Sweet and Sour Chicken

Update 6/2012: Easily the most popular recipe on my blog, this sweet and sour chicken is a miracle of a dish. My husband, Brian, requests it for his birthday, Father’s Day and any other day he has the craving (which seriously would be every day if I was willing to make it that often). Invented on a college budget more than ten years ago, it is absolutely divine and remains one of our family favorites. A million percent better than any takeout, the chicken bakes up tender with a beautiful crust and is coated perfectly with the sweet and tangy flavors of the sauce. Over the years, I’ve barely changed the recipe – but thanks to your comments, I have added a few tidbits to help make the whole coating-and-cooking chicken thing a bit less messy. Make this! You’ll love it, I promise.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour FAQ: Here are a few commonly asked questions about this recipe (so you don’t have to read through all 660+ comments to find the answer you are looking for!
Question: Can I cut down the sugar?
Answer: Many people have commented that they have reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup.

Question: The vinegar smell is really overpowering when I bake this. Is that normal?
Answer: Yes. Vinegar, while baking, gives off a strong aroma, but the strong aroma/taste bakes off during the recommended time in the recipe leaving a delicious sweet and sour taste.

Question: Can I cut down on the amount of vinegar because of the aforementioned question?
Answer: That’s up to you. Many people in the comments have adapted the recipe ingredients; however, other than sometimes reducing the sugar to 1/2 cup and using a different type of vinegar (see the question below), I make the recipe as written and can’t vouch for results for other adaptations. I have made this recipe at least 50 times (probably more) and even though the vinegar seems overpowering, the recipe works. Promise. If you are determined to adapt the vinegar, several others have used half vinegar and half pineapple juice for a milder taste (but you’ll lose a bit of the sweet and sour punch).

Question: I don’t have apple cider vinegar OR I hate apple cider vinegar OR {insert a reason you don’t want to use apple cider vinegar}, can I substitute another type of vinegar?
Answer: Why yes! I often substitute rice vinegar which has a slightly milder/sweeter taste and many others in the comments have substituted the same or even used white vinegar. Feel free to experiment.

Question: Surely there is a misprint in baking time. An hour for small chicken pieces? What’s the deal?
Answer: I encourage you to make the recipe as written. Like I said above, I’ve made this recipe many times and the hour baking time is not a typo. Keep in mind that you don’t want to cook the chicken through while browning it. That step should be a quick flash in the pan in hot oil in order to give the chicken a crispy outer layer, but the pieces should still be raw in the center. Many have commented that they have cut the baking time down to 30 minutes. You can try that; the sauce won’t thicken as much as if baking for the full hour.

Question: Are you sure I’m supposed to put the chicken in the cornstarch mixture before the egg? That just seems wrong.
Answer: I’m not often right, but in the case of cornstarch and egg, I am. The chicken is coated with cornstarch and then dipped in egg.

Question: Can I add pineapple or other veggies to this while baking?
Answer: I don’t see why not! Many commenters have tried that with good results.

Question: Can I prep this ahead of time? Can it be made into a freezer meal?
Answer: I have not tried either but feel free to experiment! Someone commented in the 500’s about freezing it if you want to look up specifics.

Question: What kind of ketchup do you use?
Answer: I always try and use the Heinz Natural brand (without HCFS) but when I can’t find it, I go with regular Heinz.

What To ServeBaked Brown Rice
Steamed Broccoli
Creamy 5-Cup Fruit Salad or fresh, seasonal fruit

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Yield: Serves 4-6

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Note: if you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the recipe instructions; pour the other half in a small saucepan and cook the sauce on the stovetop at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken.

Ingredients

    Chicken:
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola, vegetable or coconut oil
  • Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot and rippling. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet.
  4. Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side until the crust is golden but the chicken is not all the way cooked through (this is where it's really important to have a hot skillet/oil). Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a 9X13-inch baking dish and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  5. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken. Bake for one hour, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce. Serve over hot, steamed rice.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/sweet-and-sour-chicken-updated/

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe original recipe

762 Responses to Sweet and Sour Chicken

  1. Great recipe – I have made it several times! I featured my review on my blog today – but I did NOT post your recipe in it’s entirety on my blog, I linked back here for the full recipe (it is incredible to me how many other blogs have posted this recipe and either not given you credit or only linked back to you at the bottom, giving no one any need to visit your page!). This is definitely a crowd pleaser and a family favorite that is now in my regular menu rotation – thanks so much for sharing it!

  2. Kerry says:

    Just curios as to why this would take an hour to bake? Seems like a long time for small pieces of chicken that are previously fried.

  3. […] if you’re looking for a fairly quick and easy meal, go to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and try this […]

  4. Stephanie says:

    Whole family loves this. That does not happen to often. I double the sauce. Very good – thank you!

  5. Michelle says:

    I found your recipe after making a variation that gave credit (Essentially it was doubled with Worcestershire instead of soy). Even the man who claims not to like sweet and sour chicken LOVED this, everyone did. Thankyou

  6. KJ says:

    I lovve all your recipes that I have tried so far and I am so excited to make this one tonight! Thank you so much for sharing your talent! You are amazing!!!

  7. Sue says:

    Planning to try this and just realized the ingredients list 3-4 boneless chicken. I am bit confused did you forgot to write lbs? What is the approximate weight of the chicken for this recipe?

    Thanks
    Sue – Novice cook

  8. are you kiddin’ me! This is DEFINITELY a keeper. I double the sauce now when i make it as suggested, and everyone lovesss it! Thank you!

  9. Danielle says:

    FAB-U-LOUS!! All that was left was an empty 9×13 dish!!! All of my 3 kids plus my husband LOVED it!! Even my ultra picky 5 year old ate it!! I did substitute boneless, skinless thighs but that was it. Thank you again for sharing the recipe!!

  10. Mary says:

    I will try this recipe next week but I have a quick question please. Bake for an HOUR?? The chicken isn’t dry? Thanks!

  11. Bri says:

    im in the process of making this. it looks good in the oven and im making extra sauce in case the hubby wants more. cooking the chicken pieces is a little time consuming but overall the recipe is easy cant wait to eat it. thanks

  12. Mel says:

    Mary – you’ll have to read through the comments for other reviews of altering baking time but I always bake it per the recipe.

  13. Janet Bradley says:

    I made this the other day and it was to die for.

  14. Lisa says:

    Awesome recipe. My whole family loved it.

  15. Jackie says:

    This is one of our favorites! I made it for the missionaries recently and I actually quadrupled the batch… It’s a good thing too because there were NO leftovers. I always add diced carrots and a diced green pepper to it. Anything to sneak in a few extra veggies.

  16. Alicia says:

    I guess I was the only one with an issue of all these commenters. :/ I made the sauce by itself because I didn’t want to bake it, but it was waaay vinegary. I was about to toss it until my sister suggested adding a can of pineapples w/ the juice. Saved the poor sauce. Next time I’m adding half the apple cider vinegar!

    • Mel says:

      Alicia – I’d recommend making the recipe according to the instructions if you want the stellar results everyone else reports. It makes a big difference when the sauce bakes – the vinegar isn’t overpowering. If you are going to make the sauce alone (I often make an extra batch on the stove), it needs to simmer for a while to meld all the ingredients.

  17. Alicia says:

    I had let it simmer for a long time because I wondered if that was the problem, but it didn’t help too much. I understand that the way I’m making it (sans oven) is going to alter how it tastes, but I try not to use the oven in the summer time, so until autumn….
    I made it again, doubled the recipe like last time (big family!) and used half the vinegar, plus the juice from the canned pineapples, and it was amaaazing.

  18. Meg says:

    This is so super delicious!!! I made this for my second time tonight, and because we are currently trying to cut out processed sugar, I substituted honey for the white sugar. It worked great!!! So yummy! Thanks so much for your awesome recipes! I am making your decadent chocolate that you just posted today for my husband’s birthday tomorrow.

  19. jay says:

    Are you supposed to cover the dish with foil?/when should you and should you not cover with foil?

  20. Viktoriya says:

    This was so heavenly Delicious that I just HAD to leave a reply! This recipe came out perfect on the very first try and was a huge success in my family. This wasn’t just a perfect dish, but a masterpiece! Absolutely Delicious! Therefore my search is over and that is thanks to you Mel!:))

  21. Sara Saqib says:

    Im going to try this out today! Ive been craving all sorts of unhealthy foods in my pregnancy and was searching for a healthier homemade option (now that i can get away from throwing up and actually cook!!) This looks perfect i hope its as tasty as it looks!! (as all ur recipes are) :)

  22. Sarah says:

    YUM! This was soooo good. (Of course you already know that). Seriously. It was delicious.

  23. martha says:

    I was hesitant to try this recipe because the ingredients just seemed so simple- boy, was I wrong to wait! My teenage son LOVED it! I asked if there was anything I needed to add or change and he said it was PERFECT- better than his favorite Chinese restaurant. He took the few leftovers this morning to school for lunch. I know this is years later than when you posted the recipe but , what can I say, I just now tried it.

  24. Melissa C says:

    Have made this twice now and it is a hit! Definitely going in the repertoire of family dinners. I may even cook this when company comes (and believe me with a husband with a culinary degree whom I can easily pass off culinary entertainment, that is saying a lot!) I’m gaining more confidence in my cooking skills thanks to my results from your blog Mel!!! I hope this blog and all the (obvious) work you do for it is helping you and your family…you are amazing and you need to write a book and get your own cooking show!!! :)

  25. Christine says:

    I just have to add a comment. I made this last night and it was so good. It was certainly a meal I will make again. I wish I had made enough to freeze some. Well I did, but we ate it. Thanks!!

  26. Vanessa Cragun says:

    I’ve never posted on someone’s site before but this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever found online and I wanted you to know. It has that comfort food taste that Chinese take-out gives you but without the chewy chicken, heavy breading, or overly-sweet sauce. I put some sliced carrots and sweet onions with the chicken and will probably be making this at least once a month from now on. I can’t wait to test out some of your other recipes!

  27. Kimberly says:

    Hi Melanie! I found your blog by accident and so happy I did! I made this recipe last night for my family and mother in law. It was so easy . I had all the ingredients except for the chicken. It was absolutely crazy good. Everyone loved it and my mother in law wanted the recipe. It’s also very inexpensive to make. Thank you so much! I love your site and look forward to trying more of your recipes.
    Kimberly

  28. Vanessa says:

    Have you tried this in the slow cooker?

  29. Lewis says:

    Hi Mel, love your recipes. your spaghetti sauce recipie is quite rightly the best spaghetti sauce i have ever tasted. What kind of Ketchup are you using in this recipe ?
    Best,

    Lewis

  30. Lewis says:

    Well, made this tonight and as predicted absolutely bloody lovely. I don’t think one of your recipes has ever steered me wrong :)

  31. Jennifer says:

    I made this dish last night to rave reviews. It was more time-consuming than I thought it would be: I think it took me about 8 batches of frying, and I had to replenish the egg wash with 2 more eggs halfway through the process. (It didn’t help that my 1-year-old was hollering in his highchair and throwing things on the floor the whole time.) But my husband said the chicken was better than any Chinese food dish he’s had at a restaurant…ever. I’ll definitely be making it again, hopefully with baby in a better mood.

  32. Nicole H says:

    Hey Mel! My mom was just telling me about a bad experience with her last Chinese food experiment and to give her a pick-me-up I told her about your DELICIOUS Sweet and Sour chicken that she should try and that it wouldn’t disappoint. When I got to the website I noticed that for this dish you had a wildly, amazing 599 comments and I knew it must be fate that led me to see that I could be your 600th comment. I feel elated and like a superstar! Thanks for all of your awesome recipes that make me feel like I am the Queen of the Kitchen!

  33. jamie says:

    I made this for my family (3 children who are picky eaters!!) tonight and it was a hit!! Not too hard to make either, though a bit messy! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  34. Jessica says:

    Made this last week and it was very good. Was a little nervous when it was baking since the vinegar smell seemed a bit overpowering but the meal came together great with a perfect combination of sweet and sour. My husband loved it! If forced to choose I liked the firecracker chicken better but only because I love spicy. I’ve printed up so many of your recipes and can’t wait to keep trying them. Great website!

  35. Jennifer says:

    Awesome awesome recipe…kids can’t get enough! I actually made 2 sauces – 1 the way in the recipe and my sauce separate since I added chili paste and some chipolte peppers (put in blender to puree all together). So freaking good! Also added some bell peppers into the sauce. It tastes 10x better than going to a restaurant. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! :-)

  36. Diana Johnson says:

    OMGeeeeeez – this was YUM!!! My family thanks you. This is DEFINITELY a keeper!!!!

  37. Amy says:

    Can this recipe be made ahead and stored in the freezer? Thanks

  38. Darlene says:

    Found this recipe via Pinterest. I made it tonight with a couple variations and it was delicious. I used Arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch to coat the meat and coconut oil to lightly brown the chicken before baking. I also served it over Miracle Noodles which I flavored with about 1/4 C of the sauce which I saved out from the chicken. Tossed in some carrots, bell pepper and broccoli and it was a great sweet/sour stir fry.

  39. Sam says:

    This recipe is great! I like to add some carrots, peppers, and onions after its been cooking for about 45 minutes. It cooks them just enough not to be mushy and I get my veggies!

  40. Susan Priestley says:

    I made this chicken tonight — YUMMY!! I did decrease the sugar to 2/3 cup, which was good for our taste. I will DEFINITELY make it again. I did wonder about adding sweet pepper chunks to it the next time. Have you ever done that? If so, for how long do you think they should roast? You should know, I have made several of your recipes and they are ALL terrific! SO nice to be able to have reliability with internet-obtained recipes!

  41. Susan Priestley says:

    Immediately after posting my question about adding peppers, I read some other comments about adding veggies. Those comments are helpful, but if you have any specific recommendations, Mel, I would appreciate those!

  42. Susan Priestley says:

    One more comment! For some reason, I thought your photo of this included the finished product sprinkled with sliced scallions. Now I see those are not in the photo! I did serve it with the scallions and they were a tasty addition — a nice contrast to the sweetness of the sauce.

  43. Heidi says:

    yup– just made this & there were no leftovers!

  44. Kate says:

    I had a chinese food craving last week and decided to try this and it was great! I love your recipes and have a whole bunch book marked as “must try”. A question though…if I cook the chicken in the skillet and place in a baking dish as directed, but didn’t sauce it until the chicken was done (all while reducing the sauce on the stove) then tossed it together at the end, would that result in crispier chicken? would that even work?! I love a good crunch :)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – you’ll have to experiment with that since I haven’t tried it and have no idea how it would affect the crunchiness. Good luck!

    • Kate says:

      Not sure if you are still wondering :) But I made a small alteration to increase crunchiness, as I generally avoid the texture that is created when fried foods are covered in a sauce. I made everything exactly as instructed, but poured the sauce in the dish first, then put the chicken on top (so only the bottom of the chicken was touching the sauce, instead of being covered in sauce) I cooked 1 hour as directed, and then tossed immediately before serving. It was AWESOME and pretty crunchy. Everyone in our family loved it!

  45. Patty says:

    Oh wow, sooooo so good. Did not expect a lot…don’t know why…but this was great!

  46. M says:

    Love this! Great recipe!

  47. Lisa says:

    I’ve been making a version of this for years, but deep-fried my chicken. This is much, much better! I do like to add sliced red peppers and pineapple chunks to mine, though. :-) Thanks for another fantastic recipe, Mel!

  48. Lucy says:

    I had some rice and chicken to use up and wanted to make something my kids would actually eat before going out trick-or-treating. My whole family liked this! Particularly since it was Halloween, I decided to cut down the sugar to a scant 1/2 cup, and I still thought it was plenty sweet. Thanks for another winner!

  49. Marisa says:

    Wow, this was so delicious! My entire family absolutely loved it.
    As a side note, after spending the last couple of days drooling over and pinning your archives, I noticed that you live near my hometown. Small world :)

  50. EMichelle says:

    Oh My Goodness!!! This is sooooo good! Even though I tripled this, because of our large family, there’s just enough left-over for My Love’s lunch tomorrow! Yum!!!

  51. Cindy says:

    I just made this recipe, but I was extremely skeptical so I decided to read probably 300 reviews and not all on this site but all over the web. I am still mad at myself for not following my own instinct! It is a real good basic recipe but I just don’t get the oven part! I ended up with soggy chicken and quite frankly, why wouldn’t I? Seriously, you go to all the extreme to dredge the chicken in the cornstarch then in the egg….not so fun, and then fry the chicken to a crispy crust so why the heck would you soak it in the non cooked sweet and sour sauce at a very low temp in the oven for no less than 1 hour!! Why wouldn’t you end up with a soggy mess? OMG! Please people save yourself an hour!! After frying the chicken then toss it in a big bowl of the cooked down version of the sauce. If you want veggies like onion, peppers and pineapple then just stir fry that on the stove top and add to chicken and sauce then toss, toss, toss!

  52. C M says:

    I recently made the S/S chicken for a dinner party of 8. It’s the best!! I made egg roles and fried rice to accompany the dish. I’ve made this 4 times and it keeps getting better. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Michelle says:

    Hi Mel, when I was making my shopping list recently, I decided that I couldn’t call myself a true MKC fan if I hadn’t at least tried this recipe! ;) So I made it tonight… the first word uttered after we had taken our first bites was “Wow!” I am astonished at how good this is! I served it with brown rice & steamed broccoli, and cut the sugar in half. It was so incredibly delicious!!!

    And the kicker? My (very, very) picky 7 year old son declared this better than chicken nuggets! His all-time favorite food! He said “This is 22% better than nuggets. They’re 78% good, this is 100% good.” Those words almost made me cry. I found a healthy dinner that we ALL like! Thank you!!

  54. lynda mckinlay says:

    I just made this and it is fabulous. I have been looking for the right batter to use for my sweet and sour pork and I couldn’t believe how lovely the coating was with the cornflour and then egg and how quickly it turned golden without cooking it all the way through. i was concerned that the chicken would be dry by the time i fried then baked it. It was just like in the restaurant. The sauce, i doubled the recipe and I’m glad I did. When it was cooking it still had the vinegar smell a bit too strong and also in the extra sauce I had simmered was smelling just a bit too much like vinegar so I added a little pineapple juice and some pineapple pieces. Not pineapple in syrup, in natural juice. I had been reading about this recipe but hadn’t made it before because i thought it couldn’t possibly turn out cooking the breast pieces for an hour but it did. My husband loved it and he only eats sweet and sour at this one particular restaurant because it’s his favourite dish and they do an amazing version but he ate it all up and said he would eat it any time i cooked it. I was so happy. I served it with fried rice. I will absolutely make this again and again. I’ll try it with pork next time.
    Thanks so much Mel. I have made heaps of your recipes and they all turn out great. The apple crumble pie is now the only pie my husband wants me to make he loved it so much. I look forward to cooking more of your amazing recipes.

  55. Brock says:

    I read the reviews for this recipe so I had very high expectations and I can happily say that this dish blew me away and what’s even better is how much my husband liked it! This is an instant staple now! Thank you for sharing!

  56. Heather Hansen says:

    What kind of ketchup do you use?

  57. MonicaF says:

    I made this tonight and it’s the first time I’ve stumbled on your blog. Absolutely AMAZING! I was a bit overwhelmed by the strong smell of vinegar (I used Bragg’s Apple Cider) so when making extra sauce I added a 1/2 can of crushed pineapple and 2 extra Tbs of sugar. I saw where you suggested perhaps using 1/2 the vinegar so next time (and there WILL be a next time!) I make this I’ll try 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup pineapple juice. We really loved the pineapple in the extra sauce! This is a hit! Shared all over FB and Pinterest. :D

  58. Jan says:

    I’ve always done my sweet & sour chicken in a crockpot. Ran out of time today and it was my daughter’s birthday dinner request. This was the first recipe I found and it turned out perfect ! A huge hit. Definitely going to make it again, and next time will do the extra sauce. Yum!

  59. Reba says:

    This recipe rocks. Made twice got to love the acidic flavor in the sweet and sour sauce. Cut back on sugar and added more apple cider vinegar. Thank you.

    .

  60. Shannon says:

    I found your blog while searching for a slow cooker beef stroganoff that didn’t include canned soup. I plan to make your Ultimate Beef Stroganoff, but this is the first recipe I made and it CRUSHED it!

    My boyfriend walked in the door exhausted and soaked with rain from his 12-hour shift and said happily, “The whole house smells like sweet and sour chicken!”

    I didn’t make extra sauce this time because, frankly, I had no idea how amazing it would be. I will not make that mistake again :)

  61. mary says:

    can i use regular white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar as it is not available where i live? would i have to use half the amount?

    • Mel says:

      Mary – I know it is cumbersome to read through so many comments but if I remember correctly, many others have adapted the type of vinegar. I can’t remember if white vinegar is one specifically that’s been varied but it’s probably worth a try (I know for sure others have used rice vinegar with good results).

  62. Michelle says:

    I just wanted to add, in case anyone else was curious, that I bake this at 375º with good results. I reduce the time somewhat (maybe 40-45 minutes?). The reason why I do this is because I serve it with baked brown rice, which cooks at that temp. We all enjoyed this dish at my daughter’s birthday dinner last night!

  63. JanieH says:

    Going to make this for the first time tonight. But, how much chicken…3-4 breast halves or 3-4 whole breasts?

  64. JanieH says:

    Am making this for the first time tonight. How much chicken? 3-4 breast halves or 3-4 whole breasts? Thanks!

  65. Robert DeCuir says:

    Mel, thanks for an interesting recipe. I must admit that the Sweet & Sour Chicken didn’t go over well, probably due to using Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. The vinegar flavor was really overpowering in the finished product and my twin 12 year old daughters would hardly touch it. Please consider being more specific on the type of ACV recommended in the recipe. I have gone thru all the comments for variations and will gladly make the dish again with some changes. Thanks again for offering a simple to make Asian chicken dish.

  66. Temperence says:

    We LOVED this recipe it was absolutely delicious! I put it in my cookbook as a new family favorite. Thanks!
    T

  67. Jackie Hewitt says:

    Just wondering with the sweet and sour chicken whether cooking it for an hour is too long? any comments from those who have cooked it?

  68. Kelly says:

    Made this recipe and we loved it…. Thx! We are making a friends and family cookbook and I am considering putting this recipe in. It’s not for profit… Just a cookbook for us to share recipes in. Would that be OK? I saw in the FAQ section that it’s ok to reblog with a link but this would be an actual printed book so wasn’t sure…

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kelly – thanks for asking! Yes, I’m totally fine if you reprint this recipe, all I ask is that you include a full link back to my site. Thank you!

  69. Josh says:

    Fantastic! Kudos to you. We loved it, keeper for sure. Thank you

  70. Ann says:

    Hi Mel, I just want to say that I was looking for a simple sweet & sour chicken recipe because I had limited ingredients and in particular no pineapples. So when I saw yours I was like yes! But that was until I got to the ketchup! I said I am not putting ketchup in sweet & sour chicken! I finally decided I would just try it and I don’t have to use it again. Let me tell you that not only was it delish! but my picky granddaughter loved it. I just put it in my favorites and am making noodles to go with it for dinner. Thanks for such a limited ingredient dish that packs a lot of flavor! Moral of this story, lol is to never be afraid to try ingredients that are out of the box.

  71. Jenn says:

    Trying this tonight! It looks so good and I have read through all the comments to see variations and such. I have everything I need to make this, except the cornstarch so I’m going to try it with flour. I will comment back later after the results. So excited to try this!!!

  72. Jenn says:

    OMG!!!!! This was AMAZING!!!!! Thanks for the recipe! I used flour instead of cornstarch because I didn’t have any, it still turned out awesome!!!! 5 stars for sure!!!!

  73. Connie says:

    I don’t have cider vinegar… Can I substitute apple cider in the Sweet Sour Chicken recipe?

    • Mel says:

      Connie – no, you definitely need some type of vinegar (that’s what give is the classic sour taste) so subbing apple cider wouldn’t work but other commenters have subbed rice vinegar or white vinegar.

  74. Connie says:

    Thanks Mel!
    Duh,,, didn’t think of that. Went out and bought some apple cider vinegar! NOW I,m ready! Can’t wait to try it! :)

  75. Heather says:

    I’ve never commented on a recipe post before… Ever. But this is just SO good! I had to post! My kiddos, who hate any kind of Asian food, totally cleaned their plates. The directions are well written, the ingredients are simple yet delicious, it came out perfect! And I am NOT a gourmet cook. I’m barely an average cook. You should absolutely try this recipe, 5 stars!

  76. Connie says:

    Okay… I made this tonight AGAINST my boyfriend’s wishes. He said: you know I don’t like sweet-sour dishes! BUT… he doesn’t always get HIS way, and if it were up to him we would live on hamburgers and pizza! Yuck! Not that I don’t like those things; I just like a wide variety of foods. Sooooo, I made this and listened to him complain all the while that he is NOT going to like this and the house stinks like vinegar, yada, yada, yada. I served it EXACTLY as pictured, broccoli and all. I thought it tasted fantastic! He, on the other hand, conceded that “well, I guess it’s pretty good”. For me, that’s a victory! I am a very good cook if I do say so myself, so I am trying to get him to broaden his horizons. You have many recipes I want to try! Best Cheesecake is next! Love having pictures too! Keep ‘em coming Mel! Love this site!!

  77. Holly says:

    Thank you for the amazing recipe!!! While eating it tonight my daughter said, “You know mom, this really is so delicious.” A stamp of approval from the whole family!

  78. Lynn says:

    Prepared this again a couple of nights ago, and it was as great as it always is, but I did it in an electric skillet. Ready in half an hour–LOVED it!

  79. Jennifer D says:

    I made this tonight. Eating it now! Great taste and flavor. I was quite surprised. My sauce dried up on the chicken. It still had the great flavor but was dry. I will make this again and make extra sauce to add to it after it bakes just to give it a saucy look and taste we like. I served white rice and made homemade egg rolls to go with it.
    Great recipe!

  80. Barbara says:

    We had this for dinner tonight, but since there are only two of us, I only used one chicken breast and cut the sauce recipe in half. Big mistake. This is so good I wish I had doubled it. Especially that fantastic, wonderful sauce. We were practically licking the pan. With only one breast cut into pretty small pieces, and because I cooked it in the skillet a little longer, it only took 20 minutes in the oven at 325, but the sauce was thick and gooey good. It’s on next week’s menu! Thanks, Mel! I can’t wait to try that new pork roast with maple syrup you just posted!

  81. Kate says:

    This is so yummy! And for anyone interested in freezing, I tried it and didn’t notice any difference. I made it up to frying the chicken, let it cool, and froze the little chicken pieces in a ziploc. A day before I used it I left it in the fridge and it was thawed the next day. Whipped out the sauce and threw it in the oven. YUM!

  82. Barbara says:

    I made it again only a couple of days after the first time because after the first time, I was craving it. I used the biggest chicken breast I could find, which was about 1 1/4 lbs., and the full amount of sauce the second time around, and we each had our fill, with just a few bites left over. Not only is this easy, but addicting! I can’t wait to make it for visiting kids/grandkids! They will be blown away, just like I am. I try lots of new recipes, but this one has now become a permanent part of my repertoire. That also means it gets Photoshopped on a pretty “scrapbook” style card with cute graphics, then laminated. When I have more of my recipes laminated, they will be bound into a recipe book.

  83. Agnes says:

    Hi,
    This chicken turned our really well, but I have to say for my taste it is too much vinegar. I already used less, but it still had a strong taste of that vinegar flavour.
    Other that that I liked it a lot and it was so easy to make! Thank you!

  84. Dottie Silver says:

    Mel, love your site. Having an horsduervs only dinner. Want to know how I can make this ahead, With so many different appetizers needing some finishing at the last minute, I.m going to be spinning my wheels. Could I bake the wing ahead & make the sauce ahead & finish later or what. What happens if I make the whole thing & regrig for a couple days . How to reheat? Broil?? need some advice

    • Mel says:

      Hi Dottie – this recipe actually isn’t for wings; were you planning to adapt it for chicken wings? I’ve never made this ahead of time but many people in the comments have given their variations. Good luck!

  85. Michelle says:

    Crowd pleaser! Everyone raved about this dish. I used coconut oil to fry in for a healthier alternative, it gives the chicken a subtle hint of coconut flavor. I cannot say enough good things about this juicy flavorful chicken!

  86. Jenny says:

    My husband and I, and everyone else i’ve made this for, just drools over this dish. So simple yet so amazing. Question though, sometimes i’m way too lazy to do the crispy chicken part and just want to saute the chicken with veggies and rice. Can I mix all of that together and then pour the sauce over top in a skillet and just let it simmer? Will it turn out the same as putting it in the oven? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jenny – I’ve never tried that but someone just posted on my FB page that they tried something similar and it worked great. Definitely worth a try!

  87. Vanna says:

    I looked at a repost of the same recipe and it isn’t clear if the egg or cornstarch comes first before frying. Please. Get back to me ASAP, thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Vanna – the instructions on the recipe posted on my site are very clear: the chicken is tossed with the cornstarch before being dipped in the egg mixture. Hope that helps!

  88. Karin says:

    I must be the only person who didn’t love this. The vinegar was overpowering. The smell while it was cooking grossed me out. Luckily it tasted better than it smelled but it still wasn’t a home run for us. No one really liked it very much. :(

  89. Scott says:

    Can the chicken be deep fried instead of baked? and make the sauce separate?

  90. Thank you so much. This was fabulous. I’m always highly skeptical of any recipe for sweet and sour with ketchup in it, but this was wonderful. I’ll definitely be making again. I added a bell pepper and onion that I had quick sauteed then threw it in before baking. I’ll do that again and some chunked up pineapple too. Also, I needed to make it ahead so I cooked it and baked it ahead, then left it on low and it turned out fine. Might have been a smidge better if I hadn’t done that, but it really was still terrific.

  91. Jennifer Ammerman says:

    I have made this quite a few times and it’s amazing!!! I always add pineapple chunks, sweet onion and bell peppers. I like to add a dollop of chili garlic sauce too. I want to try this with pork! What cut of pork would you recommend?

  92. Melanie Wirkkala says:

    I made the sweet and sour chicken last weekend and my husband loved it. Your website is wonderful with fantastic recipes. So many to choose from!

  93. Haley says:

    I’ve been following your blog for about a year. Why haven’t I tried this one yet? I’ve been missing out. I made it the other night with some fried rice, and it was fabulous. Can’t wait to make it again.

  94. Sophi says:

    Melanie, you are not only an awesome cook, but an awesome person. How do I come to the latter conclusion? Simply by reading your kind and generous remarks/answers to blog wanderers such as I. So I have a question regarding this recipe. I am going to make it for the first time this weekend, for a big family dinner, along with your awesome pork ribs that I have made several times. I only have one oven, so I will be baking the chicken first and then the ribs. Do you think the chicken will be ok if kept warm but not consumed for 2-1/2 to 3 hours? Wondering if it will get soggy or whatnot. Thanks a bunch in advance for any help you can provide.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Sophi – you are awfully sweet! So about your question, I think keeping the chicken warm for that long might result in soggy chicken pieces that aren’t very tender. Another option might be to instead make the sweet and sour chicken start to finish the day before, let it cool, cover it and then refrigerate it. You could warm it up after the ribs come out of the oven (place the already baked sweet and sour chicken in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or so, tossing once or twice). You might need to add a bit more sauce in case it dried out a bit in the fridge. Hope that helps. Good luck with your family dinner!

  95. […] I combined and adapted two great recipes. One is from an ancient church cookbook and the other is Mel’s Sweet and Sour Chicken. […]

  96. Lee says:

    I am so happy I found this website. Recipes are great! This dish will be a favorite for sure. Recipe was easy to follow and final result looked exactly as pictured… yummy!

  97. James says:

    I am a chef at a 5 star resort and I made this chicken for a number of guests and got top reviews. Mel you are truely a culinary goddess with some of your recipes on this site
    keep up the great work!

  98. Holly W. says:

    Hi Mel –

    Once again – OUTSTANDING recipe from your blog! So far everything I’ve made has been a success (and I have not found another blog or site to match your quality and variety). I have shared your blog with many friends because everyone raves about my cooking and I always have to give credit to you. :) I paired this with your fried rice recipe (minus with ham) and it was gone in less than 10 minutes.

    Thanks again!

    Holly W.
    Portland, Oregon

  99. Barbara says:

    Last night I made this for the third time. When he finished eating, my old Hubs did something he’s never done in his entire life. I got a fist-bump, and a “Great meal, Chef!” I have never gotten a fist bump nor been called “Chef” in my life. He has been watching the Food Network a lot, and he is always complementary about my meals and thanks me frequently, but I thought you should know that this delicious dish earned me BIG kudos; probably the biggest I’ve gotten for any dish I have made in 48 years! And I served it over quinoa cooked in chicken broth, just like you do! The two together are a dynamic duo, and I love it as much as he does! I have some sauce left over, since for the two of us I only use one chicken breast, and there’s more sauce than is needed. I think I’ll boil it until thickened and pour it over some pork chops. Yum.

  100. Dana says:

    Hi Mel,

    I would love to try this recipe, however I am allergic to any type of soy product. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute?

    I have made a few of your dishes and love them. Thank you for your wonderful site!

    Dana

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