Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken

6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken is a healthy version of Chinese takeout. Chicken stir fry in the same great sauce with less calories and work!

This new, healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is great for light summer meal and busy weeknights when you need a Main Dish in less than 30 minutes!

Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken on plate with rice and wontons

The only thing better than making classic Chinese Food Recipes at home is making them with a healthy twist. You get all the delicious flavors in a lightened up version, just like our wildly popular Ground Orange Chicken. We’ve got more lighter versions of your family’s favorite take out dishes coming to the site, including this new Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe.

This Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe is kid-friendly dish with little heat and just the right amount of tang. It’s made with common pantry items and no special ingredients to buy. Made with ingredients you already have on hand, this is an easy go-to recipe for busy weeknights or whenever you need dinner fast.

Sweet and sour sauce is hands down one of the best sauces on earth. It’s tangy, it’s sweet, it goes on everything from meat to veggies to fried wontons. This sauce for Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken has no food coloring and less preservatives than traditional versions but it is just as delicious. Double the sauce recipe, removing half before adding the chicken back to the pan, to use for later recipes.

Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken makes great meal prep, leftovers, and party food. There is no frying or cornstarch coating so you don’t have to worry about soggy breading when you reheat it. If you are doubling the recipe, cook the chicken in two batches so it gets that crispy crust.

Serve Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken with sides that soak up the delicious sauce like Steamed Rice and Chow Mein. Complete your dinner with a healthy veggie side like Steamed Super Greens (a Panda Express copycat) or Roasted Broccoli. Don’t forget sweet and sour sauce’s best friend, Spring Rolls!

Ground Chinese Food Recipes

Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken in skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

What vegetables can be added to Sweet and Sour Chicken?

Add your favorite stir fry veggies like broccoli, carrots, green onions, or snap peas. You can also use frozen veggies to save time chopping.

Can I substitute onions and peppers in Sweet and Sour Chicken?

If you don’t like onions or bell peppers, don’t skip them, their flavor is needed to balance out the sweetness. Cook them longer to soften their taste while still balancing out the sauce.

What other meats can I make with Sweet and Sour Sauce?

Try this recipe with ground pork or ground turkey! You could also use chopped chicken tenderloins, shrimp, or baked tofu.

How can I make Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken with less sugar?

To reduce the refined sugar in recipe, swap out the granulated sugar with pure pomegranate juice. Use ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar so it’s not too tart.

How do you make Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs?

Instead of Cocktail Meatballs, serve Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs with the instructions below. It’s an easy, delicious healthy appetizer that everyone will love!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Combine the ground chicken with ¼ cup each breadcrumbs and milk, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2/3 cup minced onion, 1 egg, and salt and pepper.
  • Once mixture is well combined, form into 1 inch balls and place in baking dish.
  • Bake meatballs for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile sauté onions and peppers in 1 tablespoon oil until crisp tender. 
  • Prepare the sauce as usual and add to pepper onion mixture per recipe card.
  • Once meatballs are done, toss in sauce and cook 1-2 minutes.

More Delicious Chinese Food Recipes You NEED to make:

How to Store Sweet and Sour Ground Chicken

  • Serve: Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it needs to be stored.
  • Store: Store Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: Place cooled Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken in a sealed container, or freezer safe bag, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw chicken overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in a skillet.
Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken in skillet with spoon

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Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken is a healthy version of Chinese takeout. Chicken stir fry in the same great sauce with less calories and work!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Chinese Food
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion , cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1/2 green bell pepper , cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper , cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup pineapple , diced


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced


  • To make the sauce, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic into a small bowl. Set aside.
  • To a large pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and ground chicken.
  • Cook until a good crust forms before breaking apart, then finish cooking by breaking it apart with a spatula and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan, leaving oil, or add 1 tablespoon oil if draining chicken.
  • Add the bell peppers, onion and pineapple and cook for 1-2 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  • Add the sauce to the pan and stir to coat everything, cooking for 30 seconds to warm the garlic.
  • Return chicken to the pan and toss to coat, cooking 1-2 more minutes until the sauce has thickened.



Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 748mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 432IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Ground Sweet and Sour Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. Made this for my parents, my Dad is a picky eater. Everyone loved it! I didn’t have any green bell pepper but had orange and Red – they worked great for this.
    Served it with jasmine rice (used some roasted garlic flavored better than bouillon with the rice) and everyone scraped their plates clean. Definitely something I will make again.

    1. I was a little worried about the taste because my sauce smelled so vinegary, but boy was I wrong! It turned out deliciously wonderful. Thank you for the great and easy recipe!