This easy Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe features crispy chicken baked in a simple sauce made with ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar. The perfect balance of flavors! Serve with rice and veggies for a weeknight dinner everyone will love.
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
If you love Chinese takeout, you’re going to love this easy sweet and sour chicken recipe!
Along with dishes like cashew chicken and orange chicken, sweet and sour chicken is one of our favorite things to order and this recipe satisfies that craving. In fact, we may even like this homemade version better than takeout!
Watch The Recipe Video!
The sweet and sour sauce is made with ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar for the perfect balance of flavors. Not too sweet but not too sour either. I recommend drizzling some over your rice too – it’s that good!
If you have an Instant Pot, you may want to check out my Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken recipe too!
Why You’ll Love This Chinese Takeout Copycat
Here are a few reasons to try this homemade sweet and sour chicken recipe.
- Just 20 minutes of prep. While the total time is a bit over an hour, there are actually only 20 minutes of active prep time here. Once you sear the chicken and add the sauce, the oven does the rest.
- Balanced flavor. One complaint about some sweet and sour chicken recipes is that the sauce is either too sweet or too sour. This one has the perfect balance of both!
- Made with easy-to-find ingredients. All of the ingredients needed in this recipe are common ingredients that you may already have on hand.
What You’ll Need
This easy sweet and sour chicken recipe is made with a handful of common ingredients. See the recipe card below for measurements.
- Chicken – I used chicken breast but you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Ketchup – Adds a sweet but acidic base to the sweet and sour sauce.
- Apple cider vinegar – The “sour” in the sweet and sour sauce. You can substitute with white vinegar or rice vinegar if needed.
- Soy sauce – For classic umami flavor.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder, salt, and pepper are the only spices added.
- Brown sugar – The “sweet” in the sweet and sour sauce.
- Corn starch – Helps create a crispy outside for the chicken, without the need for a thick breading.
- Eggs – For egg wash.
- Vegetable oil – For frying. Feel free to substitute with your favorite neutral cooking oil.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken
Baked sweet and sour chicken is super easy to prepare and perfect for busy weeknights.
- Make the sour sauce recipe. Combine the ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, seasonings, and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
- Dredge the chicken. Place the cornstarch in a shallow dish and beat the eggs in a second dish. Dredge the chicken in cornstarch then dip it into the egg wash.
- Sear the chicken. Sear the chicken in vegetable oil for 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a greased baking dish.
- Bake. Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the chicken. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
- Enjoy! Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions if desired and enjoy.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Here are a few helpful tips for making homemade sweet and sour chicken.
- Cut the chicken into equal sized pieces. This ensures that they all cook at the same time and nothing gets overcooked.
- Make sure the oil is hot before adding the chicken. The goal with frying the chicken is to get a crispy outside, so the oil must be hot when you add the chicken.
- Avoid overcooking the chicken. Keep in mind that you’re just searing the chicken in the oil, not cooking it completely. 2 minutes per side is enough to create the crispy outside. The oven will cook the rest.
- Add some veggies. Feel free to add some pineapple chunks, bell peppers, onions, or broccoli to the pan before baking.
- Make extra sauce. If you like to have extra sauce to drizzle over rice, double the recipe and simmer half for 10-15 minutes while the chicken cooks. We also like to use it as a dipping sauce.
What to Serve with Sweet n Sour Chicken
Some popular side dishes to serve with sweet and sour chicken include steamed rice, noodles, stir-fried vegetables, or simple green salad.
Personally, we prefer fried rice – either chicken fried rice or cauliflower fried rice. And, of course, you can’t have a Chinese takeout recipe without some egg rolls or spring rolls! (We like these crab rangoon egg rolls too.)
- Fridge. Transfer the chicken and any remaining sauce into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat. To reheat, add to a baking dish and heat at 350°F (175°C) in the oven until warmed through. Or heat it in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally.
More Chinese Takeout Recipes
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
- Place the cornstarch in a shallow dish or bowl, add the beaten egg to a separate shallow dish or bowl.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess, then dip them into the beaten eggs.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the coated chicken pieces for about 2 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish.
- Pour the sweet and sour sauce over the chicken pieces in the baking dish.
- Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and has an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Stir the chicken about every 10-15 minutes for an even coating of the sweet and sour sauce.
- Serve the baked sweet and sour chicken over steamed rice, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired. Enjoy!