Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
8 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

This home-style sweet-and-sour chicken has a lighter, fresher-tasting sauce than typical restaurant versions. And because the color red is considered lucky, the dish's crimson hue will bring good fortune for the Year of the Ox.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl. Add chicken; stir well to coat. Set aside.

Step 2

Combine chicken broth, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, brown sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, chile paste, and sesame oil.

Step 3

Heat 1/2 teaspoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, bell peppers, and green onions to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to a bowl.

Step 4

Heat remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in pan. Add chicken mixture to pan, and spread in an even layer; cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Sauté an additional 3 minutes or until chicken is done.

Step 5

Return vegetable mixture to pan. Add soy sauce mixture and pineapple, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Ratings & Reviews


June 28, 2018
Have made several times over the years.  Love the way the chicken comes out; so tender.  It really goes together quickly once the prep is done. 

tastan's Review

March 23, 2009
Very good and flavorful recipe. I also used chile sauce with garlic instead of chile paste. For some variety, I substituted carrots and broccoli for 1/2 of the onions and peppers. The sauce was excellent and although it had several ingredients it was not difficult make at all. I served it over rice. We will definitely make again. (Oh, one more thing, just leave the pineapple out of the sauce and add to each plate at the end to avoid the problem with mushy pineapple in the leftovers. Everything else held up well for leftovers.)

lawyerchick's Review

February 16, 2009
My husband and I absolutely loved this sweet and sour chicken. By far the best Asian recipe I've made from Cooking Light. Use fresh was delicious. My husband asked if we could eat this at least twice a week!

swhiteca's Review

January 30, 2009
Loved it! I made 8 servings and my family of 4 ate it all.

Avivale's Review

February 01, 2011
A good and healthy weeknight dinner. I decided that I prefer a Chinese brown sauce over this one. But with the chili sauce this does have a satisfying kick. Instead of the bell peppers, I used half a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies.

c001625's Review

January 11, 2009
Made this tonight and it was great, taste just like what you would get in a restaurant, added some mushrooms and one extra teaspoon hot sauce because we like things spicy. Husband LOVED it. Next time may try with shrimp, instead of chicken.

Emz101's Review

February 25, 2013
Fantastic, I followed the recipe with some small substitutions for what I had on hand. I used chicken stock instead of rice wine, regular soy sauce for the whole recipe, sweet spicy chili sauce instead of chili paste and white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar. I also added zucchini and broccoli to up the vegetables and cooked the veg and chicken together. It ended up flavorful and satisfying which is so important when your trying to lose weight. I served it with a side of wide rice noodles. I will def make this again.

Cansas's Review

March 11, 2013

Pepita's Review

January 28, 2009
I think next time I'll just toss the veggies in at the end, I like mine crispy and they came out too cooked. I also like my chicken saucy so I'll double that next time. I sliced my peppers and onion longway because it seemed to fit better. Good flavors.

tifscatku's Review

February 02, 2009
A really solid Chinese recipe. I liked how this was sweet, but not too sweet and had a very subtle heat to it. I didn't have any onions on hand, but would think it would be even more delicious. I also used regular sesame oil and chile puree with garlic instead of chile paste. I served an edamame salad with it. This took 30-40 minutes to make and the results were amazing!