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


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!



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}


  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.


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.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup

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