Sweet and sour pineapple chicken breast recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast
  • Pan fried chicken breasts

This recipe comes from a Thai friend of mine. My daughter loves this dish and instead of takeaway I make it at home.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (light is better but dark is allright)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • oil for frying
  • 500g chicken breast fillets, cubed
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 100ml ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornflour
  • 100ml pineapple juice (reserved from the pineapple chunks)
  • 250g pineapple chunks, drained (reserve the juice)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green or red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:1hr › Ready in:1hr50min

  1. In a bowl stir 2 tablespoons sherry, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons cornflour till smooth.
  2. Add chicken and mix till all the pieces are coated evenly. Let marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Add about 5mm oil to a frying pan and fry chicken in the hot oil too golden brown and crispy.
  4. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper to degrease.
  5. In a small saucepan add sugar, ketchup, vinegar and sherry. Stir over low heat till it simmers.
  6. In a small bowl stir pineapple juice with cornflour and add to saucepan. Let it slowly come to the boil till it thickens whilst stirring constantly.
  7. Pour off some of the oil in the frying pan. Add onion and pepper and fry till translucent. Season with salt.
  8. Add pineapple and sauce and stir to combine.
  9. Add chicken and stir to combine.


Instead of using chicken breast fillet, you can also make this dish with fish and fish sauce.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

This recipe is simple and leans pretty heavily on sweet chili sauce (I love this Trader Joe’s option for it) and is a pretty simple and straightforward recipe. The only thing I wanted to note in case you miss the note in the recipe section is that if you want it to be a true copycat don’t dice the chicken into cubes. You need to cut the chicken into thinner squares, so like a 1 inch by 1 inch square that is maybe 1/4 inch thick. Think of it like the shape of a matchbook a thin square.

So if you’ve been following along you know that I’ve been on a mission to recreate the entire Panda Express menu. Why you ask? Well, as a general rule if I go out for fast food my default options I usually pick are In-N-Out (I made the Animal Style Double Double Cheeseburger and the Animal Style French Fries) and Panda Express. So if you would like to take a trip down Chinese food memory lane, here are all the other recipes we have so far so you can build your two or three item plates at home.

Also it is worth noting that even though the recipe uses white meat, this recipe is only marginally healthier than orange chicken. Just wanted to be up front about that with you guys. In the past I’ve seen the ads that highlight the healthier white meat in the recipe but a quick glance at the nutrition facts says it all. As cookie monster puts it (or at least did for a season or two when he ate veggies), we consider this a sometimes food. Haha. For Panda Express recipes I make all the time, I would stick to the Mushroom Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken which are all pretty darn healthy.

Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken

In the classic recipe of the same name, chicken pieces are breaded with flour or cornstarch and fried.

For this dish the chicken is cooked simply as is—gluten free– in sesame oil. This is especially great for folks who have an intolerance to anything with gluten. Besides you won’t miss it—not one bit.

I actually prefer it this way, as I’m really not a fan of breaded chicken in this dish. If you cook the chicken as instructed to add a bit of crust on the outside, you’ll have the same tactile feeling on your tongue as if it were breaded—but without the gluten or calories.

I used lean breast meat for this easy Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. But that being said, you can definitely use boneless chicken thighs as your meat of choice or a mix of both. It will just take a minute or so more time to cook.

Fruit and Vegetable Ingredients

This recipe wouldn’t be the same without a lot of vegetables and pineapple. So to that end, I loaded my prep bowl with red and yellow peppers cut into chunks, sliced red onions and yellow cherry tomatoes.

I also used fresh pineapple that was peeled and cored thanks to my local grocer.

I prefer to use fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible because it allows the true taste and texture of these ingredients to shine. And, when paired with a sweet-sour sauce, well, it’s a match in culinary heaven.

For the Sauce

And, speaking of sauces, this recipe shows that you can make a great sauce without gluten–guaranteed.

The trick for it’s success is to reduce the sauce on medium high heat at the same time you are heating the rest of the ingredients through.

No Wok Needed

Now my vessel of choice for this recipe isn’t what you might think. Some folks might opt for a wok but it isn’t necessary. My Scanpan stockpot is as handy of a “wok” as I’m going to get.

In truth, a wok for me would be stored away and only used minimally, unlike my stockpot which is used almost on a daily basis.

However, if you have a wok and want to give this recipe a try using it, by all means do so. The results will be amazing, as well.

Besides, I’m always seemingly making more than I need for one meal, so I need the room that a stockpot offers. And, the leftovers are as delicious as they are on the day they were cooked.

I like to serve this recipe with a side of Jasmine rice, although you could eat it as is.

Sweet and Sour Chicken With Pineapple and Peppers

Sweet and sour chicken may be a take out staple, but now that you have this recipe, it can be a quick homemade dinner option, and, in my humble opinion, taste a million times better too. One of my favorite things about cooking things at home is that you can adjust the ingredients to suit your own taste buds and also cook each of the ingredients exactly how you like them.

With our very busy lives, quick dinner options are a blessing. Another great thing about this particular recipe is that you can prep most of the ingredients in advance and when dinnertime rolls around, it will be ready in no time. For me, that is a big plus, since I do most dinner prep while my son is napping. The chicken is crisp and golden but so juicy and tender, you will be amazed that you’re eating chicken breast. The bell peppers and onions give so much crisp texture and flavor to the dish, while the pineapple, of course, adds sweetness. The sweet and sour sauce is so velvety and perfectly coats the chicken and vegetables. My one year old couldn’t get enough of it, so I can happily tell you that this Sweet and Sour Chicken dish was a hit with my whole family. I’ve never seen him eat so much chicken, begging for me, while still chomping down on a mouthful.


2 chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4 – 1 inch pieces

3 Tablespoons high smoke point oil, divided (I used avocado oil, but you can use canola, vegetable, grapeseed, coconut oil, etc.)

1 large onion, cut into large chunks

1 1/2 bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1/2 yellow bell peppers), cut into 1 inch pieces

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 Tablespoon scallions (green onions), thinly sliced

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

2-4 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used 3 Tablespoons)

1/4 cup brown sugar (or honey)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


Prep all the ingredients ahead of time, because once you start cooking, it will go very fast. I also like serving this dish with rice, so I start the rice first, before I start making this dish, so that it’s all ready to be served together.

Combine the chicken, 2 Tablespoons oil, soy sauce and cornstarch in a medium bowl and allow it to stand for about 10 minutes, while you chop the rest of the vegetables.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a large liquid measuring cup until thoroughly combined. The sauce is very adjustable. I made it according to my own taste preferences, but you can add more brown sugar if you want it sweeter, or more vinegar if you want it to have a more “sour” flavor.

Heat 1/2 a Tablespoon of oil in a 12 inch nonstick skillet to medium heat to medium high heat and then cook the chicken in two batches, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Set the chicken aside.

In the same skillet, add the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of oil and add the onions, cooking for 2-4 minutes, on medium high heat, until the onions are just starting to turn golden.

Add the bell peppers, jalapeño and garlic. Season with salt to taste. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the peppers soften.

Add the pineapple and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the sauce into the skillet. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking the sauce until it thickens, just 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken to the skillet, mixing to combine, so that the sauce coats the chicken and keep it on the heat for just a few minutes until the chicken warms through. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple

Our easy sweet and sour chicken uses chicken tenderloins, pineapple, sweet bell peppers, and fresh ginger to make a tasty one-dish meal.


  • 1-1/4 lbs chicken tenderloins
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 2 sweet bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple cut into 3/4-inch chunks

For the sweet and sour sauce:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sriracha (optional)

For the garnish (optional):


  1. Trim any white tendons from the chicken tenderloins, cut them crosswise into 1-inch pieces, and place them in a shallow bowl.
  2. Season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the cornstarch and stir until the chicken pieces are thoroughly coated. Set aside.
  3. Make the sauce by combining the ketchup, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, light brown sugar, and sriracha (if using) in a microwave-safe measuring cup.
  4. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Season lightly with salt and pepper, transfer to a plate and set aside.
  7. Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, swirl to coat and add the garlic and ginger.
  8. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the chicken. Separate the pieces with a spatula and spread to the edges of the pan.
  9. Allow the chicken to cook for about 30 seconds undisturbed, then begin stir-frying until golden on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  10. Return the peppers to the pan, add the pineapple, and stir in the sauce.
  11. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened and all the ingredients are nicely glazed.
  12. Serve over steamed white or brown rice and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Note: Nutrition information is estimated and may vary from your actual results.

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken – 4 Ingredients


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken breast, boneless, skinless – cut into 1 inch bite size pieces
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, or chunk size chopped smaller (liquid drained)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in a single layer in bottom of crock pot. Mix the remaining ingredients (apricot preserves, chili sauce and pineapple), pour over chicken. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Each crock-pot cooks differently, so cooking times may vary, adjust accordingly so you do not over cook or under cook.

Serve over rice and with your favorite vegetable, like broccoli. Enjoy!

Note: Fresh chicken breasts are best. Frozen chicken breasts are often filled with a lot of liquid.

Pineapple-marinated chicken breasts

Makes: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


3 packed tbsp dark brown sugar

2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking

1 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (1.5cm chunks)

¼ cup finely diced red onion

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

2 tbsp finely grated fresh pineapple, including accumulated juices

680g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4cm chunks

Cooked white rice, for serving

1. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, garlic powder, ground cayenne and black pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of this marinade mixture to a separate medium bowl and add the diced pineapple, red onion and coriander. This is your salsa toss until well mixed and set aside.

2. Add the grated pineapple and its juices to the marinade mixture in the large bowl, then add the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes (and no longer).

3. Once the chicken is done marinating, heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken pieces, leaving any marinade behind, in a single layer so that they don’t touch and let cook until the bottoms are browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides and no longer pink on the inside, 4 to 5 minutes more.

4. Serve the chicken over rice and top with the reserved pineapple salsa.

Sweet-and-Sour Pineapple Chicken

In bowl, combine chicken, egg white, cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper let stand for 10 minutes.

In wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat stir-fry chicken, in batches and reserving cornstarch mixture in bowl, for 3 minutes or until golden-brown. Transfer to plate.

Add broth, 1/3 cup (75 mL) water, ketchup, sherry (if using), soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and sugar to reserved cornstarch whisk to combine. Set aside.

Discard all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil from wok. Stir-fry onion and red and green peppers for about 3 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Add chicken, pineapple and stock mixture to wok stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened and chicken is coated.

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Try your hand at a takeout favorite with this Sweet and Sour Chicken and Rice recipe. Ready in less than 30 minutes and bursting with flavor, this dish just might make you forget takeout forever.

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Add bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in sweet and sour sauce and pineapple chunks. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until heated through.

Serve chicken over hot rice. Garnish with toasted, sliced almonds, if using.

Sweet and Saucy

We think that every sweet and sour dish can be improved with a good portion of fruit and vegetables. That’s why we’ve included pineapple and chopped bell peppers in this sweet and sour specialty. We recommend fresh or canned pineapple along with fresh, thinly sliced bell pepper for the best results. You can even add in more vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, mushrooms or water chestnuts, and less chicken if you’re trying to move toward veggie-forward eating.

Using our hassle-free Success® Boil-in-Bag Rice makes any dish easier to put together. With Success® Rice, you don’t have to worry about getting the right measurements or the perfect cook. Pre-portioned and pre-cooked, it’s perfect every time! With dinner ready in minutes, you can get back to tackling your to-do list in record time.

Quick Tips

To make this sweet and sour masterpiece, make sure to start by sautéing the chicken in the pan with salt and pepper so that it releases its juices and creates a base of flavor. Make sure that the chicken strips are cooked through before adding the sauce ingredients.

The bell pepper strips will take a few minutes to cook through, so if you like your peppers soft, add them in before the chicken is fully cooked so they get more time on the heat. If you like them crunchy, add them in after the chicken is fully cooked through. Then, add the pineapple and sauce so that the flavors have time to blend. For this light version of sweet and sour chicken, we leave out the breading for the chicken. The result is a flavorful dish that goes perfectly with our Success® Rice.

Now that you know how to make this dish like a pro, you can conquer any of your favorite takeout dishes at home! Next, you might want to try our Chicken and Ginger Fried Rice or an Asian Stir-Fry.

How to Make Baked Sweet and Sour

FRY, THEN BAKE. Other Sweet and Sour Chicken recipes tend to only fry the chicken after being covered in the egg and cornstarch batter. I’ve found that baking it helps thicken up the sauce more and make it even more flavorful.

To make this chicken, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse chicken in water and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place cornstarch and eggs in separate bowls.

Toss several pieces of chicken into the cornstarch to coat and then dip them in the eggs. Set chicken pieces aside on a plate and repeat until all pieces have been coated.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large pan and cook your chicken for a few minutes on each side until they are slightly browned but not cooked all the way. Place the chicken in a greased 9吉 pan. Set aside and make the sauce.

Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken. Bake for half hour turning the chicken at 15 minutes. (NOTE: I like to leave a little sauce for dipping egg rolls or cream cheese wont tons. YUM!)

MORE VEGGIES. We added pineapple chunks and bell peppers and served it on top of white rice. But you could easily add any of your favorite veggies like onions or snap peas, and then serve on top of brown rice or noodles, depending on what your family likes.

CROCKPOT : Add the browned chicken and sauce to a crockpot and cook on low for about 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Then, add veggies and pineapple. Cover and cook on high for about 30 minutes or until the produce is tender.

Make it a Freezer Meal

You can easily turn this recipe into a freezer meal. You will save a lot of time by getting everything prepped for several meals all at once. On a busy evening, all you have to do is brown the chicken and bake.

  • Begin by cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces. Place chicken in its own Ziploc bag.
  • Place the cornstarch into a smaller ziploc
  • In a third Ziplock place all the ingredients called for in the sauce including the pineapple and peppers
  • Place all three bags in a larger Ziplock. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before cooking according to the recipe directions.
  • You can also have bags of frozen rice cooked and ready to heat up: Once the Rice has cooled place the allotted amount in a Ziploc bag. Freeze. To reheat place rice in a microwave bowl. Add a couple tablespoons of water cover and microwave until hot.

Between the consistency and the flavor, this recipe really is to die for! The savory chicken paired with sweet sauce, and complete with your favorite add-ins will make you want to never order takeout again!