Easy sweet & sour chicken

Easy sweet & sour chicken

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(243 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins - 10 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4

Ditch the takeaway and make our simple sweet and sour chicken recipe. This speedy Chinese-style rice dish is ready in under 30 minutes and packed with zingy flavours.

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal305
  • fat2g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars23g
  • fibre2g
  • protein36g
  • salt1.63g


  • 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 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 mins 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 mins 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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19th Jan, 2017
Was looking for way to use up leftover chicken and found this recipe. Instead of microwave I made it in a casserole so after frying veg added chicken and the rest of the ingredients before putting it in the oven. I thought it too sweet but the rest loved it. Will make it the same way next time but will use less sugar or change it to molasses maybe.
DanJ1980's picture
23rd Jan, 2016
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...
12th Jan, 2015
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
7th Jan, 2015
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
26th Oct, 2014
Big hit with the whole family. If you've not tried it, you don't know what your missing
28th Jun, 2014
a huge hit with my teenagers, will now be a regular at our house
1st May, 2014
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
24th Feb, 2014
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.
20th Feb, 2014
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!
3rd Feb, 2014
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.


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