A wholesome and easy Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe to make on repeat. It is made without breading and coated with an excellent sweet and sour sticky sauce.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Knorr®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Sweet n Sour Chicken Recipe
Kick off the holidays with an easy chicken dinner recipe that you will want to make often! It is quick, easy, and packed full of comforting flavors and a unique ingredient in the sauce!
We always love Panda Express and Asian restaurants that create delicious ethnic meals that are quick and convenient. It tastes so good going down, but afterwards I usually leave feeling bloated, overstuffed and not to mention it is most likely not gluten-free. When I visit restaurants like that, I come home and replicate the recipes to be just as delicious but with more wholesome ingredients.
Homemade sweet and sour chicken is easy to make in the convenience of your own home! After lots of testing, this recipe is just as tasty, yet simple, low carb, gluten-free, and so much better for you overall! It is an easy sweet and sour chicken dinner the entire family will enjoy! Plus, you will feel a whole lot better (say bye to bloating) after enjoying it😊.
What is Sweet and Sour Chicken
“Sweet and Sour” or “Sweet n Sour” chicken is traditionally a Chinese dish of breaded diced pieces of chicken breast or chicken thighs that are then fried in oil and coated with a tasty sweet and sour sauce.
The flavors are a sticky combination of a tomato base, sugar, sesame oil, soy (or in this case gluten-free coconut aminos), garlic and vinegar- for a bit of kick.
Since this blog is gluten-free and focuses on nutritious ingredients, I have transformed this otherwise higher fat dish into a lighter and gluten-free dish that is still bursting with flavor!
Time to unlock the secret ingredient…
The secret triumph lies in adding Knorr® Selects Bouillon, Chicken flavored powder to the sweet and sour chicken sauce. It adds an abundance of flavor in a convenient way.
It is different than having broth around where you might need a little bit and the rest needs to be quickly used into soup. This bouillon powder can effortlessly be stored in the pantry and scooped out to enhance the flavor of soups, stew, sauces, mole, rice, vegetables and pasta when needed.
The benefits are that Knorr bouillon is made with natural chicken stock, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives, and no MSG. Compared to traditional bouillon, Knorr Selects has 30% less ingredients, a cleaner label and more premium ingredients.
I found our powder at our nearby Vallarta store, which graciously was on sale!
I add a tiny bit to the sweet and sour chicken sauce which brings out tons of flavor without too many additional ingredients. You only need 1 teaspoon of the powder per cup of sauce or with water for soups and stews.
Here are a few ways to use bouillon powder:
- Use it in place of broth by mixing it with water.
- Add it to a pot when cooking rice and quinoa.
- Mix it with water and baste a holiday turkey with it or roasted chicken.
- Add it to soups, stews and sauces for a more flavorful dish.
- Add 1 teaspoon mixed with 1 cup of water per cup of broth in holiday stuffings.
- Sprinkle a dash onto sautéed vegetables.
How to make this chicken recipe
First make the sauce by adding the ingredients (except cornstarch and water, which thickens the sauce) to a medium sized saucepan. Let it simmer as listed in the instructions. Then whisk together the cornstarch and water. I found if you add the cornstarch directly into the dish it tends to clump. Mixing it with water first helps it to form into a thick liquid that will thicken the sauce.
Next, slice 1.25 pounds of chicken into cubes. Place the cubes in a bag with paprika, corn starch and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix it well to coat.
In a nonstick frying pan add olive oil and heat it on medium-high heat. Add the cubed chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked through, flipping it while it cooks to get the edges cooked evenly.
Add the sauce over the cooked chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let it heat for about 3-5 minutes. This assures the chicken is cooked and lets the sauce get a bit thicker. Serve right away over rice and garnish with fresh green onions and sesame seeds.
What Kind of Chicken Is Best to use in this recipe?
The best kind of chicken to use here is chicken breast. It contains less fat than chicken thigh, but you can use chicken thigh if you prefer a darker meat. I do not recommend using a poultry that contains bones or a rotisserie. The chunks of meat coated in sweet and sour sauce are what makes this Chinese dish really good!
I also always suggest using organic chicken if possible that contains no added hormones or artificial anything😊.
More chicken recipes you may enjoy:
- Spicy Pineapple Ginger Coconut Lime Chicken
- Easy Chicken Breast Recipe with Delicata Squash Pan Sauce
- Chicken Taco Soup
- Indian Coconut Curry Chicken Rice Soup
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Knorr® Selects Bouillon, Chicken flavored powder
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1.25 pounds organic chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 chicken breasts)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green onion diced for garnish, only the green part
- sesame seeds for garnish
- cooked rice to serve with
- In a medium saucepan whisk together the coconut sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, aminos (or soy sauce), sesame oil, Knorr® Selects Bouillon, Chicken flavored powder, and garlic. Heat to a boil then turn it down to low to simmer.
- In a small bowl whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and water and add it to the sauce. Whisk together to combine and while the sauce is simmering make the chicken.
- Prepare the chicken by slicing into 1-inch pieces. In a zip-lock bag, add ¼ cup of cornstarch, paprika, baking powder and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix it to combine then add in the chicken. Seal the bag and toss the chicken around in the bag until all of the pieces are coated.
- In a large nonstick skillet, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat it on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 7 minutes or until cooked through, flipping the meat after 4 minutes. Pour the sauce in and toss to coat the chicken. Cover and cook 3-5 more minutes to thicken the sauce and assure the meat is cooked through.
- Serve with cooked rice, quinoa, a side of roasted vegetables, or a salad. Garnish with onions and sesame seeds.