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Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is 1000x better than any takeout! It’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and exploding with flavor. There is a reason why this is our favorite recipe on the blog!

This meal is going to blow your family away! I love to complete this meal with this dishes like Homemade Egg Rolls, Cream Cheese Wontons or Easy Fried Rice.

Juicy, tender Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken on top of rice.

The BEST Sweet and Sour Chicken

I am going to keep this as short and simple as possible…you NEED to make this sweet and sour chicken recipe. This recipe is number one for a reason, it’s absolutely incredible. We have yet to find any takeout restaurant beat this recipe. (And that’s saying something, because I love Chinese takeout!)

A simple cornstarch batter makes each piece of chicken nice and crispy, and the sauce is to die for! It’s savory and sweet with the best hint of tang. The sauce thickens as it cooks, coating the chicken perfectly. Everything is super simple to make, so prepare for this sweet and sour chicken to be a regular in your weekly dinner rotation. Easy takeout at home, what could be better than that? (Find more “better than takeout” recipes here!)

Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

Restaurant-quality sweet and sour chicken, but from the comfort of your home! These are all the ingredients you’ll need to make the perfect crispy chicken smothered in a mouthwatering, savory glaze. All measurements can be found below in the recipe card.

  • Chicken Breasts: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for easy prep. This recipe also works really well with skinless chicken thighs or pork if you want to switch things up!
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Give the chicken its first layer of flavor. Add to taste!
  • Cornstarch: Creates a superb crunch.
  • Eggs: Helps the coating stick to each piece of chicken.
  • Canola Oil: Just enough to give the chicken a quick fry for crispiness.
  • Granulated Sugar: Gives the sauce a touch of sweetness. You can also use brown sugar if you’d like! It will give your chicken a deeper, more caramel-like flavor.
  • Ketchup: Adds some extra flavor to the sauce.
  • White Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar: I love adding a combination of both because it gives the sauce a tangy flavor, but a bit of sweetness too!
  • Soy Sauce: A must-add for any savory Asian dish! I used low-sodium soy sauce, but whatever you have on hand works great!
  • Garlic Salt: Adds the perfect punch of savory flavor.
Coating each piece of chicken in a cornstarch breading.

Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken Recipe

Making this sweet and sour chicken doesn’t take much effort at all! Once you get a taste, you’ll be happy you didn’t order takeout! The crispy breading and flavor of the sweet and sour sauce is seriously the best. You can’t beat the fresh flavor of making Chinese takeout from scratch!

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut your chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip: Add cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs to separate bowls. Dip the chicken FIRST in the cornstarch and then coat in the egg mixture.
  3. Flash Fry: Heat canola oil in a large pan over medium high heat and cook chicken until brown but not fully cooked throughout. Place the chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  4. Prepare Sauce: In a medium sized mixing cowl, whisk together sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce and garlic salt.
  5. Bake: Pour over the chicken and bake for an hour. Stir every 15 minutes to coat them in the sauce.
Frying the coating on Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken then adding it to a baking dish.

Tips and Tricks

These are a few tips to keep in mind so your chicken turns out as delicious as possible! I’ve also included a few ways to switch things up. That’s the beauty of making sweet and sour chicken at home instead of ordering takeout. You can customize it however you want!

  • Method to the Madness: Make sure you first coat your chicken in the cornstarch and then the egg. This method makes the perfect breading for the chicken.
  • Flash Frying: Don’t cook the chicken all the way through before baking. You just want to get the chicken lightly brown on the outside, and then it bakes to perfection.
  • Vinegar: You can use all apple cider vinegar, but I wouldn’t use all white vinegar, the flavor and zing will be different. If you want a lighter flavor you can also use rice vinegar, it’s still tangy but a little milder.
  • Make it Saucy: If you like your dish saucy, double the sauce recipe and place half on the chicken and another half on the stove in a pot at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
  • Add Veggies: Feel free to add vegetables or pineapple chunks to the dish before baking. (You can even add a little bit of pineapple juice to your sauce!) Chopped red bell peppers, bamboo shoots, chopped onions, broccoli, or snow peas are all great options as well.
Top-down view of baked chicken in a white dish.

Storing Leftovers

One of the great things about Chinese takeout is that it’s super easy to store and reheat. It tastes just as good the next day! Heat up some rice and you have a quick and delicious lunch on your hands.

  • In the Refrigerator: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the Freezer: Leftovers can be frozen too. Just place in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for 2-3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Sweet and sour chicken is best reheated on the stove. Reheating it in the microwave can make the chicken rubbery and overcooked. Place leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop and heat on medium heat, stirring often, until heated through.
Closeup of crispy, juicy, tender Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken.

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Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

4.79 from 57 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken is 1000x better than any takeout! It's crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and exploding with flavor. There is a reason why this is our favorite recipe on the blog!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • Utopia Kitchen Cooking Knives
  • Fine dine Mixing Bowls



  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.
  • I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.



Updated on May 10, 2023
Originally Posted on July 4, 2013


Calories: 553kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 35gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 777mgPotassium: 627mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 215IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian American, Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!


About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Yummm. Easy, all basic ingredients on hand. I had only enough chicken for half recipe.Followed recipe in spite of cornstarch first, apprehension. Chicken was perfect, crunchy. My mistake was making only half the sauce. Husband liked as not big on a lot of sauce but I am. Next time will make an extra batch. I used fresh frozen cut up pineapple. When pineapples are on sale during holidays, I buy extras, slice them up and freeze. Tonight I will try with boneless pork chops I have in freezer. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight. I did the 2X because I have a big family and use boneless/skinless chicken thighs. Maybe breast would have been easier? I am not sure if you are forgetting a step in between the cornstarch and egg because my meat all stuck together and then once I put it in canola oil the batter all fell apart. I would have enjoyed it without the cornstarch and egg. The sauce turned out better than I thought it would and had good flavor. I poured chicken with sauce over white rice.

    1. Hello!! It’s important to dredge the chicken in cornstarch before dipping them in the eggs. The cornstarch helps the eggs stick to the chicken and helps the breading adhere.

  3. 5 stars
    My family and I liked this. Just a bit confused on dunking the chicken in the flour and then the egg? I would recommend this recipe to a friend. I used 3/4 sugar and I put garlic powder, salt & pepper in the cornstarch mixture.

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious and you’re right, better than takeout. This will be on our menu rotation from now on. Thank you for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and easy to make. I served it with my fried rice that I made the night before. It was wonderful. I will definitely use it again

  6. 5 stars
    This is so much better than the food I have gotten in Chinese Restaurants. I followed your recipe to the last letter, in the last sentence.
    This will be one of my go to’s when the Chinese Food desire clicks in, as it is simple, easy and just plain delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    We found this website a few weeks ago and basically cook from it everyday. This chicken dish is exceptional

  8. 5 stars
    This is everyone’s favorite!!!!! Have made this often and always a hit. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!!!!!!!

  9. 5 stars
    We loved it! Sauce was awesome, glad I doubled it. Will definitely make again. Wish I could post a picture of what I made.

  10. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! The hubs asks for it every year on his birthday and has just asked me to make it for him tonight! Thank you soooo much for sharing!!!

  11. 5 stars
    Instead of using 1 cup of sugar, I used 20 packs of Splenda.
    Instead of using 1/4 cup of oil, I used 1/2 a cup for frying.
    Instead of setting the oven to 325, I set it to 375.

    Recipe was delicious. When I make it again, I will likely put 1 tsp of cornstarch in the sauce to thicken.


    1. 4 stars
      I, too, agree with you as to setting the oven higher. Makes no sense to set at 325 degrees when the chicken is basically cooked prior to putting it in the oven and cooking it for an hour. Even though my breasts were bigger, uh, my chicken breast were bigger and I had more than I needed to fill the pan, still enjoyed your recipe and will make again, opting to use the leftover chicken for a salad the next day.

  12. 4 stars
    Prep time is way out of wack , took me an hour and I already had the rice done , so maybe you should evaluate the Oreo time and aim it at newbies like myself and not professional chefs with everything on hand and ready to go. Never tried it yet, still waiting for it to bake .