Food / Main Dishes

Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken 3

Since this recipe was originally posted, Killing Thyme has shifted it’s focus to the pesco-vegetarian diet. I’ve decided to keep a few popular meat recipes in my index for your convenience, including this one.

This Homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken screams “Screw take-out!”

Seriously, though. Why bother getting take-out when you can whip this up at home from scratch–sweet and sour sauce included–with fresh ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup? (As long as you use French’s Tomato Ketchup and avoid Heinz, guy.)

I’ve encountered a lot of make it yourself recipes that claim to replicate classic take-out dishes and end up tasting nothing like what was intended. DISAPPOINT. So, if you’re feeling skeptical about this one here, I get it. But please, trust me when I say that I will never post a dish that claims to be something it isn’t. NEVEREVEREVER.

So put on your loose pants or your buffet dress, ’cause you’ll want second helpings of this one.

(I even heard my husband picking at this in the fridge last night before bed, ha.)

[optin-cat id=”4760″]

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Sweet and Sour Chicken 4

Sweet and Sour Chicken 2

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken


MEAT AND VEGGIES1 lb boneless + skinless chicken breasts (approx. 2 breasts), cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil divided
  • 1 large white onion cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bell peppers cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced thin (I used the middle setting on my mandolin which sliced at approx. 1/8")

SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE1/4 cup French's tomato ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce adjust to your heat tolerance or omit
  • 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of organic honey
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple don't drain it, include the juice

GARNISH (optional)Chopped scallions

  • Sesame seeds


  • Sprinkle Kosher salt and ground black pepper evenly over chicken, then toss in flour to coat. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken to the skillet.
  • Saute until the chicken, flipping halfway through, until it is cooked through (approx. 5 minutes). The chicken should have an internal temp. of 165 degrees F.
  • Remove chicken from saucepan and set aside.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet.
  • Add the bell peppers, carrots, and onions.
  • Saute the veggies for approx. 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender but still packing a crunch.
  • Remove vegetables and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the ketchup, sriracha, rice vinegar, honey, and crushed pineapple with juice.
  • Once completely mixed, empty the sauce into the saucepan and, over medium heat, bring to a boil. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes. it should thicken on it's own.
  • Once thickened, add the vegetables and the chicken to the saucepan and toss to coat.
  • Remove from heat and serve over rice.
  • Garnished with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
  • This recipe keeps in the fridge, covered in a container, for up to 3 days.


I specifically suggest French's tomato ketchup due to the fact that it does not contain high fructose corn syrup. You may use any tomato ketchup, however.


  • Barbara Nee
    April 15, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I made this tonight! Eugene and I loved it! I used half the sriracha, and that ended up being just enough heat for us weaklings ;).

    • Killing Thyme
      April 15, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Hey Barbara! I’m so so glad that you guys enjoyed it! Yeah, I tend to go a little overboard with the Sriracha/heat sometimes, so I’m glad that you were able to adapt it to a level of heat you could enjoy, haha. Thanks so much for the feedback!

  • Sean
    April 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Dana Dana DANA yes! This looks awesome! I do a ton of traditional Chinese cooking, but I will admit a special fondness for a good West-meets-East sweet and sour dish. This looks perfect – not to sugary, some added heat, and honey for added dimension? YEAH. Keep up the good work.

    • Killing Thyme
      April 11, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Thanks, Sean! I definitely appreciate that!
      Yeah, while this is SUCH a Westernized take on Asian cuisine and nothing can beat actual Asian cuisine, there is no denying that once in a while, this stuff is BOMB. I’m super glad you approve!

  • Jennifer Andrews
    April 8, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I LOVE the sounds of this dish, especially because it’s quick to make. You would probably wait longer to order actual takeout! I saw in the previous comment that you have a vegetarian version up your sleeve. I’m not vegetarian but do love tofu, so I look forward to seeing it in your cookbook!

    • Killing Thyme
      April 11, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Thanks, Jennifer! That’s so true–take-out probably would take way more time! And then there’s the whole going out to get it thing – boo hiss. Haha. What if it’s a lazy day and you don’t want to put pants on?

      I’m super excited about the vegetarian version and I think you’ll love it!

  • Kellie
    April 8, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    This sounds really great Dana.
    My family and me are vegetarians. I created a better than take-out vegetarian version which is awesome but I like the sound of your sauce better than mine. I’m gonna give it a try next time.
    I like the idea of stealing in to the fridge part….

    Kellie from Princess & The Yard Ape

    • Killing Thyme
      April 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Hey Kellie! That’s awesome! I actually created a vegetarian option for myself as well (my husband is an omnivore and I’m pescetarian), and I loved it! The only reason I posted the chicken is because I’m saving the veg version for my cookbook. Haha.

      I hope you enjoy this sauce! Thanks for stopping by :)


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