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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen

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My sister Anna shared this sweet and sour chicken recipe with me because her family absolutely loved it. It’s a winner indeed; the best orange chicken I’ve ever tried! Anyway, I pinned it for safe keeping and finally whipped it out.

My son’s eyes lit up when he realized he was having “Panda” for dinner – in his world, all Asian food is “Panda.” Except, this is way way WAY better than takeout! I’m super thrilled that I know exactly what went into this sweet and sour chicken; no preservatives and I even used organic chicken. #patontheback for Mom :).

I tracked down the original recipe source and it was the talented Mel of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe who said it was easily the most popular recipe on her blog (yeah – I can see why!). The only thing I changed was adding an extra egg for easier coating. 

This really is quite a treat. Make it tonight!

You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen

Ingredients for Orange Chicken:

2 lbs (about 4 Medium) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup cornstarch
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup extra light olive oil, canola or vegetable oil to saute, plus more as needed

You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen

Ingredients for the Sweet and Sour Sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp garlic salt

Sweet and Sour Chicken-2

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken:

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Sweet and Sour Chicken-3

2. Place 1 cup cornstarch into a gallon-sized ziploc bag, add chicken and toss to coat (go on, toss it up, just make sure the bag is closed; that part is important).

Sweet and Sour Chicken-5

3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large, heavy bottom pot (I used my French oven with nice tall walls to reduce splatterage on the stove).

4. In a shallow dish, whisk together 3 eggs. Dip the cornstarch-dredged chicken pieces into the beaten egg, coating both sides then transfer the chicken to the very hot oil.

Sweet and Sour Chicken-6

5. Cook chicken in hot oil about 30 seconds per side or until golden. Having very hot oil is key. You don’t want to cook the chicken through, but just until golden. Transfer chicken to a 9×13 baking dish and continue dipping and sautéing remaining chicken, adding more oil as necessary.

Cooking tip: if you add oil to the pot, let it heat up a little before you add more chicken.

Sweet and Sour Chicken-7

6. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients: 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 4 Tbsp ketchup, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp garlic salt.

Sweet and Sour Chicken-8

7. Pour sauce over your sauteed chicken pieces and toss to coat. Bake uncovered at 325˚F for 1 hour, turning the chicken twice while baking to coat with sauce.

Sweet and Sour Chicken-9

Sweet and Sour Chicken-4

Serve warm or hot over steamy white rice, and crisp tender broccoli for a balanced meal.

You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen

My son spotted this photo as I was putting the post together and the first words out of his mouth, “Can you make that for me?” :). Mel, thank you so much for sharing this goodness! It’s music to my ears when my son makes requests like that.

You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

4.83 from 92 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $10-$14
Servings: 6 -8

Ingredients

Instructions

How to Make Sweet and Sour Chicken: Preheat oven to 325˚F.

  1. Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place 1 cup cornstarch into a gallon-sized ziploc bag, add chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large, heavy bottom pot (I used my French oven with nice tall walls to reduce splatterage on the stove).
  4. In a shallow dish, whisk together 3 eggs. Dip the cornstarch-dredged chicken pieces into the beaten egg, coating both sides then transfer chicken to the very hot oil.
  5. Cook chicken in hot oil about 30 seconds per side or until golden. Having very hot oil is key. You don't want to cook the chicken through, but just until golden. Transfer chicken to a 9x13 baking dish and continue dipping and sautéing remaining chicken, adding more oil as necessary. Cooking tip: if you add oil to the pot, let it heat up a little before you add more chicken.
  6. In a medium bowl, stir together sauce ingredients: 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 4 Tbsp ketchup, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp garlic salt.
  7. Pour sauce over your sautéed chicken pieces and toss to coat. Bake uncovered at 325˚F for 1 hour, turning the chicken twice while baking to coat with sauce. Serve warm or hot over steamy white rice, and crisp tender broccoli for a balanced meal.

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag banner
You have to try this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe - healthier and tastier than any takeout! @natashaskitchen
♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥

Shown in this post: (nope, no one paid us to write this; just stuff we love):
*My favorite French oven – somehow food just tastes better when you use it 😉
*This covered 9×12 baking dish comes with a lid, reducing foil waste; and it’s perdy.
*My glass mixing bowls are so versatile; everything from this sauce to your morning cereal 😉
*These cooking utensils are next to my stove always in reach on their little caddy.

What is the most requested meal in your house? 

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • robert carter
    December 7, 2019

    love these recipes but corn starch can tear you up for days use aunt jemima pancake mix in place of corn starch Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 7, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Christal Hisfordw
    October 17, 2019

    This sweet and sour recipe was delicious 😋👌 Reply

  • Naty
    August 31, 2019

    Love it so much!!! Thank you so much for this recipe! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 31, 2019

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it Naty! Reply

  • Kendall
    July 30, 2019

    I think this is a great foundational recipe that can be modified for personal tastes!

    I only used 1.5 lbs of chicken with the same amount of sauce (2 eggs and 2/3 cup cornstarch). The sauce is definitely on the sweet side, and I’d probably cut out some sugar next time and add some pineapple for sweetness. I’d agree with other reviewers in that the sauce isn’t quite enough. It cooks down a lot in the last 20 minutes. It’s nice to have a thick sauce, but I might reduce the cooking time a bit or make more sauce. Reply

    • Natasha
      July 30, 2019

      I love the idea of adding pineapple. I will have to try that. Thank you for sharing! Reply

  • Maria
    June 10, 2019

    I really loved your recipe. I have a question can I make this a day ahead? Can you help me? Thanks Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 10, 2019

      Hi Maria, I do think this recipe is best enjoyed fresh and would probably get a little dry if you reheated it in the oven. Reply

  • Eleni
    June 9, 2019

    It was easy to make and surprisingly good. I wasnt sure about the cornstarch but the tastes so different but very good in comparison to using flour. Thanks for the tips along the way , such as letting pan to get hot first after adding more oil to fry. Definitely Thumbs up and 5 stars. My husband said it tasted just like chinese takeout without the fat. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 9, 2019

      That’s just awesome, Eleni!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review! Reply

  • Juliya T
    January 28, 2019

    Made a keto version of this recipe and it was AMAZING! Almond flour instead of corn starch, “swerve” sugar substitute, amino liquid instead of soy sauce, and sugar free ketchup. Added broccoli, sugar snap peas, and red bell peppers during the second half of the hour in the oven. I would double the sauce if adding veggies, was a little dry, but still one of my favorite chicken recipes overall! Thank you!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 29, 2019

      Thank you for sharing your Keto version with us! That’s so great! Reply

  • Lisa
    December 8, 2018

    My family loves this recipe but we don’t always have the time to make it. Do you think it would be the same if I placed it in a crock pot instead of the oven for the last part of the recipe? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 8, 2018

      Hi Lisa, I haven’t tried it in a slow cooker so I’m not sure and can’t advise. Reply

  • Anjdiv
    July 20, 2018

    Hi Natasha!! This recipe is delicious but some of of my family is vegetarian. Do you think we could substitute tofu for chicken? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 20, 2018

      I haven’t tried that, if you try tofu or cauliflower please let us know how you like it! Reply

  • Wendie
    May 12, 2018

    What can be alternative to a soy sauce ? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 12, 2018

      Hi Wendie, I haven’t tested anything different in this recipe but we do like this soy substitute product (Amazon affiliate link) – it is very good and we often use it instead of soy sauce. Reply

  • Genevieve Sahakian
    April 29, 2018

    Natasha,
    Have you ever tried to make this recipe with white fish fillets? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 30, 2018

      Hi Genevieve, I haven’t tried with fish, but fish might not hold up as well when stirring since most fish is flaky and not as sturdy. Reply

  • Darrell
    April 14, 2018

    Greeting from The Netherlands, Natasha and All! Natasha, this recipe is absolutely off the chain delicious!! Loyal follower of your site and have made numerous recipes you’ve shared. You’re recipes have delighted this family of 5 many times over. Kindest regards to you, your family and all! Reply

  • Natalie
    February 19, 2018

    Would I be able to cut this recipie in half? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 19, 2018

      Hi Natalie, I always make the full batch but that should work if you are using a smaller baking dish since you don’t want the chicken to be too spread out while baking. Reply

  • Alina
    January 12, 2018

    I just made this chicken last night, everyone in my household absolutely loved it! Thank you so much for sharing this goodness with us! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 12, 2018

      You’re welcome Alina! I’m glad to hear how much you both enjoy the recipe. Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Lori
    November 11, 2017

    Best sweet and sour chicken ever! We loved it! I did cut back the sugar to 1/3 cup – everything else as outlined. Wonderful flavour! Thank you again Natasha! I would have given it 6 stars! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 11, 2017

      You’re welcome Lori! I’m happy to hear the recipe is a HIT! Thanks for sharing your excellent review! Reply

  • Martin
    October 23, 2017

    Fantastic recipe . There is no need anymore to go to our insane expensive Chinese Restaurant. Many thanks for this. My family loved it so much.
    Greetings from Switzerland Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 23, 2017

      You’re welcome Martin! I’m glad to hear the recipe is a HIT! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review! Reply

  • patricia Erickson
    October 20, 2017

    made this tonight, but i used aa cut up whole chicken pieces 2 legs,thighs,wings,breasts and two pack pieces, let me tell you my 57 year old son and his friend mike absolutely loved it. But next time i am going to add pineapple chunks and green pepper chunks. but will be making this origanal sauce on spareribs, pork chops try it on lots. was a huge hit from the guys and myself. Thank you so much Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 20, 2017

      You’re welcome Patricia! I’m glad everyone loves the recipe! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review! 🙂 Reply

  • Maria Avalos
    October 3, 2017

    I just made this and it was excellent! I added chopped onion and 2 peppers and tripled the sauce since I like more sauce with my rice. I also cooked it an extra 20 minutes to cook out off the vinegar. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 3, 2017

      Hi Maria, that is probably a good idea to cook it longer if you tripled the sauce. I’m so glad you loved it! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your add-in ideas! Reply

  • Neil
    September 8, 2017

    After a successful attempt at your Chicken Teryaki recipe, we loved this delectable Sweet & Sour chicken recipe Natasha – and so easy to prepare thanks to you. Perhaps I cut the chicken pieces a bit small – but I thought the Chicken Sweet & Sour looked ready to eat after 30 minutes in the oven at 325 F/160 C. The additional 30 minutes thickened and darkened the sauce and the meat was tender and delicious – but I am left wondering what just 30 minutes in the oven would do? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 9, 2017

      Hi Neil, it may be due to cutting the pieces too small but the reason for the longer cooking time is to 1. make the chicken super tender 2. allow the sauce time to form and cook off the vinegar. I think if you only baked 30 minutes, it would have a strong vinegary flavor and aroma. Reply

      • Neil
        September 9, 2017

        Thank you for the quick response Natasha. I am going to use this recipe again to see what happens after reducing cooking time by 15 minutes. I like your recipe as is but my personal taste preference would be retaining a little more of the vinegar ‘sour’ taste. Thanks again for your creative recipes – keep ’em coming 🙂 Reply

  • Kellie
    July 28, 2017

    I’ve made this multiple times, and it’s so good. Plus, I have a Red #40 dye allergy, so it’s nice to have a brightly-colored Chinese-type dish that I don’t have to check any ingredient labels for. Thanks for posting! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 28, 2017

      You’re welcome Kellie! I’m so happy you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review! Reply

  • Renee
    July 26, 2017

    Delicious except just a little to much vinegar Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 26, 2017

      Hi Renee, the vinegar bakes out in the oven. It does seem like it might be overpowering at first but after it is baked, it mellows out so you shouldn’t really taste the vinegar in it. Reply

  • Kristina
    June 8, 2017

    Hey Natasha! I’ve made this recipe about 4 times. The first time it was amazing but the other times it seemed like the chicken was very soft and soggy it didn’t have a crunch to it. What might I be doing wrong? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 8, 2017

      Hi Kristina, after the chicken is baked, it really isn’t supposed to have a crunch to it since it’s covered in the sauce, but it also should not be soggy. Some things that might cause this – using a different sized dish, maybe a different oven setting like convection, baking covered vs uncovered. Reply

  • Rosanna
    May 10, 2017

    No need to spend any more money on purchasing sweet and sour chicken at the Chinese restaurant. I really wanted to try something new tonight and this recipe definitely hit the spot! A great recipe that I will add to my books!! Next time I make this recipe, I will make more sauce! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 11, 2017

      I’m glad you enjoy the recipe Rosanna! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • Avian
    April 6, 2017

    Omg I made this for dinner yesterday!!! The bomb yes this will most definitely be cooked often even the sauce it self will be used for wings lol it’s even better today. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 6, 2017

      I’m happy you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • Andrea
    March 24, 2017

    I made this recipe last night and it was a hit with my entire family! I was a bit nervous about it at first, as an hour seemed like a long cook time for chicken and the sauce started out pretty thin, but the sauce got thick and delicious, and the chicken was perfectly cooked and very tender. I will be adding this dish to my regular meal rotation. I did not have soy sauce, so had to use teriyaki sauce in its place. I served with jasmine rice and broccoli as suggested, and garnished with sesame seeds and green onion. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 24, 2017

      Yum! That’s perfect! Sounds like you got a new favorite, thanks for sharing Andrea! 🙂 Reply

  • Masha kruglova
    February 27, 2017

    Could you make another orange chicken recipe that requires mostly oven work? Because when I soaked the chicken in the egg and put it on the hot skillet, the oil popped all over my arms and the oven and microwave Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 27, 2017

      Hi Masha, it really helps to use a deep skillet or a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. The walls of the pot keep the oils from splattering on the stove and saves you some clean up and splattering. I hope that helps for next time and if I come across a great recipe that doesn’t involve the skillet, I’ll share it 🙂 Reply

      • Maria Kruglova
        February 27, 2017

        I did use a deep skillet! I don’t know why but it splattered like crazy🤣but today I put the chicken with the egg and cornstarch in the oven and then after that I simmered the sauce in the skillet and threw in the chicken and mixes it like that 😊 Reply

  • Farhana
    January 27, 2017

    Hi Natasha, after baking did you drench it with the remaining sauce? What did you garnish it with? Sorry for the stupid questions, I’m an amateur cook! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 27, 2017

      Hi Farhana, I garnished with chives (or green onion would work as well) 🙂 Reply

  • Bev
    January 22, 2017

    I have never cared for the taste of vinegar. I wondered before I made it if it would be palatable to me and it wasn’t. Just a warning for others. Just a personal opinion … Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 23, 2017

      Hi Bev, with the long cooking time, you should be able to taste the vinegar when it’s done. Did you bake for the full time? Also, did you make sure to use apple cider vinegar and NOT white vinegar? the cider vinegar doesn’t have as strong of a taste/aroma of vinegar. I hope that helps! Reply

    • Pieter
      March 3, 2017

      This is another great chicken recipe from Natasha!! I was a bit worried with the vinegar smell when turning the chicken it the recommended two times, but when it was on the table, the tase of vinegar is very mild and wonderful. Thank you Natasha, especially on behalf of one of my daughters (21 Yrs) who became semi vegetarian and only eats meat from Chicken and Fish (She tried to be full vegetarian but after 6 months of veggies she was begging for some meat again and decided to include chicken again) Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        March 3, 2017

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Reply

  • tiffany
    January 17, 2017

    hi, what if I don’t use soy sauce? will it turn out? Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 17, 2017

      Hi Tiffany, I haven’t tried it without soy sauce so I can’t say for sure but it does add flavor and color to the final dish that you would probably miss if you omited soy sauce. Reply

  • Allison J
    January 15, 2017

    Absolutely delicious! Thanks for a great recipe! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 16, 2017

      You’re welcome Allison! Thank you for sharing! Reply

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