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Skip the take out – this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is so good that you’ll put it on the permanent rotation. Chicken is coated in a sweet and sticky sauce and baked to perfection.

Skip the take out – this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is so good that you’ll put it on the permanent rotation. Chicken is coated in a sweet and sticky sauce and baked to perfection.

Originally posted October 8, 2008 – It’s crazy to think that I originally posted this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe over 6 years ago, but it has remained a family favorite over the years. It is one of the few dinner recipes that every single member of my family will eat and devour. This is one of those recipes that has found it’s way around the web – that is how you know it is G-O-O-D. Any recipe of Mel’s is golden, and this is the cream of the crop. Over the years, I have slightly adapted it, making it with more sauce since we are a sauce loving family. And if you have any questions about this recipe, make sure you check out Mel’s post, as she has answered just about every possible question that could come up with this recipe!

At my job, lunch is brought in every day. I work in the financial arena, (which hasn’t been fun the last couple of weeks!), and the majority of our office consists of brokers who need to be in the office during market hours. For this reason, the company brings in food everyday so that the brokers aren’t leaving for lunch breaks.

It’s never anything really “fancy”, usually just a step up from fast food. I have the option of eating at work, but I usually skip the work lunch and drive home for lunch since I’m not a broker, and therefore not required to be there during market hours. I enjoy my hour away, plus I know I would have a weight problem if I were to eat that food every day.

But every once in awhile, I’ll have some of the lunch that has been brought in. Especially lately. Since the brokers are there so early in the morning, they get hungry earlier – so lunchtime for them is usually around 11:30am. I don’t come in until 8:00am, and eat my breakfast right before I come, so usually take a lunch at 1pm. But when you are growing a baby, you are pretty much hungry all of the time – at least I have been lately!! I try to bring healthy snacks to snack on during the day, but sometimes now, when I smell the lunch being brought in, I can’t help but want to help myself to some of it!!

A few days ago, it was Chinese food. I was excited, because I had been craving an egg roll. I helped myself to a small plate of the food, and sat down at my desk to eat. Complete disappointment. The egg roll was not very good, and most of my sweet and sour chicken ended up in the trash. Thank goodness I had other food at home to eat that day!!
Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe on www.tasteandtellblog.com
But what didn’t disappoint was this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe I found on Mel’s blog – Mel’s Kitchen Café. I believe that Melanie and I would get along very well in real life because just about everything she posts on her blog is something that I would have picked out to make in my own kitchen. In fact, I’ve joked that I just want to go and eat at her house every day becasue everything she makes is right up my alley! I saw this chicken recipe, and knew it was one I had to make.

I’ve only attempted my own sweet and sour sauce once before, a long time ago, and it wasn’t very good. But this one was exactly what I was looking for! I realized that I was out of regular vinegar, so I subbed apple cider vinegar, and it still worked very well. The only problem I had was one that was my fault – I decided to make some extra sauce, and I reduced it down way too much. It ended up so sticky that we couldn’t really eat it, but the chicken really didn’t need that extra sauce. But if you do make extra, don’t reduce it too much!!

I think I’ll forget the take-out Chinese from now on and make this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe!
Skip the take out – this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is so good that you’ll put it on the permanent rotation. Chicken is coated in a sweet and sticky sauce and baked to perfection.

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Skip the take out - this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is so good that you’ll put it on the permanent rotation. Chicken is coated in a sweet and sticky sauce and baked to perfection.
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 2 to 2½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoon ketchup
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
  3. Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Put the eggs in a separate bowl. Place the oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, then dip in the egg. Add to the hot oil and brown on all sides. You do not need to cook the chicken through, just brown the outside to get a crispy exterior. Transfer the chicken to a 9x13-inch baking dish and continue with the remaining chicken.
  4. In a bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken.
  5. Bake the chicken for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Serve over prepared rice.


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Skip the take out - this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe is so good that you’ll put it on the permanent rotation. Chicken is coated in a sweet and sticky sauce and baked to perfection.

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66 Responses to Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

  1. Melanie says:

    Deborah – I feel honored you made this, liked it and posted about it! Your pictures are always so great – I wish you could be at my house to take pictures of my food. 🙂 I’m glad you liked it!

  2. kat says:

    That does sound like a great version of sweet & sour

  3. Patsyk says:

    Don’t you love when you can make something even better at home, than take-out? This one looks so good!

  4. Katerina says:

    This sounds really good, I am amazed it doesn’t dry out in the oven for a whole hour!

  5. Deborah says:

    Katerina, I was surprised too!! I actually cranked up the heat a bit and only had it in there for about 45 minutes because we were impatient, but it wasn’t dry at all!

  6. Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow says:

    Thank you for this recipe – I think I’m going to try it in the deep fryer.

  7. Maria says:

    I am sure yours was MUCH better than the Chinese at work! That is nice they provide food, but too bad it isn’t good food! Glad you are able to go home. I don’t take a lunch at work…I am on the Governor’s 4-10 work schedule so I like to save my time to go home early…I just bring food to eat at my desk. It usually isn’t that exciting:)

  8. Happy cook says:

    I love sweet and sour chicken and this looks delicious.
    I too am always disapointed if i get takeawya chines, so now a days i dodn’t do it.
    Just try to make them myself

  9. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A wonderful version of that yummy classic! Delicious!



  10. Aggie says:

    I’m always craving Chinese food, pregnant or not. I will have to try this! Looks great!

  11. Ginny says:

    Looking good! I never try my hand at Asian food and I really should! 🙂

  12. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Deb, sweetie! You served it with rice – something Brazilians love! 🙂
    My mouth is watering.

  13. Colleen says:

    Oooh, I like that this is baked instead of totally fried. Definitely starred this!

  14. Veronica says:

    What a simple delicious sounding dish. How nice that you can go home for lunch!

  15. Aimée says:

    That sucks when you are craving something and then it turns out to be so blah. This looks like a recipe to try–maybe my little one will even eat it…

  16. Dawn says:

    Oh these look very crispy!! They came out really good. I love these crispy and greasy, ready to absorb that s&s sauce!

  17. noble pig says:

    I love the crispy look, so beautiful! I bet the baby loved it too!

  18. CECIL says:

    There is nothing like good old sweet sour chicken!! Come to think of it, this was the first dish I made for my husband when we were dating!!

    You did a great job!

  19. Mandy says:

    I am so glad you posted this recipe. I feel like I have Tex-Mex and Italian food down pretty well…but Asian food, thats a different story. I tried stir-fry once (I know, how can you screw that up?) and I screwed it up big time. Your recipe looks so good and sounds so straight forward. I will let you know how mine turns out.

  20. Sophie says:

    I probably would’ve thrown it away too, especially after coming across this recipe. Thanks for posting this. I only eat this every once in a blue moon, but I’m never the one who makes it :D…that’s going to change now :).

  21. Jenny says:

    Yum, I could go for some sweet and sour chicken right about now. It looks great!

  22. Mrs Ergül says:

    I have recently made 1 sweet and sour chicken too. The only difference is that I pan-fried the chicken chunks instead of baking them!

  23. Elle says:

    This is a yummy sounding version of sweet and sour…a winner! Glad you are taking that hour to eat well (and maybe rest a little?)…you will have the most gorgeous baby…I just know it.

  24. Lisa says:

    This looks much better than take out.

  25. KJ says:

    This looks so good. Really delicious!!

  26. Paula says:

    Sweet and sour chicken is the one Chinese dish my oldest daughter will eat. I love what you did here. And, I had to muffle a cheer because your recipe is gluten free, too! Yipee! Great post! This will get made in my kitchen! YUM!

  27. Paula says:

    Guess I should clarify my gluten free comment … we only use wheat free soy sauce, so that makes it gluten free for us! The absence of wheat flour in the chicken batter is genius!

  28. Joe Horn says:

    Looks great. I love anything with chicken because of the low calories. Thanks!!!

  29. Peabody says:

    It’s one of the few things I never make at home. It just never seems to work out as well as my favorite Chinese place.
    Yours looks like it turned out really well though. Makes me want to give it another try.

  30. Emiline says:

    Mmm, that looks good. Is this taken with your new camera? Your pictures are always good.

    Your job sounds like fun. I would love free food. Hey, you take advantage of it.
    Well, when it’s good anyway.

  31. Meeta says:

    This sounds lovely. We have a University cafeteria and just like you I go there on occasions because I think I would have the same weight problem!
    But I like the sound of this! Yummy!

  32. LyB says:

    That sounds just delicious, and simple too, that’s always a plus! Hope things will get better at your job. 🙂

  33. Prudy says:

    That does sound fabulous. I love chicken just like that-batter fried and then sauced. How csn you go wrong? I love hearing about your growing baby. It’s such an exciting time. I’m never hungrier than when pregnant. Food just looks and tastes so much better.

  34. Grace says:

    yum–it’s like a grown-up version of the chicken mcnuggets with sweet and sour sauce that i loved as a kid. 🙂

  35. Mary says:

    I used to work (for 6 years) in energy marketing and as a trader I wasn’t allowed to leave my desk either. One firm catered our lunches every day and pretty much it was cafeteria food. blecch. (and yeah, I’m so glad to be out, but I miss that paycheck!)

    The chicken looks fantastic!

  36. April says:

    I love sweet and sour chicken!! Yours looks great!

  37. Maris says:

    I agree that sometimes takeout food is SO MUCH better when we make our own versions. I’ve never made Chinese or really any type of Asian dish so I’m definitely flagging this one to try soon!

  38. kellypea says:

    I've never made S&W chicken but used to order it all the time when my family went out for Chinese when I was a kid. That sauce ingredient list has my tastebuds working. Pretty funny!

  39. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    Looks great! I haven’t had sweet and sour chicken in forever!

  40. Kelly says:

    That sounds wonderful. If only I hadn’t just BOUGHT sweet and sour chicken for dinner right before I found this recipe!

  41. Kevin says:

    That sweet and sour chicken looks perfectly golden brown and good!

  42. bbaking says:

    aaah who doesn’t love chines food? This recipe sounds so simple and yummy.

  43. Colleen says:

    I just made this and it is GOOD! I posted it on my blog – thanks for sharing!

  44. Huy says:

    Hi, Deborah! I was going to post a comment on your blog to tell you that I used your recipe but my popup blocker was acting up and wouldn’t let me!

    But thanks for the wonderful recipe and for visiting my blog! I definitely share you sentiment about Chinese takeout — why order out now when you can make it BETTER at home? Thanks again for the recipe 🙂

  45. ALEX & KARI says:

    I made this last night and it was killer! My husband and daughter gave it an A+! It was a little labor intensive but was worth it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  46. ALEX & KARI says:

    I made this last night and it was killer! My husband and daughter gave it an A+! It was a little labor intensive but was worth it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  47. Anna at Mediocre Chocolate says:

    I was searching for a good homemade sweet and sour sauce recipe, and found yours. I also found a fellow blogger who’s being led by cravings and a steadily increasing waistline! Looks yummy, I’ll have to try it–baby’s been craving Chinese!

  48. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicous!!

  49. Memória says:

    I tried this about a week ago, and it was perfect!! Wow! I had to call my mom and tell her about it lol. In Austin, there aren't many good Chinese restaurants (IMHO). So, it is nice to know that I can make my favorite, Chinese dishes on my own. Thanks!

  50. Sarah says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit!
    My kiddos helped me make this and they thought the sauce was going to be horrible since it had sugar, ketchup and vinegar in it (they prepared that part of the recipe). Anyways, both kids had 2 servings of this and the hubs had 2 1/2 servings. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  51. Madison Marie says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! I tried it last night and I just mentioned it in my very first blog. This is such a great recipe!

  52. T and C Bakery says:

    Looks so good, I'm going to have to try it 🙂

  53. This looks much better than any take out! Bookmarking as my family would love this.

  54. Serena Waits says:

    I cooked this tonight for my parents and let’s just say we will not be ordering sweet and sour from the Chinese take out anymore!!

  55. Lisa says:

    I love this recipe, but the long office story I could of done without. Its better to keep it short and sweet.

  56. Atya says:

    I make this replacing the chicken with cauliflower florets. You have to slightly steam the florets before you fry. No need to bake. Comes out very tasty. Almost tastes like chicken.
    Can make it as a vegetarian dish or have a combination of chicken and cauliflower nuggets.
    And I mix up the corn flour into the eggs as a dip to fry. No water.

  57. Anastasia says:

    I cooked it tonight. It was easy and turned out very-very tasty. Thank you!

  58. Mary says:

    this is the best sweet and sour chicken .I also added pineapple tidbits. DELISH!!

  59. Janet Bradley says:

    Could I double the sauce in this recipe. We like a lot of sauce to put on chicken and rice. This dish sounds amazing!!!!!!!

    • Deborah says:

      You can! I have already increased the sauce from the original recipe because we are sauce lovers, too, but I’m sure you can double this as well!

  60. Roger says:

    Your directions say put in cornstarch first, then put it in the egg.
    Is this correct? Most recipes have you dip something in egg first.

  61. Shannon says:

    Hello do you brown or white sugar?

  62. Sharon Campbell says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was very good. Usually make my chicken balls a little different but these were quite tasty. Sauce is quite sweet but these were a bit easier to do than mine and will use this recipe again. My husband even liked them and he is hard to please. (Meat and potato man) thanks for the great recipe.

  63. Max says:

    Best S/S Chicken the wife and i have ever had ,,,and the sauce is amazing , i could drink a gallon lol.Thanks !!!

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