Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork is a Chinese takeout favorite made with pork, bell peppers, and pineapple chunks. The crockpot does all the work!
What if you could get all the fantastic flavor from Sweet and Sour Pork without having to stand over the stovetop cooking it? Sounds amazing, right? Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pork does just that. Readers love the ease of Crockpot Recipes like this that have all the flavor of a popular Chinese take-out dish with very little work.
SLOW COOKER SWEET AND SOUR PORK
Using a crockpot to make Sweet and Sour pork allows even the most beginner cook to wow their family with an easy Chinese-American recipe. It takes the intimidation out of having to quickly add multiple ingredients to a hot skillet or dealing with the clean up from oil splatter all over your stovetop once you’re done. It’s just an easy dinner that will quickly become part of your regular dinner rotation.
Sweet and sour pork is probably one of the most well known Chinese food takeout dishes. It’s well loved because everyone from kids to adults love the sweet and tangy sauce paired with the battered and fried pork. This dish skips the frying, making it a lot healthier, but it still has all the flavor of this loved to-go restaurant classic.
The sweet and sour sauce is what makes this main dish so iconic. It’s fairly easy to make at home with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Everyone has their favorite combination of flavors when it comes to making this sauce so feel free experiment with different ingredients if you make it multiple times.
For starters, this recipe uses tomato paste instead of ketchup to get a richer flavor but feel free to use ⅓ cup of ketchup in a pinch. You can also replace the white vinegar with rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Each substitution will adjust the flavor and create a new twist on dinner.
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VARIATIONS ON SLOW COOKER SWEET AND SOUR PORK
- Veggies: Include yellow or red bell peppers for a pop of color and add a garnish of green onions before serving.
- Meats: If you don’t want to cut up your boneless pork loin chops, you can leave them whole when placing them into the crockpot. You could also substitute pork with chicken.
- Gluten-Free: Swap out soy sauce for tamari in this recipe and make sure your broth label states that it’s Gluten-Free.
- Vegan/Vegetarian: Use tempeh instead of pork and use coconut sugar, apple cider vinegar, and vegetable broth for substitutions.
CAN YOU MAKE SLOW COOKER SWEET AND SOUR PORK AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, this recipe works great as a freezer meal.
- Combine the first 10 ingredients in a large resealable freezer-safe storage bag.
- Once mixed, add the pork, onion, green bell pepper and pineapple.
- Finally, seal the bag and turn it around and upside down to fully coat everything inside.
- You can either freeze this to use at a later date or simply leave it in your refrigerator overnight to pour into your crockpot to use the next day.
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HOW LONG IS SLOW COOKER SWEET AND SOUR PORK GOOD?
- Serve: Don’t allow your Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Allow this dish to cool and seal in an airtight container. It’ll last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: This dinner recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months if stored in a freezer-safe container or bag to ensure it doesn’t get freezer burn.
WHEN IS PORK SAFE TO EAT?
According to the USDA’s Official Website, pork is cooked through and safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (62.7 degrees C).
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin chops , cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large onion , cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large green pepper , cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces pineapple chunks , drained
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- In a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker, mix the first 10 ingredients.
- Stir in pork, onion, green pepper and pineapple.
- Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until pork is tender.
- In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and broth until smooth; gradually stir into cooking juices.
- Cook, covered, on low 15-20 minutes longer or until sauce is thickened.
- Serve with rice.
Could I follow this recipe but use a whole pork shoulder like in your Jalapeño Pineapple Pork recipe? I kind of want a mix of the two. Sweet and sour and spicy.
Go for it! I’ve never tested this recipe with a whole pork shoulder. Would like to know how it turns out!
Absolutely lovely, plenty for 4 people though not 8.
Only cooked for 6 hours and was perfect. Only used the brown sugar not white and sweet enough for us. Will definitely be making this again. Gorgeous.
I make it often, I don’t use the sugar because I don’t have a very sweet tooth but it’s the best recipe EVER.
This is a really lovely recipe. I did adjust the sugar, only using the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I also added a 20 oz can of drained pineapple and an additional bell pepper (red) plenty of liquid in the crock pot and it thickened perfectly as it was supposed to. We will make this again. Thank you for the recipe.
I made a few changes and used a sugar free alternative for the sugars, and substituted chicken thighs for the pork.. It turned out wonderful!
Delicious! Great balance of sweet and sour flavors, and super easy to toss together. I used fresh pineapple and threw in several hot chili peppers. We loved it! I’d say this recipe really only serves 4 though, but it would easily double. Thanks!
Hi there. Do you use the pineapple juice at all?
No, the juice from the pineapples is drained before adding.
This was very good. However, it was more sweet than sour. I will def make again but probably cut down on the sugar. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Lisa! I hope it works out better next time!
This was delicious but mine did not thicken up very much. Perhaps turn my crock pot to high when I add the cornstarch mixture? We will definitely eat this again.
asty, though a little bland. I agree with others regarding the veg. Limp and lifeless after 7 hours in the crock pot. Next time I’ll add those when there’s only an hour or two left of cooking time.
Tried this today. It was tasty but if I make again I would wait to put the vegetables in until the last couple hours. They were too soft which made them all taste the same and no crunch.
Do you fry the onion, pepper & pork beforehand?
I used this ( and several of your other crock pot recipes ) for our recent “vacation” camping. Prepared everything into gallon bags, froze and then threw them into the crockpot before we went for our daily hike. This was our absolute favorite. I used pork loin (cause I had it on hand). I didn’t have corn starch with me at camp so I added a small box of uncooked instant rice to the crock pot near the end of cooking. It was absolutely fantastic! I’m not a huge fan of “instant” anything but the rice soaked up all the liquid and made the most delicious one bowl meal. My husband and I couldn’t stop eating it! It is our new camping must have meal! Thanks so much for a great recipe!!
Yay!! I’m so glad you came back to let me know how much you enjoyed it.
Can this be made with pork tenderloin instead of chops? Trying to use meat I already have…
No, tenderloin is best cooked over fairly high heat and not in a slow cooker.
I’ve made it with pork loin and it actually turned out great!
I would like to try this recipe but don’t understand the ‘sugar’
Is it two different types of sugar.
Could I just use one cup of brown sugar.
Thanks for a response as I’ll like to try this recipe tomorrow for my husband’s birthday dinner
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. If you want to use 1 cup of brown sugar, you can. Enjoy!
This was yet another huge success from Dinner Then Dessert!! Thanks Sabrina!!! Super easy! Had everything but the pork in the pantry and will keep all of these ingredients on hand in future as this is going into our monthly rotation! Something different and it really hit the Chinese takeout spot even tho sweet and sour isn’t something I would normally order! Served with jasmine rice and blanched green beans and sprinkled with scallions and sesame seeds. Wish I had doubled the recipe and will in the future! Thanks so much for another winner!
You’re welcome, Alyssa. Thanks for the 5 stars.
Sabrina, Please do not apologize for saying, “have a great day”! It is up to each and everyone of us to determine that we will have a good day–no matter what the circumstances are. We decide how to react what ever situation arises and it is within each one of us to decide how we will approach the day. I applaud you for challenging each of us to have a great day–as great as possible–no matter what. We will all battle adversity in this life and we must lean that we are responsible for our own happiness–finding it in whatever comes our way.
Keep smiling–no one else can do it for you!
Thank you for the kind words.
It all sounds good however can it be made another way other than slow cooker?
You can follow this recipe
I almost want to buy a slow cooker specifically to make this. This sounds so delicious 🙂
It’ll be totally worth it!
I love any excuse to use the slow cooker, and this recipe is an excellent one. Everyone loved it and it was so easy. Thank you!
Thanks for coming back to let me know, Colleen.
Yum!! Sweet and sour is one of my favorite flavors, and this recipe looks amazing! Saving for later!
I am all about slow cooker recipes right now and this one was a family favorite – thank you!!
They definitely make getting dinner on the table easier!
This is great and a really easy alternative to ordering a take-out. We’ll be making this sweet and sour pork often for sure.
So glad you enjoyed it, Anita! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Do you use the pineappe juice at all?
No, the pineapples are drained of the juice before adding in.
Looking at the picture, I can’t imagine how the peppers & onions could possibly remain crispy after 6-8 hours of cooking. I would think they would be total mush.
I’d love to know what you think after trying. I hope you enjoy it!
Can this be made with Chicken breast as well????
I would suggest chicken thighs for a deeper flavor but yes, you can use breasts too if you prefer.
can you do in an instant pot??
I haven’t tested it but I’m sure you could find a recipe online using similar ingredients to use as a guideline. Good luck!