Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry

I know we keep promising an actual meal around here and then keep getting sidetracked with fun Halloween stuff so I’m finally going to give you something dinner-worthy!  (Not that doughnuts or cookies aren’t dinner-worthy, because they totally are.)  I actually do have another dessert to share and I let all of you Facebook fans vote what would go up today.  I’ll be honest, I stopped counting half way through (I didn’t know that many people would pipe in!) and when I tallied up the votes dinner won by ONE vote over dessert.  It was seriously that close!  But no fear; the dessert is coming next week 🙂  This is actually a little variation from one of the recipes I contributed to the Good Bite Weeknight Meals: Delicious Made Easy.  It’s one of my go-to meals when I need something warm and filling without a lot of fuss.  I love it because it’s a basic sweet and sour sauce (for which I almost always have the ingredients for) and you can really throw any vegetables in there that you happen to have around and you’ve got a better-than-takeout meal in under 30 minutes.  Much healthier than take-out too!

Somehow I forgot to take photos of the sauce preparation, but it’s super easy.  you’ll just combine a little cornstarch and cold water and stir those together and then add some other yummy stuff like soy sauce, pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, etc.  So pretend you’re looking at that right now.  Are you visualizing?  Take your time…okay good.

Now, start by sauteing some boneless, skinless chicken breast with some fresh garlic and ginger in a large skillet or wok.  You could also use pork tenderloin, or chicken thighs.  I’m going to give you a little hint about pans too.   I’m using a stainless steel pan here because it’s easier to photograph than my black nonstick ones.  If you use a stainless steel pan, you may have to add a little extra oil to make sure the garlic and ginger don’t burn.  In a nonstick pan I never have that problem because there’s naturally a little extra moisture.

You’ll also notice when the chicken finishes cooking, you’ve got lots of brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  These are great; this is what you’re looking for when you make pan sauces, but in this case, if we continue with the recipe and cook the veggies, those brown bits will turn to black bits and that’s no good.  So remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

And now we’ll take advantage of all that flavor and de-glaze the pan! I’m using the juice from my can of pineapple to simmer the browned bits right off and add flavor to the sauce.  If you’re using a non-stick pan then you can completely skip this step.  The pineapple juice will just get mixed in a separate bowl with your sauce.

Once the pan is de-glazed, just pour the pineapple juice into the bowl where you started the sauce.

To your clean pan, add a drizzle of oil and some veggies.  I’m using onion, broccoli, and red bell pepper, but really you can be fairly creative here and clean out the fridge.

Just cook those for a few minutes until they are crisp-tender.

Then you can add your cooked chicken back in, and also your pineapple.

Then you’ll pour the sauce in

and just let it come to a simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Serve it over brown or white rice.  And if you want, you can sprinkle it with sesame seeds and something green.




We’d love for a couple more of you to enjoy the Good Bite Cookbook “Delicious Made Easy” so we’re giving away 2 more copies!  Head on over to The Scoop to enter.  Did you hear that?  The Scoop.  If you’re reading this via email, the posts sometimes run together so click here to make sure you are at the right spot!  Do NOT leave your comment on this recipe post.  Comments on this recipe post should be telling me how delicious and amazing this Sweet and Sour Chicken is and how I have great hair and adorable children and am super hot and crazy intelligent.  If you tell me you just want a book I will not be happy.  But I will be happy if you try out this Sweet and Sour and love it as much as my family does!

And whiiile you’re over on The Scoop, make sure to check out the other giveaway we have going on right now from America’s Test Kitchen!  Click here for all the details; I seriously love this book!





  1. This looks amazing!! My weirdo husband doesn’t like pineapple so I will save that for me to snack on later (will still use the juice though). I have a bag of frozen diced chicken in my freezer that’s just dying to be used in this. Hopefully I’ll get to make it next week 😀

    1. my ex felt the same way (weirdo), but I still added it and then removed and put it aside for me, pretending it never made it into the mix. He never noticed!

  2. This looks fabulous and I am not usually a fan of sweet and sour chicken but my wonderful husband is. I am ready to take it on and make it this weekend for us. Thanks for a great idea.

    1. Yes, jarred is just fine! I usually keep a jar in my fridge for “emergency” use, lol. But also, you can freeze fresh ginger. It’s actually easier to work with when frozen. Just peel the whole thing and wrap it up in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Then when you need some, just grate it with a cheese grater. It’s kind of like ginger snow- works great!

  3. This Sweet and Sour Chicken is delicious and amazing! You have great hair and adorable children. And you are super hot and crazy intelligent! I look forward to more chinese flavors! Waiting for one my hubby might actually eat (he’s weird and believes that fruit and their juices have no place in sauces). Perhaps you have a Bourbon Chicken Recipe laying around…I can’t seem to duplicate it very well.

  4. I knew pumpkin would get edged out. I voted for pumpkin, but I’m not disappointed after reading this. Looks like I don’t have to figure out what is for dinner tonight.

  5. I love stir fry. Marked in my *to be made* file. Oh, today I am going to my son’s school to make those cute Oreo bats with his class. Huzzah!! Mother of the Year award. Thanks for all your great ideas!

  6. We were just trying to figure out what we should do with the pork chops that I found on sale….this is perfect. We love stir fry and pineapple, it’s quick, easy and nutritious. Thanks for the post!

  7. You really do have great hair. Will you do a tutorial post on how to do it? I’m sure it’s easy but somehow I always end up with crazy hair and burned fingers.

  8. I love how delicious and amazing this Sweet and Sour Chicken is and you DO have great hair and adorable children and you ARE super hot and crazy intelligent. I love the scoop too!

  9. I love sweet & sour! This does sound “delicious & amazing” so you must be “crazy intelligent”. I will be giving this a try.

  10. to the person above, I live by myself and ginger freezes pretty well…one little chunk of it has lasted me months when before I would have just thrown out the rest cuz it would go bad. A lot of veggies freeze well, just put them in a plastic bag and youre good to go.

  11. Sara, Just tried this out tonight and OH. MY. GOODNESS. we loved it! Thank you so much for this awesome meal. I paired it with some baked brown rice and added some more veggies like sugar snap peas, peas, and carrots (minus the broccoli since I didn’t have any on hand) and it was SO DELICIOUS! This will be making an appearance often in our home, THANK YOU!

  12. New to cooking and a friend just referred me to your site. This is the first recipe I see and can’t wait to make it. Looks delicious!!!

  13. My dear husband and I had this for dinner tonight. He said it was a definite keeper and I agree. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  14. This looks fantastic! When we make stir fry at home, I always end up just adding soy sauce to keep things quick and simple. Sweet and sour is one of my favorites though…I definitely need to try this!

  15. Made this tonight and it was a big hit! So much more delicious and healthier than take-out. Thanks for another recipe that will be entered into the rotation.

  16. i’ll admit it: i had written OBB off as a desserts-only/holiday treat blog. but soooo glad i checked back- i missed the vote on facebook! this looks delish and easy- keep the dinner ideas coming!

  17. I tried this last night and it was easy and delicious. I might add a dash of crushed red pepper next time since my better half loves heat. Eating leftovers for lunch 🙂 Kate-Sarah, I love your site! I promise to start leaving comments!

  18. We like our broccoli pretty crisp, and I can’t tolerate onions unless they’re pretty well done, so I added the broccoli at the same time as the sauce, and it turned out great!!

    1. You can use arrowroot, tapioca starch, potato starch or unsweetened almond flour (if you can find it). All these are starches and will help your sauce have that clear shiny quality found in Chinese dishes. I wouldn’t use flour to substitute.

  19. Enjoyed this delicious dinner last night. My family loved it! We are kind of saucy people, so we will double the sauce next time, but the flavor and everything was perfect!! Thanks for sharing such delicious recipes. We haven’t had a recipe fail from you ladies. Everything always turns out great! Thank you!!

  20. I’m standing over the pan and can’t stop eating it… There will be nothing left for the family if I don’t! Really is great flavor

  21. i find your blog so much fun to go thru! and its so fun to read the stories that go along with your recipies 🙂 i love your food! and i love sharing your blog with my friends haha thank you for all the recipes! :] they are Delicious ^^

  22. I really want to make this today but don’t have pineapple juice, will the sauce be terrible without it? Has anyone tried making this without pineapple juice?

    1. Do you have any kind of juice? You could probably sub apple juice. The pineapple juice comes from the pineapple can, so I’m guessing you’re leaving that out too? Those are main flavor components, so if it were me, I’d just run and get some.

  23. I made this for dinner last night and it turned out so well! I’m glad to have a delicious and healthy sweet and sour chicken recipe. This is definitely a keeper!

  24. First recipe from you we didn’t like–sauce was a little bland compared to my standby recipe. Glad you’re only human too! LOVE all your other recipes though!

    1. To Becky who thought the sauce was a little bland: It’s definitely a sweeter stir fry sauce. I like a little more “sour” in my sweet and sour so I upped the rice vinegar a lot. I’d start with at least a Tbsp and go from there. Also, it doesn’t have as much salt as typical chinese fare (because it’s not take-out and it’s not drowned in soy sauce) so try salting it again after it’s on your plate.
      Sara, I love the pineapple with it! And the sauce was so simple, I didn’t even have to buy anything for it. Yum!!

  25. Going to try this tomorrow for dinner, sounds delicious! I see it calls for rice vinegar, which I don’t have on hand, I have apple cider vinegar and white vinegar, can I use one of those as a substitute?

  26. I’ve made this several times now. Every time I triple the sauce and add more veggies. Whatever we have on hand. I love it with broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, snap peas, chestnuts, baby corn, and the pineapple. Then we eat if for lunch through the week or make it again for dinner another night, just making new rice. It’s wonderful and everyone loves this. Plus the kids are eating a bunch of veggies. We usually pair with potstickers (from Costco because I’m lazy) and it’s a great take-out meal at home.

  27. This was soooooo good and I am a good cook, who likes good food. I followed the recipe exactly and my partner thought it was just as good as take out if not better. Kate and Sara seriously know their asian! I have made the orange ginger beef, as well as this and seriously they are to die for. Trying my 3rd asian best bites recipe tonight and probably 8th in total. THEY NEVER FAIL. We barely bother with take out anymore!

  28. I loved this because of its simplicity. I made a few additions though I’m sure it will be fantastic on its own. I added sweet chili sauce to the chicken marinade and added chicken stock to the actual stir fry sauce itself. It turned out delicious! It is one of the few better than Chinese takeout recipes out there on the Internet which DIDN’T need multiple tweaking attempts because something didn’t sit right when I followed it exactly the first time.

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