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Skillet full of sweet and sour chicken with peppers and onions.

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Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken

This quick and easy recipe for healthy sweet and sour chicken skips the batter and the deep fryer so you can enjoy this takeout classic guiltlessly.
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut up into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 TBSP peanut oil, Olive or avocado oil are also fine.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 large carrot, julienned

Chicken marinade.

  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • A few cracks of black pepper

Sweet and sour sauce.

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raw honey, You could also use agave nectar.
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce


Chicken marinade.

  • Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Place the cut up chicken into it and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Sweet and sour sauce.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the sweet and sour sauce ingredients until well combined. (You could also place the ingredients into a glass jar, secure the lid, and shake until combined.)

Bringing the dish together.

  • Heat a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, transfer the marinated chicken to it and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
  • If necessary, add a bit of oil to the pan. Add the vegetables, and let them sauté until they've softened—about 5 minutes.
  • Bring the chicken back to the pan and cook alongside the vegetables for another minute or until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165ºF. Stir in the sweet and sour sauce and toss all of the ingredients to evenly coat them. Bring the skillet to a low simmer and let the sauce thicken a bit.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the scallions, and top with sesame seeds.
  • Serve with rice, noodles, or as is!