Easy 15-Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken

I’m all about a 15-minute dinner. Especially when it tastes better than what I’d get in a restaurant, it’s healthier, less expensive, and faster than calling for takeout. Score on all fronts.

It’s a simple sauce that’s packed with the perfect balance of sweet yet sour Asian flavors. Soy, sesame, garlic, and more.

Easy 15-Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken - Faster, easier, healthier, and tastes BETTER than takeout or a restaurant!! Perfect balance of sweet yet sour Asian flavors that the whole family will LOVE!!

The sauce coats the chicken beautifully and really makes this dish what it is. You’ll likely have extra which I could eat by the spoonful. It’s great over rice or veggies.

Before cooking the chicken it’s tossed with cornstarch which helps keep it moist, tender, juicy, and provides a very lightly ‘breaded’ exterior without actually breading it.

Easy 15-Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken - Faster, easier, healthier, and tastes BETTER than takeout or a restaurant!! Perfect balance of sweet yet sour Asian flavors that the whole family will LOVE!!

The flavor profile reminds me of Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple and Easy Sweet and Sour Asian Noodles. Serve it with rice (try Easy Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice) and you’re set.

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If you want to make this dish with veggies like broccoli or sugar snap peas, add them after you add the sauce to the chicken and let them simmer in the sauce for a few minutes until they’re crisp tender.

Easy 15-Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken - Faster, easier, healthier, and tastes BETTER than takeout or a restaurant!! Perfect balance of sweet yet sour Asian flavors that the whole family will LOVE!!

Print Recipe

Easy 15-Minute Sweet and Sour Chicken

I'm all about a 15-minute dinner especially when it tastes better than what I'd get in a restaurant, it's healthier, less expensive, and faster than calling for takeout. It's a simple sauce that's packed with the perfect balance of sweet yet sour Asian flavors. Soy, sesame, garlic, and more. The sauce coats the chicken beautifully and really makes this dish. The chicken it's tossed with cornstarch which helps keep it moist, tender, juicy, and provides a very lightly 'breaded' exterior without actually breading it.

Yield: serves 3 to 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: about 10 minutes

Total Time: about 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Chicken

  • about 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if necessary
  • 2 green onions, sliced into thin rounds, optional for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, optional for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Sauce - To a medium saucepan, add all ingredients except water and cornstarch, whisk to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. To a small bowl, add the water, cornstarch, and stir to combine.
  3. Add the water and cornstarch mixture to saucepan, reduce heat to low, and allow sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes while you  make the chicken; whisk intermittently.
  4. Chicken - To a large ziptop bag, add the chicken, cornstarch, salt and pepper to taste, seal, and shake to coat chicken evenly.
  5. To a large skillet, add 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, chicken, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until chicken has cooked through. Stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking. If skillet seems dry while cooking, add an additional tablespoon or two of oil as necessary.
  6. After chicken has cooked though, reduce heat to low, add the sauce, stir to coat evenly, and allow it to simmer for a minute or two.
  7. Optionally garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and serve immediately. Chicken is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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18 comments

  1. I’ve made many different asian flavored dishes but haven’t done a sweet and sour chicken in ages. I like that this isn’t fully breaded and fried like most takeout versions. A15 minute recipe that looks this good is always a winner!

  2. You must have read my mind. I was thinking about making your cashew chicken later this week but I’m not sure I have cashews on hand. But I have everything needed to make this!

  3. This looks so good Averie!! Can’t wait to give it a try!! :)

  4. This looks so good! We love sweet and sour chicken… and the 15 minutes part is a total win in my books!

  5. Oh how I love sweet n sour chicken!  But this version is healthier and even faster than takeout!  What’s not to love?  

  6. Hey girl- this looks so amazing!

  7. *Throws away all takeout menus*. This looks stinking amazing- and I cannot believe how easy it is! Total life saver!

  8. I totally have to make this. My mom used to make a pork version but I’d like chicken SO MUCH better.

  9. You knocked this one out of the park, Averie. My daughter said it was like going to a Chinese restaurant right in our own home. I did have some problems with the chicken sticking–I pre-heated the skillet so I’m not sure why this was an issue. I’ve never used corn starch as a breading before (I’ve used a flour mixture) so wondering if that had something to do with it? My pan is a Cuisinart.

    • Glad you guys loved it and I love your daughter’s quote :) As for the sticking…cornstarch can cause chicken to stick a bit (it will for me too) but you can always just add a bit more oil next time to the skillet as necessary to help prevent the sticking. Or maybe a nonstick skillet? But honestly unless I’m cooking eggs I don’t use nonstick skillets much!

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