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sweet and sour chicken (gf, df)

Sweet & Sour Chicken I One Lovely Life
I really do realize that this week is Thanksgiving. Promise.

And I should have probably posted a last-minute Thanksgiving round-up of recipes. But I didn’t. And I’m probably not going to.

Instead, I’m giving you a recipe you can use post-Thanksgiving when you need something that isn’t a casserole or pie or made with cream and butter. When your taste buds need a quick break before the holiday baking begins.

Sweet & Sour Chicken I One Lovely Life

I give you sweet and sour chicken. This is an absolutely basic recipe that I’ve updated from the archives. Sometimes, I’ll change things up and add a clove of garlic and a bit of fresh ginger, but this recipe works out in a very family-friendly way as is.

I don’t deep-fry my chicken (I use cooked, cubed chicken breast), but if you wanted to, you certainly could.

Sweet & Sour Chicken I One Lovely Life

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 lb chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large (20oz) can pineapple chunks, drained and JUICE RESERVED
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut unto chunks
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 c white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or gluten free tamari*
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup*
  • 1/3 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch


  1. In a large pan, cook onion and peppers in olive oil over medium-high heat until crisp-tender.
  2. While peppers and onions are cooking, make sauce by draining the pineapple juice into a liquid measuring cup and adding enough water to the pineapple juice to make 1 1/3c. Stir in vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add chicken and pineapple to skillet with peppers and onions. Add sauce to pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir and cook until sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
  4. Serve with rice.


*Gluten/Dairy free notes: Be sure your ketchup is gluten free (most are). We like Hunt’s with no high fructose corn syrup. Also, be sure to use gluten free tamari. San-J make a great one.



  1. This is one of my favorite dishes. And trust me, I don’t blame you for the lack of Thanksgiving recipes. After all, all of us make the feast the day-of, as far as I remember! Though, I guess it doesn’t help my case that I have a turkey breast post up today :/ I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Emily! You’re eating for two now, so you can eat extra of everything, lucky girl!

  2. Finally! I’ve tried a few recipes for sweet and sour chicken, but all of them were….um, how do you put this lightly….gross and I wanted to throw the pan out everytime. But this comes pretty darn close to the one at my local Chinese place. I did fry the chicken though. Who needs take-out? Thanks so much!

  3. Made this tonight and everyone loved it! I actually reduced the brown sugar to 1/4 cup and thought it had a perfect balance of sweet/sour. Thanks for the recipe and for helping me become a better cook and mama!

    1. Shauna – I’m so glad you liked it! It’s funny you made it yesterday! I’m filming a new version today! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. I appreciate it so much 🙂

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