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Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Forget take-out and make this Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken that only takes 30 minutes to prepare, is packed full of fresh vegetables and a homemade sweet and sour sauce. You will come back time and time again to this recipe!

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken - dinner

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken

I love getting take-out Asian food, especially Sweet and Sour Chicken but I know that it isn’t always the healthiest option and can be packed with sodium, fat and lots of calories. That is why creating your favorite take-out, like today’s Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken, at home is a great option because not only is it homemade meaning you control the ingredients including the sodium, but you save money. That is a win-win, right?

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken comes together in 30 minutes and uses fresh vegetables, pineapple, chicken and a homemade sweet and sour sauce. That sauce is one of my favorite parts of the dish. I love the sweet and sour flavors mixed with the crunchy vegetables, tender chicken and the sweet pineapple.

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken - forget take-out

A lot of my readers have mentioned wanting more easy weeknight meal recipes and I couldn’t agree more. Lately my life has been really busy and finding time to cook elaborate meals just isn’t happening. With today’s Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken you can save yourself even more time by prepping your ingredients ahead of time.

  1. The night before you are going to make the dish you can chop your peppers, onion and carrots and put them into a ziplock bag or a tupperware container.
  2. You can also cube you chicken ahead of time and put that in a tupperware container along with whipping up the sauce and keep that in a mason jar.

Then when you get home from work you can easily cook the sauce, then coat the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, cook the chicken and vegetables and add in the pineapple and sauce. You can cut your time in the kitchen in half just by prepping ahead of time.

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken - simple dinner

I like to serve this Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken with brown rice but you can also use white, basmati or jasmine rice. All of those are great options. I also like to sprinkle sesame seeds over the finished dish for a little extra flavor.

If you are a lover of spice I suggest adding more crushed red pepper or even a few drizzles of sriracha. I love adding heat to dishes so I always have a bottle of hot sauce on the table.

Keep this recipe on hand for those nights you are craving take-out! This offers you a healthier alternative and is simple to make. My family went crazy for this recipe so I know it will be on my menu rotation for months to come.

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Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken - dinner

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Author: A Cedar Spoon // Julia Jolliff
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Asian

Description

Forget take-out and make this Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken that only takes 30 minutes to prepare, is packed full of fresh vegetables and a homemade sweet and sour sauce. You will come back time and time again to this recipe!


Scale

Ingredients

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice {or sub with the leftover pineapple juice}
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes {optional for spice}
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoons water

For the chicken, pineapple and vegetables:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped {about 1 1/2 cups}
  • 122 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained {or you can use fresh pineapple}

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot add the ketchup, sugar, apple cider vinegar, orange juice {or pineapple juice}, garlic powder, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes and heat over medium high heat bringing the sauce to a boil. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the cornstarch and water to the saucepan and stir until the sauce is thickened, reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and set aside.
  2. In a large Ziplock bag add the cornstarch and and salt, seal the bag and shake until it is combined. Add the chicken, reseal the bag and shake again until the chicken is coated with the cornstarch.
  3. In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Using a pair of tongs add the chicken, discarding any remaining cornstarch that is left in the bag.
  4. Sauté the chicken over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add the pepper, carrots and onion. Continue to sauté for another 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender. Add in the sauce and the pineapple chunks. Stir together until everything is well coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve warm with brown or jasmine rice.

Notes

The recipe makes 8 cups of sweet and sour chicken. The nutritional information does not include rice.

You can use any color pepper you like in this recipe. Try using orange or yellow in place of the green.

If you like spice in your dishes play with the crushed red pepper by adding more or add some sriracha to the dish.

If you don’t have OJ you can use the extra pineapple juice once you drain your pineapple instead.

If you have fresh pineapple on hand you can use that.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutrition facts do not include the rice.

This recipe makes 8 cups of Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken - nutritional information

Recipe adapted from Little Spice Jar

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Jessica @ Stuck On Sweet

Tuesday 22nd of March 2016

Totally making this! Always need easy and flavorful dishes for dinner. It's getting tougher and tougher to cook each night!

Julia

Tuesday 22nd of March 2016

Hope you like it! This is one of my favorites. I love the sweet and sour mixed together.

Christine

Saturday 19th of March 2016

Looking forward to making this. Great to see nutritional information with the recipe.

Julia

Sunday 20th of March 2016

Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!

Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life

Thursday 17th of March 2016

I am always looking for easy weeknight meals! My kids do love Chinese, but we almost never do takeout...now I can do this instead!

Julia

Thursday 17th of March 2016

You should try it! It was a huge hit in my house.

Catherine

Thursday 17th of March 2016

Dear Julia, I'll take homemade over takeout any day of the week especially when it comes to your sweet and sour chicken! What a marvelous meal...looks delicious! xoxo, Catherine

Julia

Thursday 17th of March 2016

I love homemade takeout too! This one is so easy and tastes awesome..hope you try it out!

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