Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is 1000x better than any takeout! It’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and exploding with flavor. There is a reason why this is our favorite recipe on the blog!
The BEST Sweet and Sour Chicken
I am going to keep this as short and simple as possible…you NEED to make this sweet and sour chicken recipe. This recipe is number one for a reason, it’s absolutely incredible. We have yet to find any takeout restaurant beat this recipe. (And that’s saying something, because I love Chinese takeout!)
A simple cornstarch batter makes each piece of chicken nice and crispy, and the sauce is to die for! It’s savory and sweet with the best hint of tang. The sauce thickens as it cooks, coating the chicken perfectly. Everything is super simple to make, so prepare for this sweet and sour chicken to be a regular in your weekly dinner rotation. Easy takeout at home, what could be better than that? (Find more “better than takeout” recipes here!)
Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients
Restaurant-quality sweet and sour chicken, but from the comfort of your home! These are all the ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect crispy chicken smothered in a mouthwatering, savory glaze. All measurements can be found below in the recipe card.
- Chicken Breasts: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for easy prep. This recipe also works really well with skinless chicken thighs or pork if you want to switch things up!
- Salt and Black Pepper: Give the chicken its first layer of flavor. Add to taste!
- Cornstarch: Creates a superb crunch.
- Eggs: Helps the coating stick to each piece of chicken.
- Canola Oil: Just enough to give the chicken a quick fry for crispiness.
- Granulated Sugar: Gives the sauce a touch of sweetness. You can also use brown sugar if you’d like! It will give your chicken a deeper, more caramel-like flavor.
- Ketchup: Adds some extra flavor to the sauce.
- White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar: I love adding a combination of both because it gives the sauce a tangy flavor, but a bit of sweetness too!
- Soy Sauce: A must-add for any savory Asian dish! I used low-sodium soy sauce, but whatever you have on hand works great!
- Garlic Salt: Adds the perfect punch of savory flavor.
Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken Recipe
Making this sweet and sour chicken doesn’t take much effort at all! Once you get a taste, you’ll be happy you didn’t order takeout! The crispy breading and flavor of the sweet and sour sauce is seriously the best. You can’t beat the fresh flavor of making Chinese takeout from scratch!
- Prep: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut your chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and then season with salt and pepper.
- Dip: Add cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs to separate bowls. Dip the chicken FIRST in the cornstarch and then coat in the egg mixture.
- Flash Fry: Heat canola oil in a large pan over medium high heat and cook chicken until brown but not fully cooked throughout. Place the chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Prepare Sauce: In a medium sized mixing cowl, whisk together sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce and garlic salt.
- Bake: Pour over the chicken and bake for an hour. Stir every 15 minutes to coat them in the sauce.
Tips and Tricks
These are a few tips to keep in mind so your chicken turns out as delicious as possible! I’ve also included a few ways to switch things up. That’s the beauty of making sweet and sour chicken at home instead of ordering takeout. You can customize it however you want!
- Method to the Madness: Make sure you first coat your chicken in the cornstarch and then the egg. This method makes the perfect breading for the chicken.
- Flash Frying: Don’t cook the chicken all the way through before baking. You just want to get the chicken lightly brown on the outside, and then it bakes to perfection.
- Vinegar: You can use all apple cider vinegar, but I wouldn’t use all white vinegar, the flavor and zing will be different. If you want a lighter flavor you can also use rice vinegar, it’s still tangy but a little milder.
- Make it Saucy: If you like your dish saucy, double the sauce recipe and place half on the chicken and another half on the stove in a pot at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
- Add Veggies: Feel free to add vegetables or pineapple chunks to the dish before baking. (You can even add a little bit of pineapple juice to your sauce!) Chopped red bell peppers, bamboo shoots, chopped onions, broccoli, or snow peas are all great options as well.
One of the great things about Chinese takeout is that it’s super easy to store and reheat. It tastes just as good the next day! Heat up some rice and you have a quick and delicious lunch on your hands.
- In the Refrigerator: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- In the Freezer: Leftovers can be frozen too. Just place in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for 2-3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- To Reheat: Sweet and sour chicken is best reheated on the stove. Reheating it in the microwave can make the chicken rubbery and overcooked. Place leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop and heat on medium heat, stirring often, until heated through.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.
I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.
Originally Posted on July 4, 2013
Calories553kcal (28%)Carbohydrates66g (22%)Protein35g (70%)Fat15g (23%)Saturated Fat2g (10%)Cholesterol178mg (59%)Sodium777mg (32%)Potassium627mg (18%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar36g (40%)Vitamin A215IU (4%)Vitamin C2mg (2%)Calcium20mg (2%)Iron1mg (6%)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.