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 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
4.19 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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52 comments

    • Christina

    I’ve tried other baked sweet and sour chicken recipes before, but today I veered from my normal recipe and gave this one a try. Holy dear mother of gosh, it tastes like I’ve actually ordered Chinese takeout! It actually tastes like authentic Chinese sweet and sour chicken. My tastebuds are still rioting in my mouth wanting more. Keeping this recipe for future use!!

    • Christina

    I was already in the process of making it when I realized I had no white sugar – whoops – so I used brown sugar instead. It still turned out great, and was super simple to make. Would definitely recommend!

    • Good to know about the substitution! I’m so glad it still turned out well 😀

    • Amp

    One hour seems like a really long time for bite-sized browned chicken pieces. Is that the correct cooking time?

    • Hey there! Yes, 1 hour is the correct cooking time 😀

    • S.B.

    Hi. 1 cup of oil? Seems like enough to fry.

    • Hey S.B.! Yes, 1 cup should be enough, but it also depends on the size of the pan you’re using. You want to make sure you have enough oil so that the chicken will be cooked easily (or, at least, I prefer to fry that way). Ideally, you only want to have to flip the chicken twice; if you have too little oil in the pan, you might have to flip multiple times to get all the sides golden, which might overcook the chicken in the process. Use your best judgment! 😀

    • layla

    Hi Chrisy , it has been so long since i was into cooking n trying cool recipes, but it turned out pretty good thanks! i didn’t want to wait an hour for the more healthier version , so i deep fried the (shrimps in my case) and heated the sauce for bout 10 mins while adding some water cuz i thought it was too concentrated and thickening the sauce with tomato puree. i then poured it onto the fried shrimp. i think maybe adding pineapples would perfect it

    • Ha, I hear ya on the waiting Layla – sometimes I can’t do it, either! I love the idea of using shrimp and adding pineapple. Definitely on my list to try next time!

    • Kenya

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I used 2 lbs of chicken breast tenders and cut them up. I doubled the recipe and I had just the right amount of leftover sauce in the bottom of my pan to put on my rice. I’m definitely keeping this recipe to use again. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for writing in, Kenya! I’m so glad it turned out well 😀

    • Karen

    Oh my goodness, this was the best sweet and sour chicken recipe that I’ve ever made. I usually am not happy with how others taste. But, this chicken was so amazingly good! Only thing was sauce stuck to foil so there wasn’t any left to pour over chicken. Next time I will double sauce and keep some set aside. I might add some bell peppers and pineapple to the pan also. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!

    • Thank you for writing in, Karen! I’m so glad you liked it! And I like your ideas about the sauce – I’ll have to try that the next time I make this!

    • Barbara Taylor

    Crisy, What a delicious meal my family want it every night,but I promised I would try your other recipes .Thank you Crisy. Barb.

    • Thank you Barbara! I’m so glad everyone liked it 😀

    • MARIA DE LOURDES SANTOS DE ARAUJO

    Oh!!! TUDO MARAVILHOSO!!
    PERFEITO!!! NOSSA NADA IGUAL A ESSAS RECEITAS,ME FASCINARAM.
    MEUS PARABÉNS INCRIVELMENTE TUDO DELICIOSOS!!!!!

    • Tiffany Rangel

    This was by far the best sweet and sour chicken recipe I have made, and I have made quite a few.

    • Sue Vince

    Made this for dinner tonight and my an old friend of mine and I are very impressed, loved it! Thankyou.

    • Mickey

    Looks amazing

    • Karly

    Looks like I won’t be needing that drawer full of takeout menus any more! This looks so much better than fast food and I love that the chicken is actually baked! Delish!

    • Adriana Lopez-Martin

    That chicken looks heavenly! Love the fact you can bake not fry yummy!

    • Thanks Adriana! It’s a nice twist on a classic 😀

  • I love sweet and sour chicken, and so I’m pinning this recipe because homemade always beats take-out!

    • Thank you Laura! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turns out 😀

    • Citra Kale @Citra’s Home Diary

    Mostly I fry my chicken for sweet and sour sauce. But your bake version give me other idea.

    • It’s a nice change of pace 😀 Both methods are good!

    • Diana Johnson

    This sounds amazing! Pinned to make later!

    • Jill Silverman Hough

    I love that, after a kitchen remodel, the first thing you wanted to make was sweet and sour chicken! It IS sort of comfort food, isn’t it?

    • YES! Sometimes the simple things are the best in life 😀

    • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    One of my favorites! So good to make it fresh and homemade!

    • olivia @ livforcake

    This looks amazing!! Is it weird that I could totally go for this for breakfast? SO good.

    • TOTALLY okay for breakfast 😀