For most of us that live in a decent-sized city, it’s really easy to find a Chinese restaurant with good Sweet & Sour Chicken. And yet, I never order it. BUT…I often have it. I just make my own.
I’ve mentioned this before, but the main reasons that I can think of to make something homemade rather than buying it are:
That’s why I make my own. It’s fairly inexpensive to make this recipe for my family of 6, where it’d be really pricey to buy it from a restaurant. And with diet restrictions in our family, eating out isn’t really a good option – it’s hard to know if a meal out is wise. When I make something at home, I know it’s safe for my whole family. And taste? That’s usually been my main reason to make something at home — I can make it taste the way that I want to.
“The way that I want to” in this case? Lots of sauce! And lots of peppers and onions. I like the chicken, for sure, but when it comes to peppers and onions? Well, let’s just say that I’m a BIG fan!
Now traditional Sweet & Sour Chicken usually has breaded chicken, but I don’t. I leave it unbreaded. 1) It’s easier that way. 2) It’s healthier that way. 3) It makes it easily gluten-free that way (a concern for my family.) And 4) I like it that way.
And traditionally, it’s made with green and red peppers. But I use whatever I have. Green peppers are usually the cheapest of the bell pepper colors, but I often get those 3-packs of colored peppers at Aldi, so I’ll use whatever colors I have.
We pair it with rice for a complete meal. I keep frozen cooked rice ready in the freezer, so this meal comes together quickly!
This is a big favorite in our house. We have it often, especially since we’ve gone gluten-free. (Check out my list of 20 simple gluten-free recipes.) This recipe is easily made gluten-free with the right soy sauce and that was a huge help for me as I was learning new recipes to cook. Love that! It’s definitely been a comfort to me in the kitchen.
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Homemade Chinese food
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
Make the Sauce:
Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion salt, and ketchup to a medium sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl whisk together the 1 tablespoon corn starch and cold water until dissolved.
Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened, then reduce to low heat.
Make the Chicken & Veggies:
Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add peppers and onions. Continue until chicken is browned and cooked through.
Add sauce to chicken and peppers. Stir.
Serve over cooked rice.
Jayme is a wife to 1 and a mother to four little boys. She tries to coupon, builds a smart stockpile, and always meal plans. While she likes to cook, she’s in the stage of life where simple is usually better – she never knows how many hands she’ll have free at dinner time! You can find her on Instagram.