Easy sweet & sour chicken

Easy sweet & sour chicken

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(213 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
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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 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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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.
14th Dec, 2013
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.
27th Nov, 2013
Did it in the wok. Tasted great. Tastier and healthier than a takeaway
13th Nov, 2013
This is a really lovely, tasty, cheap and easy dish to make. A firm favourite with the family! I highly recommend


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