Sweet and Sour Chicken

Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

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


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • cup rice vinegar

  • ¼ 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)

  • ¼ 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 Notes

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.

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