30-Minute Dinner/ American Recipes/ Chicken Recipes

Sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and bell peppers

20 January 2019 | Last Updated: 10 March 2021 By Aleksandra

This sweet and sour chicken with pineapple is my favorite recipe for this classic restaurant dish. It’s super easy to make at home and tastes so much better than the takeout. Chicken is well-seasoned, juicy, and definitely less fatty, the vegetables are crunchy, and the sauce is not overly sweet. Pineapple is such a great addition, it’s naturally sweet and sour so it pairs perfectly with this dish. You’ll have plenty of delicious sticky sauce from this recipe so it’s perfect to serve with rice.

Close up picture of sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and bell paprika in a pan.

My other sweet and sour chicken recipes:

We really love this dish, so I prepare it in various ways. In this recipe, I combined chicken breast with pineapple and bell peppers and served it over rice. I also have a recipe for sweet and sour chicken with noodles and vegetables – sort of sweet and sour chicken stir fry. If you’re looking for something new, maybe this sweet and sour chicken with plum sauce could be it. We also love these peanut chicken noodles!

Close up picture of a sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and bell peppers with rice on a plate.

How to make crispy and juicy chicken:

To get the chicken really crispy, like you would get in a restaurant, you need to coat it in batter and deep-fry. I’m not a fan of deep-frying at home, so I just tossed the chicken pieces in cornstarch/potato starch and pan-fried it. Some recipes call for coating the chicken in an egg mixture first. It produces a slightly crispier result, but after mixing pan-fried chicken with the sauce it’s no longer that crispy, so I believe that coating in potato starch or cornstarch is enough and I omit this extra step.

If you would like to deep-fry the chicken pieces though, add enough oil (so that the chicken pieces can float freely) to a high-rim pan. Warm up the oil until it reaches 350°F/180°C. Add the chicken pieces, a few at a time and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate, lined with paper towels.

How to make sweet and sour chicken with pineapple step by step:

STEP 1 (photo 2): Start with cutting the chicken breast into 1-inch (2-3 cm) chunks, toss with chili flakes, finely chopped ginger and garlic together, season with salt to taste (but not much, the sauce will be salty). You can cook it right away or leave to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight. (If you’re marinating the chicken for 30 minutes, you can leave it on the counter, if longer – cover the bowl and put it in the fridge, then bring to the room temperature before cooking). The ginger and garlic will tenderize the meat and it will be so tender and juicy!

Instead of chicken breast you can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs.

STEP 2 (photo 3+4): Whisk the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl together, set aside.

STEP 3 (photo 1): Cut the bell peppers and pineapple into 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) cubes.

STEP 4 (photo 2 + 3): Toss the chicken pieces in potato starch (or cornstarch).

STEP 5 (photo 3): Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken to the pan. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned, transfer on a plate.

TIPS on cooking the chicken:

  • If you have a smaller pan it would be better to cook the chicken in batches so it’s not overcrowded and can brown properly.
  • After adding chicken pieces to the pan, don’t stir it! Wait a minute or two and only if they’re nicely browned, stir and turn on the other side.
  • Don’t cook the meat for too long or it will be tough.

STEP 6 (photo 4): Add bell peppers and pineapple to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and tender but still crunchy.

STEP 7 (photo 1+2): Add the chicken back to the pan, add the sauce, stir everything together, bring to a boil. When the sauce thickens remove the pan from the heat. When using cornstarch you may need to cook the sauce a couple of minutes longer as opposed to using the potato starch.

SERVE with rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Here are some ideas on how to use up the leftover pineapple:

Storage and freezing:

Keep the sauce and rice separately or it will absorb sauce and be mushy. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days. The sauce with chicken freezes very well. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Sweet and sour chicken with pineapple and bell peppers

A homemade version of a classic American-Chinese dish. Tender chicken breast with sweet pineapple and bell peppers in a well-balanced sweet and sour sauce.
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sweet and sour chicken with pineapple
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5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 694kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts about 12 oz/350g, or boneless and skinless thighs
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes or to taste
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger 4 cm, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch/cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil

additionally:

  • 1.5 bell peppers I used 1 orange bell pepper and ½ red
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple

sweet and sour sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 4 Tbsp
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar 4 Tbsp
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice 4 Tbsp
  • 1/4 cup water 4 Tbsp
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste or ketchup
  • ¾ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon potato starch / cornstarch

to serve:

  • ½ cup rice + 1 cup boiling water
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch (2-3 cm) chunks, toss with chili flakes, finely chopped ginger and garlic together, season with salt to taste (but not much, the sauce will be salty). Cook right away or leave to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight. (If you’re marinating the chicken for 30 minutes, you can leave it on the counter, if longer – cover the bowl and put it in the fridge, then bring to the room temperature before cooking).
  • Cut the bell peppers and pineapple into 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) cubes.
  • Whisk the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl together, set aside.
  • Cook the rice: rinse the rice, add into a small pot, season with salt, pour in boiling water, cover, and cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes (starting from the moment when it comes to a boil) or until water is absorbed and the rice is soft.
  • Toss the chicken pieces in potato starch (or cornstarch). Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken to the pan. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned, transfer on a plate.
  • Add bell peppers and pineapple to the pan, cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and tender but still crunchy.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan, add the sauce, stir everything together, bring to a boil. When the sauce thickens remove the pan from the heat. When using cornstarch you may need to cook the sauce a couple of minutes longer as opposed to potato starch.
  • Serve with rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • 1 cup is 240-250 ml
  • Calories count = 1 serving = 1/2 recipe. This is only an estimate!
  • TIPS on cooking the chicken:
-If you have a smaller pan it would be better to cook the chicken in batches so it’s not overcrowded and can brown properly.
-After adding chicken pieces to the pan, don’t stir it! Wait a minute or two and only if they’re nicely browned, stir and turn on the other side.
-Don’t cook the meat for too long or it will be tough.
Course dinner
Cuisine american-chinese
Tried this Recipe? Rate the Recipe and tell us what you think in the Comments!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jillian
    24 January 2019 at 21:19

    5 stars
    This recipe is right up my ally! Take out food (fast and easy) that I don’t have to go out to get!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      25 January 2019 at 18:16

      Thanks! Make sure to give it a go, it’s really fast and easy 🙂

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