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Sweet and Sour Chicken

Add distinctive flavor to dinnertime with this easy recipe for a Chinese buffet favorite.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Sweet and Sour Chicken

Source: Everyday Food, April 2005


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or a combination), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 scallions, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts separated
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. In a large bowl, toss chicken with 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and cornstarch, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, combine remaining soy sauce and cornstarch, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, and 1/2 cup water; set aside.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook half the chicken, turning occasionally, until browned and almost cooked through, 4 minutes; remove. Cook the remaining chicken in another tablespoon oil; remove.

  3. Add remaining oil to the pan. Add peppers, white parts of scallions, and garlic; cook over medium-high, stirring, until peppers are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

  4. Whisk soy sauce mixture; add to pan. Return chicken; add scallion greens. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately over rice, if desired.

Cook's Note

Cut the vegetables ahead of time; refrigerate, in separate airtight containers lined with damp paper towels, for up to a day. For sweeter flavor, add up to a cup of cubed pineapple along with the scallion greens in step 4.

Reviews (10)

  • paulakgriffin 8 Feb, 2013

    This dish has a beautiful presentation. We did not care for the sauce, was bland...should have been sweeter in my opinion...but the dish was gorgeous looking!!

  • Kb2121 4 Oct, 2011

    Great meal. Thumbs up from the family who have all lived in Malaysia. Seemed to be too many peppers even with using three.

  • paytonduino 21 Jun, 2011

    This was a really good meal. I have to say 5 stars. I served with whole grain rice.

  • lorihmatthews 9 Apr, 2010

    This recipe is awesome. It is always delicious. Definitely add the optional pineapple!

  • nspiratn 8 Feb, 2010

    This dish tasted primarily of ketchup. If I can find something to reduce that taste it would be quite good. For a quick meal it is still ok.

  • jills1 11 Nov, 2008

    AWESOME!! My no-vegetable-eating husband LOVED this dish and asked me to make it again. Great for my 5 year old too!

  • Kait40 22 Sep, 2008

    This was great! I made it this weekend and it was a real hit. I found the pineapple really added the right about of tang to this dish. It was not the same without it.

  • jmarshall 17 Sep, 2008

    I made this last night. While not gourmet both of my kids enjoyed it and the picky one even at some pepper. I used yellow and orange peppers. Thanks!

  • rgrappo 16 Sep, 2008

    Great recipe. Easy and flavorful. The whole family liked it. Plus I didn't have to run out and buy any odd ingredients to make the sauce - everything was in my pantry!

  • kickypants 16 Sep, 2008

    I'm droolng!!! I find that regular white vinegar works fine too if you don't have rice vinegar on hand. I also always add pineapple chunks in their own juice to the mixture which will cut down on the amount of sugar used.

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