how to make sweet and sour chicken stir fry | Family Cuisine

Sweet and sour chicken stir fry is a tasty dish that's perfect for the whole family. It features strips of chicken coated in a sweet-and-sour sauce with bell peppers, onions, and pineapple. The sauce is made primarily with

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How to make sweet and sour chicken stir fry

Sweet, sticky, and just a little spicy, this Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry is a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

The heat of the Sriracha is mellowed with the sweetness of the pineapple and the result is a sweet and sour stir fry that is not at all burn-your-mouth-hot, despite copious amounts of Sriracha.

Reading: how to make sweet and sour chicken stir fry


If your kids love take-out sweet and sour chicken, they’re going to go nuts for this meal. Faster than ordering in and even tastier, this stir fry recipe makes everyone happy!

While spicy, this is one of the most kid-friendly Chicken Stir-Fry recipes I’ve made. My youngest son has been eating this since he was just 2-3 years old and he still eats every bite and asks for more.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry

This Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry requires about 10-15 minutes prep time for the chicken, vegetables, and sauce; and less time than that to cook and serve it. Start a pan of rice before doing anything else and you will have dinner served in 30 minutes or less.

This meal is always a hit with my family and there is never a bite leftover!

Sweet n sour chicken stir fry

How to Make Chicken Stir-Fry

After cooking your rice, prepare your chicken and vegetables. Slice boneless skinless chicken thighs into small pieces-the smaller the better for this recipe!

Drain a can of pineapple and reserve the juice to use later. (We’re going to add it to the sauce in a minute!)

Slice your bell peppers into thin strips and make sure your snap peas are rinsed with any stemmed ends trimmed. Prepared bags of washed, trimmed snap peas are available at most grocery stores and make this step extra easy.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

Toss the chicken strips with soy sauce and arrowroot starch (or cornstarch). This step gives the chicken rich savory flavor and helps each piece cook up perfectly crispy. Make the sauce by combining the reserved pineapple juice with soy sauce, more starch, and vinegar.

Read more: how to stir fry rice sticks | Family Cuisine

Now it’s time to cook the chicken. Add it to a pre-heated pan with coconut or olive oil and cook for just a couple of minutes. The chicken will cook very quickly so keep a close eye on it.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry on the stovetop

Next, toss in the snap peas and sliced peppers cooking for another couple of minutes and adjusting the heat as necessary.

Finally, add the pineapple chunks and sauce and cook until the sauce thickens. It should be very sticky at this point and not at all watery.

Taste the sauce and add the Sriracha a little at a time until you reach your desired spiciness level. My family loves this with a full two tablespoons of the spicy stuff! Serve in bowls over rice.

Sriracha Stir Fry Tip

At first glance, the amount of Sriracha in the recipe seems crazy high. As I was slowly adding it to the sauce the first time I made this, I could hardly believe how much of the Sriracha it took before I even noticed the mildest of heat.

Go slowly with it and adjust the heat to the level you desire. 1/4 cup of Sriracha was perfect for most of my family. My spice-loving husband usually drizzles his plate with a little bit extra.


Can you freeze stir fry?

Sweet and Sour Chicken is a great meal to prep on the weekend and store in the freezer for those extra busy weeknights. Let the stir-fry cool completely before freezing in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. When ready to serve, let the stir-fry thaw then reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

Leftovers, if you have any, also taste great reheated for lunch the next day.

Served fresh or as a make-ahead meal, this is a family-friendly recipe that’s so much better than takeout and just as fast!


Chicken Stir-Fry Recipes

When I can’t decide what to make for dinner, chicken stir-fry is a meal that I know everyone will agree on.

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Stir Fry shows up on our meal plans at least once a month (if not more, at my kids’ request). This Ginger Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry is another flavorful favorite that’s world’s better than most restaurant dishes!

Read more: how to make soft fried eggs | Family Cuisine

If you like Sweet and Sour Chicken, I know you’ll also love this similarly flavored Sriracha Honey Cashew Chicken. The sweet honey and crunchy cashews make it almost addictively good.

Most of the time I serve chicken stir-fry over a simple bowl of white or brown rice. When we’re in the mood for noodles, I reach for this Stir Fry Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables. It’s so simple but oh so delicious!

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry with Chicken, Pineapple, and Bell Peppers

For more quick and easy dinner recipes, check out my kids’ favorite Cheater Korean Beef and this 20-Minute Kielbasa Cabbage Skillet.

I just added this Greek Gyro Skillet and these Oven-Baked Hot Italian Sandwiches to my must-make list too. Nothing beats a quick, easy, and great tasting meal on busy weeknights.

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry with Chicken, Pineapple, and Bell Peppers

Kitchen Tip: I use this skillet and these chopsticks for this recipe.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir Fry

  1. Place the chicken strips in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon arrowroot and toss to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, water, vinegar, brown sugar, remaining soy sauce and arrowroot. Set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and toss quickly to coat. Continue tossing for 2-3 minutes as the chicken cooks very quickly.

  3. Add the peppers and the snap peas and continue stirring and tossing for 2 more minutes. Lower the heat slightly if necessary.

  4. Increase the heat to high again and add the pineapple chunks and the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes until the sauce is thick and sticky.

  5. Taste the sauce and add the Sriracha a tablespoon or so at a time. Stirring well, between each addition. Serve over rice.

{originally posted 4-25-13 – recipe notes and photos updated 2-10-20}


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