Skip the Chinese takeout and make baked sweet and sour chicken at home with a delicious sweet and sour sauce poured over tender chicken with a crispy breading.

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Easy baked sweet and sour chicken served on a bed of rice.

About Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Perfect for a comforting dinner at home or even a low-key date night, this baked sweet and sour chicken is a great dish for any occasion.

Packed with a ton of flavor and easy to make, this is sure to be a go-to dish when you’re craving delicious food. Plus, it tastes just like Chinese takeout, but gives you complete control over the flavor (should it be sweeter? More sour?) and texture (level of crunchiness is yours to command).

How to know if your oil is hot enough for frying

Whenever you’re frying chicken, it’s important that your oil is hot enough because if it’s not the chicken may absorb the oil and become too greasy. The good news is that there are two easy ways to check if your oil is hot enough before frying:

  1. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature (it should be between 350 and 375 degrees F.)
  2. Stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If the oil starts bubbling around the wood, then the oil is ready.
Crispy baked sweet and sour chicken garnished with chives.

If the chicken is fried, why do you have to bake it?

While the chicken is fried first, this is just to get a light and crispy coat of breading on the outside. It also helps cook the inside of the chicken (in most cases, the chicken will be almost entirely opaque after frying).

So after the chicken is fried and coated in sauce, this recipe does say to bake the chicken – because this will help bake the flavor of the sauce into the breading. There’s a subtle difference between being coated in sauce and flavored with sauce and baking the chicken does that for this recipe. Baking also helps the sauce “come together” by infusing and reducing, making it cling to the chicken more.

However, you can skip the baking step if you’d like, so long as you make sure the chicken is fully cooked through (no pink and fully opaque) from frying alone.

How long is sweet and sour chicken good for?

Once prepared, baked sweet and sour chicken can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to four days.

Can you freeze sweet and sour chicken?

Yes, you totally can!

To freeze, allow the chicken to cool completely and then transfer to a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Sweet and sour chicken can be frozen for up to three months.

When ready to eat, let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees F or until heated through.

What to serve with sweet and sour chicken?

For serving, you can either go ultra-traditional and stick with Asian cuisine or use any classic side. My favorite options include:

Notes & Tips for baked sweet and sour chicken wings

Fried chicken with a sweet and sour sauce.

More great chicken recipes

How to make baked sweet and sour chicken

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a small bowl, mix the sugar, ketchup, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder together until combined.

Step 2 – Add some beaten eggs to a small bowl and some flour to another, then work on coating your chicken. Coat it with the flour first, then drop it in the eggs.

Step 3 – Place the coated chicken in a large skillet filled with heated oil, cooking them until the outside begins to turn golden brown.

Step 4 – Once fried, toss the chicken in the prepared sweet and sour sauce, then put arrange them on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Step 5 – Bake!

Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken! Skip the takeout and have a Chinese favorite at home: a delicious sweet and sour sauce poured over tender chicken with a crispy breading. | HomemadeHooplah.com
3.9 from 37 votes

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

30 mins prep + 1 hr cook
1143 kcal
Yields: 4 servings
Skip the Chinese takeout and make baked sweet and sour chicken at home with a delicious sweet and sour sauce poured over tender chicken with a crispy breading.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, making sure the sides are also covered (this will help with cleanup), and place nearby.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, ketchup, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder until smooth. Mixture may feel grainy – this is okay. Sugar will dissolve while you work on the next steps. Set sauce aside.
  • Place the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl nearby. For the cornstarch, you can either put it in another shallow bowl OR add it to a Ziploc bag (gallon sized). Finally, place a plate nearby and cover it with a paper towel.
  • Pour canola oil in a large skillet and warm over medium-high heat.
  • Coat bite-sized chicken pieces in cornstarch (by either dunking them in the bowl or adding them to the bag and shaking it) and then dip them in the egg. Place coated chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the outsides of the chicken are golden brown and lightly crisp. Transfer cooked chicken to the plate with the paper towel. TIP: I use a slotted spoon to dunk and coat the chicken in the egg. I then scoop them into the skillet, making sure to break apart the chicken once it’s in the oil so the pieces don’t stick together.
  • Once chicken pieces are cooked, whisk the sweet and sour sauce one more time and then toss the chicken in. Use a spatula to gently turn and coat.
  • Pour the sweet and sour chicken (both chicken and excess sauce) on prepared baking sheet. Spread chicken out in a single layer so that no pieces are touching.
  • Bake chicken for 15-30 minutes or until sweet and sour sauce seems baked into breading.
  • Serve immediately on a bed of rice with chives as garnish (optional).

Nutrition

Calories: 1143kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 268mg | Sodium: 712mg | Potassium: 959mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating




51 comments

    • Carolyn sloboda
    • 5 stars

    This one of my favorite recipes! I cut the sugar to a half a cup. Cook the chicken, which can be made a head of time. I either use a cast iron pan or my al clad 10 inch frying pan and cook my chicken and sauce in about 10 minutes on the stove top. The sauces cooks down and becomes thick. Delicious every time!

    • Yogesh
    • 5 stars

    It’s looking soo delicious 😋😋😋😋

    • Leigh S.
    • 3 stars

    I wanted to like this so much but it was just too vinegary for us. Very strong. I loved the breading though. I’m GF so for a recipe not to be dipped in flour and it be crispy was great. Also made the 10 minute fried rice with this and it came out great.

    • Laura
    • 4 stars

    Just made this tonight and it tasted delicious! Instead of pan frying, I used my fry daddy to deep fry and my chickens just couldn’t seem to hold onto the crispiness. Crispy right when they came out, but a few minutes sitting on the paper towel, they become soft. It didn’t bother me much b/c I was meal prepping for the week and it would’ve been expected to get “soggy” as leftovers. I’m not sure how long I left it in the oven, but just enough to wear the sauce got super thick/started burning (15-20 min). Luckily, I had extra sauce leftover and I heated it over a pan for it to thicken up to pour over the chicken. Tasted great! Will make again! Just need to figure out how to make it stay crispy!

    • danielle
    • 5 stars

    There’s a reason I don;t take the boyfriend grocery shopping with me. I get the same types of questions! I go alone so I can buy whatever I want without answering any questions 🙂 I’m usually not a fan of sweet and sour chicken, but this recipe sounds delicious! Maybe it’s time to give it another try.

    • Taylor
    • 5 stars

    Tried this last night and it turned out so good! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

      • Chrisy

      So glad to hear it, Taylor! Thanks for writing in 😀

    • Christine
    • 4 stars

    Good morning! I made this dish last night. I tasted the chicken after it was on the paper towel and it was wonderful! The cooked cornstarch and egg kept the chicken very moist.
    However, leaving it in the over for an hour dried the chicken out and the sauce was too thick, sticky and nearly gone after an hour in the oven. They were both much tastier before they went into the oven although the sauce did need some type of cooking.
    Since this is an excellent recipe, I will be making it as part of my monthly rotation but I’ll try the chicken and sauce in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at the most. I’ll also simmer half a recipe of the sauce on the stove top to go on the rice.
    I appreciate this recipe and I hope I do not sound too critical because it is a keeper!

      • Chrisy

      No worries Christine! Feedback is always good 🙂 If you try it with your adjustments, I’d love to hear how it turned out!

      • Garden Goddess

      I believe her instruction said, bake in oven for 15 to 20 min. 1 hour was the overall time to pre
      pare the dish.

    • Max b

    So you put the chicken in the pan while its coated in egg and not cornstarch?

    Cornstarch first thrn egg?
    Is this correct

      • Chrisy

      Hey Max! Sorry for any confusion. For this recipe, you coat the chicken in cornstarch, dip it in the egg, fry the coated chicken in canola oil, and then toss the cooked chicken in the sweet & sour sauce before arranging them on the baking sheet. The recipe goes into more detail on this in steps 3 and 4. Hope that helps!

    • Susan @ Culinary Envy

    I may never get Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken again! Pinned.

    • Barbara

    I make this all of the time but I add bell peppers, onions and pineapples in pan with chicken and then pour the sauce (I heat sauce to boiling first to kind of caramelize it) over the chicken….it is so yummy!!!

    • Kevin Clarke

    Hey, just tried the sweet and sour chicken recipe! The flavor was good, but, sorry, the cook time of 1hr is way to long. It came out just on the cusp of dry.
    When I make it again I’ll cook for 30 min then check the internal temp. I will make it again too.
    I might make extra sauce too, it would work on pork or shrimp as well!