Learn how to make this homemade sweet and sour sauce. Sauce is definitely restaurant quality. Serve it over chicken or as a dip for spring rolls.

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This homemade sweet and sour sauce is definitely restaurant quality. My brother-in-law, Roman discovered it on Recipezaar.com. The chicken recipe there is quite good as well; “Chinese-style chicken balls with sweet and sour sauce.” I used this sauce on my Shrimp Spring Rolls.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar,packed (can reduce to 1/3 cup)
1 cup white sugar (for less sweet taste, reduce a few tablespoons)
3/4 cup cold water (or half pineapple juice and half water) I used pineapple juice and it turned out great
4 to 5 Tbsp cornstarch (5 makes a pretty thick sauce)

How to Make Sweet and Sour Sauce:

In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar until combined.

In a separate cup, whisk 3/4 cup cold water (or pineapple juice) with 4 Tbsp cornstarch until well blended. Whisk vigorously into the ketchup mixture. Bring to a boil while whisking until bubbly, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, remove from heat. Keep in mind, the sauce will get thicker when cooled.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

5 from 25 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Learn how to make this homemade sweet and sour sauce. Sauce is definitely restaurant quality. Serve it over chicken or as a dip for spring rolls.
Easy homemade sweet and sour sauce with basic pantry staples. This tastes like authentic Sweet & Sour Sauce and you'll make it over and over!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 servings (makes 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (can reduce to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 cup white sugar, for less sweet taste, reduce a few Tbsp
  • 3/4 cup cold water, or half pineapple juice and half water
  • 4 to 5 Tbsp cornstarch, (5 Tbsp makes a pretty thick sauce)

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/3 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar until combined.
  • In a separate cup, whisk 3/4 cup cold water (or pineapple juice) with 4 Tbsp cornstarch until well blended. Whisk vigorously into the ketchup mixture. Bring to a boil while whisking until bubbly, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, remove from heat. Keep in mind, the sauce will get thicker when cooled.

Nutrition Per Serving

122kcal Calories31g Carbs1g Protein1g Fat1g Saturated Fat123mg Sodium44mg Potassium1g Fiber28g Sugar51IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C9mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
122
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
123
mg
5
%
Potassium
 
44
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
31
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
28
g
31
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
51
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
9
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Condiments, Sauce
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: sweet and sour sauce
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 122

 

Natasha Kravchuk

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 and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Esther
    June 12, 2023

    Oh my goodness! I just did this sauce for meatballs and I tell you, it’s the most delicious thing. Really. Thank you for another great recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 12, 2023

      You’re welcome, Esther! So glad you loved the recipe!

      Reply

  • Cathy
    April 1, 2022

    Could this recipe be doubled & used for chicken or pork in a slow cooker?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 2, 2022

      Hi Cathy, I have not tried that myself but I think it would work just fine.

      Reply

  • Jaye
    October 12, 2021

    Just made this sauce, WOW!! perfect! Can I freeze it with the meatballs??

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 12, 2021

      So glad you loved it! I honestly haven’t tried freezing it to advise. I think it will work, if you try it, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

      • Jaye
        November 1, 2021

        Froze it, so far so good! I actually googled it, it should be good in the freezer for 3 months, I froze it with meatballs and without, so far so good. You need some more freezer friendly meals, I had tried another sweet and sour recipe and it was total crap compared to this one, It really is easy and delicious. Your recipes haven’t failed me ever! Thank you!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 1, 2021

          That’s so great! Thank you for sharing your research with us!

          Reply

  • Brooke
    February 10, 2021

    I am located in Costa Rica. Made it for sweet and sour pork with modifications. 1/2c brown, 1/3c white. Liked this better than my old recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 11, 2021

      So nice to know that, Brooke. Thanks for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Cassy Sondelski
    November 7, 2020

    I love this

    Reply

  • Margherita Market
    November 2, 2020

    love this site

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 2, 2020

      Thank you for stopping by our site Margherita!

      Reply

  • park jong min
    March 19, 2020

    hello.i live in korea my name jong min park!
    i am not good at english…
    however..natashas cooking is good.
    please give me some recipes for email..
    thank you.be happy.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 19, 2020

      Hello! Please go to my website and enter your name and email address then click on get free recipes

      Reply

  • Nancy
    February 24, 2020

    Hi Natasha, can I use just brown sugar for your sweet and sour sauce? I don’t like using white sugar. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 24, 2020

      That should work too, Nancy. Let me know how it goes.

      Reply

  • Kat
    July 21, 2019

    My nine year old and I made this with the following variations:
    Harissa (basically chipotle catsup) instead of regular catsup; 1/2 c white sugar instead of a whole cup, 3/4 cup pineapple juice (no water), and flour instead of corn starch. Used it on chicken/green peppers/scallions/pineapple chunks for sweet and sour chicken. My kids LOVED it and declared it “better than Chinese restaurant chicken.”

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 21, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Ed Matthews
    January 31, 2019

    I am just curious about how THICK this sauce will turn out when I make some. Most recipes use about 2 tblsp of corn starch.
    Can you compare this sauce as thick as most BBQ sauces?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 31, 2019

      Hi Ed, We make it with 4 to 5 Tbsp of cornstarch (5 makes a pretty thick sauce). If you’d prefer it thicker I would recommend the 5 or more Tbsp.

      Reply

      • Ed Matthews
        January 31, 2019

        Sweet and Sour sauce is fairly “runny” but NOT thin. I’m going to use 2 tablespoons and let ya know how it turns out.

        Semper Fi 1966-

        Reply

  • Jenn Burfield
    June 18, 2017

    I have a corn allergy. Do you think i could substitute corn starch for something like potato starch? Or if not is there any idea’s so i may try this recipe. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 19, 2017

      Hi Jenn, I haven’t tried it that way but I imagine that should work well with potato starch.

      Reply

    • Marilyn
      January 12, 2020

      Arrowroot is a great substitute for corn starch. I use it all the time when baking or to use to thicken any recipe with.

      Reply

  • Fern
    March 24, 2017

    Is there any way of getting the amount of calories in this recipe? My husband and I both love this recipe but I am counting calories and this one was hard to figure out. thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 25, 2017

      Due to time constraints, I don’t typically include nutritional info, but check out this nutrition analyzer – you can plug in the ingredients from any recipe, select the serving size and it will give you nutritional info, calories, etc. I hope that is helpful to you!

      Reply

  • kayla
    September 3, 2016

    i just made this and to be honest ……its soooo DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! in making bacon raped matz sticks and this will go amazing with those (i hope <___< ) thank u i tastes so good

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 3, 2016

      I’m so happy you liked it!! This was one of the first recipes I posted (back in Dec 2009) and I completely forgot about it! 🙂 Thanks for the reminder 😉

      Reply

  • Anna Hobbs
    May 8, 2015

    I tried this at home and it really blends well on frying as a sauce. Thanks for sharing keep posting!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 8, 2015

      Thanks for sharing that Anna! What kind of recipe have you tried this with?

      Reply

  • Tanya M
    December 11, 2009

    I should try this. I always buy a bottle of it and it expires on me every time.

    Reply

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