Sweet & Sour Chicken


It’s easy to make the popular take out sweet & sour chicken at home

We made it to Friday! Finally. I swear this week couldn’t have been any longer. I know Easter is coming up this Sunday and I have not done one dish for Easter weekend. And the dish I have here today is the polar opposite of what you’d eat on Easter, but, I mean, you have tonight and Saturday, right? Low-key Saturday night in before Easter festivities: takeout & DVR.

So lately, I’ve been really lazy about cooking. I think I’m burned out (gasp). I think we all get that way every now and then. I need a vaca. Anyone with me? I’m heading down to Miami in 2 weeks and seriously, that cannot come fast enough. I’m excited to not have to cook for a week — I know, it sounds really bad, but everyone needs a vacation away from their kitchen so you can appreciate it so much more when you get back! Haha

On a completely random note that has nothing to do with takeout or vacation: have you heard of country hottie, Jake Owen? Oh my gosh, he is one fine piece of…you know what. I heard his song “Alone with You” on the radio this morning on the way into work and that has resulted in my YouTubing all his videos. I came across Barefoot Blue Jean Night and man, I miss my college days when summers would be 3 months long and you didn’t have to worry about anything. You can up and go and go to the lake with your friends and josh around. Seriously, this adult life — I don’t know how I feel about it!!

Now back to this dish. See? I’m tying this whole entry together well because: vacation means eating out/takeout, college always resulted in takeout. Therefore, this dish is a throwback for my college days. We had this tiny Chinese takeout place down the street of my apartment and I swear, my roommates and I would get it at least twice a month. Like, get 2 entrees each and have a Chinese takeout party while gossiping and sitting in front of the TV..ignoring all those projects and homework.

Okay well, now you can make this popular takeout dish at home. It’s oven-cooked and super easy. Tastes JUST like takeout. Whip up some fried rice and you’ve got yourself a killer meal for any night of the week :)

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Prep Time 25 mins Cook Time 1 hrs Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Serves 4     adjust servings

It's easy to make the popular take out sweet & sour chicken at home!


  • 3-4 inch boneless skinless, chicken breasts, cubed into 1- pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray cooking spray on a large baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Season your chicken cubes with salt and pepper then dip the chicken cube, in batches, in cornstarch. Set aside on a plate and continue until all chicken has been coated in corstarch. Pop the plate in the fridge for 20 minutes. It'll help make the cornstarch stay on.
  3. When ready, heat up a large skillet with the 1/4 cup of canola oil. While the oil is heating up, dip the coated chicken in the egg then cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through.
  4. Place your chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce then pour evenly over the chicken.
  6. Bake chicken for one hour and during the baking process, you'll need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes. Basically, just shuffling it around and re-coating with the sauce.
  7. Serve immediately with fried rice or plain rice.

Recipe Notes

Recipe Notes

Source: Life as a Lofthouse



Posted on April 06, 2012

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  1. 04/06/2012 at 8:35 am

    I love Jake Owen, and both of those songs. Yummmm. And the chicken sounds amazingly delicious too!

  2. 04/06/2012 at 9:28 am

    yum, this sounds absolutely delicious. will definitely be giving it a try soon – maybe even tomorrow night. i like your suggestion of an Easter eve relaxation + DVR night. =)

  3. 04/06/2012 at 9:49 am

    Not only do I heart jake owen, like hard, my number one favorite Chinese food treat is sweet and sour chicken. I’m so on this. This weekend. Done. :)

  4. 04/06/2012 at 10:05 am

    take out fake out! ha! love the title, Julie. what’s better than chinese take out? chinese take out you can make at home. reminds me of my college days, too! happy friday Julie!

  5. 04/06/2012 at 10:20 am

    During my college days, there was this Chinese/Mexican restaurant on the first floor of my dorm and they were open until 1AM, which is the most dangerous thing in a college students’ life. Plus, you could use your meal plan swipes at this place, so technically this was “free.” So with free Chinese food in walking distance and open late night, you could imagine how fat I got!

    Anyway, I love that I don’t have to worry about getting fat on these babies. It’s great that they’re oven baked! Oh and nice bowl – I think I have the same one. Crate & Barrel?

  6. 04/06/2012 at 10:32 am

    Ohhh yeah baby!! This is my favorite take out… bookmarked for sure!

  7. 04/06/2012 at 10:53 am

    Country songs like that + summer make me SO nostalgic for high school. Oh my gosh, I now feel so old…ugh.
    High school was also when I’d eat sweet and sour chicken without any care in the world of it going straight to my a%$. Why must we age? Seriously?

  8. 04/06/2012 at 11:32 am

    Aww you’re totally making me reminisce about my “let’s not do anything but sit on the couch and eat crappy food and giggle over nothing” college nights. Waaah what is this real life and why are we in it?!

  9. 04/06/2012 at 12:03 pm

    This is amazing Julie! I’m totally pinning this!!

  10. 04/06/2012 at 1:19 pm

    I’m so jealous of your trip to Miami! Enjoy your down time and vacation away from the kitchen :)

  11. I could use 2 weeks in Miami, I will meet you there! Love a good fake out Chinese dinner, this looks wonderful!

  12. 04/06/2012 at 8:54 pm

    I saw this pinned like a zillion times on pinterest today! With good reason, looks spectacularly pintastic.

  13. 04/06/2012 at 10:36 pm

    I’m totally with you on cooking burnout and definitely experience it from time to time! Vacation or taking a break definitely helps to refresh and rejuvenate me to be more motivated and well just better all the way around:) and love jake Owen! Barefoot blue jean night it one of my faves!

  14. 04/07/2012 at 7:42 pm

    I love this! Enjoy your vacation :)

  15. 04/07/2012 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve been searching for a good sweer & sour chicken recipe for YEARS now – can’t wait to give this one a try!

  16. 04/08/2012 at 5:02 pm

    Ooooh, yes! Chinese take-out college days were good memories, for sure! I’m definitely bookmarking this since I never order Chinese anymore but do need my “fix” every once in a while. :)

    And, just wait until you get married and then eventually have kiddos in the mix…You will have MANY more unmotivated nights to make dinner! lol!

  17. 04/09/2012 at 11:16 am

    LOVE making homemade takeout. I must give this recipe a try soon!

  18. 04/09/2012 at 9:27 pm

    I love when you do homemade versions of take-out food! You’re so good at it! If this is half as good as your chick-fil-a nuggets & sauce, I’m going to flip!

  19. 04/10/2012 at 9:17 pm

    A vacation sounds SO good right now! I’m probably a few months away from my next one so I’ll have to live vicariously through you :)

    I adore Chinese take-out dishes, especially when I can make them at home. I’m definitely trying this!

  20. Laura
    04/24/2012 at 9:42 am

    Just made this last night and it was DELICIOUS!! Great sweet & sour recipe and the fried rice was really good as well (and easy!).

    • 04/24/2012 at 10:06 am

      Great!! I’m so glad it turned out well for you :)

  21. Tracy
    08/23/2012 at 8:30 am

    I made this last night and everyone loved it. I had three kids who had seconds- very rare!

    • 08/23/2012 at 8:40 am

      Yay! That’s awesome :)

  22. Meredith
    09/23/2012 at 8:06 am

    I made this last night, along with your fried rice recipes, and a few other Chinese Take Out Recipes. This recipe is spot on! Loved that fact that the chicken wasn’t fried! Also, loved your fried recipe! The rice didn’t have that greasey feeling which you usually get with take out!

  23. 11/14/2012 at 10:55 am

    Can’t wait to try thia recipe

  24. Brianna
    12/29/2012 at 9:29 pm

    I made this and the fried rice last night and loved it! I could not believe how easy it was and how good it tasted! I do have a question though. Do you think it needs to bake for a whole hour? What I liked about this was that the sauce really thickened and caramelized, but the chicken got reaaaalllllly dry from being in the oven for so long. Suggestions on how to fix this? Thanks!

    • 12/29/2012 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Brianna – so glad you liked the dish. I don’t believe it needs to bake an entire hour, it’s really for the sauce to thicken up. I’d suggest baking it half an hour and if the sauce isn’t too thick, just remove the chicken w/a slotted spoon, set aside in a bowl, and pour the sauce in a saucepan and thicken with some cornstarch or flour mixture.

  25. Jane
    01/14/2013 at 2:34 pm

    I made this last night and it was delish!!!! The fried rice turned out great too! I have to admit, i am a little addicted to your blog, Julie!!! I have made 6 things from it and everything turned out great. So easy and turns out great. You are the 1st blog that I follow. I check it like a crazy women to see if you posted something new. Looking forward to cooking more yummy things. btw, your pics are amazing!!

    • 01/14/2013 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Jane! That’s so sweet of you! You should subscribe to my emails, that way you don’t have to always come checking it – new posts are automatically emailed to you. Go here and type in your email: then you will get an email telling you to confirm your subscription and once you confirm, you’ll get emails of all my posts every day there is a new one! :)

  26. Morgan
    01/31/2013 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Julie! I just happened upon your blog when I was on Pinterest and came across this recipe. I made it last night and it was absolutely delicious!!! My boyfriend even loved it and he’s picky beyond all reason lol. I made it thinking we’d have leftovers for tonight but we ate it all! Thanks for the delicious recipe and I can’t wait to try more!

  27. alesia
    02/07/2013 at 1:52 pm

    Love this recipe! I used apple cider vinegar the 2nd time, and it was even better!

  28. Sina
    02/20/2013 at 11:28 pm

    This recipe is every bit of amazing! Next time I’m going to make more of the sauce since I like everything saucy. I also didn’t need to bake the chicken for an hour, it was done in about 40 minutes. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  29. 03/13/2013 at 10:40 pm

    This recipe looks amazing! I am always looking for alternatives to take-out.

  30. Ryan
    03/24/2013 at 12:01 am

    I made this for dinner tonight – it was so good! I thought the cooking time was perfect. The sauce crisped up nicely, and the meat was not dry.

    I added a little bit of cayenne pepper to the sauce mixture for some spice. I’ll take Alesia’s recommendation and try apple cider vinegar next time also!

  31. Kiera Tate
    04/17/2013 at 8:08 pm

    Hey readers,

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe and the fried rice recipe tonight and those pictures do not lie. It looks that yummy and tastes just as great!!!! The rice and the chicken were wonderful. I am adding the recipes to my cook book!! mmm
    Thanks for those recipes.
    #stuffed #happy

    -Kiera Tate

  32. Rachel
    04/24/2013 at 11:31 pm

    This was absolutely delicious!!! I also made the mongolian beef from your blog and it was TO DIE for. I don’t have my own blog, but I’m always on the lookout for healthier versions of meals and I must say that this is the best one I have found. Just wanted to let you know that!!


  33. Teresha
    04/29/2013 at 2:59 am

    I would love to try this recipe but I have a severe egg allergy. Can you think of any way to prepare this with some sort of substitution for the egg that would still work out? I’m dying for a delicious recipe but everything I find has egg! Thanks

    • 04/29/2013 at 8:41 pm

      The breading would certainly be different without egg, but maybe you can try it with crushed cornflakes or panko breadcrumbs.

  34. Melissa C
    07/18/2013 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve made this a couple of times and i’m craving it again so it’s on my next meal plan! This is the best way to make “fake-out” Chinese food and I’ve adapted this recipe to others such as orange and sesame chicken! I use the apple cider vinegar instead but that’s the only thing I change! I love your blog and have used other recipes since finding this one via Pinterest!

    • 07/19/2013 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks Melissa :) I’m glad you’re finding so many recipes to make from my blog & that you’re loving them!!

  35. Alex
    07/20/2013 at 4:20 pm

    Hiya, this looks amazing! Just wondering how you could incorporate any veggies into this like peppers, pineapple, peas, carrots etc.

    Put the in the oven with the chicken or afterwards put the sauce on the hob, stir the veg in and heat through?

    • 07/20/2013 at 6:26 pm

      Hey Alex! I’d do it afterwards and pour the sauce on it and heat it through on the pot. I wouldn’t put it in the oven with the chicken.

  36. Alex
    07/21/2013 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks, thats what i was thinking too :) Ive saved alot of other recipes ready to try too!

  37. Allie
    02/09/2014 at 8:01 pm

    Wow! This was amazing. Satisfied my husband’s Chinese food cravings while still maintaining control of the quality ingredients used. I put a couple dashes of crushed red peppers in the sauce to give it a bit of a kick. Served it with cauliflower fried rice. Amazing dish! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • 02/10/2014 at 1:53 pm

      Awesome, Allie! Glad this satisfied your husband’s cravings!

  38. Michelle
    03/26/2014 at 7:47 pm

    Hi… I ran across this recipe and tried it last week… I found that the sauce made the chicken soggy rather than crispy during baking. I might try tossing with the sauce after the chicken bakes instead.

    • Julie
      03/27/2014 at 10:31 am

      Glad you tried it and found a way to modify it! Hope you enjoy! Great idea to toss the sauce on after baking!

  39. debby
    05/18/2014 at 12:09 pm

    soy sauce from Ingredients it’s salty light soy sauce from japanese or swetty thick soy sauce from indonesian ???

    • Julie
      05/19/2014 at 8:14 am

      Salty light soy sauce from Japan

      • debby
        05/19/2014 at 11:54 am

        Thanks for the response. There I would like to ask again please answer. for flour the chicken wrap, my mother always use tapioca flour (processed from cassava) plus powdered chicken broth. do not use corn starch. do you think which is more crispy and tasty? as for the sauce, which did not use soy sauce. based on my mom’s Sweet & Sour sauce recipe:
        250 ml sweet orange juice
        3 tbsp tomato sauce
        3 cm ginger, crushed
        1 tbsp granulated sugar
        1 tbsp vinegar
        1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolve it with a little water
        1 pineapple, cut according to taste.
        According to my mother, cornstarch thicken the sauce is just perfect for it.
        recipes sauces for five servings. What do you think? Sorry for the bad english.

  40. Kristen
    08/06/2014 at 4:52 pm

    Would this be considered fried? I cant eat fried food because it makes me break out with acne really bad, but I love this chicken!!

    • Julie
      08/06/2014 at 8:24 pm

      I don’t consider it fried because it’s not completely submerged in oil, the batter is just lightly fried/browned on the outside so I wouldn’t think it’s fried.

  41. Dede
    06/14/2016 at 9:10 am

    I tried ur recipe and it is amazingggggggg everybody just loved it ♡

  42. Michelle corsaro
    07/06/2016 at 8:08 pm

    nutritional value please

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