. One cup of bell peppers will give you more than your daily quota of Vitamin A and C! The capsaicin in bell peppers has a host of health benefits. Studies show that it controls diabetes, eases inflammation and reduces “bad” cholesterol.
Helpful tips on making this Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Cut your chicken into small bite size pieces so that they cook all way through when browned.
- Cook the sweet and sour sauce until it is slightly thickened as it will thicken more upon cooling.
- Use fresh bell peppers and when seasonably possible fresh pineapple.
- This dish should be served immediately so the chicken and peppers remain a little crunchy and crisp. Therefore do not mix it all together until you are ready to eat.
- I love pineapple but it can quickly overpower this dish so don’t get carried away.
- If using fresh pineapple be aware that it contains the enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein. Hence this recipe makes an awesome first meal but it is not great for leftovers unless you plan accordingly and separate the pineapple from the chicken. Or simply make a half recipe.
You can pull this dish together in about thirty minutes including prep time. It is a wonderful dish all by itself or you can serve it over rice or Chinese noodles. What more could you ask for? Put the ingredients for this recipe on your shopping list today and your loved ones will be singing your praises.
This post was originally published June 27, 2016 and was republished June 23, 2020 with new content.Print
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
You can pull this Sweet and Sour chicken together in about thirty minutes. It is a tasty dish all by itself but you can serve it over rice or Chinese noodles.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: main meal
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Asian
- 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/4 lbs chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion large dice
- 1 green pepper seeded large dice
- 1 red pepper seeded large dice
- 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple large dice
- 2 pinches crushed red pepper
- Salt to taste
- Optional: Cooked Rice or Chinese noodles
- In small saucepan combine pineapple juice, water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. On low heat simmer until thickened; whisking frequently. Cover and remove from heat.
- In large Ziploc bag combine chicken and 1/3 cup cornstarch. Shake until coated. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken; shaking any access cornstarch off the chicken. Cook until nicely browned on all sides and cooked through; about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat if needed so chicken does not over brown or stick to the pan. Remove chicken to plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add peppers to skillet and cook for additional 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; add chicken back to pan with peppers and onions and cook for 1 minute. Add sauce to skillet, pineapple, crushed red pepper and salt to taste. Gently stir to combine and heat until warmed. Serve over cooked rice or Chinese noodles.
Keywords: Chinese sweet and sour chicken, how to make sweet and sour chicken, sweet and sour chicken with pineapple