Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

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My husband and I love Chinese take out, but we don't love all the calories that come with it.  This Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken tastes good enough to come from a restaurant but you don't even have to leave the house to get it!




Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe:
Ingredients:
Chicken:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.  Place cornstarch and beaten eggs in separate bowls.  Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.  Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned.  Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, ketchup, vinegars, soy sauce and garlic salt.  Pour over chicken and bake for one hour.

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    • Lucille says:

      Today I made the Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken for the first time. I followed the recipe exactly. Did not change any measurements or ingredients.
      My family and I loved it. It is easy to make and delicious. Outstanding recipe!*****

  1. Michelle says:

    Love sweet and sour chicken but have only ever made it from a jar (hangs head in shame). This looks so easy and yummy! Will have to try, thanks so much for sharing.

    • feedyoursoul says:

      I wouldn’t EVEN! I did it by lightly frying in a little oil instead of the oven and OMGosh! That is so delicious, slight crispy but really light breading and a great sauce! The chicken just takes a little time to starch and egg but the chicken cooks fast when you keep it about 1in square or close. Only negative to frying is not cooking it all together and staying hot. Great recipe, thanks for sharing it.

  2. Kirsty says:

    This is gorgeous. I have made it a few times but halve the amount of vinegar. I must be using the wrong sort as half a cup is just too strong. It is definitely easy and so much better than a takeaway. I also discovered that if you make a batter from eggs and cornstarch it works just as well, and you only have to dip once :D

  3. telesma says:

    This looks great. My kids love sweet and sour chicken and honey chicken, but I’ve never found a recipe that gets it right. I’ll have to try this one.

    If you’re Chinese food fanatics, you should make Rasa Malaysia’s Cashew Chicken recipe. It’s the best one I’ve ever found, just like really good Chinese restaurant cashew chicken. Also, the baking soda trick that comes with the recipe is worth its weight in gold. Here: http://rasamalaysia.com/chinese-food-recipe-cashew-chicken/

    Also, the broccoli beef recipe on About.com’s Chinese food page is really good, also closer to restaurant style broccoli beef than any other I’ve tried.

  4. Katie G. says:

    A few questions- What temperature/stove setting do you heat up your oil to before putting the chicken in? How long did it approximately take before the pieces browned?

    I put my chicken in the heated oil, and I had to leave it all in the pan for way too long before it browned, so my chicken was a tad too cooked when I put it in the oven! (… or was I not supposed to put all of the chicken in the pan to brown at the same time because it brought the temp down too much?)

  5. SunnyDawn says:

    Tried this last night! I took the advice of some comments and reduced the vinegar a little bit. It was sooo good! And a huge success with the boy (always a plus). :)

  6. I’m a Chinese food fanatic too, especially the sweet & sour dishes. This looks like a great alternative to deep-fried chicken. I’m definitely going to try your recipe out next time I get the urge for Chinese food :-)

    Kelly

    • I was thinking the same thing. But I’m trying it and after turning the chicken each time, I understand why it takes an hour. It’s for the sauce to gel. It smells *amazing.* I’ll let you know if it turns out too dry.

  7. Sandy Toe's says:

    Made this last night… And it was Mmmmm Mmmmm Good!!!! Will sooooo be making this again… Meg, I had thought the same thing about baking it for an hour. Thought it would be dry… But it was so tender and kept its juice’s in…. VERY VERY good

  8. Marisa D says:

    I made this the other night. I’m so glad that I read the comments first b/c I reduced the vinegar down to 2 tbsp and it was PERFECT! My husband loves me even more now that I’ve found your recipe! Since I reduced the vinegar so much, it tasted more like a sweet BBQ (which I prefer over sweet and sour!)

  9. Emily says:

    I must be doing something wrong. When we made this, all of the batter that should have formed a crust around the chicken fell off. After browning and then flipping the chicken in the oven pan the crust was just pieces floating in the sauce… any suggestions for how to make sure that this doesn’t happen?

  10. MrsLong says:

    I made this for my hubby yesterday and he absolutely LOVED it. I browned the chicken in olive oil rather than canola and didn’t really “turn” every 15 min so much as stirred around. AMAZING!!!

  11. Mags says:

    I made this tonight and added red and orange bell peppers, pineapple and onions and it was so good!! And Easy!!! I’ll be making this again and again for sure.

  12. Jessica says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit! My only change was to reduce the sugar down to 1/2 cup, and substitute 50/50 apple cider and rice wine vinegar. This hit the sweet and sour balance just right for us. Those vinegars have a little natural sweetness, so maybe that cut the sour a bit.

  13. Jani says:

    Hi, This photo of the Sweet & Sour Chicken is all over pinterest and someone reported it as Spam so it links back to Pinterest with the note. It took a while to find the actual link in one. Thought you might want to know.

  14. Lidia Ramos says:

    I just made this for dinner and it was sooo good!! (and very easy). My fiance loved it and he asked me to make it again some day soon! Thanks for the yummy recipes!!

  15. Mandygirl238 says:

    I made this tonight!! I had to do a bunch of “OH NO I DON’T HAVE THAT” covers!! I used brown sugar and rice wine vinegar….and while I did have eggs…I just did it with cornstarch, no egg wash…I know a I am a rebel. And sprinkled sesame seeds for the last 15 minutes cook time….thankfully even though I messed it up…It turned out GREAT! I found that the vinegar mellowed as it cooked :-) YUM!

    Thank you for such an awesome recipe…that even works for the scatterbrained cook!

  16. Suz says:

    Just made it tonight and I’m in love! I followed the recipe almost exactly. I used rice wine vinegar (the full amount and thought it was perfect) and garlic powder (no garlic salt) with a little extra toss of salt. The dish turned out perfectly and it’s a new family fave. The only complaint was that people wanted MORE sauce for the rice. So next time I’ll up the sauce recipe a bit and simmer the extra in a pan. Thank you!

  17. Erin says:

    Oh my goodness!! I’m in love with y’alls blog first of all, but this is SO good and easy that it just makes me love it all the more. Thanks so much!!

  18. Annabel says:

    You should just link back to the recipe and not include it on your website so visitors link to the original website. This is the same recipe that she had on her website – you should at least check with her before posting it.

    • Six Sisters says:

      Annabel,

      We include a link back to every website we don’t make up ourselves and it is at the top. It is right under the title so you can find it there. Thanks though!

  19. Jen says:

    I have made this several times and it is soooo good!! I also will add pineapples, green peppers and carrots in the last 15 mins of cooking and it turns out perfect! This has become one of my families favorite meals.

  20. Missy Anne says:

    Just added this to my menu for the month! I can not wait to try it so we will be having it tonight! Thanks so much for making one of my favorites much better for me and my family!

  21. LaurenV says:

    I make this for my fiancé all the time and we both just LOVE it. I make it with some baked rice to cut a little bit of the sweetness but it is just heavenly. Can’t stop eating!

  22. Jennifer says:

    I made this last night and was amazed with the results!! The chicken was the absolutely same consistency as in Chinese restaurants – made the rice too which was fabulous. Thanks for the great recipes!!

  23. Sarah S says:

    I have made this a few times now, which is saying a lot in my house! With high marks every time! I have some helpful subs: Instead of 3/4 cup sugar, I cut it to 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup OJ. It adds great tang and moisture and helps on the over sweet factor. Don’t go skimpy on the garlic. I sub chopped garlic. I’ve tried a few vinegars and apple cider is my favorite in this dish. And the best, to cut the cook time in half with way better results (no more dry chicken), I throw the sauce mix in the hot skillet when finished browning the chicken, and simmer it on medium for just a minute or two before I pour over chicken. I found I only bake for 30min, stirring twice and had great consistency. Great recipe!

  24. jmb280 says:

    looks yummy! any ideas on if it can be adapted to cook in the crockpot? (I am much more inspired to cook earlier in the day & finish clean up !)

    j

    • Six Sisters says:

      Hi!

      After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.

      Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

      Hope that helps!

  25. This was fantastic!

    The key to success is browning the chicken in VERY SMALL batches. I used 3 chicken breasts cut into chunks for the recipe and I broke it up into about 5 or 6 small batches. 2 minutes on each side for each batch (2 minutes, flip, 2 minutes, remove … repeat for next batch). This way, the oil stays hot, the outside of the chicken browns and the inside will stay moist even after being in the oven for an hour.

    The sauce was just right, as is.

    I threw in sweet red pepper chunks and fresh pineapple chunks when there was about 20 minutes of cooking time left. I served this with basmati rice for a complete meal.

    My 7 year old cleaned her plate. Will definitely be making this again! YUMMY!

  26. Carlee East says:

    Made this tonight and was definitely pleased! I love chinese takeout, and this was actually better than that! This will definitely be one of my go-to recipes for many years to come.

  27. RMC22 says:

    Hey~! So – I made this last night! I used all organic/ natural ingredients.

    It was a cornstarch tornado for a bit in the kitchen – as I was scrambling to brown all the chicken at once – def should have read the comments before!! It was hysterical.

    But I cut the sugar down a touch – used the white vinegar and the apple cider vinegar I used was unfiltered/ raw. I also added a chopped small onion, one small red and one small green pepper and a small can of diced pineapple (drained) to the glass dish before baking. I mixed everything gently once before putting the dish in the oven.

    I was skeptical to see how it would turn out after my cornstarch fiasco – but it was freaking AMAZING!! having lefovers for lunch and still so good. My husband even called from work to let me know how much he liked it leftover also! Great great dish.

  28. This sauce is great but I think there is 1 secret ingredient missing. Ginger!! I always add ginger to my sweet and sour sauce, it adds that asian zing and it has so many health benefits. Just grate a little fresh ginger in the sauce to your own taste, we like a lot! Put the ginger in the freezer and you’ll never be without!

  29. monica2383 says:

    I will be making this tonight… Also bought green peppers, onions and pineapple to put in it… Does anyone know if I can just bake the veggies and pineapple WITH the chicken the whole hour??? Our chinese resturant we love puts these veggies with their sw/sr chicken so I want to try it like that! Just not sure if and how long I should cook them??

  30. Was searching for something new to make tonight with chicken, my wife said something about sweet and sour chicken or Robert Irvine recipes so I searched both. I almost made one of his recipes but then I ran into this and had to try it.

    Amazing!!! Made as is quantity wise but subbed rice vinegar for white (as per other comments), chopped garlic for garlic salt and added some fresh grated ginger. Added some chopped onions with about 20 minutes to go, cooked perfectly, next time will add pineapple chunks and peppers too (didn’t have any). Also doubled the recipe since I was making almost double the chicken breasts. Thought I would have some leftovers (5 people eating) but everyone had seconds, I almost had thirds!

    Definitely in my rotation. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. We’ve been making this for a few months now and it is always a HUGE hit. Everyone’s favorite. Like other users I made a few small changes. The tip another commenter gave about mixing the eggs and cornstarch into a batter and only having to dip once is AWESOME. I use 2 eggs and 1 egg white, about 1 cup of cornstarch and if it’s a little thick- I thin it out with a tablespoon or two of milk- I use a bit more oil for browning- and “pre-fry” the outside a bit- not enough to cook the chicken at all but it sets the batter well. For the sauce I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup and the vinegar to 1/4 cup and use apple cider vinegar. I also add ground ginger and use garlic powder rather than salt. I LOVE you ladies for this recipe! We never get takeout any more because this is so tasty and easy

  32. Shari says:

    OMG this is absolutely the BEST sweet ‘n sour chicken I’ve had in years!! I had to alter a few things because I didn’t have them…Olive Oil for Canola Oil and Flour for Corn Starch. I chopped 2 green peppers, 2 onions, into bite size pieces, 1 carrot cut on a slant and a can of chunky pineapples. Warmed them for a few minutes and mixed w/the chicken after it was done baking. THANKS for sharing this recipe!!!! We’ll be eating this again :)

  33. I made this Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken for dinner tonight. It was a big hit, along with your Fried Rice recipe. Thanks to my daughter-in-law, Sjarina, who made it over the weekend & put it on her Pinterest board. I will definitely be trying more of your recipes. Next week I am making the Crockpot Orange Chicken.

  34. Chloe West says:

    I made this for dinner tonight! It was awesome except that I need to learn how to follow directions. :) I browned the chicken incorrectly, so the breading didn’t stick and it ended up baking a little dry. But other than my mistake, it was delicious! :)

  35. debbiekirby says:

    We are watching calories and this isn’t exactly low cal! But tasted amazing!! Putting the calories in my Sparkpeople food journal was an eye opener! I was wondering if anyone had tried this without the breading and browning step. What would happen if I put the raw chicken in the sauce and baked it.

  36. Tiffany says:

    I just discovered your site, and on a whim made this for dinner tonight. Oh. My. Gosh! It was fantastic. It was my cheat of the week in terms of healthy eating, but was definitely worth it. My husband said I must make it more often and that is quite the compliment. I think it is better than any sweet & sour chicken I’ve had at a restaurant and I’ve lived on three different continents now. I cannot wait to try more of your recipes!

  37. Kerri Heffel says:

    I made this for my husbands poker night last month for a big group of guys and it was such a hit. I managed to grab a couple pieces and it was so delicious! Currently making this again for dinner tonight so I will get more than a few morsels. Thank you!!

  38. Kerri Heffel says:

    I made this for my husbands poker night last month for a big group of guys and it was such a hit. I managed to grab a couple pieces and it was so delicious! Currently making this again for dinner tonight so I will get more than a few morsels. Thank you!!

  39. Emily says:

    Just have to say that my family loved this. My husband said it was the best sweet and sour chicken he has ever had, including at any restaurant. Thanks for the recipe!

  40. This is in my oven right now… I can’t wait to try it!!

    Only one concern — I should have read the comments first and reduced the vinegar. Any quick fixes? Something I can dump on top to reduce the harshness of the vinegar, perhaps? Thanks!!!

  41. bitsybet says:

    I’ve made chicken this way several times and it’s great. I didn’t use white sugar but brown sugar, and I only used 3/4 of a cup. I want to try the combination of the two different vinegars. Apple cider vinegar alone was too strong. I served the chicken over brown rice with steamed broccoli, and made a second batch of the sweet and sour sauce to pour over it. Delicious!

    • Cyd says:

      Just click on the MAGIC button under the picture and then on Nutrition. This is our new sister site – MyRecipeMagic.com. It will give you serving sizes and all of the nutritional information you will need for the recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by. Cyd (mom of the Six Sisters)

  42. Samantha Holcomb says:

    Hi, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a miss print and that you are supposed to dip the chicken in cornstarch AND THAN the eggs? I am just used to dipping in eggs and then breading!

  43. Jules M says:

    Found this recipe on Pinterest – I just made it for dinner with a fried rice and it was DELICIOUS. Only took about 30 mins to bake and I also used a little less vinegar. It was SO tender and good. Would be very easy to prep beforehand and then refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Highly recommended; now I can’t wait to try more recipes here!

  44. Meghan says:

    I made this last night for dinner, it was SO good! Extremely easy to make! Instead of the 1/4 cup for each vinegar i used 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/8 white vinegar, that was perfect.
    Definitely a better recipe than our local chinese food takeout, and healthier!
    thank you

  45. Tricia says:

    Love this recipe. I have been making this exact recipe since I got married. It’s our families very favorite! I almost can make this with my eyes closed we make it so much!! :-)

  46. Autumn says:

    I’m making this right now. The cooking directions state bake in oven for one hour. Yet the summary says Cook Time 15 minutes. Which is it?

  47. Maria says:

    I added some small bits of cubed red bell pepper and pineapple bits to my sauce before pouring on. Served it with a variation of pineapple rice. We all enjoyed it and will make it again. But in all fairness, it should be called ‘mostly baked sweet and sour chicken!’

  48. Laura L. says:

    I discovered this recipe a few months ago and have made it over and over. It is the BEST!!! I just wish I could I could stop my kitchen from the lingering smell days after even using a dish of vineager and washing all surfaces. But I will admit, it’s a small price to pay for a dish like this!
    P.S. I found a fantastic fried rice recipe that can’t be matched on Pinterest also! Yummm!!

  49. Michele says:

    Hi. First, I read that someone said it would be easier to make a cornstarch/egg batter. How would you do that? Then, second, when I baked mine, the liquid was very watery and I made it just like your directions said. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks.

  50. Lindy says:

    This dish was awesome! I almost never leave reviews but this one deserves it. I made some adjustments to suite our taste and it came out beautifully. I can’t wait to make again! Even my 3 year old and hubby couldn’t get enough! I omitted the egg wash and just lightly coated the chicken w cornstarch and it browned up perfectly…giving it a great crust but not too thick. I added carrots, mushrooms, pineapple, red and orange bell peppers, shelled edamame, onions, and garlic. For the sauce, I used 2 Tbsp rice vinegar and 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and only a half cup of sugar. I think I could reduce the sugar even more next time, especially when adding in the pineapple. I served over brown rice and it was better than any Chinese restaurant ever!!! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make it again!

  51. Sheila says:

    I used a bag of chicken breasts and made the chicken and froze it. Do you think it’ll get soggy if I thaw it out first before baking?

  52. Laura P says:

    This was OUTSTANDING!!! So delicious. I served it with some whole grain rice. And my husband thinks I’m the best cook ever now. :) I was worried about the cornstarch before egg dipping thing and also thought it seemed watery while initially in the oven but I just followed the directions and after an hour in the oven and letting it sit for a few minutes before serving, the sauce really thickened up nicely – as delicious as any take out Chinese we’ve had – and better for you. Am going to try and cut back on the sugar a little next time just to make even healthier. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Cyd says:

      Hi Holly, We have never made the baked sweet and sour chicken as a freezer meal. We would have to experiment with this. I’m not sure how the coating on the chicken would turn out…if it would be soggy or not. Sorry not much help here.

  53. Kenne says:

    Hello! This look really interesting and I would just like to ask something.
    In step 4, after making the sauce, can I just mix it with the chicken in the skillet and continue cooking, instead of baking?
    It’s too bad my oven got busted.
    Thanks.

    • Cyd says:

      We have not made it that way. The main thing is to make sure everything is cooked through. Too bad about your oven. Your version may be pan heated Sweet and Sour chicken instead of baked!

  54. Jennifer says:

    I made this recipe last week and it was AMAZING! It tasted exactly (or even better!) than take-out from a good Asian restaurant! I followed the recipe exactly and it worked out perfectly! It does seem a little backwards to coat the raw chicken in the cornstarch first and then into the egg, but it definitely works and creates the perfect coating. I was worried about cooking the chicken in the oven for 1 hour but there is certainly a reason to – it really thickens and gels the sauce nicely! Will be making this again and again, it is delicious! Thanks so much!

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