Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

The quest for the perfect weeknight dinner often leads to the familiar comfort of chicken dishes, but finding a recipe that breaks the monotony without adding complexity is a real treasure. That’s where the Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken comes into play. This dish, with its harmonious blend of tangy and sweet flavors, was an unexpected delight in my culinary experiments. The first time I prepared it, I was looking for something different yet comforting, and this recipe did not disappoint. The chicken came out perfectly tender, enveloped in a glossy, flavorful sauce that had just the right balance of sweetness and acidity. It was an instant hit with my family, turning a regular evening into a special occasion. This dish has now become a beloved staple in our home, offering a delightful change from our usual dinner rotation.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C) and line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag and add chicken pieces. Shake to coat thoroughly.
  4. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling.
  5. Dip chicken pieces in the egg, then add to the skillet. Sear until golden brown and then transfer to the prepared baking pan.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and sea salt.
  7. Pour this sauce over the chicken in the pan and bake for 1 hour, tossing the chicken halfway through to ensure even coating and cooking.
  8. Serve the baked sweet and sour chicken over rice for a complete meal.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings: This recipe serves 4 people.
  • Calories per serving: Approximately 500 calories per serving. (Note: This is an estimate. Actual calories may vary based on specific ingredient choices and serving sizes.)

Preparation Time

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Additional Tips

  1. For a crispy finish, consider broiling the chicken for 2-3 minutes after baking.
  2. Adjust the sweetness and sourness according to your preference by tweaking the amount of sugar and vinegar.
  3. Add vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or pineapple chunks to the pan before baking for a more balanced dish.
  4. Ensure the chicken is coated evenly with the cornstarch for the best texture.
  5. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after baking before serving to allow the sauce to thicken.


  1. Can I make this dish gluten-free? Yes, use a gluten-free soy sauce and ensure your cornstarch is gluten-free.
  2. Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts? Absolutely, chicken thighs can be used for a juicier result but adjust cooking times accordingly.
  3. Is it possible to make this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the chicken and sauce ahead of time, then bake before serving.
  4. How do I store leftovers? Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for best results.
  5. Can I freeze this dish? Yes, freeze either before or after baking. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  6. Can I use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? Yes, but apple cider vinegar offers a milder and slightly fruity acidity that complements the dish better.
  7. How can I thicken the sauce if it’s too runny? Combine a small amount of cornstarch with water and stir into the sauce before the final 15 minutes of baking.
  8. Can I add other spices to the sauce? Certainly, feel free to add ginger, onion powder, or a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
  9. Is it necessary to sear the chicken before baking? Searing helps to lock in flavors and ensures a golden crust, but you can skip this step for a lower-fat version.
  10. What can I serve with this dish besides rice? Noodles, quinoa, or a side of steamed vegetables make excellent accompaniments.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken transforms a classic takeout dish into a homemade masterpiece, offering a perfect balance of flavors that can easily be adjusted to suit any palate. It’s a straightforward recipe that yields a dish full of complex tastes, making it a surefire way to bring the family together for a delightful meal.