Sweet and sour chicken recipe


Sweet and sour chicken -skip the take out and make this delicious recipe at home! The sauce is to die for.

I am so excited to share this sweet and sour chicken recipe that my family absolutely loves. My whole family is a fan (even the kids). This recipe will definitely be going in your “favorites file.”Sweet and sour chicken recipe on iheartnaptime.com ... seriously so good!

I have to admit… I’m usually not a huge fan of Chinese food when we go out because I am super picky about meat, but I love making it at home. This yummy recipe came from my friend Alison, however I added in a few of my favorite spices and loved the end result! The homemade sauce is what really takes this recipe over the top. If you’re in a hurry you could always use store bought too.Sweet and sour chicken recipe on iheartnaptime.com ... seriously so good!


That sauce on top is heavenly. So good!

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Sweet and sour chicken recipe

Sweet and sour chicken -skip the take out and make this delicious recipe at home! The sauce is to die for.


  • 1 lb chicken (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

*Sweet and sour sauce:*

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 TB rice vinegar (distilled vinegar will work too)
  • 1 TB soy sauce


Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside.

Place the chicken, corn starch, salt, pepper and garlic salt in a large ziplock bag and shake until the chicken is evenly coated.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and place in the frying pan with a fork. I did half the batch first. Fry both sides of the chicken for about 2 minutes a piece and place chicken on the pan. Dispose of the burnt oil and then heat up the rest of the oil and finish the chicken.
Pre-heat oven to 325°F. In a medium size bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Next you’ll pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 20 minutes. Pull the chicken out and flip the chicken to evenly coat it with sauce. Then bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and vegetables. Enjoy!

All images and text ©

Tips for making sweet and sour chicken

  • Prep the chicken and seasoning ahead of time. Use a zip top bag for easy clean up.
  • To test if the oil is hot enough, splash a little water on the oil. If it pops it’s ready.
  • Use tongs and a oven safe mit when flipping the chicken.
  • Double the sauce if you’d like extra for dipping the chicken in.

Baked sweet and sour chicken recipe on iheartnaptime.com ... seriously so good!

So so good! I cannot wait to make this recipe again and again.

Homemade sweet and sour sauce -tastes amazing on this chicken!

So have you tried making sweet and sour chicken at home? Give it a try! It’s a little bit of work… but SO worth it! Your family will love you even more. ;)

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Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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124 comments on “Sweet and sour chicken recipe”

  1. LOVE THIS! Have to try. I am right there with you….I am very picky about my meat too. Thanks for sharing. The hubs loves Chinese and I think he will be in love. ;)

  2. This is one of my families favorites too!

  3. It looks so delicious Jamielyn! I think I am going to make that tomorrow! Angie xo

  4. It says garlic sauce as the last ingredient, what is that? Looks yummy!

  5. Okay – hit add comment on accident :)!
    I have pinned so many of your delicious recipes and this is the latest I’ll have to try – thanks for sharing!

  6. Yum! Making this tomorrow!

  7. My family loves Chinese food, too! I will give this recipe a try!

  8. We love this recipe! It is also excellent made with pork instead of chicken. You can also substitute honey for the sugar, my family cannot tell the difference when I do.

  9. I love how popular this recipe is…it’s everywhere. The original is from http://www.melskitchencafe.com. I found it on her site years ago and have been making it ever since. There are tons of blogs that have posted it with minor variations but I always stick to the original. It’s delicious. Love your blog!

  10. I found this recipe through another blog that apparently stole your recipe and pictures. http://www.lovewithrecipe.com/recipe/329.html

  11. I made this a few weeks ago and EVERYONE loved it. Its hard to find a recipe that my husband and kids all like, let alone love. I doubled the recipe and it was still gone! My daughter asked if I can make it every week :) I am making it again today; they will all be so excited!! thanks for a great recipe

  12. Great Recipe! Loved It! Made it Saturday and debated making it again today!

  13. Love this! I made it with tofu and not quite as much sugar, and it turned out super well! I was hoping to have leftovers to take to work, but ended up eating the entire thing (whoops). And it really wasn’t that hard and didn’t take that long. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely be making this again!

  14. This looks delicious! Am making it tonight. I always end up with your recipes and they are great!!

  15. Thank you for this recipe – my family love it. I have made a huge batch of the fried chicken and frozen them and frozen than in family portion bags to make it an easy, quick mid week meal.

  16. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love sweet and sour chicken but never made it myself. I even think my grandsons would love it. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  17. I made this tonight. Always wanted to try a Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe but was always afraid of the mess, time needed, and could I make something as good as my favorite Chinese restaurant. But after looking over your recipe it didn’t seem so daunting so I gave it a go. Really wasn’t to time consuming and mess was minimal. The only thing I did differently was switch the ketchup and rice vinegar measurements as my husband is not a big vinegar fan. That worked great. I asked him how he liked it, if there was anything he would change and if he would like me to make it again. I got a thumbs up so we are good. :) I thought it was yummy and am excited I finally made Chinese! Thanks Jamielyn!!

    • Thanks for leaving a comment and telling us about your experience making it Denise! I’m glad you and your husband liked it! I am the same way, I don’t make Chinese food too often, but when you can find a good recipe it is so worth it! :) Thanks again for stopping by!

  18. Thanks for the recipe! My husband loved it. It was a little on the sweet side for me, but I’m excited to try the chicken with other sauces too! :)

    • Thanks for your comment Shelby! The chicken would definitely be yummy with other sauces as well! I’m glad your husband loved it, that is always a victory for me! :)

  19. I have to say a big thank you. We tried this tonight for the first time and my very picky child ate this and went back for seconds. I was shocked as he said the only reason he tried it is because it smelt good! Yay a keeper recipe!

  20. Wow, saw this on Pintrest and decided to give it a try. DELICIOUS! I would recommend not cutting the chicken in tiny pieces as I did. Definitely making this again.

  21. Made this last night. I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. I have a hard time finding Chinese takeout recipes that actually taste like takeout. It was just me and my little one for supper last night and we both loved it!

  22. Tried this tonight… AMAZING! Sooooo good, super easy! Served with Stir Fry Veggies!

  23. Looking forward to making this tonight. Just curious what you think about using a crock pot instead of the oven for the second part. My husband likes orange chicken less on the crispy side.

    • Hi Kate! I’ve never tried making this in the crock pot before but I’m sure it would work great! It would definitely change the texture, but it will have the same taste! If you give it a try, let us know how it goes! :)

  24. HOLY COW!!! This seriously is the best recipe ever! I’m really skeptical when it comes to Chinese restaurants and now I can get my Chinese food fix! Seriously AMAZING! My husband better get home soon before it’s all gone! Thanks!!

    • Your comment made my day Ashley! I am so happy you loved this recipe, it is definitely one of my families favorites!! Thanks for commenting. :)

  25. I just made this for lunch and wow! So good!

  26. Can I use Honey or other kind of sweetener instead of Sugar?



  29. I love this recipe! It is so worth it! I’ve used it with pork too, and it has been fabulous!

  30. Angharad Wallace Reply

    I made this for my family and it was delicious, especially as my hubby doesn’t usually like sweet and sour! One question… Do you know roughly how many calories there is in it? Thanks xx

    • I’m glad you liked it! I’m not sure how many calories are in it, but if you google there are some calorie counting websites that you can add the ingredients into. :)

  31. I made the sauce for dinner tonight!  Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  32. I tried this recipe a few months ago.  I crave it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  It is the BEST!  Thanks for sharing :) 

  33. I think I make this close to once a month! Love it leftver too! Can you make this in the slow cooker? 

  34. Stumbled across this recipe via pintrest. This is incredible!!! My family loves it. Hard to eat it in a restaurant now because this is too yummy@

  35. Love Chinese food. Made this tonight! So pretty!

  36. Sounds amazing! I’m totally gonna make it today. Tnx!

    • Hope you enjoyed it Sharon! This is one of my all time favorite recipes! :)

      • Both my kids and the grown ups in the house loved this recipe.
        I doubled the amount of chicken, but needed just half the amount of cornstarch mix.
        I regretted I only doubled the amount. I have to give you a huge thumbs up because this is the first recipe my son loved. I’ve tried many many recipes, he will eat some, but usually leave some of the portion if not most of it on his plate.
        This time he couldn’t have enough :) thank you!!

  37. Hi! I really can’t wait to try out this recipe, but before I start, I just want’s to know for how many people the recipe is for :-)? I really hope you can help me, even though it’s quite some time since you put the recipe up :-)

  38. Thank you so much for this recipe. I make this once a week for my girlfriend and I. This taste sooo good, just like a Asian sweat and sour you get in the Asian restaurants . I also make chicken fried rice on the side the combo is awesome. Your the best Jamielyn. Thanks again!!

  39. I made this recipe tonight and it came out perfect! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  40. Just curious does anyone know what the calorie count is for this recipe?! I’m excited to try it for the first time tonight for my boyfriend and I! I’m just curious really!

  41. I made the sweet and sour chicken last night and my family just loved it!! What a great recipe. thank you!

  42. Yr recipes look good and seem easy to make with not much preparation

  43. made this tonight! Found it on Pinterest. Made close to 2lbs of chicken bites and my boys devoured it. We loved it! Served it over rice and quickly sautéed some red bell pepper, onions and threw in some pineapple chunks. This is my new fave sweet n sour recipe!

  44. You instruct to fry BITE-size chicken pieces for 2 minutes then bake for 35-40 minutes. I’m just wondering if the chicken pieces turn out DRY? Seems like a long time to bake small chicken pieces. Would like to try this.

  45. This looks all so good! 

  46. I really enjoyed this recipe I’ve made it a couple of times now, I even included in my newest blog post, I gave you all the credits by the way.


  47. I just made this recipe. I was sceptical because of the ketchup. I followed the recipe verbatim including using rice wine vinegar.

    At the end of cooking time it smelled heavenly.  The chicken was well coated and some of the pieces at the corners of the tray actually got a little charred and that was outstanding!  It was the best part.  It was more like a sticky asian bbq sauce than sweet and sour to me.   My notes on it: 1) make extra sauce or don’t use the entire thing, and instead heat or microwave it until cooked,  because this finished dish doesn’t have enough to saturate rice.   2) I think small pieces of pineapple would have been excellent and may have also made it more saucey.   Well done!

  48. Hi Jamie I made this recipe last night absolutely delicious I only change the 1 cup sugar to honey and wanted to inform you that I will blog about this recipe some day this month or next mentioning your website and pinterest thanks for a great recipe.

  49. This was so good! I made this tonight for my husband and we both agreed it tastes just as good as takeout- better b/c it’s homemade though, imo. Thanks so much for the recipe! Sometimes “homemade take out recipes”  feel like they’re missing something but this was awesome. It definitely exceeded any  expectations!

  50. I made this, it’s so simple. Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  51. My husband loves this! Thanks for sharing. 

  52. Making this right now! But my sauce turned out very watery. is this normal? I’m hoping it will thicken up in the oven but yes.. very very watery. Did I do something wrong?

    • Hi Auddie! It should have thickened up considerably while baking – due to the evaporation in the oven and the corn starch on the chicken. :)

  53. This dish is absolutely delicious.  The taste is just right not too sour nor too sweet.  My family loved it.  Thanks for the recipe!

  54. Need to make these immediately! My mouth is watering!


  55. Hello-
    This looks like a great recipe. I can’t wait to try this tonight for the family. What kind of chicken did you use? Or would chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces work.

  56. Cheryl Sullivan Reply

    I cannot wait to try this recipe out with my family! I think I might try chicken thighs since the breast tends to dry out and get chewy. Otherwise, I will be back for more inspiring recipes :) love from Iowa

  57. Hi! I love this dish and tried it many times.. However, I am in a pinch. I live out in the country and currently have no cornstarch on hand. Could I use flour?

  58. I used sesame seed oil which can withstand higher temps and didn’t have to change it out.

  59. You specify sweet & sour sauce with an asterisk but I can’t find the reference. 

    • We wrote out *Sweet and Sour Sauce* like that so you’d like that the ingredients below were specifically for the sauce. :)

  60. Sweet and Sour Chicken!!!

    One of the most unbelievably delicious recipes ever!!

    Thank you so very much for sharing!

    Wishing you happiness in 2017.


  61. I made this last night a d it was sooo yummy!! Everyone loved it!

  62. This is delicious! I’m going to need to get some of those tongs though, because the oil pops and burns when it pops onto my hand. My little fork isn’t long enough ,lol.

  63. I just want to make sure I make this correctly…..I cook the chicken on each side for 1 minute is that right? And then it finishes baking in the oven? Sounds so delicious….can’t wait to make it. Thanks so much!

  64. Just wanting to make sure I make this correct…..I cook the chicken for 1 minute on each side and then let it continue baking in the oven. Is that correct? Sounds so delicious….can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

  65. So I left a comment and then didn’t see it posted and so I left another one and then the previous one popped up. now I don’t see either of them so hopefully they will pop up again with my question. Maybe its just my computer having an issue LOL.

  66. I tried this recipe as a last resort after not finding jarred sweet and sour sauce. I will never need to buy a jar of sweet n sour sauce ever again!! The whole process works perfectly. I added sauteed onion and green and red bell peppers to the chicken once it was time to go into the oven. I sauteed first just in case they wouldnt be cooked enough in the oven because the chicken didn’t take very long in the oven. I may just add them raw next time to see how it turns out. I dont usually review recipes but this turned out so wonderfully I had to tell everyone. Thank you for making my son’s birthday dinner so awesome!!

  67. Under how to make the sauce it says half cup plus 1 tb of vinegar. What is the half of cup?

  68. As in what ingredients I’m I using a half of cup of?

  69. Do you have the calorie breakdown for this recipe

    • Hi Vickie! I’m not sure how many calories are in it, but if you google there are some calorie counting websites that you can add the ingredients into. :)

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