Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken

I've been making this recipe since college, when my roommate and I decided we needed to learn how to cook because Sara Mouton and the Food Network were our heroes. It took us a few tries to perfect it, but soon it was our go-to dish for entertaining people because it is delicious, but easy, and fairly cheap to make. Through the years I've tweaked a few things in the recipe but it is mostly the same as when I used to make it college. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that the breading the chicken step gets skipped about half the time at my house and this still tastes delicious. It all depends how much time I have when I'm throwing it together. One thing I love about it is that it doesn't use a lot of strange ingredients that require a trip to the Asian market or at least the international section of the grocery store. I've changed the vinegar to rice wine vinegar over the years but if all you have is white wine or red wine vinegar, you are just fine. This recipe can handle adjustments in stir-ins, if bell peppers or onions just aren't your thing. The only thing I wouldn't suggest is adding more chicken since crowding the pan can cause problems when browning the chicken. If you need a simple, easy sweet and sour chicken recipe in your life, this is it. 

Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken

Heat Oven To 350 Published 08/26/2013
Sweet and Sour Chicken


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken or pork, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1" squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1" squares
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) canned pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • Cooked rice for serving


  1. Dip chicken in egg, drain briefly and roll in cornstarch until lightly coated on all sides; shake off excess. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning constantly with a wide spatula until browned. (About 7 minutes) Remove chicken from pan and set aside, leaving oil in pan. Stir together ingredients for sweet and sour sauce. Set aside.
  2. Add enough oil to pan to make about 1 tablespoon total. Add onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until onion is starting to soften slightly. Add garlic and stir and cook 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in pineapple and sweet and sour sauce (stirring sauce right before adding it) and cook, stirring, until mixture boils. Add chicken and cook and stir 1 minute to heat through. Serve over rice.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Recipe Source: Cooking for Two

2 Click For Comments:

If "simple" is in the title for dinner and it looks as delicious as this, I'm there! I need recipes that I can make fast that aren't considered "fast food" if you know what I mean. Looks great, Nicole!

I have to say that I'm not a fan of "sweet" in savory foods, but I AM a fan of making takeout food in your own kitchen :) Love that you've been making it so long!!

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