Easy sweet & sour chicken

Easy sweet & sour chicken

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(163 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins - 10 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
Make this easy sweet and sour chicken, everyone will love it

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal305
  • fat2g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars23g
  • fibre2g
  • protein36g
  • salt1.63g
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  • 9 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 4 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into chunks



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 227g 8oz can pineapple pieces in juice, drained



    With its tuft of spiky, dusty green leaves and cross-hatched, golden orange skin, the pineapple…

  • 100g sugar snap peas, roughly sliced
  • handful salted, roasted cashew nuts, optional



    The seeds from the 'Cashew Apple' - a tree which bears bright orange fruit and is native…


  1. In a large microwaveable dish, mix the ketchup, vinegar, sugar and garlic thoroughly with the chicken, onion and peppers. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is starting to cook and the sauce is sizzling.

  2. Stir in the pineapple pieces and sugar snap peas and return to the microwave for another 3-5 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then stir in the cashews, if using, and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (189)

DanJ1980's picture

Made this but doubled the sauce ingredients apart from the sugar. Didn't add all the pineapple only 2/3 of what was advised but added the juice from the tin. Fried diced pork instead of chicken in a wok then removed meat and added the onions and 1 red and 1 yellow pepper to enhance colour of dish then fried veg for 5 mins before adding garlic. Put pork back in then added all the wok contents to a shallow oven dish and put in the oven for 1 hour at 160. The pork melts in your mouth and all the other ingredients with sugar caramelise during cooking!! It tasted amazing...

smhayter's picture

I made this tonight and it is gorgeous! Added the pineapple in at the end and a pinch of dry ginger to the sauce (didn't have any fresh). Also cooked in the wok. Really nice and well received by hubby

pedders's picture

Tasty, quick and easy. I also cooked it in a wok and added some of the pineapple juice. Served it with egg fried rice and Chinese stir fry veg. Great for a weekday meal, sometimes use left over cooked chicken from the Sunday roast

floozeygirl's picture

Big hit with the whole family. If you've not tried it, you don't know what your missing

sherill's picture

a huge hit with my teenagers, will now be a regular at our house

maartjevdm's picture

I found this recipe a bit bland. I made it in the wok and added a tbsp of sesame oil and a tbsp of ketjap manis (indonesian soy sauce) to the sauce. I also added mushrooms, spring onion, roasted cashews and an extra clove of garlic, and it was ok but not 'wow lets do this again'. I didn't use the amount of sugar that was stated instead I only added two tbsp that were not heaped, but it was plenty sweet so that couldn't have been the problem. I guess I was hoping for a more asian flavor, but I reckon this is a good dish for kids or fuzzy adults. Maybe its a good idea to switch out some of the ketchup for oyster sauce?

Cooking Freak's picture

Lovely recipe however it was still a bite too sweet even though I halved the amount of sugar. I think when I make it again I will make it without the sugar and only sweeten it with pineapple juice if it needs it. I also went with other suggestions and used my wok instead of the microwave. All in all a good recipe but not sure why you need to add sugar as tomato ketchup already has a lot of sugar in it and I should have gone with my initial instincts.

CulinaryDisaster's picture

I love this recipe - I however boil up the sauce separately, add the pineapple juice into it and let it reduce a little bit. I sometimes add a splash of soy sauce to it as well. Aaaand, I use balsamic vinegar instead of malt vinegar.
I then fry the chicken on a pan, add the sauce and the pineapple and then the peppers and onions towards the end. I don't cook the veggies for long as I like them crunchy. If I don't put soy sauce into the sauce, I pour some over the rice. Yum!

Helene77's picture

I am not usually a lover of Chinese food or fruits in savoury dishes but this was truly delicious. Followed advise below and pan fried chicken and veg separately before mixing with the sauce. Did add soy sauce and halved sugar, and a little of the pineapple juice to make more wet. My 4 year old and 18 months old children loved it! Would highly recommend.

andy1971's picture

I also agree with an earlier comment about refining this dish.
I found if I made a bit more sauce it went better with the dish and I also went with the wok option so I used:-
195ml of ketchup.
90ml of palm sugar
90ml rice vinegar
22ml rice wine
22ml light soy sauce
Add the soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar and palm sugar in a pan and heat stirring until the sugar has melted. Then add the ketchup and stir again until it has mixed well. remove from the heat leave to stand. When you have made your chicken stir fry add the pineapple and the sauce and re-heat stirring the sauce into your stir fry for a couple of minutes until it has warmed through. serve with egg fried rice. VOILA.

LibbyR26's picture

Did it in the wok. Tasted great. Tastier and healthier than a takeaway

emma_ace's picture

This is a really lovely, tasty, cheap and easy dish to make. A firm favourite with the family! I highly recommend

lisaevernden's picture

Great recipe. Easy and cheap to make..will never be buying pre-made sauce again!

luvgrub's picture

Great recipe. I Pam fried and halved the sugar.

bethanswift2's picture

Followed this recipe last night - it was absolutely delicious! Added some extra veg and served with noodles and thought it was better than a takeaway! Would 100% make again!

caroljefferson's picture

ps used frozen peas!

caroljefferson's picture

needed to use fresh pineapple and poached chicken before we went on holiday, great hit with 2 teenage boys and hubby with big appetite, served with couscous and salad!

jwren12002's picture

I made this today - my daughters (aged 5 and 6) loved it, and my husband went back for seconds, so I'll definitely make this again! I added extra stir fry veg and a bit more ketchup and vinegar along with all the juice of the pineapple, so we'll be having it again tomorrow! I didn't use the microwave as I wouldn't have had a dish large enough to put all the ingredients into and I prefer to use the wok.

dwatson27's picture

Made this again tonight. I never use microwave! Fry chicken and set aside.fry onions and galic until softened. Add sauce mix (vinegar, tomato sauce &sugar ) and peppers and sugar snap peas. Cook for 4 mins then add cooked chicken to heat through. Serve with egg fried rice ( Jo Pratt recipe). Fabulous !!!5 stars every time for taste and ease of making! :)

fizzh89's picture

I printed this recipe out ages ago but didn't get round to making it til this week.....I wish I'd made it sooner! It was really quick and easy, on the table within 30 mins of starting. The family loved it. I will most definitely be making this one again. Can certainly recommend :)


Questions (2)

margaretforman's picture

After listening to the Food Programme on the radio, on microwavesi, I was convinced that I could use a microwave more if I had the knowledge of how to cook in it. Searching through recipes I found this one with over 150 5 star ratings. I culdnt believe my luck until I read through the commens and found that the majority had used a wok!!!!!
Surely this recipe was tried and tested before posting , wasn't it?
Are recipes thrown together for the public to try and ascertain whether they work or not or are we all under using our microwaves and increasing our energy bills?
I would love to hear from anyone who is confident using a microwave for more than just defrosting or reheating.
I think it is greatly underused and want to use mine more efficiently and reduce my energy bills.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi margaretforman, thanks for getting in touch. All our recipes are triple tested and this one was tested using a microwave. You're absolutely right though, some people have chosen to use a wok instead of a microwave for this recipe. This could be for a number of reasons; perhaps they don't own one or for whatever reason preferred not to. Glad that you are thinking of having a go at this recipe, we've got quite a few microwave recipes on the site now and this guide might be helpful too http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-cook-without-cooker Thanks again for your feedback.

Tips (1)

hemason's picture

Not a fan, tasted watery and flavourless!